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Fréchette heads to Sierra Leone after wrapping up visit to UN mission in Liberia

2 March 2005 Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette headed to Sierra Leone today after wrapping up her trip to Liberia for the second leg of visits to United Nations peacekeeping operations in West Africa to emphasize the world body's zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse by UN troops.

Her first appointment was scheduled to be with Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Sierra Leone, Daudi Mwakawago.

During her stay, she is slated to meet with the UN Senior Management Team, the UN Country Team, personnel from the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) working on these issues, and a town hall meeting with the entire mission civilian and military staff.

Before travelling to the Sierra Leonean capital of Freetown, Ms. Fréchette concluded her visit to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) by meeting with the Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Joseph Owonibi, Marc Howard of the International Police Services, national military contingent commanders, and national police contingent commanders to discuss the issue emphasize the new policy.

Among the issues discussed was the need for increased pre-deployment training on sexual exploitation and abuse issues for peacekeepers coming to UNMIL, improved staff welfare and recreation programs for peacekeepers and international police officers, and the need for increased investigative personnel and resources.

She also spoke to reporters before leaving the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

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