Sierra Leone

Rebel attacks on refugees returning home to Sierra Leone cast doubt on a new United Nations plan for "safe passage" through rebel-held territory, Human Rights Watch has said.

Thousands of refugees fleeing fighting in the west African state of Guinea have reported random murders, rapes, torture and other widespread rights abuses by Guinean civilians and the military.

United Nations peacekeeping troops last week took control of the strategic Sierra Leonean town of Lunsar, marking a major step in the UN's effort to occupy territory held by the anti-government Revolutionary United Front.