Powell: Bush to make Liberia decision in a few days
Bush heads to Uganda next
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Watch Leon Harris' reports daily at 11:30 a.m. EDT and the CNN Presents program "African Journey" at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday.
Leon Harris talks with an Anglican priest about his life with AIDS in Uganda.
CNN's Charlayne Hunter-Gault on Bush's visit with South Africa's Thabo Mbeki.
CNN's Candy Crowley on two advisers persuading Bush to give Africa a higher priority.
CNN's Chris Burns on Bush's defense of his decision to go to war with Iraq.
PRETORIA, South Africa (CNN) -- President Bush will decide in the next few days whether to send U.S. troops to Liberia to enforce a cease-fire, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Thursday.
Powell said Bush is looking at how the United States can assist in the transfer of power as Liberian President Charles Taylor steps down, but Bush has not yet made any decisions about the level of support or whether combat troops will be involved.
A U.S. team in Liberia has "just about finished its work" to determine what is needed, Powell said. (Full story)
West African nations plan to send 1,000 troops to Liberia within two weeks, negotiators meeting in nearby Ghana said Wednesday.
"I expect that over the next several days, as we finish the assessment in Monrovia and get that report and the military assessment team has been working with ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] over the weekend, the president will be in a position to make a decision," Powell said. (Powell on Liberia and other African issues)
Bush has urged Taylor to step down to end the long civil war in his country. Nigeria has offered him exile and promised that he won't be turned over to face war crimes charges if he "will remain quiet" and refrain from interfering in his homeland's politics, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said Wednesday. (Full story)
Obasanjo said it's his understanding that Taylor is willing to accept exile only on the condition that he not be turned over to face a war crimes trial in Sierra Leone.
Bush is spending the night in Pretoria and will head to Uganda Friday for a brief visit during which he will meet with President Yoweri Museveni and later tour the Taso AIDS clinic and patient support center.
Thursday, Bush met with Botswana's President Festus Mogae and praised his dealing with the AIDS epidemic.
"Botswana, as a result of the president's leadership, is on the forefront of dealing with this serious problem," Bush said during a joint news conference with Mogae. "We are working to put a strategy in place to treat people and prevent and provide help for those who suffer."
The U.S. leader chose Botswana as part of his five-nation African tour because of the traumatic toll AIDS has taken on the country that is a little larger than France.
The United Nations says the southern African nation has the world's highest population of AIDS victims, estimating some 30 percent of Botswana's population between the ages of 15 and 49 are infected. As a result, life expectancy in Botswana is between 35 and 40 years old.
During his meeting with Mogae, Bush highlighted a five-year, $15 billion U.S. initiative to combat the spread of AIDS in Africa.
There have been questions over how much of that money will actually get to Africa, and how quickly it will arrive.
Bush also was scheduled to tour the newly dedicated Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub, a U.S.-backed trading center for African exports, and Botswana's Mokolodi Nature Reserve.
Bush will finish his African tour with a visit Saturday to Abuja, Nigeria.
Wednesday in South Africa, questions persisted about Iraq and the intelligence the United States used to press the case for war in Iraq.
Bush refused to be drawn into the controversy over the discredited allegation that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Africa. Bush used the claim in his State of the Union address in January. (Full story)
A Bush administration official said the president not would have included the information in his speech if his advisers had known it was false. Other U.S. officials said the White House had a report citing a former U.S. ambassador confirming the intelligence was bogus.
Bush said Wednesday that he was "absolutely confident" in his decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world peace, and there is no doubt in my mind that the United States, along with allies and friends, did the right thing in removing him from power," Bush said at a news conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Bush and Mbeki also said the two countries had the same vision for Zimbabwe. The United States wants South Africa to exert its influence to remove Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe from power.
Mbeki previously has warned the United States against giving the impression that it is directing South Africa on what to do.
Bush kicked off his visit Tuesday in Senegal, where he recalled the evils of slavery and pledged to use the U.S. history of overcoming injustices to help improve and empower African nations.
White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.