Guinea + 1 more

Liberia: Taylor accuses Guinea to Security Council for aiding LURD

MONROVIA, 25 February (IRIN) - Liberia has filed a nine-count complaint at the UN Security Council against neighbouring Guinea for "supporting a terrorist organisation" namely the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) to destabilise it.
In a letter addressed to the President of the UN Council dated February 18, President Charles Taylor said "the government of Guinea facilitated the establishment of LURD by permitting the recruitment, training and arming of Liberian refugees living in refugee camps in the territory of Guinea"

Taylor further said: "LURD combatants have been permitted to freely move in and out of Guinean territory carrying arms, ammunition and other supplies into Liberia, and to retreat into Guinea for refuge and medical care. The support to the LURD has been facilitated by a close working relationship between the Guinean Army and LURD officers and contacts at the highest level of the Guinean Government."

According to the Liberian government, Guinea's support to the LURD had "significantly contributed to the displacement of over a third of the Liberian population, which resulted into a major humanitarian crisis in Liberia". The LURD, it added, "committed atrocities resultinginto the killing, maiming, rape abuse and abduction of countless Liberians".

President Taylor's letter cited instances of LURD presence in Guinea as indicated in a report of the UN Panel of Experts of 11 April, 2002; the report of the ECOWAS Security Assessment Team of 14 June, 2002; the Human Rights Watch report Vol. 14 no.4(a) of May 2002; the International Crisis Africa report No. 43 of 24 April, 2002 as well as news reports.

The Liberian government said Guinea was in violation of several regional treaties and international resolution including Security Council resolutions 1343(2001) and 1408(2002), the Mano River Union Non-Aggression and Security Cooperation Treaty signed between Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in 1986, the ECOWAS Protocol on Non-Aggression, the African Union and the UN charters.

Liberia requested "the Security Council to take necessary urgent measures to end this destabilisation and destruction of Liberia in keping with its responsibility for international peace and security".

Guinean Foreign Minister, Francois Lonseny Fall, in an interview with Radio France Internationale on Wednesday however denied that his country supports LURD rebels.

Fall was quoted as saying "We are not backing the LURD at all. The LURD's headquarters is in Voinjama, in Liberian territory. The LURD is not the only group that is against President Taylor...85 per cent of Liberian politicians are in exile. We wish all Liberian politicians return home so that political life returns to normal."


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