RealNews

Liberia Peacekeepers Find Deserted Towns

The first U.N. peace missions to Liberia’s rebel-held far east have found deserted towns emptied of all but looting insurgents, and terrorized civilians under rebel grip or lying rotting, dead, in the bush. An Associated Press reporter accompanying Gen. Daniel Opande, the Kenyan commander of Liberia’s 3-month-old U.N. peace force, saw hamlet after hamlet still bloodied by pillaging fighters, or by persistent clashes between rebels and government hard-liners. “There is no war, no more ground for you to gain,” Opande exhorted rebels in the eastern town of Griae — newly attacked, sacked and burned by the insurgents, four months after their leader signed the West African nation’s peace deal. Playing out in territory under control of the smaller of Liberia’s two rebel movements, the continuing devastation underscores the difficulty a still-fledgling U.N. peace mission faces in ending rule by AK-47 in Liberia after 14 years of bloodletting. Full Story

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