The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

"On the possibility of deploying ECOMOG troops for direct policing of Liberia-Sierra Leone border, General Shelpidi said the human and material resources required for realistic and effective monitoring could be very enormous, more so in view of the porosity of borders in Africa. He said the international community could still do a lot to help the situation by prevailing on Liberian authorities.

Briefing the United Nations envoy on the activities of ECOMOG generally, the force commander informed him that three of the participating country's contingents, namely Nigeria, Ghana and Guinea, are currently deployed in Liberia and Sierra Leone. He said the force is also preparing for Guinea-Bissau as they are only awaiting the outcome of the report he has already submitted to ECOWAS secretariat on the plans for operations in that country.

The major problem now facing ECOMOG according to General Shelpidi is the issue of insufficient troops as many countries that promised contributing forces are yet to fulfil despite repeated assurances from them. This situation is being compounded by the inadequacy of logistics which is one of the problems discouraging some of the willing countries from performing.

Although there have been encouraging promises of support from the international community, not such has been forthcoming despite repeated reminders especially within the last five months. He noted that since logistics is very crucial for any meaningful operation, the pledges made by donor countries has become indispensable and needs to be redeemed in order to enhance the performance of ECOMOG.

Continuing, General Shelpidi said ECOMOG has been cooperating with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and occasionally contributing its ideas and experience in support of the activities of the organisation.

He however observed that there is a need to foster better spirit of understanding between the non-government organisations, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross and ECOMOG, saying they could do better by being more transparent and removing the grounds for suspicion on activities in relation to the rebels."

Now, Mr Taylor, what do you say about this allegation being made in December by General Shelpidi?

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