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UN Sierra Leone peacekeepers protecting Special Court replaced by UN Liberia forces

9 January 2006 With the recent departure of United Nations forces serving in Sierra Leone, a contingent of Mongolian troops based in Liberia has been assigned to protect the Special Court in Freetown set up to try those guilty of war crimes in the country over the past decade.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) recently wrapped up its work, handing the responsibility for guarding the Court to the neighbouring UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

“A battalion of some 250 Mongolian peacekeepers has taken over the protection of the Special Court for Sierra Leone,” spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York today.

He added that the unit relieves a Nigerian battalion of “blue helmets,” which will return home.

The UN-affiliated Special Court for Sierra Leone is mandated to try those “bearing the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian and Sierra Leonean laws” committed in the country’s territory since 30 November 1996.

Among those whom the Court is seeking to prosecute are former Liberian President Charles Taylor, now living in exile in Nigeria, and missing former Armed Forces Revolutionary Council of Sierra Leone commander Johnny Paul Koroma.

 



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