Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

AFRICA Taking Sides

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

AFRICA Taking Sides

Article excerpt

Few complained when the United Nations imposed sanctions on Liberia for helping the rebels in Sierra Leone's civil war.

The rebels are contemptible. Many of their soldiers are children who were conscripted by kidnapping and, according to the British Broadcasting Corp., are forcibly injected with cocaine before being sent into battle.

"They have gone on to kill, abduct, rape and maim thousands of their fellow countrymen, famously imposing their reign of terror by hacking off the limbs of victims, including children and infants, with machetes," BBC said.

Liberian President Charles Taylor apparently has no philosophical ties with the rebels, who lack an identifiable ideology and simply want to enrich themselves.

Taylor helped form the Sierra Leone rebel group to build a base of allies when he was a guerrilla fighting a civil war in his own country. But today, the BBC says, his interest is mostly business. He sells arms to the rebels in exchange for diamonds from the mines that they control. …

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