Liberia

Liberian President Charles Taylor has reacted angrily to the United Nations sanctions imposed on his country on Monday, describing it as "unfortunate and not in the best interest of Liberia and the entire sub-region." He said: "We know that certain countries are bent on seeing that this government leaves office, but the Liberian people will stand united." But how long this "unity" will hold is anyone's guess.

Amnesty International today called on the Liberian government and armed opposition groups based in Guinea immediately to end abductions of women, children and other civilians.

Thousands of Liberian troops have been sent to the country's troubled northern border with Guinea where the rebels control a number of towns. Officials said the troops had launched simultaneous counter-attacks on the rebel held towns of Foya, Kolahun, Vahun, Voinjama and Zorzor.

Four Liberian journalists from an independent Monrovia daily newspaper are due to go on trial today charged with espionage following an article that accused the government of profligate spending on helicopter repairs and Christmas cards.

Guinean President Lansana Conte has refused to meet Liberian counterpart Charles Taylor over rebel attacks on Guinea which Conte says are backed by Liberia.

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