RealNews

Only One Liberian Rebel Faction Shows for Peace Talks

One of Liberia’s two rebel groups began talks with a regional mediator on Monday to pave the way to full peace negotiations for the West African nation, but the other insurgent faction failed to show up. The meeting in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown took place just over a week before planned talks in Ghana to bring together Liberian President Charles Taylor and the fighters trying to oust him. Members of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) — the oldest rebel group — met former Nigerian ruler Abdulsalami Abubakar, who is representing the Economic Community of West African States. But the rebel Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) failed to send anyone. MODEL emerged in southeast Liberia in April, seizing key ports near the border with war-torn Ivory Coast. Between them, the two rebel groups control around 60 percent of Liberia’s territory and both want Taylor to step down. Recent battles have raised fears of a concerted push on the capital, Monrovia. Taylor, a former warlord who is under U.N. sanctions for fueling regional instability, was elected in 1997 after waging a seven-year civil war in which around 200,000 people died. He is due to stand for re-election this year. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.