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Humanitarian situation Freetown and beyond

A UN aid agency told IRIN today that residents were trickling back to Waterloo town and a camp there for IDPs. An official said 1,000 IDPs had returned to the camp which, before Tuesday’s attack, catered for 10,000 to 12,000 IDP inmates. The official said the UN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (UNHACU) and NGOs will make a joint aid assessment of the situation in Waterloo and its environs on Monday.

However, in Makeni, 150 east of Freetown, a panicked population had been trying to leave, despite ECOMOG assurances that their town is safe, the official said. People were frightened, she said, because of a rebel attack on Binkolo, about 10 km north of Makeni and by the reported presence in Makeni of ex-Sierra Leonean soldiers. Many of these soldiers had joined the Revolutionary United Front and ex-military junta rebels.

IDPs from Magburaka, about 20 km south of Makeni, have been fleeing into the bush because of recent rebel attacks nearby, the official said. She said that the rising tension had caused residents and IDPs in Masingbi, just east of Makeni, to flee to villages or the bush. Nobody is heading to Makeni, and all agencies and the Roman Catholic mission had pulled out, the official said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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