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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 13:25 GMT
Liberia probes 'inflated bills'
A child soldier in the streets of Monrovia
Donors have pledged funds to rebuild Liberia after the civil war
Investigations have been launched into allegedly inflated travel expenses for officials of the new transitional government in Liberia.

A report by parliament says that MPs have spent some $470,000 on plane tickets in just three months.

Ministry officials and airline agents have been summoned before a probe team.

The international community has pledged more than $500m to help reconstruct Liberia after 14 years of civil war.

Infrastructure

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Monrovia says travel agents have blamed the high cost of ticketing on the fact that most officials prefer to fly on expensive airlines.

Gyude Bryant is leading a power-sharing government which includes two rebel groups, civilian political parties and loyalists of former President Charles Taylor.

Recently the government approved a budget of some $2million for a three month period.

Correspondents say the high travel costs are threatening allocations to other government operations.

There is relative stability in Liberia at the moment but the country desperately needs financial aid to rebuild infrastructure destroyed during the civil war.

The financial report tabled in parliament revealed that up to $58,000 was spent to pay tickets for five people to attend the recent Liberia donor conference in New York.




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