Liberia: January 15, 2004


In another sign of progress, UN humanitarian agencies are preparing to follow the peacekeeping troops that have been fanning out into the interior of Liberia for the past three weeks. Two UN World Food Program (WFP) truck convoys would leave Monrovia early next week for the towns of Tapeta and Saclepea in north central Liberia. 

The resumption of its campaign to disarm an estimated 40,000 former combatants in Liberia would be delayed by 20 to 30 days. UNMIL needs the extra time to prepare four new reception and cantonment sites, as well as conduct an information campaign throughout the country to make sure all of the former combatants are fully aware of how the disarmament process would work. In these circumstances, ignorance of procedures tends to turn into gun battles. 

Meanwhile, about 200 protesters from the Special Security Service (SSS) and the Special Security Unit (SSU) demonstrated outside the presidential palace in Monrovia, threatening to resume fighting if they do not receive paid months of back pay. - Adam Geibel 


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