President Charles Taylor said this week that hes changed his mind about stepping downbackpedaling on a pledge that was seen as a key step toward bringing his countrys bloody civil war to an end. At peace negotiations in Ghana last week, Taylor had agreed to leave office, drawing cheers from fellow African leaders who blame him for carrying the war into neighboring Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast. Now he claims that the vast majority of Liberians are protesting that I cant step aside without their approval. Founded in the 19th century by freed American slaves, Liberia has been wracked by civil war for the past decade. Taylor, a prominent warlord, was elected president in 1997 by voters who feared he would continue the conflict unless they put him in power.