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Vol 39 No 4

Published 20th February 1998

Sierra Leone

Kabbah's comeback

The returning civilian government faces empty coffers and a continuing rebellion

Sierra Leoneans were surprised at the efficiency and speed with which the West African peace keeping forces (Ecomog) toppled Major Johnny Paul Koroma’s military Revolutionary United Front junta. By 15 February, virtually all Freetown had been taken by a pincer-movement of the wholly-Nigerian force, commanded by the highly regarded Colonel Maxwell Khobe. They advanced along the main road into Freetown from Hastings and their barracks at Jui, through the densely populated East End and over the hills from the television and radio transmitter at Leicester Peak, via Fourah Bay College, from whose panoramic heights they shelled the city below. In the aftermath of reaching State House, near the historic Cotton Tree in central Freetown, police and Nigerian soldiers tried to maintain security, amid much score-settling between supporters of ousted President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Koroma’s junta. If he is to re-establish a credible civilian administration, Kabbah has to tackle many urgent problems:

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