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


Danger in delaying troop deployment to Liberia

Warning of 'danger' in delaying troop deployment, Annan outlines UN plans for Liberia

  • Click here to view video of this UN Statement
  • United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today outlined the world body's likely strategy to help restore order in war-torn Liberia, beginning with the arrival of a promised West African force meant to ensure calm as President Charles Taylor steps down, and possibly paving the way for troops from the United States and elsewhere.

    Speaking to reporters as he arrived at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General said the plan is for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to send in a vanguard force of between 1,000 and 1,500 troops. Once they arrived, President Taylor would leave the country, and US and other reinforcements would move into Liberia, before a UN peacekeeping force is established for the longer term.

    Mr. Annan added that he had hoped the vanguard force would be deployed at the latest by the end of this month, and said the possibility that it may take place later than that was worrying because "the longer we delay the deployment, the more dangerous the situation gets."

    He told reporters "some progress" has been achieved in making all the parties involved - including the US and ECOWAS, as well as the UN - understand what is required. He has asked his military advisers and other officers to be in touch with the US and with the ECOWAS forces to see how troop deployment might be accelerated.

    Asked what would happen if Mr. Taylor did not leave the country, the Secretary-General said he was not sure that was an option, "given the commitment he has given not only to his peers, but to the whole world." Mr. Annan added that when he and the Liberian President last spoke, he had the impression that Mr. Taylor would accept Nigeria's invitation to step down.

    Meanwhile on the ground inside the beleaguered country, a seven-member humanitarian assessment team has arrived in the capital, Monrovia, and is talking with relief agencies to determine the security situation in preparation for the return of UN international staff.

    Looting continues to be a problem in the capital, and a lack of security is preventing humanitarian agencies from having access to some 70 per cent of Liberia's territory.

    © Scoop Media

    World Headlines


    At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

    The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

    The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

    Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

    Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


    Other Australian Detention

    Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

    Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

    Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

    Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news