LURD Says it “Controls Gbarnga, Takes Klay And Advances On Monrovia”
Posted May 12, 2002
There are reports of fighting in Klay and Tubmanberg. Jonathan Paye-Layleh (AP) quoted Liberia's Defense Minister Daniel Chea as saying that both Klay and Tubmanberg were "on fire." Journalists trying to travel to the area where the fighting is taking place were not allowed by government forces to go beyond the Po River Bridge. In a press release issued today (May 12), Forces of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) dissidents group say they are in complete control of Gbanrga. LURD says it has also taken Klay. Claims and counter-claims in this war cannot be independently verified.
Below is LURD's statement issued on May 12, 2002:
Office of the National Spokesman
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD)
Voinjama , Lofa County, Republic of Liberia
May 12, 2002
LURD Controls Gbarnga, Takes Klay And Advances On Monrovia
News report by the Monrovia NPFL /NPP rebel regime of Charles Taylor that Gbarnga is no man's land is untrued and misleading. LURD's forces are in full control of Gbarnga and surrounding towns in Bong County, central Liberia. We are now pursuing Taylor's ATU rebel soldiers and foreign mercenaries at the notorious Gbatala sub terrorist base in upper Bong County towards Monrovia.
Meanwhile, our Executive Marines troop is advancing heavily on the Liberian capital Monrovia by way of Klay, in Bomi County. Suehn district, Klay and nearby towns are under LURD's control.
At the moment, Po River, a few miles from Brewerville, an outskirt of Monrovia is under serious military attack. We are capable of over running Monrovia, but our defense staff is analyzing possible means in getting Taylor while reducing civilian casualties in Monrovia.
Taylor's forces are on the run and at the same time committing atrocities against the civilian population. We condemn this behavior and call on the international community to ask Taylor and his bandits to stop same. We also appeal for humanitarian assistance for civilians in all parts of the country.
We call on all officials of the Taylor regime to be calm. We assure them of maximum security protection and freedom as Liberian citizens. We do not want them and will not permit anybody to harass them. They are Liberians and will be accorded every respect as enshrined within the Liberian constitution.
We call on all civil servants that their jobs will be secured. We ask all those responsible to maintain law and order to go about their normal duties but operate within the confines of the Laws of Liberia. We advise civilians to try by all means to be indoor regularly and avoid the streets because Taylor wants to fall with many people in his grave.