PRESS RELEASE of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD)

By Office of the National Spokesman and Chairman Strategy and Public Relations Committee
Voinjama, Lofa County, Republic of Liberia -- Official Policy Statement dated: May 9, 2002


With not much military resistance, the central Liberian city of Gbarnga, provincial capital of Bong County, along with a number of strategic towns in central Liberia have fallen to the gallant and decent forces of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). Gbarnga city fell last night to the strike force of LURD. Several of the boys conscripted in Monrovia to fight for Taylor have turned themselves over willingly to their brothers and sisters of the LURD saying, "We have been awaiting your arrival, and now we are very happy to join you in freeing our country from Taylor."

However, there are some of the ruthless ATU rebel soldiers of Taylor who are fleeing, leaving behind destruction in their path as usual. At the moment, there is widespread jubilation throughout Gbarnga City. Civilians, members of LURD's forces and their brothers who joined them this morning from the Taylor side are all celebrating.

Meanwhile, the National Executive Council (NEC) of LURD through the National Spokesman, assures the civil authority of Bong and Nimba Counties that they will remain in place and receive the full protection of LURD while carrying out the affairs of civil administration in their respective areas to serve the needs of the civilian population.
We in LURD want to reassure all Liberians and the international community that the ongoing liberation struggle is not against any tribe, group or individuals. All we want is for Charles Taylor to vacate the political leadership of the country because he has outlived his usefulness and has no constitutional legitimacy. His failure to comply with the mandate of the Abuja Accord through which he was selected by ECOWAS to serve as "President" of the country can no longer be condoned by the Liberian people whom he continues to victimize.

We call on all our Liberian brothers and sisters to rally their support around our just struggle, engage us at all levels, so that we can together shape the future of our country´s democratic and economic development process after Taylor's destructive regime of torture, rape and loot.

-- The End --

May 9th, 2002

© Robert W. Kranz  10-05-2002