Sierra Leone: July 15, 2000


  For two months, 233 UN peacekeepers have been trapped by RUF rebels 300 kilometers east of the capital. Supplies have been allowed in, but negotiations to allow the peacekeepers to move freely have gone nowhere. In a surprise move, British, Indian and Sierra Leone helicopter gunships shot up the RUF troops, scattering them, while other UN peacekeepers moved in to open a corridor for the trapped  peacekeepers to escape. British troops are considerably more capable than the various UN contingents in the area, and not just because of their combat aircraft. But the British do not want to get drawn into the war. All they have on ground at the moment is a company size instructor unit. More troops are offshore. There are now some 12,500 peacekeepers in the country.


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