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Vol 40 No 11

Published 28th May 1999

Sierra Leone

Forced to talk

Weaknesses on both sides may just offer a chance of serious negotiations on power-sharing and amnesty (AC Vol 40 No 6) as talks between President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Corporal Foday Sankoh's teams opened in Lomé on 25 May. Yet 24 hours later, no face-to-face meeting had occurred. Kabbah is unpopular in Freetown, unable to control his argumentative cabinet and vacillating wildly between its hawks and doves. Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front is divided over the talks: Commander Sam 'Moskito' Bockarie refuses to attend and has sent fighters under his number two, Dennis 'Superman' Mingo, into battle against both the West African peacekeepers (Ecomog) and the RUF's former allies led by Major Johnny Paul Koroma.

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