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22 Sep 2009 description

Ougadougou, Burkina Faso_(dpa) _ When teacher Aminata Sourl packed up her classroom in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at the end of last term, she didn't expect to be back until the new school year.

But landlocked Burkina Faso was among the West African nations devastated by floods that killed 160 people and displaced over 500,000 at the beginning of this month.

Sourl was forced to join the crowds seeking refuge back at her own primary school, which occupies a raised patch of land on the edge of the city.

"As I locked the door last term I said to myself 'I'll be back …

07 Aug 2009 description

The Hague_(dpa) _ The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) is to run out of money by mid-August unless its donors transfer resources to the UN-supported court immediately, an SCSL official said Friday.

SCSL spokesman Solomon Moriba told the German Press Agency dpa that "the court registrar indicated that if no money is received in the coming days, the treasury will be empty by August 14."

The spokesman added however that he was "confident" money transfers would be made soon, as ongoing discussions between the court and the donors were …

16 Sep 2007 description

Nairobi/Freetown_(dpa) _ Sierra Leone's ruling party has said it will go to court in a bid to prevent the further publication of the results of presidential run-off elections a week ago, according to reports Sunday.

The injunction being sought by the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) against the electoral commission comes with about three quarters of votes counted following the run-offs.

It also comes amid indications of a clear lead by opposition candidate Ernest Bai Koromo over acting vice president Solomon Berewa, British broadcaster BBC reported.

31 Aug 2007 description

Monrovia_(dpa) _ Police in Sierra Leone said Friday they had imposed a curfew in Kailahun in the east after violence intensified in a run-off to presidential election scheduled for September 8.

Police Assistant Inspector General, Chris Charlie, who is in charge of professional standards and the media, said a probe into renewed violence has begun.

Violence has overshadowed preparations for next Saturday's

presidential run-off elections between Vice President Solomon Berewa and opposition candidate Ernest Koroma.

Koroma's APC won 44 per cent of the polls over 38 per cent …

02 Aug 2007 description

Freetown_(dpa) _ Two former members of a government-backed paramilitary group in Sierra Leone's bloody 11-year civil war were found guilty Thursday of four and five counts of war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law but were acquitted of crimes against humanity.

Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa were convicted of crimes related to unlawful killings, looting and burning and terrorizing the civilian population while the latter was also found guilty of conscripting child soldiers.

The men, who were both charged with eight counts, were acquitted of murder and …

31 Aug 2004 description

Accra (dpa) - Monie Captan, former Liberian foreign minister, on Tuesday said the prolonged Liberian conflict had created a pool of experienced combatants engaging in mercenary activities in the West African sub-region.

He alleged that the recruitment and participation of various West African nationals in numerous Liberian armed insurgency groups had led to the creation of an active mercenary force and pool of experienced combatants in the sub-region, the Ghana News Agency reported.

Speaking at a forum organised by the African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR) in Accra dubbed …

24 May 2004 description

Monrovia (dpa) - About 600 Sierra Leonean refugees left Liberia over the weekend under repatriation exercise sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR officials confirmed in Monrovia on Monday.

According to the report, the number of refugees that left Friday was the highest to be repatriated in a single day since the repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees began early this year.

UNHCR Resident Representative Okello however urged Liberian refugees wishing to return home to wait for UNHCR's organized repatriation in October.

03 Mar 2004 description

New York (dpa) - A Canadian-sponsored study published Wednesday showed that recruitment and abductions of girls and women to fight in many civil wars in Africa were widespread even though governments in the region denied a role in the practice.

24 Jun 2003 description

Lagos (dpa) - A refugee camp in southwestern Nigeria is overcrowded and the number of pregnant teenagers in the camp is too high, a U.N. official said Tuesday.

06 Jan 2003 description

Monrovia (dpa) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched a campaign to reunite more than one thousand abandoned Liberian children in refugee camps in Guinea and Sierra Leone with their parents in Liberia, the ICRC said Monday.

19 Feb 2002 description

Monrovia (dpa) - Liberian President Charles Taylor said Tuesday that the presidents of the three Mano River Union (MRU) countries -Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - are to meet in Morocco to discuss their differences.

The meeting, brokered by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, would take place shortly, Taylor said.

Last week a Moroccan delegation visited the Liberian leader to inform him of the king's concern over the conflict in the region and his desire to help find a peace settlement.

17 Jan 2002 description

Monrovia (dpa)- A two-day symposium of civil society groups from the Mano River Union (MRU) has ended here with a call on leaders of countries of the sub-region to dialogue and resolve their conflict.

In a ten-count resolution issued at the close of the symposium Wednesday night, participants observed that the previous attitude of ''non-committal'' by the leaders of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had only helped to ''inflame or worsen'' the situation of inhabitants of the basin.

28 Dec 2001 description

Monrovia (dpa) - Security forces are harassing people in northwestern Liberia, leading to a mass exodus of citizens to neighbouring Sierra Leone and other parts of the county, an official said Friday.

"We have been informed by our citizens that where there is no presence of dissidents in these areas, security officers have advised them to leave their towns and villages indicating these areas are not safe," said James Lomei, the district spokesman for Porkpa and Gola Konneh.

21 Sep 2000 description

Johannesburg (dpa) - African diamond producers on Thursday endorsed the introduction of an international certification scheme as a practical and reliable means of halting the trade in illegal and conflict gems onto the global market.

21 Jun 2000 description

New York (dpa) - A West African delegation met Wednesday with the U.N. Security Council to discuss the stalled situation in Sierra Leone where rebels continue to detain U.N. peacekeepers.

The six-member delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) headed by Mali's Foreign Minister Mobido Sidibe brought fresh information to the council following its visits this week to Freetown and Monrovia.

15 May 2000 description

New York (dpa) - Sierra Leone's rebels have released 139 of the 500 U.N. peacekeepers being held hostage, according to a CNN report Monday.

The report quoted the president of neighbouring Liberia, Charles Taylor, as saying the released hostages were awaiting transport across the border into Liberia.

The report quoted the president of neighbouring Liberia, Charles Taylor, as saying the released hostages were awaiting transport across the border into Liberia.

There was no U.N. confirmation of the report.

09 May 2000 description

Freetown/London (dpa) - A spokesman for the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) said Tuesday that the force would stay in the troubled West African country and would soon be strengthened.

Spokesman David Wimshurst told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that the 8,700 "blue helmets" would remain in the region and that there were plans to bring in further troops.

The statement came as a special conference was being held in the Nigerian capital Abuja to discuss sending Nigerian soldiers to Sierra Leone.

Meanwhile British paratroopers who arrived in …

13 Sep 1999 description

Freetown (dpa) - The World Food Programme (WFP) in Sierra Leone said on Monday that it has delivered 1,200 metric tons of food to the rebel-held town of Makeni where the humanitarian situation was desperate.

A WFP spokesman said the rebels were ''cooperative and very disciplined'', adding that the food should last civilians in the town one month if handled properly.

The food was delivered on Sunday in a convoy of 65 trucks and there were no incidents on the way. A previous attempt by WFP to deliver food to Makeni had failed.

11 Aug 1999 description

Freetown (dpa) - The Sierra Leonean government says it will investigate claims of fighting along the Guinean border which threaten the fragile peace process in the war-weary west African country.

''We find it a bit difficult to understand but we are investigating,'' Information Minister Julius Spencer told British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) radio on Wednesday.

''We are making enquiries, we will try and get in touch with Conakry (Guinea) to find out whether, indeed, there was an attack from Guinea and why that happened and who carried it out.''

06 Aug 1999 description

London (dpa) - British anti-terror experts arrived in Sierra Leone Friday on a mission to free five soldiers seized by rebel forces, the Foreign Office said.

The team, believed to include crack SAS troops, arrived in the capital Freetown Friday afternoon.

However, Foreign Office officials warned it would take time for them to assess the situation on the ground and decide on the best way to go about secure the soldiers' release.