UN: Liberia Rebels Fight Still

News and Press Release
Originally published

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- U.N. officials discovered dozens of fresh graves Monday in western Liberia, evidence that rebels may be violating a cease-fire signed last week.

More than a dozen other cease-fires also have failed to halt the 7-year-old civil war, which has killed more than 150,000 people. Liberia's six warlords are still jockeying for power before they disarm their 60,000 combatants.

Villagers in Sinje in western Grand Cape Mount County said between 25 and 42 people -- mostly women and children -- were slaughtered Saturday by unidentified men.

U.N. officials took several wounded civilians and 10 severely malnourished children to Monrovia, the capital, for medical care.

''An 8-month-old girl ... in a barbaric and cowardly act, had her right foot cut off,'' said a statement from the U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs. ''The targeting and killing of civilians is a blatant violation of international humanitarian laws.''

It was unclear which rebel group was responsible for the massacre. Commanders of the rival Ulimo-K and Ulimo-J factions signed a cease-fire agreement last Tuesday to end fighting in the West African country.

A similar cease-fire signed three weeks ago by the leaders of the rival factions, Alhaji Kromah and Roosevelt Johnson, also failed to end the fighting.

=A9 Copyright 1996 The Associated Press