May 11, 1996 |
Ivory Coast officials, fearing a new wave of refugees, forced thousands of tired and hungry Liberians back to open waters despite concerns that their leaky ship is not seaworthy, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said. "We are very worried about the 4,000 Liberians on the boat," agency spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume said. "The conditions on the boat are appalling. The boat is damaged."
May 9, 1996 |
Rival factions battled Wednesday in the streets of Monrovia, the Liberian capital, pounding one another with machine-gun fire and grenades as peace talks outside the warring country collapsed. The talks in nearby Ghana were called off after most West African leaders failed to show. Even before the cancellation, there had been doubts the summit would succeed because Liberian warlords Charles Taylor and Alhaji Kromah refused to attend. Ghanaian President Jerry J.
May 7, 1996 |
U.S. Marines protecting the American Embassy in Liberia's capital opened fire again Monday, and sporadic shooting echoed throughout the city after the deadline passed for a truce promised by dominant faction leader Charles Taylor. In fact, hundreds of Taylor's militiamen and allies continued to pour into the city center Monday to increase their manpower around the besieged military training camp at the center of the battles.
May 6, 1996 |
Clouds of dark smoke billowed over this city Sunday as 2,500 Liberian refugees stood on the deck of a freighter, sadly singing a patriotic hymn and waving farewell as the ship inched away from the burning capital. Back on the streets, Monrovia was consumed by violence. Young fighters set dozens of homes and buildings on fire Sunday.
May 5, 1996 |
Rebels, many of them teenagers armed with machine guns, fought furious street battles Saturday, shattering hopes that the evacuation of warlord Roosevelt Johnson would spur moves toward peace. The fresh violence came one day after U.S. Marines airlifted Johnson to Ghana for peace talks. But archrival Charles Taylor vowed not to abandon his forces to attend the talks. And Johnson's men continued to fight without him. The warfare was the worst since a 10-day cease-fire crumbled on Monday.
May 4, 1996 |
The United States toughened its stance on Liberia, announcing that Charles Taylor and other warlords will be barred from U.S. shores if they refuse to engage in peace talks. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns also said Washington will consider other penalties if factional leaders do not try to halt the killing in Monrovia and attend a summit on the crisis set for next week in Ghana. Meanwhile, a U.S.
April 23, 1996 |
A U.S. delegation arrived in Monrovia to add its weight to efforts to bring a lasting peace after two weeks of fighting. Residents of the capital started returning home and cleaning up, while health workers battled to contain outbreaks of a disease thought to be cholera. Officials say the three-member U.S. delegation plans to stay until Thursday and meet the main players in the peace process.
April 20, 1996 |
A rebel Liberian faction whose showdown with a rival plunged Monrovia, the capital, into chaos agreed to a cease-fire and freed 78 foreigners trapped by the fighting. The foreigners' release was the strongest sign yet that the new truce might halt two weeks of fighting that prompted a U.S. military evacuation of more than 2,000 foreigners. U.S. Ambassador William Milan said a delegation from Roosevelt Johnson's Ulimo faction accepted the peace plan during talks at the U.S. Embassy.
April 17, 1996 |
Inside the kitchen of the U.S. Embassy in this battle-scarred West African capital, members of five different ethnic groups are working side by side. One Liberian pours pancake batter into a pan and hands it to the cook. Another is taking inventory. To his right, a man is writing up a receipt. To his left, the cashier is ringing up a bill. Together, they run the kitchen as smooth as grease--and nobody is quarreling.
April 16, 1996 |
Liberia's two most powerful militia leaders criticized the recent wholesale looting of the capital, Monrovia, and warned that culprits would be "shot on sight" starting at nightfall. The warning after a meeting between Charles Taylor and Alhaji Kromah followed a day in which gun and mortar fire crackled through the wreckage-strewn capital.