In Kukuna yesterday, UNAMSIL Force Commander Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande congratulated the chiefs and people of the town on their cooperation during the disarmament of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) and the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF). He urged the local population to cooperate with the Sierra Leone Army (SLA), which began deploying today in the area to protect the border with Guinea. On a visit to Kambia district, the Force Commander met with a senior representative of the RUF Party (RUFP), who expressed his gratitude to UNAMSIL for its timely deployment in the area. Gen. Opande thanked the population for cooperating with the RUF in bringing peace to Kambia and urged the people to assist the government in its reconstruction efforts.Disarmament in Kambia and Port Loko districts began on 18 May, in accordance with the 15 May Freetown agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF on the timetable and modalities of the process. According to UNAMSIL, more than 3,300 combatants were disarmed during the operation in the two districts, while the RUF handed over 600 child combatants in Makeni.Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the country, UNAMSIL’s Deputy Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Martin L. Agwai, yesterday made his third confidence-building visit to the town of Koidu in less than a week to meet separately with leaders from the CDF and the RUF. During his meetings, he asked the two parties to prepare for a meeting on 31 May with the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN Mission to review the disarmament process and chart the way forward. Maj. Gen. Agwai’s visit followed a tripartite meeting between the Government of Sierra Leone, the RUF and UNAMSIL in Koidu on 26 May. That meeting, which was held in an effort to stop ceasefire violations and continuation of hostilities in Kono district, was “very productive and resulted in a reaffirmation by the CDF and RUF of strict respect of the ceasefire agreement,” the UN Mission said in a statement issued today in Freetown. In other news, UNAMSIL chief Oluyemi Adeniji today opened a four-day seminar on issues related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Organized by the UN Mission’s Human Rights Section, the seminar is addressing strategies and methodologies for investigating human rights abuses, guidelines on the relationship between the Commission and the independent Special Court, and the internal organization of the Commission.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Evelyn Channing, rural director of estate agents Savills, said the estate sector was “inherently discreet” and purchasers and sellers often preferred to agree deals off-market where possible.The firm currently has over 100 registered buyers looking for a Scottish estate, with a total budget of £756 million, or around £7 million each to invest.Research by Savills showed that 65 per of estate purchasers in 2017 were from overseas, with viewers from areas including the Far East, Russia, Scandinavia, Australia and the US as well as Europe.The firm has also detected a significant increase in the number of enquiries since the general election in May, which it said was most likely due to the devaluation of sterling since the Brexit vote.Ms Channing said that against a background of political and economic uncertainty, the market was still seen as a “relatively safe haven for wealth”.She added there was now a far wider appreciation of what £5 million could buy north of the border, compared to London and the home counties, but it was the opportunity to fish for salmon, stalk red deer and shoot grouse in “wonderful surroundings” that was the main motivating factor behind estate sales. Tulchan in the Spey valley, with grouse moors above A total of 20 Scottish country estates were sold this year, despite the uncertainty created by Brexit and a lack of properties on the open market.Real estate experts said the perception of a quieter market for some of the country’s most expensive properties may be due to the fact that more than half the estates were sold privately, without being publicly advertised.Eleven were Highland sporting estates, or mixed estates, offering the full range of sporting pursuits, including stalking, shooting and fishing.The sales included Scotland’s most expensive sporting estate, Tulchan on Speyside, which boasts eight miles of salmon fishing on the River Spey as well as stalking and grouse shooting.The 21,000 acre property, advertised for more than £25 million, was bought by Yuri Schefler, a Russian vodka billionaire.Overall, activity was not far behind 2016, which saw 24 sales in the most active market for over a decade.