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Progress is made on Liberian peace agreement, but funding urgently needed - UN report

23 March 2005 Liberia's peace agreement is being implemented and major goals in the transition from conflict to fair elections have been accomplished, but the National Transitional Government needs additional funding to provide basic services and re-integrate former combatants, a report to the United Nations Security Council says.

"The main pillars of the transition process have been successfully erected, including the establishment and functioning of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, the conduct of disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) and the beginning of large-scale returns of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in the report covering the activities of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) from mid-December to mid-March.

Stable security exists in many areas and electoral preparations have begun, it says, adding that the international community should urgently provide resources for consolidation of the gains made so far.

"It would be tragic if this expensive investment were allowed to be undermined simply because of failure to provide the relatively modest resources required," it says.

Among the funds needed are $8.5 million for severance packages and pensions as the Government restructures the military and another $40 million to provide reintegration projects for former combatants, it says.

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