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Liberian Leader Sets Date, and New Terms, for Exit

President Charles G. Taylor, defying a deadline imposed by West African officials and imposing what appears to be yet another condition for his departure, announced today that he would leave office in nine days, but demurred on what is arguably the more crucial test of peace: when and how he would leave the country. His departure is a condition for any American military involvement in peacekeeping in this country, roiled by 14 years of on-and-off-again war, first with Mr. Taylor as a rebel leader, then as its president. Today, Mr. Taylor refused to answer questions about his long-awaited exit, leaving it to his spokesman, Vaanii Passewe, to say it can be addressed only after the lifting of a war crimes indictment, lodged by a United-Nations-backed tribunal over what it says was his role in fomenting war in neighboring Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has said in the past that the only condition for his departure was the arrival of peacekeepers. Full Story

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