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NEWS
March 20, 1994 | MARK FRITZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Capt. Valentine Strasser was a lad of 25 when a group of equally young fellow officers, fresh from toppling the government, asked him to rule the nation. Two years into his almost accidental regime, Africa's youngest dictator has managed to survive a civil war, two coup attempts and global condemnation for executing enemies, muzzling the press and drafting boys as young as 12 into the army. He also has endorsed a two-year transition to democracy, cleaned the trash from the capital, resumed tax collections, cut street crime, slashed civil service rolls by one-fourth and lowered inflation from 115% annually to less than 15%. Thrust into a fishbowl, Strasser, now 27, and his twentysomething ruling junta say they have developed a sense that history is judging them, the first African leaders to be born after colonialism.
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NEWS
March 20, 1994 | MARK FRITZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Capt. Valentine Strasser was a lad of 25 when a group of equally young fellow officers, fresh from toppling the government, asked him to rule the nation. Two years into his almost accidental regime, Africa's youngest dictator has managed to survive a civil war, two coup attempts and global condemnation for executing enemies, muzzling the press and drafting boys as young as 12 into the army. He also has endorsed a two-year transition to democracy, cleaned the trash from the capital, resumed tax collections, cut street crime, slashed civil service rolls by one-fourth and lowered inflation from 115% annually to less than 15%. Thrust into a fishbowl, Strasser, now 27, and his twentysomething ruling junta say they have developed a sense that history is judging them, the first African leaders to be born after colonialism.
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NEWS
May 3, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The new military rulers reopened borders and restored links with the outside world after a coup in which at least 12 people were reported killed. The moves indicated military leader Valentine Strasser, the 27-year-old head of the new ruling council, was trying to show things had returned to normal 48 hours after President Joseph Momoh was overthrown and forced to flee to Guinea. Nonetheless, the U.S. State Department ordered most Americans in Sierra Leone to leave.
NEWS
May 3, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The new military rulers reopened borders and restored links with the outside world after a coup in which at least 12 people were reported killed. The moves indicated military leader Valentine Strasser, the 27-year-old head of the new ruling council, was trying to show things had returned to normal 48 hours after President Joseph Momoh was overthrown and forced to flee to Guinea. Nonetheless, the U.S. State Department ordered most Americans in Sierra Leone to leave.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Joseph Momoh, 66, a former president of Sierra Leone who was overthrown during the country's civil war, died Saturday in neighboring Guinea after a long illness. A former army chief who rose to the rank of major-general, Momoh was the member of the All People's Congress Party chosen as successor by President Siaka Stevens when he retired at age 80 in 1985. Momoh held office in the former British colony for nearly seven years.
NEWS
January 21, 1996 | From Reuters
The military rulers who staged a palace coup in Sierra Leone last week have named a new Cabinet, reinforcing doubts that elections will be held on schedule next month to end army rule and civil war. The scale of the reshuffle surprised even those politicians who voiced support for Tuesday's coup in the impoverished West African nation and said they trusted new strongman Julius Bio's declared intention to stick to the Feb. 26 election date.
NEWS
May 4, 1992 | From Associated Press
U.S. military aircraft on Sunday evacuated more than 300 Americans to Germany in the aftermath of a military coup in this West African nation. Most of the Americans flown to the U.S. Rhein-Main military base in Frankfurt in an initial flight were nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy and the spouses and children of diplomats, a senior diplomat at the mission said on condition of anonymity. A second plane with 57 people aboard carried U.S.
NEWS
May 13, 2000 | ANN M. SIMMONS
Sierra Leone, which won its independence from Britain in 1961, has experienced a long decline marked by coups, contested elections and poverty. In 1985, army commander Maj. Gen. Joseph Momoh came to power, and the country slid into a social hell of interminable fuel lines, food shortages and corruption that diverted profits from 90% of its diamond production. The civil war, from which the current shaky peace deal stems, began in the early 1990s.
NEWS
March 20, 1994 | MARK FRITZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS
John Benjamin has a closed-circuit television monitor on his desk that gives him news he can use, such as who's outside his electronically controlled security door. Honest paranoia is part of power in Sierra Leone, a West African nation engaged in a civil war and run by an unpredictable military junta led by 27-year-old Capt. Valentine Strasser.
NEWS
February 4, 1995 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
To hear the fearful people of this nation tell it, they are cornered here on the Atlantic's edge by ruthless bandits, savage kidnapers, wayward soldiers and a shadowy guerrilla fighter whose cause has never been explained and whose face is known to almost no one. In the capital of this West African nation, people are fleeing--if they are among those with the means to flee. Airline flights out of the country have been expanded but still are booked to capacity.
NEWS
November 24, 1995 | STANLEY MEISLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Largely hidden from the rest of the world, a terrifying humanitarian crisis is ravaging the West African country of Sierra Leone after four years of civil war, U.N. officials report. Officials of the World Food Program say that marauding soldiers are preventing them and other aid workers from carrying food to the worst-hit areas of the country. A third of the country's 4 million people are now refugees, and there are incessant reports of rapes, beheadings and dismemberment.
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