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Vol 39 No 25

Published 18th December 1998

Sierra Leone

Rebel terror

The Revolutionary United Front rebels and the remnants of the deposed military junta are bringing their terror campaign towards Freetown again. They are now striking along a 200 mile axis from remote Kabala in the north to Sumbaya - just 30 miles down the only road to the capital from the provinces, whence refugees are arriving in droves. Although the RUF and their allies now sport new weaponry from their backers in Burkina Faso (which continues to deny involvement) and Libya, they are not the military force they were in 1995. Then they advanced on Freetown on three fronts and took on not only government troops but also soldiers from Nigeria and South Africa’s military company, Executive Outcomes. This time the RUF’s tactics are almost exclusively the maiming and murdering of civilians.

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