Maryland University Students Threaten Court Action Against MODEL Rebels

By Josephus Moses Gray
Monrovia, Liberia

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

June 16, 2004

Students from the Liberian southeastern county of Maryland enrolled at the University of Liberia, under the banner of Maryland University Student Association (MUSA), has threatened legal action against the MODEL rebels, if it fails to halt all forms of inhumane treatment against the peaceful residents of their county.

In a released issued in Monrovia, the students in a strongest term denounced MODEL’s maltreatment of their people, adding that the peaceful residents of the county on a daily basis were being subjected to rapes, harassments, intimidations, floggings and force labor, and other forms of inhumane treatments.

The Maryland University students wondered if Maryland County is not part of Liberia and noted that they are troubled and disappointed over reports of uncivilized acts against their people by MODEL rebel forces still active in the county.

The students further revealed that their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children currently residing in the county are "living in hell", saying that there are harsh conditions characterized by increasing lawlessness, arbitrary and reckless violation of the rights and freedom of the suffering people of Maryland County.

The chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant is a native son of the county but since the seating of the transitional government in October 2003, the Bryant Government has failed to protect the people of the county, leaving them in the hands of MODEL rebels.

In their statement, the students lashed out at the UN Secretary-General Special Representative to Liberia, Ambassador Jacques Paul Klein and Maryland County MODEL representative to the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA), Mr. Adolphus Wallace, for failing to stop MODEL rebels from maltreating the people of the county.

The students in the statement also took Ambassador Klein to task and said that they are disappointed over Ambassador Klein recent statement made on the UN run radio station in Monrovia that UNMIL troops have been deployed across the country and that security has improved immensely.

Presently, the UN peace keepers in Liberia are deployed in Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Bong, Margibi, Bassa and parts of Gbarpolu, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties, while Maryland, Grand Kru, River Gee, Sinoe, Rivercess counties are still under MODEL rebels control.

In another development, contrary to denial by MODEL appointed Acting Superintendent of Maryland, Boi Bleajlu Boi (the spokesman for the MODEL group) admitted yesterday that their forces are harassing the people of Maryland. He said six MODEL fighters have already been arrested in the county for inhumane treatment administered to civilians. Boi Bleajlu Boi then asked the people of Maryland to forgive MODEl. He also called on UNMIL to deploy forces in the county.