Sierra Leone ruling party refutes violence claims

AP News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2012 8:41 AM
Sierra Leone ruling party refutes violence claims

Sierra Leone's ruling party says they may use libel and defamation laws to refute claims by the top opposition presidential candidate that the party is provoking violence ahead of November polls.

Information and Communication Minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday the government may take legal action unless Julius Maada Bio, a retired brigadier general, produces proof of his claims that the party is sending armed ex-combatants to opposition strongholds. That could allow the government to call a state of emergency and extend the president's tenure.

He says the allegations are "an attempt to tarnish the image and good works" of the ruling party.

Sierra Leone is still recovering from a brutal 1991-2002 civil war. Tens of thousands were killed in this West African nation.