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West African Group to Send Troops to Liberia

With Liberians in the besieged capital of Monrovia running out of food and water and rebel forces breaching key defensive lines in the city, a regional West African group under intense pressure from the United Nations announced today in Senegal that it would send at least 1,000 peacekeeping troops to the besieged capital of Monrovia within the next two weeks. At the United Nations in New York, officials reported that a vanguard battalion of Nigerian infantry could be transferred to Monrovia from its current peacekeeping duties in Sierra Leone as early as next week, if logistical and financial hurdles can be overcome. In addition, Nigeria has offered a second battalion, of 650 men, the group of West African foreign ministers announced. The arrival of a Nigerian vanguard could begin a sequence of events that, United Nations officials hope, would end with the departure of President Charles G. Taylor and a firm American commitment of peacekeeping troops. Earlier this week, the Pentagon has moved an amphibious group carrying 2,000 marines into the Mediterranean Sea. Full Story

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