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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Liberian Cease-Fire Deal Sees End to Taylor's Reign

ACCRA, Ghana -- Liberia's government and rebels signed a cease-fire on Tuesday to stop West Africa's bloodiest conflict and agreed that President Charles Taylor would eventually step down for a new administration.

The deal at talks in Ghana said full peace negotiations should be completed within 30 days. But it did not specify when the transition government should replace Taylor, who has been indicted for war crimes by a UN-backed court.

Taylor had previously offered to step down when his elected mandate ends in January.

Defense Minister Daniel Chea described the deal as a victory for the Liberian people, who have borne the brunt of nearly 14 years of conflict that have also spawned a tangle of regional wars and made Liberia a pariah state.

The deal, which was due to silence Liberia's guns from 1 a.m. on Wednesday, also provides for a team of monitors to mark out the ill-defined front line so that peacekeepers could deploy to prevent any return to war.

"We want to assure that we are truly committed to lasting peace in our country and assure that at the end of the day people will no more take guns because of grievances," said Kabineh Ja' Neh of the main LURD rebel group.

Cheering greeted news of the deal in the war-battered streets of the capital Monrovia. "We want peace, no more war," chanted crowds in the Duala district where fighting raged last week.

Despite the optimism, fighting over the past few days has raised doubts over how serious the belligerents are about ending the violence. More than a dozen deals were signed and broken during a seven-year civil war in the 1990s.