ATTACKS ON RELIEF CAMPS IN LIBERIA LEAVE 4 DEAD, PROMPT THOUSANDS TO FLEE, UN REPORTS

From: UN New York, Apr 11 2003 06:00PM
© UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today that attacks on two camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Liberia have killed four civilians and displaced thousands more.

On 9 April, the Wilson and Jartondoh IDP camps, which are both located in Montserrado County, the same as the country's capital, Monrovia, were attacked by groups of armed men. Three civilians are known to have been killed in gunfire in Jartondoh camp and an elderly resident of the Wilson camp was killed when her shelter caught fire after a mortar attack.

The majority of Jartondoh camp's 18,000 residents have fled, as have many from Wilson Camp. At least one aid worker from a non-governmental organization (NGO) was injured in the attacks, others were forced to help the armed groups carry away looted items and two vehicles belonging to NGOs were stolen.

"These attacks on civilians are outrageous and are violations of international humanitarian law," said Carolyn McAskie, the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. "All parties to the conflict must ensure that attacks on civilians do not occur, and we call on the Government of Liberia to do everything in their power to protect civilians."


added by: Robert W. Kranz  April-2003