Get the low down on
credit card offers.
Free games and
demos for your PC.
Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in Internal Conflicts
Fighting between the Government and LURD intensified during the year, and was exacerbated by the emergence of a second insurgency, MODEL, during the early part of the year. Most towns with significant populations experienced conflict, including Ganta, Gbarnga, Tubmanburg, Greenville, Buchanan, Zwedru and Harper. The fighting culminated with three LURD incursions on Monrovia from June through August, marked by intense urban combat that killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and MODEL's occupation of Buchanan at the end of July. Thousands more were displaced during the fighting, and serious health and sanitation problems arose in the greater Monrovia area as established camps for IDPs were disbanded and persons crowded into Monrovia. As of year's end, the Government was only in control of places UNMIL has deployed, including the Greater Monrovia area, Tubmanburg, Gbargna, and parts of Nimba County. At year's end, humanitarian organizations reported continued frequent skirmishes between the former government fighters, LURD, and MODEL irregulars throughout the countryside, most seriously in Nimba County. No perpetrators were arrested or convicted for any killings connected to the conflict.
Until June, there continued to be credible reports that government forces, particularly the ATU, as well as members of the Lorma ethnic group, continued to harass, intimidate, detain, and kill member of the Mandingo ethnic group and other suspected LURD supporters.
There were numerous unlawful civilian killings committed during the year by security forces and rebel elements. These killings increased as the fighting spread throughout the country. During the year, government armed elements and uncontrolled rebels killed an undetermined number of civilians, who were suspected of being government or rebel sympathizers respectively, by shooting them, burning them alive, or cutting their throats. Some soldiers killed civilians while looting their villages. Human rights monitors reported that abuses included torture and rape.
On December 9, predominantly armed government irregulars that left Camp Schieffelin during an UNMIL disarmament exercise killed at least five persons during a 5-day looting spree. Those killed were believed to have been looters. No investigation occurred by the NTGL by year's end.
There were no further developments in the 2002 attack by alleged government security forces on Kiatahun who reportedly burned 65 of the 125 abducted civilians alive in a house in Lofa County.
There were reports that MODEL rebels killed civilians in Greenville and Harper after capturing these towns from government forces. MODEL fighters summarily executed scores of civilians believed to be government sympathizers. MODEL fighters also reportedly kill officials of Taylor's National Patriotic Party (NPP). MODEL fighters were also reported to have killed persons in River Gee County on suspicion of being members of the progovernment River Gee Defense force.
Rebels were responsible for numerous killing during the year. For example, Between July 21 and August 11, LURD forces occupying Bushrod Island allegedly killed, in public, several persons they believed were members of government security forces. Witnesses also reported seeing a number of bodies in the streets of Bushrod Island that appeared to have been killed deliberately, as opposed to accidentally during fighting. On August 6, three bodies were seen near Vai Town Hardware stores, in the southern end of Bushrod Island, an area firmly under LURD control. One body had been stripped, the hands were bound with wire, and there was a bullet wound in the back of the head. The other bodies were clothed but there were gunshot wounds in the head. On August 8, there were several bodies floating in the water at the port, which was under LURD control, and one in a warehouse. There are unconfirmed reports of a far greater number of such alleged deliberate killings in areas controlled by LURD during that period. All appeared to have been shot in the head or back. LURD did not produce investigation reports regarding these matters by year's end.
On August 22, LURD-affiliated ex-combatants allegedly killed General Moses Fayiah Senneh of former President Taylor's forces in Logan Town, on Bushrod Island.
There were numerous attacks on IDPs and IDP camps during the year. Between March and June, government irregulars and LURD elements repeatedly raided IDP camps in the Western suburbs of Monrovia. Humanitarian organizations reported that civilians were killed in some of these raids. Neither the Government nor LURD has investigated these matters.
On July 21 and 25, mortar rounds dropped in a foreign Embassy compound killed IDPs, including women, children, and elderly persons. One foreign Embassy employee, James Koryan, was killed in the attack. The bodies of those killed were piled in front of the Embassy to draw the attention of the international community for assistance in ending the crisis.
In June and July, mortars apparently launched by LURD elements on Bushrod Island, landed in Greystone compound in the Mamba Point neighborhood, killing numerous displaced persons and other civilians that had sought refuge in the compound and surrounding environs. LURD, which was employing mortars in its combat against government forces, denied the attacks and blamed them on government forces stationed in the nearby Ducor Hotel.
On July 25, LURD rebels launched mortar shells that landed on the Newport High School campus, which housed several hundred IDPs. Eight IDPs died and several others were injured during the 10-minute span when more than 30 shells landed around the Newport Street and Mamba Point areas. Several others were killed in various locations by the shells.
On July 25, 25 persons were killed in and around a Holiday Inn on Carey Street in Central Monrovia where 200 hundred civilians had gone to seek refuge, according to Holiday Inn owner Mr. H.M. Jawary.
On July 26, mortars fell on Greater Refuge Church in Monrovia where an estimated 300 persons sought refuge. Five persons were killed and several persons were injured.
Civilians were killed during fighting between government and rebel forces. For example, on October 1, five persons were killed during a firefight between security and LURD forces in the Paynesville and Red Light neighborhoods of Monrovia, following an attempt by President Blah and LURD Chairman Sekou Conneh to meet at Blah's residence. The meeting never occurred. Afterwards, LURD and government forces exchanged recriminations regarding who bore responsibility for triggering the incident. Neither the Government nor LURD has investigated further.
At times, it was difficult to determine who was responsible for killings. On February 28, unknown assailants killed Emmanuel Sharpolu, Musa Keita, and Kaar Lund, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) humanitarian aid workers, when their vehicle was ambushed in Grand Gedeh County near Toe Town. The Government and rebel officials exchanged recriminations regarding the deaths. Despite heavy international pressure, the Government took no action by year's end.
Sexual violence and rape was common. In August, within 1 week, 40 women and 20 girls reported being raped in the Samuel Doe Stadium in Monrovia, where as many as 50,000 IDPs lived. The perpetrators often entered the camp disguised as displaced civilians. One local NGO reported that between June 5 and August 27, they treated 626 victims of rape. In northern Bong County, the rape of young boys reportedly was on the rise.
NCBuy Home |
About NCBuy |
Members Center |
Site Map |
Link 2 Us|