Following weeks of bloodshed in Liberia, CAFOD welcomes long awaited signs of movement from the International Community towards restoring peace but stresses that the urgency of the situation cannot be understated. Last night the United States tabled a draft United Nations Security Council resolution authorising a peace enforcement force to enter Liberia immediately. Under the draft resolution the peace mission would, reportedly, be granted a mandate to use force if necessary. CAFOD believes that such a mandate is essential if the mission is to be effective. The news comes as a fact-finding mission from the West African ECOWAS union arrives in Monrovia. It is understood that the UN would, if the draft resolution is passed, underwrite some of the costs of the Nigerian troops who are preparing to enter Liberia first. While welcoming the news of the draft resolution, CAFOD once again stresses that for every day that the International Community dithers, lives are being lost in Monrovia. CAFOD Liberia programme officer David Baines said: "The utterly desperate state of the Liberian situation cannot be underestimated. People in Monrovia have nowhere to hide from the chaos of the fighting and for the thousands who are wounded there is only one hospital still open which is completely overwhelmed. "There is very little food left in the city, prices have spiralled and there is no clean water. Cholera is reportedly taking hold in the city and could easily spiral into an epidemic unless order is restored extremely quickly. "Our partners in Monrovia are struggling against enormous difficulties to protect children made homeless by the fighting. Every time we make contact with them, they tell us that the situation is getting more desperate by the day. This draft resolution must not be left to gather dust if those children are to stand any chance of surviving the current chaos. The Security Council must meet immediately and back the US proposals."
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