June 12 2003
Highly tense situation around SOS Children's Village in Monrovia
12/06/2003 - The situation in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, is critical, even if President Charles Taylor and the LURD rebels have agreed a cease-fire, as was reported by the BBC. About 1,700 people from the neighbourhood have fled to the SOS Children's Village where children from SOS Children's Village Juah Town and from a private orphanage are also being accommodated.
According to a report from a co-worker in the SOS Children's Villages Regional Office for North West Africa in the Gambia, who is in constant contact with SOS Children's Villages Liberia, the situation in Liberia's capital Monrovia is critical. LURD rebel troops are about 5 km from the SOS Children's Village, where noises of battle can be heard. Out of fear of the fighting, people are again streaming into the town, the provision of supplies and accommodation for the refugees is in a state of chaos. All the schools and banks are closed and the public SOS Kindergarten and the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools have also closed.
In the SOS Children's Village itself, where at the moment children from SOS Children's Village Juah Town are also being looked after (see report from 10 June), the situation is relatively calm. Some relatives of co-workers have, for reasons of safety, sought refuge in the SOS Children's Village. 25 children and youngsters from a private orphanage have been accommodated in two classrooms in the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School.
On the evening of 12 June SOS-Kinderdorf International was informed that about 1,700 people from the whole neighbouring area have fled to the SOS Children's Village.
According to the latest reports, a delegation from the ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) arrived yesterday in Monrovia to give support to the peace negotiations between President Charles Taylor and the LURD rebels.