ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohammed Chambas said in Abuja Wednesday that arrangements had been concluded for Liberian President Charles Taylor to hand over power to an interim government next Monday.
"Taylor made an undertaking to abide by the Accra peace accord to relinquish power as soon as an interim government, devoid of forces loyal to the government or the rebel groups, is put in place," Chambas said.
He said the situation in Liberia had taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the last two weeks due to the violation of the ceasefire agreement by the Liberians United for Reconciliation andDemocracy (LURD) rebel group.
"Fighting, involving shelling of citizens settlements by the LURD forces has worsened the humanitarian situation," Chambas said.
He said that only a few humanitarian agencies had remained in Liberia due to the deteriorating security situation.
He noted that the arrival of the first Nigerian vanguard troopsin Liberia would pave the way for the deployment of other Nigeriantroops in the next few days.
A total of 3,250 peacekeepers, he said, were expected from the sub-region composite force (ECOMIL) that would be on ground beforethe United Nations finally takes over the mission in November.
Chambas said the mandate of ECOMIL included among others takingnecessary steps to guarantee security and free movement of humanitarian agencies.
"ECOMIL forces will put in place logistics for the coming of the stabilization force expected in November and also ensure compliance with the Accra peace accord," he said.
On the political front, Chambas said ECOWAS was working to create a conducive environment for disarmament, demobilization andrehabilitation in the country.
He said the transition government to be formed would be for twoyears to work out modalities for an inclusive government.