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Friday, 20 March, 1998, 00:35 GMT
US urges African leaders to build democracy

The American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has again warned the Nigerian military leadership that it faces increased international isolation if it fails to hand over power to a democratic government.

Speaking about American policy on Africa in advance of President Clinton's tour of the continent next week, she urged the Nigerian authorities to allow free elections this year, as promised.

In Nigeria, the foreign minister, Tom Ikimi, has lashed out at American criticism, saying Nigerians needed no lessons on how they should be governed.

Mrs Albright also warned the leader of the Democratic Republicn of Congo, Laurent Kabila, that he risked losing American support if he failed to take steps to build democracy in his country.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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