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
GBARNGA AND OTHER TOWNS IN LIBERIA FALL TO LURD´S FORCES
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