Sierra Leone Opposition: Gov't Provoking Violence

Published February 7, 2012 12:00PM (EST)

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — The top opposition presidential candidate is accusing Sierra Leone's ruling party of provoking violence ahead of November polls.

Retired Brig. Gen. Julius Maada Bio alleged late Monday that the government wants to use the violence to call a state of emergency and extend the president's tenure.

The ruling party did not comment Tuesday on Bio's claims.

Speaking on national radio, Bio said the ruling party has sent armed ex-combatants to register to vote in some provinces and ruling party loyalists are being sent to foreign missions to vote.

He says officials from his party have complained to election authorities.

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

By Salon Staff

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