Liberian Women Demand Peace

Last week, over 800 women marched through Monrovia, Liberia demanding peace in their West African country. Leymah Gbowee, the organizer of the protests, stated that “the women of Liberia will no more allow ourselves to be raped, abused, misused, maimed, and killed,” reports the Independent. The protesters are demanding the disarmament of the fighters who have treated women as spoils of war during the 14 years of civil war.

According to Amnesty International, despite the peace agreement set in August, women continue to be raped. “War made [Liberian] women the spoils of conquest” as Charles G. Taylor fought his way to the presidency, as rebels tried to oust Taylor, and now as soldiers continue to fight in the countryside – far from where the United Nations peacekeepers are stationed, reports the New York Times.

Amnesty International is urging the current government in Liberia to publicly condemn the continuing abuses against civilians. Amnesty is also urging that the current peacekeeping force be expanded and be deployed beyond Monrovia to provide security.

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Amnesty International 11/24/03; New York Times 11/20/03; Independent 11/21/03; Human Rights Watch 10/9/03

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