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US sends war crimes investigator to Freetown

The US State Department yesterday (Wednesday) announced the US War Crimes investigator, David Scheffer, was in Sierra Leone looking into issues related to the conflict there. A spokesman told a news briefing the visit had been authorised by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He added the US considered the rebel attacks as “totally indefensible”. Acknowledging that ECOMOG’s work was “no easy task”, he said the Nigerians had “paid a heavy price for their commitment to peace”.

With congressional approval, the US intended to provide an additional US $4 million on the commercial logistics side which included communications equipment, spare parts and trucks. The spokesman recalled that a US medical assessment team was deployed to Nigeria recently to treat wounded Nigerian troops. “We do hope that Nigeria, despite the difficulty, will continue to play a considerable role in Sierra Leone,” he stressed. The uncertainty over the future of the Nigerian contingent “makes it even more urgent that the international community increase its support for the ECOMOG forces”, the spokesman 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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