June 25 2003
Fighting near SOS Children's Village Monrovia: refugees continue to stream in
26/06/2003 - The situation in Liberia's capital Monrovia has worsened dramatically. After the failure of the cease-fire between president Charles Taylor and the LURD rebels, there is now also fighting in the city-centre, as well as near to the SOS Children's Village. More than 5000 have already fled to the SOS Children's Village, and the stream of refugees shows no sign of abating.
According to BBC reports, the cease-fire and peace negotiations made two weeks ago (see report from 12 June 2003) failed after President Taylor refused to retire before the end of the year. This in turn led to troops from the LURD rebel faction forcing themselves into the capital where heavy fighting has now flared up.
There is also fighting near SOS Children's Village Monrovia. The stream of refugees nevertheless shows no sign of abating. According to reports from a co-worker from the Regional Office of SOS Children's Villages for Northwest Africa in Gambia, who is in constant contact with SOS Children's Villages Liberia, there are more than 5000 refugees in the SOS Children's Village, including children evacuated from the country's second SOS Children's Village in Juah Town (see report from 10 June 2003).
The SOS co-workers on the ground are doing their best to maintain calm and order within the village. Refugees that arrive are having their luggage checked for weapons. Despite the extremely difficult situation, everyone who is taken in continues to be provided with all the basic food and medical supplies they need.