A 50 million-dollar (42 million-euro) UN disarmament campaign opened in Liberia, aiming to get an estimated 40,000 combatants back into the civilian life of a country battered by 14 years of nearly continuous war. “We are demonstrating today as Liberians … our commitment to destroying arms and weapons and attempting to beat them into plowshares,” said Gyude Bryant, the interim chairman of Liberia’s transitional government tasked with guiding the west African country to elections in 2005. “You have the full endorsement of this government and this people and we applaud you and urge you to go on with this process so we can get rid of the arms…,” Bryant said as the campaign was launched. More than 200,000 people have been killed in back-to-back civil wars since 1989, while one in five Liberians was displaced — either within the country or beyond its borders. Full Story
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