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Fri, 07.25.2003

Bush pledges support to Liberia

On this date in 2003, American President George W. Bush ordered an unspecified number of U.S. forces to be positioned off the coast of war-torn Liberia.

This was to assist West African peace keepers after artillery shells crashed into the U.S. Embassy compound and refugee-crowded neighborhoods around it, killing more than two-dozen civilians. The Liberian rebels declared another cease-fire shortly after the announcement. The White House statement also reiterated Bush’s insistence that Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is sought by a U.N. backed court for alleged war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone, "must leave."

Taylor, a warlord-turned-president behind 14 years of near continuous conflict in Liberia promised to step down when foreign peacekeepers arrive, but has hedged on those promises.

Reference:
The Associated Press
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