Liberia bulletin – 26 August 2003
27-08-2003 Operational Update
Latest report on ICRC activities in the field
The situation in Liberia remains unstable, despite last week's agreement on the country's political future. Thousands of civilians fled as fresh fighting broke out near Liberia 's second city of Buchanan on Saturday 23 August. And on 25 August several thousand people arrived in haste at the IDP camps north of Monrovia after fleeing fighting in the town of Gbatala, about 100 kilometres north of the capital.
Relief supplies flow in
On Tuesday 26 August a cargo aircraft, chartered by the British Red Cross, landed at Monrovia's Robertsfield airport with eight vehicles for the ICRC, along with one vehicle and various supplies for the Liberian Red Cross. This was the second such flight to be organized by the British Red Cross.
It followed the arrival on Saturday 23 August of a cargo aircraft chartered by the Norwegian Red Cross, carrying 38 tonnes of food and non-food supplies.
The ICRC plans to send a larger consignment of relief supplies by ship from Freetown in Sierra Leone.
Field activities expanding
The ICRC is continuing to expand its operations outside Monrovia, reaching areas that had been off limits for a long time. Surveys have recently been carried out in the south-eastern town of Zwedru, controlled by MODEL (by a team based in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire), in Buchanan and in Tubmanburg, a town held by the LURD.
The ICRC, which works closely with the Liberian Red Cross, has more than 300 staff in Liberia. The number of expatriates – currently 25 – is expected to increase as more locations become accessible.
Virginia de la Guardia, ICRC Monrovia, tel. ++377 47 528 089
Juan Martinez, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 22 81 or ++41 79 217 32 17