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Vol 43 No 9

Published 3rd May 2002


Rebels without a plan

Guinean-backed rebels threaten Taylor and the UN is set to renew sanctions against him

A queue of enemies is closing in on President Charles Taylor, who is trying to see them off with fire-power and politics. As the veteran opposition leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the main opposition candidate in the 1977 presidential election, returned to Monrovia on 29 April, Taylor banned all public meetings, even funerals and party political activities. He said he wanted 'to protect democracy' against the threat of armed rebellion. In fact, the armed rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) threaten Taylor and the circle of political contractors around him most. Taylor may have lost the monopoly of violence but he still has more of it than anyone else, which counts for a lot in Liberia.

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