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UN Radio: Liberia’s President Taylor Resigns

UN Radio: Liberia’s President Taylor Resigns

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  • UN Radio Special Report: Liberia’s President Charles Taylor Resigns
  • Annan Welcomes Decision Of Liberian President Taylor To Resign

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has welcomed the decision of Liberian president Charles Taylor to resign office. And he expects that Mr. Taylor will immediately leave Liberia as he had promised to do. In a statement Monday, the Secretary-General expressed the hope that this would mark the beginning of the end of the long nightmare of the Liberian people. UN Spokeswoman Hua Jiang says the Secretary-General strongly urges all parties in Liberia to observe the ceasefire, and to allow humanitarian assistance to reach all parts of the country.

    "The Secretary-General notes the progress achieved by the Liberian parties in the negotiations in Accra, and believes that all of them should now make every effort to reach agreement quickly on a process leading to a transitional government which can bring about national reconciliation."

    Taylor steps down as Liberian President

    Charles Taylor resigned as president this morning and has left the country for Nigeria. At Monday's resignation ceremony, Charles Taylor said today is unique in that Liberia takes another step forward - a step which he said should bring relief to the people of the nation

    New Liberian President Calls for Peace and Reconciliation

    Taylor has been replaced by his vice president Moses Blah who said the lesson the war has taught Liberians is that there are no winners. He said as one people Liberians should find strength in unity and work harder for peace and reconciliation.

    "Let us work together for peace, stability and unity. By so doing, we may once again regain the respect of the international community.

    Liberia Food Situation Remains Desperate: UN

    Meanwhile, the food situation has been described as desperate. According to Mohammed Siryon of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, despite the efforts of aid agencies, the food sector remains critical.

    "The population is still desperately in need of food. Food is extremely out. If you find it it's extremely expensive for ordinary people but it is sold for unaffordable prices for most of the population."

    Aid agencies say water and sanitation are still of major concern and pose health problems.

    UN Welcomes NATO Takeover of Command of Peacekeepers in Afghanistan

    United Nations officials have welcomed NATO's take over of the command of peacekeepers in Afghanistan's capital Kabul. It's NATO's first operation outside Europe in its 54-year history. A spokesman for the UN Mission in Afghanistan said the mission wants to give a very warm welcome to the incoming International Security Assistance Force. Deputy Spokesman David Singh also expressed the mission's gratitude to NATO member states for agreeing to set up a mission of this nature for the first time outside its traditional area of operation.

    "We are heartened by the commitment to stability and development in Afghanistan made by NATO States."

    Meanwhile, the UN mission has stopped road travel across much of the south of Afghanistan because of security concerns.

    Annan Condemns Hezbollah's Shelling into Israel

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has strongly condemned the shelling of anti-aircraft missiles by Hezbollah into Israel. The action resulted in the death of a young Israeli and wounded four others in the town of Shlomi. UN Spokeswoman Hua Jiang says this represents a serious violation of the "blue line" and of Security Council resolutions.

    "He is deeply concerned by the current escalation in the area and calls upon all parties involved to fully respect the blue line. He urges all governments that have influence on Hezbollah to deter it from further actions which could increase the tension in the area."

    Spokeswoman Hua Jiang says the Secretary-General has also called upon the Government of Israel to exercise the utmost restraint.

    UNDP Calls for Aid for Palestinians affected by Israeli built Wall

    The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has called on the international community to provide nearly $20 million in assistance for Palestinians affected by the construction of a separation wall in the West Bank. In a statement Monday, UNDP special representative in Jerusalem said the agency has developed a comprehensive emergency action plan for those affected by the Israeli wall that encircles and isolates many Palestinian cities and villages. The statement said the money would fund a "multi-faceted project that addresses immediate employment needs and will improve vital social, municipal and agricultural infrastructure necessary for sustaining the livelihoods of Palestinians in areas affected."

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