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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Liberia's rebels suspend leader
By Jonathan Paye-Layleh
BBC, Monrovia

Sekou Conneh
This is not the first time Sekou Conneh has faced a leadership challenge
Liberia's main rebel group has suspended its leader Sekou Conneh.

Officials from Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (Lurd) took the decision last night on the recommendation of their military wing.

This is the second power squabble this year within Lurd, who form part of Liberia's interim government.

Mr Conneh is believed to have disagreed with colleagues over the appointment of the finance minister to the power-sharing national unity cabinet.

Lurd officials, including Mr Conneh's wife Asha, have called for Lusenee Kamara to be replaced with a finance minister of their choice.

Sekou Conneh has refused to consider their proposed candidate.

No comment

Sekou Conneh's deputy, Chayee Doe, the younger brother of slain Liberian president Samuel Doe, was named as acting head of the rebel movement.

Mr Conneh is currently out of Liberia and has not yet commented on the developments.

In January, Asha Conneh announced she was taking over the Lurd leadership, as she felt her husband was jeopardising the peace process.

Asha is the adopted daughter of Guinean president Lansana Conte, who is believed to be backing Lurd.

The power struggle between the couple was resolved, and Sekou Conneh remained the movement's chairman.

The national unity administration led by Gyude Bryant is tasked with organising elections in 2005.


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