World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


"Limited" Role for US Troops to Stabilize Liberia

Bush Open to a "Limited" Role for U.S. Troops to Stabilize Liberia

Says deployment conditional on President Charles Taylor leaving

By Wendy S. Ross
Washington File White House Correspondent

President Bush said July 14 that he is open to deploying U.S. troops for a "limited" role in stabilizing Liberia, but again made clear that Liberia's President Charles Taylor must leave.

Helping the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) enforce a cease-fire in the war-torn West African nation "may require troops. We don't know how many yet," Bush said following a meeting in the Oval Office with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

"Any commitment we have would be limited in size and limited in tenure. Our job would be to help facilitate an ECOWAS presence, which would then be converted into a U.N. peacekeeping mission," said Bush.

A U.S. military team in the region is still deciding "what is necessary from our side to fulfill the commitment I have made that we will help maintain the cease-fire -- by the way, this is conditional on Mr. Taylor leaving," Bush said.

Anan discussed the outlines of a plan under which ECOWAS would deploy forces to Liberia: Taylor would leave; U.S. forces would be sent to buttress ECOWAS; U.S. forces would leave and the operation would turn into a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

"We have more or less agreed to a general approach on the Liberian issue, and I am very pleased with that," Annan said.

Bush did not spell out the details of the U.S. role but emphasized that he had told Annan that any forces Washington sends will not go as U.N. peacekeepers, who wear signature blue helmets.

"There must be a U.N. presence quickly into Liberia," said Bush. "He and I discussed how fast it would take to blue-helmet whatever forces arrive -- other than our own, of course. We would not be bluehelmeted."

"We would be there to facilitate and then to leave," said Bush.

Asked when he hoped to make a final determination of the U.S. role in Liberia, Bush replied: "As soon as possible."

Bush, who returned to Washington July 12 after a five-day trip to sub-Saharan Africa, also said he hoped to make headway in helping to battle the spread of HIV/AIDS, citing his five-year, $15 billion plan to combat the pandemic.

Bush and Annan said they also discussed the Middle East peace process and the situation in Iraq.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC