UNAMSIL: Base CaseBy David F. Carr | Posted 2004-01-27 Print
The U.N. helped bring an end to this West African nation's civil war in 2002, and U.N. personnel are now charged with keeping the peace and helping the central government regain control over the country.Headquarters: Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Mission: The U.N. helped bring an end to this West African nation's civil war in 2002, and U.N. personnel are now charged with keeping the peace and helping the central government regain control over the country.
Top Technology Officer: Jason Mayordomo, chief of information technology for U.N. peacekeeping operations
Financials (for fiscal year ending June 2004): For the mission in Sierra Leone, the U.N. budgeted $543.5 million, of which UNAMSIL is spending $6.64 million for communications and $2.77 million for information technology.
Challenge: Straighten out the mission's troubled technical infrastructure and improve technical support. Make sure field personnel can depend on network services, starting with the basics of phone and e-mail communications.
Size: 27,699 square miles, a little smaller than South Carolina
Population: 5.2 million (44% of the population is 14 years old or younger)
Average Life Expectancy: 45 years
Telephones: 25,000 land lines; 30,000 cell phones
Natural Resources: Diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold
Land Use: 6.8% of the land is fit for cultivation; 44% of the population is engaged in agriculture
U.N. Deployment (as of Oct. 31, 2003): 11,276 troops, 257 military observers and 130 civilian police. Administration: 320 international staff members and 579 locals.
Recent History: Internal unrest has plagued the country since the end of British rule in 1961. The latest conflict began in 1991 when a rebel force supported by Liberia launched a campaign to topple the established government. A civil war was brutalmarked by rapes, mutilations and the abduction and forced enlistment of children. In 1999, U.N peacekeepers entered the country to enforce order and disarm the insurgents. By May 2000, the U.N.'s efforts were successful in disarming about half the rebel force. In January 2002, most of the insurgents had given up their guns and both rebel and government forces declared an end to hostilities. National electionswhich Amnesty International reported were "generally free and fair"were held in May 2002.
Sources: United Nations, Amnesty International, CIA's World Book of Facts, encyclopedia.com
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