RealNews

Liberia faces disaster even as President backs truce

A humanitarian catastrophe is feared in the Liberian capital after days of fighting between government forces and rebels who have advanced to Monrovia’s outskirts. With two thirds of the country in rebel hands and insurgents bearing down on his last stronghold, Liberia’s President, Charles Taylor, who was indicted by a UN-backed court in Sierra Leone for war crimes last week, appeared ready to bow to pressure from West African mediators yesterday. He signalled support for a truce that would revive failing peace negotiations and, in the short term, avert a bloodbath in the capital. An ultimatum from the main rebel group ­ Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) ­ for Mr Taylor to resign by midnight last night was also reportedly lifted. But both sides remained on a war footing. The rebels accused the President of hiring mercenaries and challenged his legitimacy to sign any peace deal. Full Story

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