RealNews

UN, rebel talks fail to break disarmament deadlock in Liberia

A meeting between a top political leader of Liberia’s largest rebel group and a UN peacekeeping commander has failed to break a deadlock over the UN campaign to disarm the west African state after 14 years of war. A frustrated General Daniel Opande, the UN force commander, told journalists late Thursday that it was “unfortunate” that the country of 3.3 million would continue to suffer because of the demands of a few. UN peacekeepers were denied passage Thursday into rebel territory in Liberia’s northwest to lay groundwork for a 50 million-dollar (42 million-euro) process to demobilize an estimated 40,000 combatants from the back to back wars that ravaged the country since 1989. Liberians United For Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), the rebel group whose uprising against then-president Charles Taylor in 1999 sparked the second civil war, have refused to consider disarming until a dispute over posts in the transitional government has been resolved. Full Story

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