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The World | IN BRIEF / LIBERIA

President Rules Out an Early Departure

June 21, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

In defiant comments likely to sour hopes for peace in his country, Liberian President Charles Taylor said he would not quit before the end of his term in January and could still seek reelection.

Taylor's words were his first public remarks since his government signed a cease-fire deal this week with rebels who insist that their archenemy must step down as soon as possible.

They accused Taylor of trying to derail the peace process meant to end 14 years of almost nonstop war in one of West Africa's bloodiest battlefields. Taylor has been indicted by a U.N.-backed war crimes court for his role in neighboring Sierra Leone's civil war.

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