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Peace Corps to Return to Liberia After Nearly 19 Years


The United States Peace Corps says it will send volunteers back to Liberia next week for the first time since 1990.

In a statement Wednesday, Peace Corps director Ronald Tschetter announced that 12 new volunteers will be sworn in during a ceremony Monday in Liberia's capital, Monrovia.

He says some will mentor administrators trying to revive Liberia's teacher training program, while others will work with libraries, high schools, parent-teacher associations, and health care.

The Peace Corps says more than 4,400 volunteers served in Liberia between 1960 and 1990. The program was suspended due to the Liberian civil war.

With the country enjoying a new period of peace and stability, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had requested the Peace Corps re-establish its program.

Tschetter says the first group of volunteers will serve eight months, ending their service in June 2009. He says he expects another 22 volunteers to join the program by the end of next year.

Tschetter says the program will be monitored over the next few years to see if it can be evolved into a regular two-year program for Peace Corps volunteers.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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