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UNMIL Seeks Cross Border Cooperation to Stem Arms Flow

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) said on Wednesday it was talking with the authorities in neighboring countries to prevent Liberian combatants from crossing the border with their weapons to escape disarmament. UNMIL Deputy Force commander Major General Joseph Owonibi told reporters that a delegation from the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) would arrive in Monrovia on Saturday to discuss ways of preventing weapons from crossing the border. It is controlled on the Liberian side by fighters of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel movement. UNMIL has so far only received a third of the 15,000 peacekeeping troops that are due to maintain order and supervise the disarmament process in Liberia, so it has not yet deployed throughout the country. Sierra Leone put its army on a high alert earlier this week following reports that LURD was amassing weapons near the border to take them abroad beyond reach of the disarmament process. UNAMSIL also announced that it was stepping up its air, land and river patrols along the Liberian and Guinean borders to curb the infiltration of arms. Full Story

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