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


Liberia Situation Critical: UN Action Urgent

With situation reported critical, Annan again urges quick UN action on Liberia

With United Nations humanitarian officials calling the situation in war-torn Liberia critical, Secretary-General Kofi Annan renewed his appeal today for urgent action to deploy peacekeeping forces in the West African country, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting and food stocks are dwindling.

A day after he sent a letter to the Security Council seeking speedy action to accelerate measures needed for the deployment of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) “vanguard force,” Mr. Annan told his mid-year news conference he had been in constant touch with the United States, which has pledged support, and the ambassadors of other countries.

“We may see a draft resolution very shortly being put to the Council…so that we will be able to help the tragic and deplorable situation on the ground and try and get assistance to the people,” he said, referring to the financial and logistical support, including airlifts, sough by ECOWAS.

Noting that US ships were sailing to Liberia and were in contact with ECOWAS, Mr. Annan said: “I hope once they are on the ground, the two forces will cooperate and make a difference in the lives of the Liberians, who are in such dire straits at the moment.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today that as the number of internally displaced persons was reported to be growing both within and outside Monrovia, the Liberian capital, which has come under lethal rebel fire almost daily over the past two weeks, stocks of food and fuel appeared to be diminishing, making the situation critical.

There were also reports of looting of commercial food stocks, OCHA said. The whereabouts of 9,000 tons of food in a UN World Food Programme warehouse remained unknown and fuel shortages severely hampered the ability of humanitarian agencies to truck water supplies to those in need.

Asked about reports that Liberian President Charles Taylor was reconsidering his promise to resign, which the United States has made a condition for its involvement in the crisis, Mr. Annan said he did not know how serious these latest statements were, but “we expect him to leave.”

Asked whether Mr. Taylor should appear before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which has indicted him for war crimes, the Secretary-General said: “I think the law must take its course. The law does have a long arm and we will see what happens.”

© 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