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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Extra police for S Leone election
Police in Sierra Leone
Police are to be deployed at all polling stations
Security is being tightened ahead of Sierra Leone's presidential run-off on Saturday, following campaign violence.

Senior police commander Richard Mwagbe told the BBC that 8,500 officers were being deployed.

There were numerous "hot-spots" around the country, he said. On Thursday, the opposition candidate refused to take part in a peace rally in the capital.

These are the first elections since UN peacekeepers pulled out, following the end of a brutal, decade-long civil war.

In the first round last month, Ernest Koroma took 44% of the vote, against 38% for Vice-President Solomon Berewa.

'High-visibility'

National Electoral Commission (Nec) operations chief Aiah Mattia said preparations for the poll were well under way, with voting material delivered to 13 of the country's 14 districts.

Rival candidates Ernest Koroma (L) and Solomon Berewa
Ernest Koroma (L) beat Solomon Berewa in the first round
"Nec has decided to have their staff and sensitive material in various polling stations by midday [local time and GMT], so we thought we should be there, as we are responsible for security for them," Mr Mwagbe told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

He said there would be "high-visibility policing".

Mr Koroma said he boycotted Thursday's peace rally because his supporters were being harassed around the country.

He complained his people were not allowed free access to certain areas of the country, including Kailahun in the south-east.

He accused Mr Berewa of rearming the civilian militia, known as the Kamajors.

Mr Berewa said he was disappointed at Mr Koroma's failure to attend the rally.

The event was planned to ease tensions after clashes between rival supporters in recent weeks.


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