Liberia: Western-Backed 'Rebels' Massacre 1,000 Civilians -Report

David Quarter davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Mon Aug 25 00:21:55 MDT 2003


From:       Rick Rozoff     	


---------------------------
http://www.ptd.net/webnews/wed/dr/Qliberia-
massacre.RxtS_DaO.html

Up to a thousand villagers feared killed in Liberian
massacre


-Citing a witness who had fled the assault at Bahn, in
Nimba, 250 kilometres (150 miles) north-east of the
capital Monrovia, local public radio reported that
MODEL rebels had stormed the town, opening fire on the
local population before disappearing back into the
surrounding forest.
The attack left a thousand people dead, the witness
said.


MONROVIA, Aug 25 (AFP) - Many civilians were killed
and villages torched in a massacre in Nimba county
north-east of Monrovia, a senior Liberian military
official told AFP late Sunday.

"I have received a report from our security officers
that many villages there had burned down and that
there have been lots of massacres," said General
Benjamin Yeaten, deputy head of the government army.

"My understanding is that there was a massacre but we
are not exactly sure how many people have been killed,
it could be a hundred, it could be a thousand," he
added, without saying who the perpetrators were.

He did say that the two main rebel groups in the
country, Liberians United for Reconciliation and
Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in
Liberia (MODEL), had carried out attacks in Nimba in
recent days.

Citing a witness who had fled the assault at Bahn, in
Nimba, 250 kilometres (150 miles) north-east of the
capital Monrovia, local public radio reported that
MODEL rebels had stormed the town, opening fire on the
local population before disappearing back into the
surrounding forest.

The attack left a thousand people dead, the witness
said.

"Our information is sketchy. We know there are
fightings in the area, both LURD and MODEL. LURD is
fighting in Bong county and MODEL fighting in Nnimba,
so it's difficult to know who is who," said
information minister Reginald Goodridge.

There has been sporadic fighting since the government,
MODEL and LURD signed an accord on August 18 to put an
end to 14 years of nearly uninterrupted civil war in
Liberia.

Thousands of Liberians fled fighting south of Monrovia
Sunday after reports of skirmishes between rebels and
government forces.

Ross Mountain, the UN special humanitarian coordinator
in Liberia, said up to 10,000 people were on the move
after reports of fighting near Harbel, 65 kilometres
(40 miles) south of Monrovia on the road to Buchanan.

Buchanan, the country's second port city, has been
under the control of Liberia's second rebel group
MODEL, since the end of July.

Meanwhile, the main rebel group LURD urged the
international community to put pressure on troops
still loyal to exiled president Taylor to pull out of
Monrovia to allow humanitarian agencies to work in the
capital.

LURD also accused the government fighters of violating
a ceasefire agreement by allegedly infiltrating the
lines of peacekeepers and arresting LURD soldiers.

Taylor stepped down earlier this month and agreed to
leave the country for exile in Nigeria, bowing to
international pressure.








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