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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pardon Possible for Sierra Leone Rebel

LOME, Togo -- A West African mediator announced Friday that Sierra Leone's government has conceded to demands by the country's feared rebel movement to release the rebels' charismatic founding leader.

Yet Sierra Leone's justice minister, Solomon Berewa, cast doubt on the announcement, saying Foday Sankoh's release would not be allowed by President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah unless the foes reach a peace agreement.

Berewa held out the possibility that Sankoh could be pardoned by Kabbah but only after other issues - including the formation of a transitional government - had been agreed on.

Togo's Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Koffigoh earlier said the decision to free Foday Sankoh had been agreed upon but still subject to approval by Sierra Leone's legal and judicial system.

Representatives of Sierra Leone's government and the rebel Revolutionary United Front have been meeting since Tuesday in what is described as a "last chance'' to end an eight-year war.