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Peace Deal Is Signed In Liberia

Liberia’s government and two rebel groups signed a peace deal today that outlines a plan to build an interim government from scratch, the first cautious steps to shape a new Liberia after 14 years of devastation. The accord calls for a transitional government to take power in October from Moses Blah, who became president when Charles Taylor, indicted for crimes against humanity, went into exile in Nigeria a week ago. The three warring parties will be excluded from the two top positions in the interim government, according to the deal, and elections are to be held by 2005. “I want to believe that Liberia will never be plunged into another spiral of violence in the quest for political power, or under the false pretense of liberating the people,” said Abdulsalami Abubakar, a retired Nigerian general and chief mediator for the talks, which were held in this West African capital. “Liberians need developers and nation-builders. It needs the society to function and feed itself. I think everyone realizes this can’t go on.” Full Story

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