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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Liberia school closes after riots
A school will not be reopened in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, after United Nations police broke up a riot by pupils and parents.

They were protesting about the school's failure to open at the start of the new term two weeks ago.

The building's owner refused to allow classes to resume until rent was paid.

Now landlady Michelle Hassanin says even if the rent is paid, she will not allow the school authorities back because of Wednesday's violence.

"A school is a business, none of us is running a charity here," she told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme, explaining that was she still waiting for last year's rent.

"Even if they pay the money they owe, they will not use the compound again because every year there is some kind of violence and some kind of confrontation," she said.

Mrs Hassanin denied protesters claims that she wanted to let out the building to interim President Gyude Bryant, whose official residence is next door.

A UN spokesman told the BBC they had fired tear gas at the crowd because the demonstration was turning violent.

More than 15,000 UN troops are in Liberia - backed up by a police force of about 1,000 making it the largest peacekeeping force in the world.

A transitional government including former rebels was created last year at the end of a 14-year civil war.


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