Belligerent Groups Still fighting In Central Liberia



The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted October 7, 2003

Reports reaching Monrovia from Central and Northern Liberia say the respective forces of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia(MODEL) are still attacking positions of government forces in Nimba County.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), quoting a commander of the GOL ‘Strike Force’ in the area, thousands of civilians are said to be on the move as a result of the renewed rebels attack.

The Strike Force commander said forces of LURD attacked Sokopa on the border with Bong County, while MODEL is also fighting government troops in Marley in north-eastern Nimba County close to the border with the Ivory Coast.

The GOL commander said people are leaving Palala from northern Bong County into Nimba, while those in the conflict area are moving towards either Guinea or Ivory Coast.

He said civilian casualties is high in the area and noted that he has since informed Defense Ministry authorities in Monrovia about the situation in the county.

Since the signing of a cease-fire agreement in Accra in June of this year, there have been reports of numerous violations among the parties to the Liberian conflict.

In a related development, parties to the Liberian conflict constituting the Joint Monitoring Committee are expected to meet today on the Bushrod Island, in Monrovia.

The parties which comprise the Movement for Democracy in Liberia(MODEL), the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD) and the Government of Liberia(GOL) will be meeting at 12:00noon.

According to United Nations Secretary General’s special representative, Jacques Paul Klein, today’s meeting will discuss among other things the security situation, confidence building measures and arrangement for the 14th October governmental transition.

The meeting which will be chaired by the United Nations Mission in Liberia(UNMIL) Force Commander Gen. Opande is also expected to iron out the security differences.

The meeting comes following the recent shooting incident in the Red-light area between LURD and forces of the Government of Liberia (GOL), when LURD’s Chairman Sekou Damante Conneh was on his way to meet with President Moses Z. Blah.

The visit which was a confidence-building one turned sour when someone allegedly began throwing stones at the LURD leader’s convoy in the Red-Light area, towards President Blah’s Omega Station residence.

The incident resulted in the death of several persons and brought businesses in Monrovia and its environs to a standstill.

In response to the Wednesday, October 1 shooting incident, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Jacques Klein warned violators that they will not go unpunished for such acts.

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