Sierra Leone: June 8, 2002

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The possibility of war between India and Pakistan is having an impact on peacekeeping here. A quarter of the 17,300 UN peacekeeping force is Pakistani and it is feared that the Pakistani troops will be recalled as war tensions escalate back home. Pakistan says it is still considering a withdrawal of the peacekeepers. In Sierra Leone, the Pakistani troops police the diamond mining areas. It is feared that if the Pakistanis leave, there won't be enough peacekeepers left to prevent the return of the rebels. Many guns have not been turned in and many former rebels are destitute and liable to taking up arms again if given the opportunity.

 

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