August 28, 2008

Liberia: Ex-Rebel Leader Blames Former President’s Forces for Massacre

Text of report by independent Liberian Star Radio on 27 August

[Report by Matthias Daffah: "Ex Rebel Leader Denies Bombardment on Graystone"]

The Ex-leader of the disbanded LURD [Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy] rebel movement Sekou Damante Conneh says Charles Taylor's forces launched all the rockets that hit Graystone.

Mr Conneh told the TRC [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] hearings Wednesday his forces launched eighty-one millimeter rockets, which were, not strong enough to hit Monrovia.

He said it was absolutely impossible to fired rockets from the Free Port to hit targets at Graystone, Sinkor and other parts of the city.

The former LURD rebel leader also denied reports that his forces were engaged in a looting spree in areas controlled by them.

He however admitted that his forces looted the Free Port of Monrovia and facilities in the Bushrod Island area to feed desperately hungry people.

On the reported massacre allegedly carried out by his men in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County, Mr Conneh said it was not brought to his attention.

Responding to commissioners' questions, Mr Conneh on many occasions refused to identify LURD's source of funding.

Originally published by Star Radio, Monrovia, in English 0000 27 Aug 08.

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