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Nigerian Peacekeepers Hope to Move Into Liberian Rebel-Held Areas As Soon As Possible


Nigerian peacekeeping troops, who moved into government-held parts of the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on Thursday, are looking to move into rebel-held areas as soon as possible. But concerns over President Charles Taylor's plans are complicating the situation.

Leaders of the regional peacekeeping force are planning another meeting with rebel officers to work out the peacekeepers' deployment in the rebel zone.

The discussion with the rebels is crucial to improving the humanitarian situation in the city, because the rebels continue to hold Monrovia's seaport. Some emergency food and medical supplies have been flown into Liberia, but larger quantities will have to be brought in by ship to meet the city's needs.

But the rebels are reluctant to give up their positions, until President Charles Taylor leaves the country. On Thursday, Parliament accepted his plan to resign next Monday. But he will not say exactly when he will leave the country. Mr. Taylor wants U.N. war crimes charges against him dropped before he leaves.

Jubilant Monrovia residents greeted the peacekeepers on Thursday, hoping they will help restore peace to Liberia, after 14 years of civil war.

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