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Security Council Backs Nigerian-Led Force in Liberia

The U.N. Security Council voted tonight to adopt a resolution authorizing the intervention of a Nigerian-led West African peacekeeping mission in Liberia to restore peace and facilitate the departure of the country’s president, Charles Taylor, from power. The council’s action clears the way for the deployment of the first battalion of hundreds of Nigerian troops into Liberia on Monday and a larger U.N. peacekeeping mission within two months. After the vote, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan suggested that President Bush consider approving the first, if limited, intervention by U.S. troops in an African conflict since President George H.W. Bush ordered U.S. Marines into Somalia in the early 1990s. “Ultimately that is a decision for President Bush to make, but we do have a desperate situation in Liberia,” Annan said, noting the decision to station U.S. warships off the coast of Liberia. Despite overwhelming support by the 15-nation council for the mission, the United States faced stiff opposition to a provision in the resolution that would grant blanket immunity from prosecution by foreign courts to international peacekeepers serving in the mission. Germany, France and Mexico abstained from the vote to protest the inclusion of the provision. Full Story

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