SECRETARY-GENERAL “VERY PLEASED” WITH UNITED STATES
DECISION TO POSITION “APPROPRIATE MILITARY
CAPABILITIES” OFF LIBERIAN COAST
NEW YORK, 25 July (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General was very pleased to learn that today, President Bush has directed the Secretary of Defence to position “appropriate military capabilities” off the coast of Liberia, in order to support the deployment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forces to that country. The Secretary-General believes that this is an important measure, which should accelerate the deployment of the ECOWAS forces and the subsequent multinational forces to stabilize the situation in Liberia. The Secretary-General calls on other Member States in a position to do so to join the United States in providing the necessary support, on an urgent basis, to facilitate the early deployment of ECOWAS forces.
The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the ongoing hostilities in Liberia, particularly in Monrovia, where indiscriminate shelling has resulted in a large number of civilian casualties and the fighting has created an acute humanitarian crisis. The Secretary-General calls upon the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the forces of the Government of Liberia to cease hostilities immediately and to cooperate in the deployment of the ECOWAS forces and in facilitating the delivery of much needed humanitarian assistance.
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