Liberia: February 18, 2004


UNMIL, the UN peacekeeping force, has 11,600 troops in Liberia, and expects to have the full force of  15,000 troops by next month. But the peacekeepers won't be stationed throughout the country until April. The task of disarming some 50,000 irregular fighters is delayed again and again. In the meantime, many of these armed men continue to loot and abuse civilians wherever there are no peacekeepers to prevent them. The looting includes an illegal logging operation run by MODEL. The logging business was, until last year, run for the benefit of the former president of Liberia, Charles Taylor.

Most of the population has no access to a safe water supply or medical care. Several hundred thousand people are threatened by starvation.


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