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Liberia: UNHCR concern on security situation deterioration

Briefing notes

Liberia: UNHCR concern on security situation deterioration

10 May 2002

UNHCR is concerned about the deterioration of the security situation in Liberia following this week's fighting near the town of Gbarnga, in north-east Bong County. People are reportedly fleeing the area in large numbers. Some 900 students and teachers from the Cuttington University College, the second largest University in Liberia, were evacuated by a police convoy to Monrovia. Many people are said to be heading for Monrovia, but it is also feared that the continued fighting could prompt movements of refugees into neighbouring countries, particularly Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. UNHCR staff in both countries are getting prepared for this eventuality.

We do not currently have direct information about movement from existing camps for internally displaced people in the Gbarnga area. The people who are seen moving towards Monrovia are mainly believed to be residents of Gbarnga.

Yesterday, President Charles Taylor announced in a nationwide address that the city of Gbarnga was still under intensive fire from LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) dissidents.