MONROVIA -- A first batch of 173 Ugandan soldiers arrived Friday to join the West African peacekeeping force assigned to disarm Liberia's warring factions.
The Ugandan troops, led by Brig. Gen. Ivan Koreta, proceeded to their temporary headquarters in the port city of Buchanan, 65 miles (95 km) east of Monrovia.
Under a peace agreement signed in July in Benin, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe are to provide 850 troops each to expand the West African force sent to Liberia in Aug. 1990.
The troops are to disarm the country's warring factions and pave the way for free and fair democratic elections scheduled for later this year.
Liberian rebel groups have been fighting a civil war for four years.
A spokeman for the West African force, Maj. Emmanuel Olabiyi, said Friday that a seven-man Zimbabwean military delegation is due in Liberia over the weekend to finalize plans for the movement of their troops.
There are 628 Tanzanian troops already stationed in the country.