RealNews

New Bid to Stop Liberia Bloodshed

Liberian President Charles Taylor is being urged by West African mediators to agree to a cease-fire in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a bloody battle for the capital Monrovia. Rebels have been pounding the coastal city for four days running, raising fears of a repeat of the tribal fighting in the early 1990s which left Monrovia’s streets littered with corpses. Many of the rebels are old foes of Taylor from the civil war of that time. The thunder of mortars and heavy artillery resonated across the city for most of the day on Monday, Reuters reported, only to die down as darkness fell. With peace talks in Ghana adjourned until Wednesday, West African regional mediators set off for a diplomatic shuttle to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to muster support for a cease-fire between the rebels and Taylor’s forces which could spare thousands of lives in the capital. Officials at the regional West African bloc ECOWAS, which is brokering the peace negotiations, said the mediators hoped to meet Taylor in Monrovia on Tuesday if it was safe enough for them to fly there. Full Story

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