RUF Rebels Prepare for Tripartite Talks

Freetown- Sierra Leone (PANA) -- A six-member delegation of the Revolutionary United Front has arrived here for a tripartite meeting with UN and Government scheduled for 11 October.
"We are here in preparation for the next tripartite meeting, scheduled to take place at the headquarters of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone on Thursday", delegation leader Eldred Collins told PANA.
"We are here also to finalise arrangements with our landlord regarding the headquarters of our party office in Freetown," he said The National Electoral Commission has put on hold the registration of the RUF as a party because the front has not secured an administrative office in Freetown and other provincial towns.
Collins said the rebel movement has got an office space in Kenema, the Eastern regional headquarters.
On the stalled disarming of combatants in the Northern regional town of Makeni, Collins said it was "inevitable".
"We have fought for ten years.
Our ideals and ideas have not been the same.
Which is why we must disagree to agree.
" He said the RUF delegation was in Freetown in "full gear to discuss pertinent issues relating to lasting peace in our beloved country".
Collins and Mike Lamin, both recently freed from detention by the Sierra Leone government of President Tejan Kabbah, have been blamed for the present deadlock in the disarming of fighters.
"We only objected to the demobilisation camp located at Saint Francis Secondary School because the school has reopened," said Lamin.
But a senior official in the education ministry rebuffed that claim saying, "It sounds ridiculous for RUF to protest on the grounds of the reopening of schools after burning and looting 70 percent of school buildings and furniture".

08 october 2001 22:56:00




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