By Craig Murray

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Peter then left my office with a controlled slowness. Once he had gone, I went next door to see Tim and Linda. They were giggling somewhat, as voices had been raised and they had heard much of the conversation. Linda looked up at me, blue eyes under long dark lashes. ” “Interesting man. ” “He said he gave it to him” added Tim. Tim Andrews was interesting. A comfortable looking dark haired man in his early forties, much attached to his wife and family, he was genuinely horrified by the atrocities of the RUF and had taken them very much to heart.

If ECOWAS knew that, at the same time, we were going behind their back to seek a military solution excluding ECOMOG, especially one involving white mercenaries, there could be repercussions that would affect British interests elsewhere in West Africa. So I went straight to Ann Grant’s office to tell her. Her secretary, Julie, said that she was in a meeting with her boss, Richard Dales, the FCO’s Africa Director. I decided that he would need to know eventually, too, and that I had better not delay as the story could hit the media any time.

The bar was quite full, and there was a general noise of assent followed by a lot of animated chatter. The death of Abacha had evidently cheered up the House of Commons. Towards evening I started getting phone calls from old friends at excited parties all over Nigeria, shouting against the noises of enjoyment. No amount of money can possibly compensate for that many people, across continents, being happy when you die. Sierra Leone seemed to have reached a stalemate. President Kabbah was back in Freetown, but much of the hinterland was still controlled by the RUF.

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