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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Another Rebel Group Joins Fight Against Liberian President

Aired July 28, 2003 - 19:18   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Charles Taylor now -- moving on to Liberia. His grip on Liberia continued to slip today. A second rebel group seized control of Liberia's second biggest city, Buchanan, a crucial port city there and a vital channel for relief aid.
Now, the U.S. says it will not send peacekeepers in under the current conditions. Nigeria may do so on its own as earlier as this week.

And CNN's Jeff Koinange is in Lagos, Nigeria.

Jeff, it seems the much talked about cease-fire is the latest casualty, this war's second rebel group now has joined the hostilities. This has got to complicate the situation.

JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Anderson. It's bad news for the cease-fire, bad news for the peace process, bad news for President Charles Taylor.

This new group, Anderson, is calling themselves Movement for Democracy in Liberia, or MODEL.

And that second port city that he talked about is about 60 miles from Monrovia. And this rebel group has been operating mainly out of the Liberian Ivory Coast border.

Now, here is what's key. Once they control this city, they will be able to move towards Monrovia. And as they do, they'll be able to cut off the international airport. That means that any troop movement, any deployment, any aid coming in will be blocked off by this new rebel group.

Now, the other rebel group, the main one, called Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD, they're also making their push even harder for more control of Monrovia, so basically cutting off Charles Taylor. Any chance he has of escaping, of leaving, it is fast diminishing, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Koinange in Lagos, thanks for the update.

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