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Vol 50 No 6

Published 20th March 2009

Sierra Leone

Paying off grudges

Riots and old resentments bring fighting back to Freetown

The worst political violence to hit Sierra Leone since the 2007 election left dozens wounded this week, when supporters of the governing All People’s Congress and the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party clashed for five days in Freetown. Stones and firebombs were hurled, and people were slashed with machetes outside the SLPP headquarters, close to the central police station. The purported reason for the outbreak was the unveiling of new tiles on an iconic clock-tower in the poor eastern part of Freetown. The APC-run city council said it was a provocation, and the Mayor, Herbert George-Williams, led supporters to the council building, near the office of the SLPP, whose members became targets.

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