Liberia: May 12, 2004


So far, 25,961 government and rebel fighters have been disarmed. In the last 27 days alone, 12,385 were disarmed. There are four camps where the fighters can register, turn in their weapon and get their $300. As expected, there has been some fraud, with people scrounging up a weapon and claiming to be a fighter. Moreover, none of the demobilization camps are in the rural areas. Out there, bands of armed men still roam about, looting and pillaging as they go. There are 14,127 UN peacekeepers in the country, which has not been enough to clear the armed men out of the more remote areas. Despite that, the UN has declared 85 percent of the country safe for the civil government and aid organizations to operate in. However, it is still estimated that 25,000 or more armed men are still in the country. And many of those who disarmed are believed to have hidden away another rifle or pistol. 


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