TITLE=LIBERIA/GUINEA ATTACK (L)
INTRO: Liberian President Charles Taylor says
unidentified insurgents have invaded the West African
nation from neighboring Guinea and have taken control
of several areas along the border. Liberia is still
recovering from eight years of civil war that began
with a similar invasion of rebels led by Mr. Taylor a
decade ago. Correspondent Nick Simeone has details.
TEXT: President Taylor is declaring a state of
emergency in a northern region of Liberia where, he
says, the nation has come under military attack by
dissident forces from Guinea.
// TAYLOR ACT //
As commander-in-chief of the armed forces of
Liberia, I have ordered the full mobilization of
troops with the appropriate logistical support,
to be deployed in the Kolahun area to counter the
invasion and restore peace and order.
// END ACT //
It is still not clear who these invaders are and how
much of a threat they may be to the government in
Diplomatic sources say they believe there has been
some sort of dissident activity in the border region.
But at this point -- with hard facts from the remote
area difficult to obtain -- whether this actually was
an invasion or just a movement of people across a
porous border is impossible to determine.
It was Charles Taylor's former National Patriotic
Front rebel movement that began Liberia's slide into
civil war a decade ago when its fighters invaded the
country from neighboring Ivory Coast. In the years
that followed, the country became a horror chamber,
with rebel factions multiplying in number and fighting
each other over land and leadership of the country
founded by freed American slaves. Thousands of
Nigerian-led peace keeping troops - as well as
countless rounds of regional diplomacy -- all failed
to end the fighting which killed some 200-thousand
people, the vast majority of them civilians.
A peace accord finally took hold, leading to
presidential elections two years ago which Charles
Taylor won. Since then, the Liberian leader has
surrounded himself with extremely heavy security.
Tensions have remained high between him and his former
battlefield opponents, some of whom have been accused
of plotting to overthrow the Taylor government.
11-Aug-1999 19:06 PM LOC (11-Aug-1999 2306 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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