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Liberia's Warring Militias Officially Disband

Liberia's Warring Militias Officially Disband At UN Mission Ceremony

After surrendering weapons and other war materiel today to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the West African country's major fighting militias signed a joint declaration renouncing civil war and disbanding their forces at a ceremony in the capital, Monrovia.

The Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and forces of the former Government of Liberia agreed not to "own, use or carry" any weapons of war and "not to engage in any use of force, either individually or in concert, for any reason whatsoever." Their fighting forces and military commands had been "completely disarmed and disbanded."

UNMIL chief Jacques Paul Klein said the signing of the joint declaration was a reaffirmation of the factions' "desire for peace."

During the past year UNMIL disarmed over 95,000 combatants and recovered 27,000 rifles, 6.84 million pieces of ammunition and 29,830 rounds of heavy ammunition, such as mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, he said.

"The international community will continue to assist the good and decent Liberians to achieve a stable, prosperous and peaceful Liberia. We will continue the work we have set out to achieve and we will honour the promise we have made to this country and its people," Mr. Klein said.

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