Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Humanitarian Situation Report 6 - 19 Dec 1999

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


Highlights

  • Sam (Maskita) Bockarie on the run
  • New SRSG for UN Mission
  • More UN Peace Keepers arrive - Nigeria, Kenya and India
  • ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State meets in Lomé
  • Final phase of NIDs completed
  • GOSL and UNICEF discuss 2000 programmes
  • Security situation in Port Loko deteriorates
  • UNHCR concludes repatriation of Liberian Refugees
  • Disarmament and Demobilization deadline missed

1. SUMMARY

The most significant development during this review period was the reported disappearance of Sam (Maskita) Bockarie, RUF senior Commander. Maskita, who had been widely accused of trying to derail the peace process, reportedly fled the country with his family to an "undisclosed country" after clashing with some of his men. At the time of release, ECOMOG confirmed earlier speculations that the rebel commander ran to Liberia. Many Sierra Leoneans and foreign diplomats here view his alleged departure from the military and political scene as signaling progress in the implementation of the peace process. Even as Sierra Leoneans celebrate this dramatic turn of events, UN peacekeepers continue to arrive, with the Kenyan contingent now at full strength, and the advance teams of the Indians and Nigerians arriving in the past week.

Nigerian-born Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji has arrived in the country to lead the new UN Mission. The presence of the 6,000-strong peacekeeping force is expected to speed up the disarmament process, which has been moving at an agonizingly slow pace. The implication of a speedy and successful DDR Programme on humanitarian intervention is significant. To date, access to most parts of the North and the East is still hugely constrained, with continuing violations of the ceasefire agreement by rebel groups. The final phase of the National Immunizations Days (NIDs) for eradication of Polio was successfully completed on 11 December, but with less coverage than achieved during the previous exercises in October and November. For instance, the teams could not gain safe access to Kailahun due to the recent kidnapping of MSF workers in the area. The aid workers have since been released.

2. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

RUF Sam Bockarie flees Sierra Leone

Sam (Maskita) Bockarie, one of the most notorious RUF senior commanders in Sierra Leone is reported to have fled the country from the RUF base in the eastern town of Buedu, Kailahun. According to an ECOMOG Press Release on 17 December, Sam Bockarie "fled Sierra Leone during the dark hours of 16 December 1999 with his family to an undisclosed country." The ECOMOG release stated that the field commander destroyed the command post at Buedu and executed several combatants who refused to take instructions from him before he left. ECOMOG also reported that Bockarie had attempted to attack Daru barracks earlier in the week but was beaten back by men loyal to Chairman Foday Sankoh. The RUF has been silent on the subject, but gave a BBC interview some days later confirming Maskita’s departure. The Spokesman however said they could not confirm ECOMOG’s claim that the field commander had executed RUF men before leaving. Bockarie, who had been opposed to the deployment of UN Peace Keepers in Sierra Leone, recently claimed that other RUF members were planning to assassinate him.

While some analysts believe that Maskita’s alleged military setback marks the dawn of increased cooperation by former RUF combatants in implementing the DDR Programme, others are concerned that if he remains at large, he could continue to pose a serious threat to the peace process. ECOMOG has since confirmed that the rebel commander escaped to Liberia. The Force Commander, Major-General Gabriel Kpamber said he hoped the disarmament process would now progress smoothly as the stumbling block (Maskita) had been removed. Sam Bockarie became a household name in the Kono District when the RUF overran the district in 1992. Born in Kailahun and raised in Kono, Maskita trained as a barber, having dropped out of formal schooling. He was later recruited into the RUF in Monrovia and has since been notorious for leading deadly attacks against ECOMOG, including the January 6 invasion of Freetown.

New SRSG assumes office in Freetown

On 12 December, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji arrived in Freetown to take up office as the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Sierra Leone. Before his appointment, Ambassador Adeniji was the SRSG for the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MUNURCA), mandated to assist in providing security in Bangui, and preparing for the legislative and presidential elections which were successfully held in November/December 1999. The Nigerian-born diplomat is no stranger to Sierra Leone. In addition to serving in Nigerian Embassies around the world, he served in the Nigerian High Commission in Freetown. He was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Austria and France, and retired in 1994 as Director-General of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since his retirement, the veteran diplomat has continued his activities in multilateral diplomacy, holding positions in the OAU’s Conflict Resolution Mechanism, the UNDP and UNESCO. Born on 22 July 1934, Ambassador Adeniji holds a degree in history from London University. He replaces Ambassador Francis Okelo who was the SRSG for the last two years, and through whose diplomatic efforts the current Lome Peace Agreement was brokered.

22nd ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government meet in Lomé.

President Kabbah, accompanied by Chairman Foday Sankoh and Lt. Col. Johnny Paul Koroma attended the 22nd ECOWAS Summit in Lomé from 6 to 10 December. The Summit focused on conflict prevention and resolution in the sub-region. The ECOWAS Executive Secretary, Ambassador Lansana Kouyate, called on all parties to the Sierra Leone conflict to work towards disarmament as mandated in the Lomé Peace Accord. President Gnassingbe Eyadema handed over chairmanship of ECOWAS to President Alpha Omar Konare of Mali. At the end of the Summit, nine of the 16 heads of state signed a Protocol aimed at ‘Prevention, Management (and) Resolution of Conflicts, Peacekeeping and Security in the sub-region.

UN Peacekeepers undergo training

A three-member UN team from New York is in Freetown to organize training programmes aimed at helping the new UN peacekeepers adapt to their roles in the country. The authorized 6,000-troops Mission comprises armed contingents, Military Observers, and Civilian Police from Nigeria, Kenya, India, Guinea and Ghana. The objectives of the two-week intensive training Programme range from preparing the peacekeepers to fully understand the principles, concepts and techniques of peacekeeping operations, to helping them understand the humanitarian and human rights aspects of peacekeeping missions. Considering the large numbers involved, the team will train a group of trainers who will later train the rest of the troops.

Meanwhile, more of the peacekeeping troops continue to arrive in the country. The last batch of the Kenyan contingent arrived on 11 December, bringing their numbers to the full strength of 823. They will be deployed in the northern towns of Makeni and Magburaka. Some 396 of the Indians are now on the ground, including 50 Gurkhas. An advance party of the Nigerians (106) arrived on 16 December and the rest are expected to join them before the end of the year.

US Congress calls for UN Sanctions on Diamonds

IRIN reported that two members of the US House of Representatives have called on the UN to support peacekeeping efforts with an embargo on black market diamonds from Sierra Leone. The members, Mr. Tony Hall and Mr. Frank Wolf said that any diamonds not certified by the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources should be sanctioned under international law. The call came after their recent assessment mission to Sierra Leone.

3. SECURITY

MSF workers released

The two MSF-F aid workers abducted two weeks ago by RUF rebels in eastern Sierra Leone were freed unharmed on 16 December. The Belgian and German medical personnel who were running a health project in Kailahun district had been detained since 7 December. After their release, they went by road to Daru and were airlifted from Daru to Freetown. Sam Bockarie’s Spokesman said last week that the two had been taken to focus the attention of the international community on Bockarie’s dissatisfaction with the DDR Programme.

Security Phases revised

The security phases in Sierra Leone were recently revised by the New York based UN Security Coordination Office (UNSECOORD). In the east, Kenema town was downgraded from Phase 4 to Phase 3, while Daru town was downgraded from Phase 5 to Phase 4. The southern towns of Zimmi, Pujehun, Sumbuya, Mano, Moyamba, Yele and the main roads from Bo leading to these towns were moved from Phase 5 to Phase 4. Freetown and the Peninsula, Lungi and Kambia remain at Phase 3.

UN international staff vulnerable to armed robbery in Freetown

The security situation in Freetown continues to deteriorate with increasing incidents of armed robberies, especially in the eastern part of the city, car snatching, and ongoing harassment of international staff by young men demanding money and food. UN staff members are vulnerable in this situation, as they are perceived to be in possession of large amounts of money. On December 12, four unidentified men attacked a UN international staff member on the Lumley beach road. The men followed the staff member as he drove up the road, ran his car off the road and damaged the windscreen with batons in an attempt to break in. The staff member managed to escape unhurt. It was not clear whether the men were armed. As a result of the increased incidents of armed robbery, the UN security office has issued a security advice asking all UN staff members to avoid using the Lumley Beach road and Hillcot road after dark. Meanwhile, an UNSECOORD training team consisting of three members including a stress counselor, visited Freetown on 6 to 10 December and provided security and stress management training to all UN national and international staff.

Port Loko District - security situation deteriorates

The overall security situation in the Port Loko district deteriorated during this reporting period. A number of incidents were reported at the DDR sites in both Lungi and Port Loko. On 15 December, an ECOMOG soldier was shot and wounded in the arm during a scuffle between ECOMOG soldiers and ex-combatants. In a related incident on 16 December, an ex-combatant was badly beaten by ECOMOG soldiers. The victim was later rescued and taken to the hospital by UN military observers.

Some incidents also occurred at the DDR camps in Port Loko, with the new SLA reportedly assaulting some of the residents at the camp. ECOMOG is currently investigating the case. Meanwhile, RUF ex-combatants have expressed concern about their security at the Port Loko (south) camp. UNAMSIL reported that the Company of ECOMOG soldiers who were supposed to be deployed in Lunsar were not yet on the ground as the RUF had refused to accept SLA soldiers in the area. The soldiers are presently confined to the checkpoints.

Banditry continues to prevail in villages between Port Loko and Lungi. UNAMSIL reported an attack on the village of Katoma. On 13 December, rebel groups also ambushed a vehicle on the Port Loko road, seriously wounding two of the civilian passengers who are now being treated at the Connaught hospital in Freetown. Another attack was reported in Mamusa, during which three women were raped. UNAMSIL reported continuing problems in Okra Hills where fighting broke out between pro and anti-DDR groups at that location. During the incident, rebels assaulted one Col. Kargbo who went there to persuade them to participate in the DDR Programme.

Makeni still unstable

The situation in Makeni continues to be unstable. The Catholic Bishop of Makeni, Bishop Biguzzi, has reported a growing number of problems in the town, including harassment of civilians by RUF forces, who continue to demand payment of taxes. The Kenyan UNAMSIL contingent scheduled for deployment to the area was on Sunday, 12 December, denied access to Makeni and Magburaka by local commanders despite the fact that they carried authority letters from Chairman Foday Sankoh. The UN Force Commander, General Vijay Jetley is optimistic that the matter would soon be resolved and the troops deployed as planned. Meanwhile, UNAMSIL has confirmed reports that the field commanders have been progressively disarming their men in Makeni. Many of the ex-combatants are said to be wandering the town without their weapons. Humanitarian action in the area continues to be suspended (see last SITREP).

RUF troops movement observed

On 16 December, UNAMSIL confirmed movement of three truckloads of RUF fighters from Makeni to Kono, in a possible move to reinforce RUF positions in the area. The latest movement could have been in response to anticipated attacks by Maskita. UNAMSIL also reported a concentration of RUF fighters in the Alikalia and Yifin areas in the northeast. The combatants reportedly went into Kabala to discuss their interest in joining the DDR Programme.

4. HUMANITARIAN HIGHLIGHTS

A. General

Kabala - a growing humanitarian concern

The situation in Kabala has deteriorated since our last report. Kabala is not one of the planned sites for DDR, however the increasing number of ex-combatants present in the area remains a cause for concern. Humanitarian agencies are concerned that if the situation is not addressed, civilians will continue to be harassed by these combatants who are not registered in an organized DDR Programme. As reported in the last SITREP (21 November to 5 December), up to 2,000 such combatants were present in the town and in the surrounding villages. The numbers are expected to be higher by now. DDR officials disarmed about 250 combatants in the area, but had to stop the exercise, as there were no facilities to accommodate those disarmed.

UNICEF launches the State of the World’s Children 2000

For almost ten years, children and women in Sierra Leone were the innocent victims of the civil war. They have been robbed of their basic human rights to protection from violence, quality health services, education, food, shelter and a caring and safe environment in which to grow and develop, said UNICEF Representative Ms. Jo Anna Van Gerpen at the launching of the State of the World’s Children 2000. Reminding the audience that Sierra Leone was the 7th out of 192 countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child ten years ago, Ms. Van Gerpen urged military, political and religious leaders in the country to increase their efforts to protect children by enforcing a code of conduct which recognises children and women as a ‘zone of peace’ and by shaping national laws, policies, budgets and programmes, which promote the fulfillment of the rights of the child.

Meanwhile, UNICEF and the GOSL organized a one-day workshop in Freetown on 16 December to review 1999 Programmes of Cooperation and present their plans for 2000. Presentations covered the sectors of Child Protection, Education and Youth Development, Health and Nutrition, Water and Sanitation and Advocacy and Social Mobilization. The UNICEF/GOSL Programme of Cooperation aims to strengthen Sierra Leone’s capacity to restore social and economic viability of affected displaced communities and promote sustainable improvements in the survival, development, participation and welfare of children and women. UNICEF’s estimated annual expenditure in its sectors of operations in 2000 totals about US$ 6.7-9.2 million depending on availability of funding.

B. Access

Lack of free and safe access to most parts of the country continues to constrain efforts to reach populations in need. Security officials have confirmed movement of commercial traffic from Kenema to Daru but no further. While the road from Freetown to Masiaka is said to be safe, the road from Masiaka to Rogberi continues to be unsafe for commercial and relief traffic. There is currently no access from Port Loko to Kambia. Similarly, UNAMSIL officials said they have not had access from Rogberi to Makeni and Magburaka. As mentioned earlier, the deployment of the Kenyan contingent of UNAMSIL to Makeni and Magburaka has been delayed due to unresolved problems of clearance from the commanders on the ground. At his first press conference in Freetown, the new UN SRSG, Ambassador Adeniji told journalists that the current problems of violations of the peace agreement would cease when UNAMSIL forces are fully deployed throughout the country. It is believed that the presence of the UN peacekeepers on the ground will significantly improve the security situation and consequently access for humanitarian work.

C. Sectoral Analysis

Agriculture

The Crop Protection Service in Sierra Leone has reported an outbreak of rice gall midge (orseolia oryzivora) in several areas in Kambia, Port Loko and the Western Area, according to the November issue of AGRISILL, an FAO-supported agriculture newsletter. The pest, which is said to be the most serious economic rice pest in the West African region, occurred for the first time in Sierra Leone in the Kambia district during the 1994 rice-cropping season. Since then, the pest has continued to occur every cropping season with disastrous consequences. The Report states that the most current concern is the rapid rate of spread over the years from Kambia district to Port Loko, Lokomassama and Kafu Bullom in the Port Loko district, the Kabala district and Newton and Waterloo Towns in the Western Area. The destructive nature of the pest to Sierra Leone’s staple food crop, and the rapid rate of spread signals a potential threat to rice production in Sierra Leone unless timely and appropriate control interventions are developed to address the problem, the Report concludes.

Upland rice harvesting is ongoing in different parts of the country. In Pujehun district, AFRICARE conducted Farmers Field days during the first week of December. Women’s groups played an active role in the exercise which was based on the theme "Cassava Production Can Combat Hunger". AFRICARE, with the support of UNICEF, is planning to support fishing families particularly women in the New Year.

Child Protection

The month of November saw the release and reunification of more children who had been affected by the war. According to the UNICEF monthly Child Protection Report, during November, Child Protection Agencies registered 355 children, traced 367 families and reunified 491 children. The agencies have requested UNAMSIL to assist with drug-affected children. UNICEF also reported that by end of November, 2,132 out of 4,448 reported missing children in the Western Area had still not been accounted for.

During November, 102 sexually abused girls benefited from medical treatment and 289 received counseling services. In the south, agencies reported 28 cases of sexually abused girls. Two of the girls were found to be pregnant. Seven cases were recorded in the North. All the victims had received initial counseling by child protection agencies. Meanwhile, agencies have established a centre at Calaba Town in the Western Area to care for pregnant released abductees and child mothers from up country. There are currently 16 girls at the centre, of whom 10 have now had their babies.

As the challenges for child protection increase, the Committee has identified specific areas of focus for future activities, including, development of Reintegration Strategies, addressing Alcohol and Drug problems, advocating for Child Rights, developing Policies and Procedures for Interim Care centers, and adoption and fostering.

CHILD PROTECTION REPORT, November 1999

National Picture

REGION
Registrations
Tracing Requests
Families Traced
Reunification’s
Follow-up-visits
East
45
24
5
5
18
North
36
117
66
2
South
104
74
71
53
170
W/Area
170
37
174
367
483
TOTAL
355
135
367
491
673

Western Area Update

NOVEMBER
GRAND TOTAL
Missing Children Documented
37
4448
Missing Children reunified
207
2132
Children still missing
-
2316
Found Children Documented (Reg)
170
754
Found Children reunified
160
560

National Picture (January to November)

REGION
Registrations
Tracing Requests
Families Traced
Reunification’s
Follow-up-visits
East
129
228
204
148
408
North
934
105
320
246
252
South
727
460
451
339
470
W/Area
950
4047
896
1510
2285
TOTAL
2740
4840
1871
2243
3415
Source:- UNICEF Sierra Leone
60% of abducted children are reported by family members the other 40% are either dead or taken by other mothers who have lost their own children.

Food Aid

Food aid agencies have completed monthly food distributions to registered beneficiaries residing in various IDP camps and institutions. The CFA has expressed concern about the growing humanitarian problem in Kabala, with ongoing influx of both IDPs and ex-combatants into the area. CRS is prepared to provide an initial two-month distribution to the IDPs who have been registered in the town. They have however cautioned that large quantities of food should not be sent to the area until the combatants have been effectively disarmed.

ACF and WFP are combining efforts to address the needs of IDPs and residents of Konta, northeast of Bo. They have already assessed the road conditions and will return to the area in the next days. Road accessibility to Konta, was highly constrained throughout the rainy season. As a result, needy populations in the area could not benefit from timely and adequate relief intervention. ACF intends to carry out a VGF distribution and supplementary feeding programmes. They will also provide agricultural seeds, non-food items and WATSAN facilities.

The CFA has approved NCRRR’s request to extend food aid assistance to IDPs in the Western Area camps for another two months. The agreement for food aid support to the IDPs was to expire at the end of December. However, in a letter to the CFA on 7 December, NCRRR requested an extension on the basis that safety and security could not yet be guaranteed in some of the places of origins of the IDPs. UN-HACU is assisting the Commission to analyse origin survey data on the IDPs in order to determine the numbers who will qualify for continuing support beyond the expiry date.

After a series of investigations to determine their conditions of IDPs residing with host community in Bo town, the CFA reached a decision to provide a one-off distribution to the IDPs. The investigating team found that though the IDPs did not appear malnourished, they were living in rather difficult conditions with significantly low coping mechanisms. They also noted that the problems of the IDPs were beyond food needs and should be addressed on a multi-sectoral basis, including health, non-food and WATSAN interventions.

The French Government has donated FF1 million to the WFP to assist it in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Sierra Leone. The contributions will go towards alleviating the plight of displaced populations in locations like Kabala, Makeni, Lunsar and Port Loko where access to relief supplies has been difficult. The Government of Sweden also confirmed a SeK 2 million donation towards the WFP Emergency Operations for the DDR Programme.

Health and Nutrition

The last phase of NIDs commenced on 11 December and the results are being compiled. The first and second rounds held in October and November saw coverage of 76.4% and 85% of the target groups respectively. During the second round, 80% of children between the ages of 5-6 received the micronutrient, vitamin A which increases resistance to malnutrition thus reducing child mortality rates which are currently high for Sierra Leone.

As part of continuing activities in Family Life Education (FLE), UNFPA supported a musical session to promote condom use and sensitise the youths and adolescents on Reproductive Health issues. UNFPA also supported the training of 75 Doctors and Midwives in Management of Obstetric Emergencies in Bo and Kenema Districts and the Western Area.

Refugees

After nine years of living in Sierra Leone as refugees, some 213 Liberians benefited from UNHCR organized repatriation on 10 to 12 December 1999. The refugees were airlifted from Freetown, Bo, and Kenema to Monrovia. UNHCR had hoped to undertake the repatriation by road as many of the refugees come from Liberian villages just beyond the border, but their assessment of the roads revealed unsafe conditions. Following the completion of repatriation exercise, UNHCR began screening the residual numbers who have opted to remain in Sierra Leone in order to determine their status. Those of concern to the Office will be assisted with their integration into the society. This will end the phase of relief assistance to Liberian refugees in the country. Some 3,563 have been registered in the Western Area and will benefit from integration programmes. A screening exercise will also be undertaken in Kenema and Bo.

During this reporting period, there were movements of people from Kambia to Guinea due to the recent security problems in Port Loko District. In contrast, UNHCR reported spontaneous returns from Liberia to Pujehun in the South.

Water and Sanitation

The Water Supply Division (WSD), assisted by UNICEF, successfully set up three water quality labs and trained 29 technicians to operate the facility. The Division has also constructed 15 wells in four chiefdoms in Moyamba district with UNICEF support. Community health education lessons are being carried out in these chiefdoms to educate the public about safe health practices. Hygiene promotion has also been carried out in 53 communities in the district with 2,014 participants.

In Bo, ACF is constructing two VIP latrines for the clinic at the Kendeyella camp. They are also digging 12 new latrine blocks, and back-filling unused old pit latrines. They have undertaken sensitization on hygiene and training of health promoters at the camp. IDPs have been given tools for the construction of drainage at the camp.

D. Update on IDP Camps

Freetown

  • Amputee Camp: Overcrowding at the Amputee camp has increased the need to move war-wounded victims from the camp to another location. A recent assessment mission determined that the caseload could not be relocated to the new Grafton site which is full to capacity with regards to WATSAN. They have recommended that the old Grafton camp be considered for relocation of the war-wounded.
  • Parade Grounds: Children’s Christian Fund (CCF) donated 1 bail of used clothing and 2 cartoons of soap, and are running a school for traumatised children at the camp.
  • Mandela Camp: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL) has completed a 6-day workshop on Community Health Care
  • Approved School: OXFAM has completed the construction of 1 wash bay and 3 toilets in section E of the camp, and 1 laundry bay in Section A. Concern World Wide (CW) has completed a delivery centre for pregnant women. Concern has been raised about the availability of water at the camp during the dry season, as the camp is over-populated.
  • Grafton: GOAL has verified 12,071 IDPs at the camp. Water and sanitation facilities in the camp are at full capacity.
  • Waterloo: Concern Worldwide (CW) has constructed 72 booths at the Waterloo camp to accommodate 45 family heads from the Waterloo makeshift camp. A total of 70 family heads need to be relocated. There are still problems with feeding of released abductees at the camp. ADRA is appealing to WFP to provide food for them. ADRA has also carried out minor repairs at the school.

IDPs in Camps

According to the UNHACU IDP database, there are now 23 IDP camps in the country with a total caseload of 129,305. This figure represents 40 percent of the total number of registered war-affected people (326,657) currently benefiting from a wide range of relief activities in accessible areas. (See attached file on registered war-affected populations for details). With the exception of the two camps in Makeni (Bombali District), all the camps are accessible to Humanitarian Agencies.

Summary of IDPs in Camps - as of 17 December 1999
District
Number of Camps
July
Aug.
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Kenema
5
15,720
15,720
19,720
19,720
41,199
Kono
-
-
-
-
-
Bombali
2
-
7,003
7,003
7,003
7,003
Kambia
-
-
-
-
-
Koinadugu
1
-
-
-
1,000
1,500
Port Loko
1
-
-
-
-
6,560
Tonkolili
-
-
-
-
-
Bo
4
10,527
10,527
12,467
12,467
13,252
Bonthe
-
-
-
-
-
Moyamba
1
-
-
-
-
2,117
Pujehun
-
-
-
-
-
Western Area
9
52,128
52,128
56,130
57,123
57,674
Grand Total
25
78,375
85,378
95,320
97,313
129,305

5. DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILISATION AND REINTEGRATION (DDR)

The DDR Programme has continued to move at a sluggish pace, with less than a quarter of the estimated 45,000 ex-combatants being disarmed by the 15 December deadline for the completion of disarmament and demobilization. According to a report released by the National Commission for DDR (NCDDR), only 10,557 of the combatants had been disarmed and were undergoing reintegration. This figure however represents old and new caseloads, including 1,889 RUF, 2,900 AFRC/Ex SLA, 3,804 loyal SLA, 550 CDF, as well as 1,414 who were disarmed and discharged before October 1999. According to a UNAMSIL report, as of 17 December, only 3,500 had been registered in the Programme since it was officially launched on 4 November 1999. To date, some 3,724 weapons and 30,144 rounds of ammunition have been collected.

The acting Executive Secretary of NCDDR Dr. Francis Kai-kai reported that all of the fighting factions, including RUF rebels, former Sierra Leone soldiers (AFRC) and the Civil Defence Forces were in the process of collating information on their respective troops strengths, their locations and the weaponry they have. He noted that the UN Peacekeeping forces on their part were finalising schedules of troops' arrival and deployment, especially in presently inaccessible areas. Dr. Kai-kai said the Commission and its partners were strengthening their presence in the eastern town of Daru in anticipation of RUF combatants showing up for registration given Sam Bockarie’s recent exit from the country. The DDR centre in Daru continues to be empty.

Meanwhile, UNAMSIL reported that they have had to stop further registrations at the DDR camps in Lungi and Port Loko, as the camps were full to capacity. They further said that they could not begin discharging those who have completed their tenure in the camps, as the pre-discharge provisions were yet to be completed, including the issuance of identity cards and the provision of the first installment of the Transitional Safety net Allowance (TSA). In a recent press release, the NCDDR said it would complete payment of the $150 TSA during the week of 20 December. The ex-combatants were earlier paid Le 50,000 (US$20) towards their basic needs.

In another development, President Kabbah told the new SRSG, Ambassador Adeniji, that the international community was jeopardising the DDR Programme by failing to release money earmarked for the peace process. In response, the SRSG said the donors were waiting for Sierra Leone's warring factions to demonstrate a commitment to the peace process. "What the donors want to see in Sierra Leone is commitment and a display of transparency of intentions on the part of those concerned," the Ambassador stressed.

Meanwhile, a London-based research group, Saferworld, recently reported that barely half of the US$50 million required to carry out the ongoing DDR Programme in Sierra Leone had been donated. Claiming that the EU response to the Programme was "poor," the organization, in the 16th issue of its Arms Bulletin called on "all European governments to support this crucial work." It cited the 1997 EU Programme on illicit trafficking, the 1998 Joint Action on Small Arms and the 1999 EU Development Council Resolution as providing the framework within which EU support could be given.

6. HUMAN RIGHTS

Members of the Security Council in a press release on 10 December expressed concern about the continued violations of human rights in the country and cease-fire violations. The Secretary-General warned that continued violence against the people of Sierra Leone and international personnel was unacceptable and violators will be held accountable for their actions.

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