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


Talks to bolster transition in Liberia underway

Diplomatic talks to bolster transition in Liberia underway - UN

While talks aimed at shaping United Nations support for Liberia's transitional government got underway today in the capital Monrovia, the country's interior remains gripped by rumours of fresh rebel violence, forcing relief agencies to scale back operations in camps and along roadsides where anxious families await desperately needed aid.

According to a UN spokesman in New York, an eight-member advance team of the Government of Liberia's Transition Committee visited UN offices in Monrovia to confer on preparations for the installation of the new government on 14 October.

On 18 August, Liberia's government and the country's main rebel factions signed a peace deal that set up an interim power-sharing government that paves the way for democratic elections in 2005. The top UN envoy for Liberia, Jacques Paul Klein, is in New York this week to ask the Security Council to authorize some 15,000 troops and 900 international police officers for a proposed UN peacekeeping mission to support the transition.

Discussions in the Liberian capital centred on ways the transitional government and the UN could work in partnership once the Council has approved a mandate for a new peacekeeping mission. Both sides reportedly emphasized the need to establish conditions of security in the country.

Meanwhile, UN agencies in the field reported that widespread lawlessness and alarming rumours continue to fuel displacement in the countryside. The lack of security, law and order in many parts of Liberia are still hampering humanitarian operations in Liberia, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Despite these constraints, the agency said aid workers continued to work where they could.

Following last week's huge displacement along the Totota to Salala road, northeast of Monrovia, some of the relief materials sent by UNHCR trucks were distributed last Friday by the Lutheran World Federation. In Buchanan, the port city southeast of the capital, security was reported to be seriously deteriorating and so far, no agencies had been able to do any large-scale food or non-food distribution.

UNHCR said it has also received worrying reports that people in the Harper area and elsewhere in eastern Liberia may have suffered from various forms of harassment and sexual violence. The local staff who crossed over to Harper reported that everything there and the border town of Plebo, down to the doors and window frames, had been looted by the fighters. Whatever had not been looted was destroyed.

Troops from Guinea-Bissau serving with the West African force known as ECOMIL began moving towards Kakata - another site of major population displacements - and UNHCR officials said they hoped the deployment would help bring some desperately needed stability and security to the region. Another joint UN mission, including UNHCR staff, heads to the region on Tuesday.

UNHCR also said that it is growing increasingly concerned about the fate of thousands of Ivoirian refugees scattered along Liberia's eastern border with Côte d'Ivoire. The refugee agency is exploring possible ways of accessing this part of Liberia with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

© 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