Background: In August 2003, a comprehensive peace agreement ended 14 years of civil war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who was exiled to Nigeria. The National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) - composed of rebel, government, and civil society groups - assumed control in October 2003. Chairman Gyude BRYANT, who was given a two-year mandate to oversee efforts to rebuild Liberia, heads the new government. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which maintains a strong presence throughout the country, completed a disarmament program for former combatants in late 2004, but the security situation is still volatile and the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country remains sluggish.
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