RealNews

Disarmament begins in southeastern Liberia on Ivory Coast border

UN peacekeepers have moved into volatile southeastern Liberia to begin disarming combatants who are reportedly running weapons over the border into Ivory Coast, the UN mission in the west African state said. UNMIL had to abort its campaign in the key city of Zwedru three times before finally launching the four-phase process on Friday in the Grand Gedeh provincial capital some 40 kilometers (24 miles) from the Ivorian border. Zwedru is a stronghold of the rebel Movement for Democracy in Liberia, a well-armed grouping backed by Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo in their battle against former Liberian president Charles Taylor that raged from late 2002 until a peace pact was signed in August last year. UN officials expect some 10,000 MODEL fighters to pass through the cantonment site — among the more than 50,000 combatants from three warring factions in the 14 years of civil war that have battered the west African state. Full Story

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