Liberia’s main rebel group turned over weapons to U.N. peacekeepers at its northern stronghold of Tubmanburg Monday in a symbolic gesture meant to help advance the country’s stop-start disarmament program. The government and rebels signed a peace deal in August that included an agreement for about 40,000 fighters on both sides to disarm and so help end 14 years of civil war. Some 11,000 pro-government fighters have handed in their weapons to the country’s U.N. mission (UNMIL) but so far few rebels have done so. “We are going to turn in this symbolic quantity of arms and ammunition over to UNMIL today and that will serve as a direct message to the fighters that we are not prepared to fight any more,” said Sekou Conneh, chairman of the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD. Full Story
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