Sierra Leone not sending peacekeepers to Cote d'Ivoire

  Freetown Sierra Leone (PANA) -- Sierra Leone's Deputy Defence Minister Joe Blell has said his country will not contribute troops to a peacekeeping contingent being assembled for Cote d'Ivoire by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
     Blell said there was no need for Sierra Leone to send troops on a peace mission while the downsizing of the UN peacekeeping force in the country was under way.
   The Sierra Leone Army was required to replace the UN troops at various locations in order to maintain security in the country, he said.
Blell refuted reports that 1,500 soldiers of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces were about to leave for Cote d'Ivoire to take part in peacekeeping operations.

06 november 2002 22:53:00

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