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VOA on the Scene:  Monrovia Citizens Welcome Peacekeepers - 2003-08-07

Peacekeeping troops from Nigeria have moved into Liberia's capital, Monrovia, to try to help end 14 years of civil war.

VOA's Alisha Ryu was at a key junction on the road from the airport into the city as the peacekeepers went by, to a huge welcome from thousands of war-weary Liberians. She brings us this report from the scene.

They're shouting, "We want peace! We want peace!" And there is absolute pandemonium going on here right now. There is a great deal of excitement, of course, they have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.

They think the [peacekeeping] soldiers' presence here will stabilize the country, so they can finally get back to some sense of normal life.

I'm looking down the street. There are some more cars coming down. There are some more Nigerian peacekeepers coming down the way. People are now chasing after the armed personnel carriers that just went by.

They have tremendous hope that the Nigerian peacekeepers will have some sort of an impact. There is still a great deal of uncertainty, but at least with the peacekeepers here, the Liberians do feel there is some degree of strength behind the international community's will to bring some stability to the country, and I think this is what they are celebrating."