RealNews

Liberian leader hedges on resigning, as new strife leaves cease-fire in doubt

Under pressure from two rebel groups and a United Nations-backed war crimes court that has called for his arrest, President Charles Taylor of Liberia appeared to waffle yesterday on his pledge to step down under a cease-fire agreement with rebel leaders. If Taylor refuses to resign, it will be the second time in two weeks that he has retracted a promise to surrender power, the final sticking point in peace negotiations to end Liberia’s three-year civil war in which both rebel and government soldiers have killed, raped, maimed, or kidnapped civilians. More than 1.3 million people have fled the fighting, according to international aid groups. Taylor made his latest reversal as his loyalist troops reportedly attacked rebel positions yesterday in the east of the country, violating the cease-fire and sparking fears of renewed fighting in an already battered nation. Full Story

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