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Vol 44 No 13

Published 27th June 2003


Liberia

Weird scenes inside the gold-mine

Taylor has nowhere to run but the West hasn't got a plan yet

Liberia's latest ceasefire lasted barely a week. President Charles Taylor vowed to fight on as the rebels advanced through Bushrod Island and headed for Monrovia's city centre and the Executive Mansion. With supplies, Taylor could hold out for weeks. Rebels have entered the city centre before and fought back and forth through the downtown district for weeks on end without achieving much. There are signs that Taylor's forces got some new guns before pushing the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) back last time. The Mansion's hilltop site is relatively easy to defend and Spriggs Payne airfield is close enough to fly in supplies. Unless an exile deal can be negotiated difficult with the indictment from the Special Court on Sierra Leone hanging over him Taylor faces a choice between fighting to the death and fleeing to the bush.

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