Five MERCI Nurses Show Up In Voinjama

(Press Release by LURD)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 29, 2002

Office of the National Spokesman
Liberians United for Reconciliation & Democracy (LURD)
Voinjama, Lofa County, Republic of Liberia
August 27, 2002

The five nurses working for MERCI, a UNHCR sponsor project in Liberia, have arrived in Voinjama, our administrative headquarters in Lofa County. We are asking all humanitarian organizations, particularly the UNHCR to proceed to Voinjama to receive up the nurses.

The nurses were never in any danger since they crossed over to the LURD-held territory. We are keenly aware of the life-saving roles these nurses played and continue to play even in the face of harassment by forces of the Liberian government at the time the nurses were duty-bound to serve needy people on both sides of the warfront.

We are therefore seeking to place the nurses in the hands of the representatives of an internationally recognized organization and in the presence of international reporters. Considering the valuable contributions these nurses have made in caring for displaced and injured people, we will not jeopardize their safety by allowing them to find their own way out of any country with which we have no official relationship. We are, therefore, appealing to the international community to send their representatives to Voinjama to receive these humanitarian workers.

We also want to take this opportunity to inform the world that we will not attend the August 24, 2002, "National Reconciliation Conference" called by Charles Taylor in Monrovia. We think the conference is a joke, but we are not amused. If Taylor is serious about reconciliation then he must resign, apologize to the Liberian people and leave the country. How can Taylor invite LURD for reconciliation in Monrovia when he cannot reconcile with those living with him there in Monrovia? Taylor has imprisoned journalists, activists and others to force them to be silent about his crimes against the Liberian people. Taylor is not only bad for Liberia. He is a threat to the entire West African sub-region.

Frontline Update:

LURD controls Suehne, Voinjama, Kolahun, Bopolu, Zorzor, Weasua, Fassama, and Sawmill. Fighting is continuing around Tubmanburg City.

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