300 Fighters Voluntarily Disarm In Liberia

By: J. Moses Gray

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted November 20, 2003

Ahead of the December 7 date set for the commencement of the disarmament of an estimated 40,000 combatants in Liberia, latest reports from the authority of UNMIL have revealed that some 300 fighters have voluntarily disarmed to the international peacekeeping force.

According to the UN Deputy SRSG for Operations and Rule of law in Liberia, Mr. Souren Serayderian, the 300 fighters disarmed to UNMIL recently.

Addressing a regular UNMIL called news conference yesterday in Monrovia, Mr. Serayderian told local and international journalists that of the number of fighters that disarmed, 240 combatants disarmed in ‘Compound Number One’ in Grand Bassa County, while the other 60 also disarmed in Nimba County.

Mr. Serayderian who addressed himself to a wide-range of vital issues relative to the comprehensive Accra peace accord, said all the 300 fighters are former GOL militias.
The UNMIL official quoted the fighters as saying that they chose to disarm ahead of the December 7 date because they were tired fighting, and secondly, there is no command structure for them.

Speaking further, Mr. Serayderian said the 60 former fighters that disarmed to UNMIL in Nimba were transported to Monrovia and are presently encamped at the Camp Schiefflin Military barracks near the Capital.

Also commenting on the comprehensive Accra peace accord, the UN official said the belligerent groups to the Liberian conflict have denounced violation of the cease-fire accord.

According to him, other groups have also condemned attempts by warring groups to gain more territories despite the signing of the Accra peace accord. He said UNMIL has asked violators of the cease fire to more back to their previous positions.

Propounding further, Mr. Serayderian told journalists that there has been fighting in Nimba County between the former government militias and forces of MODEL.

In a tough tone, Mr. Serayderian said, "we will not tolerate anybody hampering the peace accord and free movement of people."

Some armed men are still harassing civilians, Mr. Serayderian noted, saying that the act is violation of international laws and warned they will be brought to justice sooner or later.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.