May 4, 2000 |
The U.N. peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone, poised to become the world's largest, has suffered its first combat fatalities, as rebels who fought in the civil war killed seven Kenyans in a dispute over disarmament. U.N. officials said the peacekeepers were killed in clashes with Revolutionary United Front followers of rebel leader Foday Sankoh in the central towns of Makeni and Magburaka on Tuesday and Wednesday.
June 8, 2000 |
Government forces in Sierra Leone recaptured Lunsar on Wednesday, taking control of the strategic town on the road to a major rebel base and the diamond fields of the east, a military spokesman said. Lunsar, which government forces held briefly at the end of May, reportedly fell after overnight clashes between the two sides near U.N. peacekeepers stationed in the northern town of Kabala.
June 15, 2000 |
Rebels attacked and burned a village near a U.N. peacekeeping outpost on Wednesday as civilians fled rebel-held central Sierra Leone, a U.N. spokesman said. It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the attack several miles north of Jordanian U.N. troops stationed at Rockel Bridge, U.N. spokesman David Wimhurst said. The bridge is on the outer edge of a U.N. security cordon around Freetown, the capital. On Tuesday, rebels and Jordanian soldiers exchanged gunfire near the bridge.
August 3, 2003 |
Pneumonia and other ailments killed former Sierra Leone rebel leader Foday Sankoh, an indicted war-crimes suspect who died in U.N. custody, doctors concluded. Authorities turned Sankoh's body over to his widow Saturday after the autopsy. Sankoh, 65, died Tuesday at the U.N. ward of a hospital in Freetown, the capital.
July 6, 2000 |
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday imposed an embargo on diamond exports from Sierra Leone, where a thriving gems-for-guns trade is fueling a simmering civil war. The vote was 14 to 0, with Mali abstaining in protest at the resolution's mentioning Liberia as a conduit for the illegal diamonds. Mali said it opposed the reference to illegal diamonds being shipped through Liberian territory because regional nations have not completed an investigation into the allegations.
May 27, 1997 |
Mutinous troops patrolled deserted streets, prompting terrified residents to refuse orders to return to work Monday after soldiers seized power and ousted the elected president. Sunday's coup--the third in five years--unseated President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, whose election in February 1996 ended five years of military rule. At least 15 people died and 40 were injured in the military takeover, which ravaged the capital with fighting, looting and arson.
November 25, 2005 |
The United Nations handed this West African nation's government the keys to a barracks Thursday as it prepared to withdraw its peacekeepers by the end of the year. The former British colony was once home to the world body's largest peacekeeping force, with more than 17,000 soldiers, but its mandate expires Dec. 31, almost four years after the guns fell silent following more than a decade of civil war. U.N.
August 11, 1999 |
A nearly weeklong hostage crisis ended Tuesday when former junta soldiers freed their remaining prisoners after receiving assurances they would not be prosecuted, a top government official said. The rogue rebels released 15 West African intervention force soldiers and a U.N. military observer, along with 200 civilians taken prisoner during this West African nation's brutal eight-year civil war, Information Minister Julius Spencer said at a news conference.
May 8, 2000 |
United Nations officials said they would step up efforts today to find hundreds of peacekeepers taken hostage or missing in Sierra Leone after the threat of a rebel attack on the capital appeared to recede. The first British paratroops, meanwhile, were due later in the day in neighboring Senegal after Britain's decision Sunday to send five warships and about 1,600 soldiers to West Africa to help any of its citizens who may need to be airlifted out. Bernard Miyet, U.N.
May 27, 2000 |
At least 46 United Nations peacekeepers were freed Friday by Sierra Leonean rebels and sent to neighboring Liberia, and officials there said more were on the way. U.N. spokesman David Wimhurst said the latest releases raised expectations that the monthlong hostage crisis, which has rocked the troubled peacekeeping mission, was drawing to a close. "We are cautiously optimistic that this will be resolved in the very near future," Wimhurst said here.