Influx of IDPs into Ganta

© The Inquirer Newspaper

With reports of serious fighting between LURD rebels and Government force in the central town of Gbarnga and its environs, in Bong County, thousands of displaced persons have fled to Ganta, the commercial city of Nimba County.

According to our correspondent, the displaced persons include elderly persons, women and children as well, who arrived with few of their personal belongings in bundles on their heads, and some domestic animals.

The IDPs, most of whom had to travel on foot, looked very tired and weary. Our correspondent said they started arriving in Ganta over the weekend.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no one in sight to care for the IDPs, some of whom are just found wandering anywhere across the street corners in the open, but few have been absorbed into some extended family homes. Some of the IDPs have headed for the interior of the county, our correspondent said.

The situation in Ganta has become so confusing that even the ban on public gathering seems not to be working, for you observe groups of people discussing anywhere in the street corners, nothing but the war.

About 5:45 pm on Tuesday, both residents and IDPs run helter-skeler when news broke out that the City was under attack by rebels! It however turned out to be false, our correspondent said.

The head of the Liberia Repatriation for Refugees and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), John Miaway could not comment when contacted, apparently due to the absence of any support to his office.

Meanwhile, up to present, the population of Ganta has continued to swell up with everybody expressing fear for their lives.

In a related development, the RTC Logging Company, which operates in the Sanniquellie Mahn District in the county, has closed down its operations, perhaps for fear as well.

No official comment has been issued but one source told our correspondent that they were heading for a Southeastern Region, while another source said, they were closing because of the pending rainy season.

Investigation continues.

The Inquirer - Wed. May 13, 2002

© Robert W. Kranz  09-02-2002