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Liberia: UN Envoy To Talk With Troop Contributors

Liberia: UN envoy set for talks with potential troop contributors

As the top United Nations envoy for Liberia prepares to meet with potential troop contributors today, West African peacekeepers, logistical equipment and desperately needed humanitarian aid continue to flow toward the war-battered country.

Jacques Paul Klein, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, was scheduled to meet with potential troop contributors for Liberia this afternoon in New York. The meeting follows yesterday's revised appeal by UN agencies and their humanitarian partners for some $69 million in emergency aid to stop a civil war Mr. Klein and other officials said had degenerated "into a human catastrophe of horrific proportions."

Meanwhile in the field, the number of Nigerian soldiers in Liberia neared 500 as the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) today airlifted 40 soldiers, two armoured personnel carriers (APCs), seven land rovers, one ambulance, 61 tents and ammunition. This airlift programme began Monday, and the build-up is expected to continue as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leads the efforts to enforce a ceasefire and clear the way for the distribution of food and medicine to hundreds of thousands of people uprooted by fighting between government and rebel forces.

In other news, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported that its supply ship arrived off the coast of the capital Monrovia today, carrying three tons of high protein biscuits and humanitarian workers - five from WFP and one from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

WFP, which is continuing to airlift biscuits to the airport until it regains access to its storage facilities, said it has scheduled a distribution to war victims near the airport tomorrow.

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