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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
What happens next in Liberia?
Mohammed ibn Chambas, Secretary General of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), tells the BBC's Network Africa programme what the next steps are to end the fighting in Liberia.

When will a regional peacekeeping force arrive?

We are working very closely with the UN to put the first troops on the ground, no later than Monday 4 August.

How many troops will that be?

Two battalions from Nigeria will be 1500. The first battalion is already in Freetown as part of the UN force there. They will be joined by the second battalion later on in the week.

How is this all going to be funded?

With support from the UN. The US has also pledged $10m. And this [Ecowas] meeting today [Thursday] also calls upon member states of Ecowas to provide support for the force.

Mohammed ibn Chambas, Secretary General of the West African regional grouping, Ecowas
But is this enough funding? It has been said to keep enough troops in Liberia for six months, is going to cost $100m.

We will start with that amount. Everyone knows it's going to be a long process. There's an urgent task in hand. We'll start it and then see how the financing goes.

Once troops arrive, will Charles Taylor leave Liberia?

Yes, one essential condition to make progress on the political front is for President Taylor to fulfil what he has promised, mainly that he will step down and take up asylum in Nigeria. I have no reason to believe he won't do exactly what he has said he will do.

Will President Taylor face prosecution by the UN special court in Sierra Leone?

He's not going to Sierra Leone. He's going to Nigeria.

Who will replace him?

There is a constitutional process for succession in Liberia. That's what we hope will play out.

Will members of armed groups and the current government be excluded from the two top positions in the transitional government?

That is correct. The transitional government being negotiated in Accra will not be led by any armed groups - that means members of the present government and the rebel groups.

That is not the process that will be immediately triggered with the resignation of President Taylor.

He will resign and handover to his successor, according to the Liberian constitution. It is that successor that the transitional government referred to in the Accra talks will take over from.




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