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Vol 50 No 20

Published 8th October 2009

Sierra Leone

A renewed army, an old-style police

Britain has spent millions helping to create Sierra Leone's security apparatus from scratch. The army and police protected the elections in 2007 and triumphed over smugglers in July 2008, when 700 kilogrammes of cocaine were intercepted at Lungi airport and the President told his friend and Transport Minister, Kemoh Sesay, to resign. The army was disbanded entirely in 1997 and later incorporated former rebels, including youngsters from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF); the Kamajors, who used potions to protect themselves against bullets; and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.

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