Liberia

Former warlord holds key to presidential poll

A notorious former warlord has emerged as "kingmaker" in a Liberian election that grabbed the attention of the world this week when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the President running for a second term.

Tough test for Nobel Peace prize-winner in Liberia vote

Liberia goes to the polls tomorrow in a tense contest that pits this year's Nobel Peace prize-winner against a former world footballer of the year in a country still recovering from a prolonged and savage civil war. The incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, must see off a strong challenge from an opposition counting on the popularity of its vice-presidential candidate George Weah, who has a passionate grassroots following.

Power struggle over poll leads to armed clashes in Ivory Coast

Street gun battles in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, left at least four dead yesterday as supporters of the man widely recognised as the winner of last month's presidential poll tried to wrest control of key state institutions from the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo.

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Paul Vallely: On trial for brutalising his country and its neighbour

For the man right at the very back of the room in the dark suit and the expensive grey tie, the appearance of Naomi Campbell in court in The Hague yesterday must have been a welcome relief. For the past three years the focus in the courtroom has been fairly unremittingly on him. He is Charles Taylor, the man accused of war crimes in Sierra Leone.

Shades of Greene: One Generation of an English Family, By Jeremy Lewis

The group biography is a daunting task. Chronicling the life of a single subject is an exhausting feat of research, tact and elision. Bundling half a dozen lives in some factitious intertwining is asking for chaos. Only the freakishly energetic Humphrey Carpenter ever seemed to relish the experience, as he charted the heyday of Waugh, Powell, Betjeman and co in The Brideshead Generation.