§ Dr. Palmer
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has concerning the deployment of British troops in Sierra Leone. 
§ Mr. Hoon
Our military training and assistance programme continues to make good progress towards its goal of developing a professional, accountable and effective Sierra Leone army, able to protect the security and integrity of Sierra Leone on its own. I announced in September that, following the completion of the work of British short-term training teams, our military presence would reduce to 360 shore-based personnel by January 2002, remaining at that level until April. Since then, it has been announced that presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone are to be held on 14 May 2002. I have therefore decided to maintain our presence at the force levels announced in September over the period of the elections. The International Military Advisory and Training Team will continue the military training and assistance task with the Sierra Leone army.