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Published 6th June 1997

Vol 38 No 12

Sierra Leone

Koroma's coup

It was easy, inept and very bloody. The coup has shattered the hope raised by the brief return of peace and democracy

Major Johnny Paul Koroma's 25 May coup d'état (the third change of regime by force in five years) was the most bloody and destructive in Sierra Leone's history. Nigeria's naval bombardment of the Cockerill military barracks on 2 June strengthened the resolve of Koroma's Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). Nationalist appeals helped win over the Sierra Leone Army (SLA), which was also bolstered by battle-hardened fighters from Foday Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the United Liberation Movement of Liberia (Ulimo-J).

The coup-makers

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Most members of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council are little known, being drawn from young, ill-educated and poorly trained junior officers and other ranks. All have benefited...

Financial headroom

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Stronger economic growth in Africa encourages the Bank to seek more funds

After five years of acrimony and financial uncertainty among shareholders, the African Development Bank is likely to agree on a substantial capital increase by next year and step u...

Naming names

Human rights violators are on trial but where does justice meet reconciliation?

Signs are everywhere that Africa is trying to deal with the trauma of genocide, conflict and dictatorship by bringing human rights violators to justice – or at least to the l...

Technical wizardry

The President may have at last found a loophole allowing him to prolong his rule

Namibia's constitution, widely regarded as a model for countries emerging from despotism, limits a president to two terms. President Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma has served two five-year...

Unhappy anniversary

The President's men come up against wary donors and a socialist government in Paris

On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of Independence, ministers went to Geneva to ask for help. After two years' wrangling with donors over conditionality, Finance Minister Moha...


Nouveaux venus

The Parti Socialiste victory in France's general elections of 25 May and 1 June gave heart to opposition parties in Francophone countries whose leaders are close to French politici...

Congo guns

In the heaviest fighting since November 1994's ceasefire, the Forças Armadas de Angola have pounded positions of Jonas Savimbi's União Nacional para a Independê...