(Rapaport…December 30, 2002) The United Nations (UN) announced that it has withdrawn a small part of its 17,000-member peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone. Adhering to a schedule mandated by the UN Security Council, 600 soldiers have been taken out of the country. Another pullout is expected in January. By the end of May 2003, the UN plans to have 12,500 soldiers left in Sierra Leone. By December 2004, only 2,000 are expected to remain.