500 Liberian soldiers flee to Sierra Leone

By J. Moses Gray

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 24, 2003

Sierra Leonean Ambassador to Liberia, Patrick James Foyah has disclosed that 500 Liberian soldiers have fled fighting in Liberia into Sierra Leone.

Addressing a wide-range of issues of international concern, Ambassador Foyah yesterday said that the 500 soldiers are all personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), and that they are currently residing at the internment camp in Sierra Leone.

However, the envoy did not give the dates the AFL personnel fled the war in Liberia to his country.

A report monitored recently on the international wires said Liberian military personnel fled into Sierra Leone on separate occasions owing to the intense gun battles between rebel LURD forces and the Liberian government troops in northwestern parts of the country.

At present Amb. Foyah revealed that there are more than 50,000 Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, adding that their Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters

welcomed them with open arms.

According to the Sierra Leonean diplomat, Liberians and Sierra Leoneans have strong historical and natural ties that cannot be easily broken by mere rhetoric,

saying that the degree of these ties have been manifested by the hospitalities accorded by the two peoples during difficult times in the history of both


He said, "as you may recall that on June 20, 2003, President Charles Taylor in a phone-in radio broadcast accused the government of Sierra Leone of having full

knowledge and acquiescence of the participation of "kamajors" during the June 6 LURD rebels attack on Monrovia."

Amb. Foyah said assuming that some group of people calling themselves kamajors were arrested by the Liberian government forces fighting alongside the LURD rebels during the recent attack on Monrovia, it will be inaccurate to conclude that their participation was done with the knowledge and support of the government Sierra Leone.

He also said since the inception of the rebel war in the Mano River Union (MRU) basin, there are enough evidences of individuals and groups from the

sub-region that have actively participated as mercenaries in the destabilization of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.

Speaking further, Amb. Foyah noted the degrees of suffering his country experienced during the eight years bloody civil strive, and added that the civil

war in Sierra Leone was one of the most brutal civil war in the history of mankind.

He sued the occasion to assure the government and people of Liberia that his Government and the people of Sierra Leone will remain totally committed to the

peace process in Liberia and will continue to strengthen the deploy rooted ties between the two countries.

Concluding, Amb. Foyah said peace in Liberia is tantamount to peace in Sierra Leone.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.