News24

Big Liberia arms cache near Ivory Coast

2011-06-30 21:00

Monrovia - Thirty-six people have been charged in Liberia in connection with the discovery of a large arms cache in a village near the border with Ivory Coast, police said on Thursday.

"A town chief identified as Augustine Darbo is charged with criminal facilitation while the others are facing charges of being mercenaries," according to a police statement.

The weapons stash, which included war weapons and ammunition, including Kalachnikovs and rocket launchers, was discovered in eastern Liberia in the U'gbo Barro district just over two weeks ago.

Police said the weapons were believed to have been sent to Liberia after a lengthy post-electoral crisis in neighbouring Ivory Coast which turned violent as former strongman Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in November polls to arch-rival Alassane Ouattara, who was sworn in as president last month.

Gbagbo was arrested on April 11 in Abidjan, after some 3 000 people died in the violence in which Liberian mercenaries were alleged to have taken part.

The police statement said the arms had been turned over to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (Unmil) to be destroyed.