As a Sierra Leonean now living here, I would like to voice my objections to the peace accord signed by President Tejan-Kabbah and warlord Foday Sankoh in Lome Togo ["Tenuous Peace in a Brutal War," news story, July 8].

It appears that Foday Sankoh and his gang of outlaws have been led to believe that senseless carnage along with wanton destruction are the correct way to achieve political power.

The word "rebel" is a misnomer applied to Sierra Leone, because no rebel activity was needed. In February 1996, citizens reaffirmed their faith in the ballot box by putting an elected democratic government in place. The exercise was open to all, including Foday Sankoh and his criminal collaborators.

I am petrified at the prospects of Foday Sankoh sharing political power after he and his gang have terrorized the nation. Mr. Sankoh in the past claimed that his mission was to rid Sierra Leone of the excesses of the administration. If he sought a mandate to do so, he should have submitted himself to the will of the people in 1996. However, it is inexcusable to wait until the people have put in place a democratic form of government and then prolong the nation's suffering.

President Kabbah has proved himself inadequate to cope with the unprecedented challenges of his office. Even so, he derives his mandate from the voting majority. For him to capitulate to Mr. Sankoh's mendaciousness simply for the sake of peace raises questions about his moral fitness for high office.

Mr. Sankoh and his collaborators should not be rewarded with political office for their criminal behavior. To do so would not only negate the gains of 1996 but also reinforce the perception that one does not have to seek a political mandate from the people.