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Liberian Civil War – Nigeria Deploys 2,000 Troops

Nigeria is contributing 2000 troops to an ECOWAS peacekeeping force to be deployed to Liberia as shelling and fierce fighting entered the fifth day yesterday, claiming about 600 civilians, even as the ECOWAS military chiefs said that no peacekeepers would be sent until there was a ceasefire. The Chiefs of Staff from 10 of the member countries of the sub-regional organisation have met over the past two days to discuss details of an initial force of up to 1,500 personnel, expanding to 3,000 with the rest of the troops coming from Ghana and Mali. Foreign ministers are meeting today in Senegal to decide whether to send in the force, although President Olusegun Obasanjo has said no troops will be deployed until a ceasefire was in place insisting that the safety of Nigerian soldiers was of primary concern. Liberian rebels were clashing with forces loyal to President Charles Taylor in the port area of Monrovia in what is the third battle for the capital in two months. Reports quoting Defence Minister, Daniel Chea said at least 600 people have been killed in recent clashes, but humanitarian workers have so far confirmed only about 100 deaths. Full Story

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