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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sierra Leone President Vows Crackdown After Clashes

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AFP)--Sierra Leone's President Ernest Koroma
Wednesday warned of a crackdown on anyone involved in violent clashes between
rival political parties that have rocked the nation over the last week.

"Anyone who perpetrates acts of violence and lawlessness in any part of the
country regardless of political affiliation will be apprehended and face the
full force of law," Koroma said in a speech broadcast nationwide.

It was the first time Koroma had addressed the violence which flared up
between supporters of his All People's Congress (APC) and the main opposition
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).

Hospital sources said around 20 people were wounded and six women said they
were raped in clashes Monday in the capital Freetown. Violence also occurred in
other parts of the country last week.

"I cannot stand by while ill-motivated people drag this country once more
towards a state of anarchy," said Koroma.

Sierra Leone is struggling to recover from the brutal 1991-2001 civil was
which saw some 120,000 people killed and thousands mutilated and raped by rival

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