December 1996. We went to Freetown in December 1996 for inauguration. The inauguration ceremony, I don't remember the date exactly but it was held at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown, but it was before Christmas. We came back to Cote d'Ivoire for us to resume duties in Freetown in January 1997.
In 1997 January when we got to Freetown the first thing - the first arrangement that the UN and the government of President Kabbah made for us was to take a tour of the country. The RUF - I mean the entire CCP so the RUF can have an opportunity to hear from the people, which was very, very good for us. We started with the south and the east. The ICRC organised a helicopter for us. But even there, what happened there again was when - because we would have gone as far as to Kailahun Town where the RUF base was.
But when we were on the arrangements - when ICRC was making the arrangements for a helicopter to take us there, there was a leakage of information. Foday Sankoh instructed his boys to make sure that when we get there, all of us should be arrested, when in fact we had arranged with him - he told us he wanted to have a meeting with us there with the CCP in Kailahun. He told the boys as soon as we get there, all of us, including himself, would be arrested and kept there. Because for him, that was that day where he [indiscernible]. He gave the instruction. So whatever he said that for it was not clear, but there was a leakage. That information went out to government.
So the ICRC did not hire the helicopter again to take us to Kailahun, but we managed to go to Bo. He wanted to go there. The CCP went to Bo. From Bo we went to Kenema. From Kenema we went to Kailahun District at Segbwema. We went to Segbwema. That's the last chiefdom that is bordering on Kenema District - the last chiefdom in Kailahun District, Kenema. Then from Segbwema we went to Daru. That was where we stopped. We stopped in Daru because it was dangerous for us to go beyond that, taking into consideration the information that had leaked to government.
In all these places, from Bo to Daru, we were told by the people that they welcomed - sorry, that they were praying and crying for a change in the country, that they welcomed - that they are prepared to welcome Foday Sankoh. All they wanted from him was seriousness with the peace process. They wanted peace. They said they wanted peace now and then - sorry, there and then - because they were tired running around. So they said that was the message that we would take back to Foday Sankoh in Abidjan; that if it was for vote, they were prepared to give him their votes because they knew exactly, and they did remember, the kind of things we went through - the country went through during the 25 years that the old APC ruled the country. When we went to - back to Freetown, we decided to go to the north. But we said, no, let us go to Abidjan now and see this man.