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


Liberia: Former Top Aide Surrenders Weapons To UN

Liberia: Former Top Aide To Taylor Surrenders Weapons To UN Peacekeepers

Liberia's immediate former President, Moses Z. Blah, who took over from exiled President Charles Taylor in August last year, today surrendered his weapons to United Nations peacekeepers in the capital, Monrovia.

The arms were turned over to Lt.-Gen. Daniel Opande, Force Commander of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), five days after senior UN envoy Jacques Paul Klein had announced the that the disarmament programme would wrap up within two months.

Mr. Blah, a long-serving Vice President under Mr. Taylor, was Liberia's President for just over two months, until the inauguration of the National Transitional Government headed by Charles Gyude Bryant on 14 October as part of a peace deal brokered among the country's three warring factions.

Turning over his weapons as well as those of his bodyguards, Mr. Blah said after 14 years of war, Liberians could boast of no winners but only losers. "Since the United Nations is here to bring us the much needed peace through disarmament, it is no longer necessary to keep arms," he said.

"I have emptied this house of weapons. All around me, we have disarmed to you today," said the former President. "Our security now is in the hands of the United Nations and the Transitional Government."

Receiving weapons from the former leader, Lt.-Gen. Opande urged all former fighters in the country to emulate Mr. Blah's example and surrender their weapons to the UN. "I think it is a good opportunity for former President Blah to show the people of Liberia that having been a fighter himself, having been in leadership position, he has shown that all the leaders also must disarm, not only the ordinary combatants."

UNMIL has so far disarmed over 71,000 former fighters and collected and destroyed more than 20,000 weapons and over 5 million rounds of small arms ammunition. Disarmed soldiers are offered vocational training and formal education as part of the efforts to reintegrate them into mainstream society and offer them a second chance at civilian life. The disarmament programme will come to an end on 30 October.

© 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