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BBC News Front Page | Africa | In depth
West Africa's tangled war
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Map showing flow of refugees from Sierra Leone
RUF forces in support of coup
RUF forces in support of coup, AP 1997
A military coup in Sierra Leone, led by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and supported by the RUF, deposed President Kabbah in 1997. The rebels began a campaign of terror against civilians, torturing, mutilating or murdering anyone suspected of supporting Kabbah, who fled to Guinea along with about 250,000 refugees.

Meanwhile in Liberia, Charles Taylor won a landslide victory in presidential elections. Shortly after his inauguration, he accused Ulimo-K of reassembling in Sierra Leone with the aim of destabilising his government.

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