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Liberia: top UN envoys return to Monrovia

Liberia: top UN envoys return to Monrovia

Two top United Nations envoys have returned to the besieged Liberian capital of Monrovia to begin paving the way for the return of UN agencies and personnel providing humanitarian assistance to the people of the war-torn West African nation.

According of a UN spokesperson in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Representative for Liberia, Abou Moussa, and UN Resident Coordinator Marc de Bernis returned to Monrovia over the weekend.

In a letter to the Security Council last week, the Secretary-General had said he was sending the two back to Monrovia to assist in preparations for the return of UN and associated personnel. At the height of the conflict, precarious security conditions had forced the suspension of virtually all international relief operations in most parts of the country.

Mr. Annan's letter informed the Council of a number of other urgent initiatives he had taken to address the grave situation, notably, naming Jacques Klein, former head of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), as his Special Representative for Liberia to lead and coordinate the activities of the UN in that country.

In other news, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned last Friday of a growing food crisis in Liberia, saying that hundreds of thousands of displaced people in camps outside Monrovia will soon face starvation if a peaceful solution is not reached immediately. Arnold Vercken, WFP's Deputy Director for West Africa, said, "Our trucks are loaded and ready to go, but we have no guarantees of security."

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