African Peace Negotiations Make Progress

September 10, 2001

African Peace Negotiations Make Progress

Government officials from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone met Saturday to discuss ways to stop the fighting in the diamond-rich region at their borders, Reuters reports. Officials at the meeting, the third in a process started in August, were expected to focus negotiations on the rebel groups that all three countries deny supporting as well as work out the details for a regional tribunal to try the rebels.

In other news, Sierra Leone President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah shook hands with Revolutionary United Front leader Issa Sesay Sept. 3 and said he's convinced the nation's civil war is over, the Associated Press reports. The Sierra Leone government also set national elections for May 14, 2002, leaving time to finish disarmament and repatriate civil-war refugees. Kabbah asked parliament for a six-month extension of his presidential term so he could serve until the elections. His term, which was extended once already, ends at the end of September. The country's civil society leaders and RUF rebels have urged Kabbah to yield power to a transitional government, AP reports.

- by Julia M. Duncan

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