Dogs of war stop fighting

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EXECUTIVE OUTCOMES, the controversial firm of mercenaries, announced yesterday that it would stop intervening in Africa's myriad wars.

After a decade of adventures, the company said that a new-found sense of "law and order" across the continent no longer "justifies our efforts" - an excuse that most military analysts found hard to swallow.

More likely is the reason that the South African-based firm realised it would fall foul of recent legislation introduced by the Mandela government aimed at curtailing the involvement of South Africans in mercenary activities.

Some of EO's business may find its way to the London-based Sandline International, the military consultancy at the centre of the recent "arms to Sierra Leone" controversy.