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Vol 40 No 4

Published 19th February 1999


Liberia

Taylorland under siege

The victorious warlord hasn't made the transition to civilian politics

The voters’ mood, when they elected President Charles Taylor in July 1997, was summed up in a slogan: ‘He killed my ma, he killed my pa but I will vote for him!’. As the leading warlord, Taylor promised he would stabilise the country. But Liberians’ modest hopes have been dashed and the cycle of West African insurgency and counter-insurgency, in which his role is central, is rebounding on him. The coastal belt between Liberia and Guinea Bissau has become one of the most politically unstable areas on earth, a lucrative market for arms and gem traders. Distrusted abroad and with a collapsed economy at home, Taylor grows weaker.

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