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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

War Pauses for Holiday

ACCRA, Ghana () -- Five years into a war that has ravaged Africa's first republic and decimated the population, warlords have agreed to surrender their arms in what one mediator called "a Christmas gift to Liberians."

But it's a pact many Liberians fear could allow guerrilla leader Charles Taylor to launch a new siege of Monrovia, the capital. Many also worry that the accord, like many previous peace agreements, will fail to hold.

The United Nations estimates more than 150,000 people have been killed since fighting began Dec. 24, 1989, when Taylor's forces invaded from Ivory Coast, sparking a full-scale tribal war that now involves seven factions.