LIBERIA: PRESIDENT TAYLOR MEETS REBEL GROUPS TO HALT FIGHTING AS GOVERNMENT TROOPS RETAKE THE CAPITAL MONROVIA.
- Title: LIBERIA: PRESIDENT TAYLOR MEETS REBEL GROUPS TO HALT FIGHTING AS GOVERNMENT TROOPS RETAKE THE CAPITAL MONROVIA.
- Date: 11th June 2003
- Summary: (W8) MONROVIA, LIBERIA (JUNE 11, 2003)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. SCU: LIBERIAN PRESIDENT CHARLES TAYLOR ENTERING CABINET ROOM IN LIBERIAN PRESIDENCY TO ATTEND MEETING WITH WEST AFRICAN MEDIATORS. 0.05 2. WS: MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT TAYLOR AND WEST AFRICAN MEDIATORS. 0.09 3. MV/PAN: GHANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, NANA AKUFO-ADDO (WHITE SHIRT) AND ECOWAS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MOHAMED IBN CHAMBAS (BROWN JACKET) MEETING WITH PRESIDENT TAYLOR 0.15 4. MV: KUFOUR AND CHAMBAS LEAVING PRESIDENCY. 0.19 5. SCU: SOUNDBITE (English) GHANAIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, NANA AKUFO-ADDO, SAYING: "We came here to meet President Taylor after having having spoken to the leadership of LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) in Conakry (Guinea) about the necessity of both sides to respect a ceasefire, even an informal one. We received assurances from President Taylor that on his side he intends to respect it and make sure that no more fighting, no more hostilities break out." 0.42 6. TRAVEL: PICK UP TRUCK ON OUTSKIRTS OF MONROVIA WITH SLOGAN ON SIDE SAYING 'GOT THAT?....NO LURD' 0.46 7. CU: FIGHTER WALKING ON ST PAUL RIVER BRIDGE CARRYING HEAVY MACHINE GUN AND AMMUNITION. 0.52 8. MV: GOVERNMENT FIGHTERS PASSING DEAD BODY ON THE ROAD. 0.56 9. WS: GROUP OF GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS WALKING PAST THREE BODIES. 1.00 10. MV: GOVERNMENT FIGHTER WEARING WOMAN'S WIG AND SUNGLASSES. 1.04 11. VARIOUS: OF GOVERNMENT FIGHTERS CELEBRATING PUSHING BACK FROM POSITIONS IN MONROVIA. (2 SHOTS) 1.14 12. MV/PAN: FIGHTERS IN CAR AND PICKUP TRUCK CHANTING LOYALTY TO PRESIDENT TAYLOR. 1.22 13. MV: HEAD OF LIBERIAN ARMY GENERAL BENJAMIN YEATEN LEADING HIS TROOPS IN A PRO-TAYLOR WAR CHANT SAYING: "Anybody says no more Taylor, we'll kill you like a dog. Anybody says no more Taylor, we'll kill you like a dog. Oh Ghankay, our leader! Oh Ghankay! our leader!" 1.34 14. MV: GOVERNMENT FIGHTER GUARDING CIVILIANS PASSING BY. 1.39 15. WS: TWO CIVILIANS FLEEING FRONT LINE PASSING BY DEAD BODY ON BRIDGE WITH SHOOTING SOUNDS IN THE BACKGROUND. 1.45 16. MV: FIGHTER WALKING SAYING 'WAR IS NO GOOD' AND BEING FOLLOWED BY THREE CIVILIANS. 1.55 17. WS: ATU (ANTI TERRORIST UNIT) CARS WITH SOLDIERS ON MAIN ROAD OUT OF MONROVIA. 1.58 18. TRACK: THREE CIVILIANS PUSHING OLD MAN IN WHEELBARROW. 2.07 19. MLV: A GROUP OF CIVILIANS FLEEING FROM THE FRONTLINE AND HEADING TO MONROVIA. 2.11 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA16HHRON6BQA6V8VV3EJS6IZ7W
- Location: MONROVIA, LIBERIA
- Country: Liberia
- Duration: 00:02:16
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Government soldiers loyal to President Taylor are in
the capital Monrovia but they oversee bullet-riddled cars,
smashed bottles, bodies, gaping holes in buildings, fallen
power lines, twisted iron roofs, and ever more civilians
trudging towards what they hope will be the safety of town.
"Anybody says no more Taylor, we'll kill you like a
dog. Anybody says no more Taylor, we'll kill you like a dog.
Oh Ghankay, our leader! Oh Ghankay! our leader!"
This is the song fighters loyal to Liberia's President
Charles Ghankay Taylor are belting out on the key Saint Paul
River Bridge, shortly after driving rebel fighters from the
sprawling suburbs of the capital Monrovia.
A corpse lies face down on the tarmac, shell casings
litter the bridge, and the jubilant fighters -- men, women and
children -- are still high on war.
"People thought coming to Monrovia would make us run.
Coming to Monrovia will make us stronger, it will make us
fight," said a commander known as "Bulldog".
The rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and
Democracy (LURD) punched through the city gates at the end of
last week, crossing the Saint Paul River Bridge and striking
fear into the hearts of Monrovia's residents.
They remember the carnage of Liberia's last civil war when
downtown Monrovia became a battle zone. This time the rebels
were repulsed before reaching the hilly centre, but the road
leading out of town is a trail of destruction.
A shot-up pickup truck stands by the road. "Got that? No
LURD," is sprayed in silver paint on the side. A few yards
away, a fighter is having his shoulder bandaged.
On the far side of the bridge there are more bloated
bodies, lying prone where they were felled by gunfire, their
black skin already turning white in the tropical heat.
Young fighters, some decked in women's wigs, one wearing a
blue police siren lamp on his head, stand guard by the road,
while their brothers-in-arms head off down dirt tracks to
flush out any rebel fighters hiding in the bush.
Some fleeing civilians said the rebels had simply pulled
back, but the soldiers are pleased the insurgents have gone.
And they will quickly tell you peace is what they really want.
Liberia has been blighted by civil war for much of the
past 14 years and many at the frontline have known little but
fighting and bloodshed since they came into the world.
But there is some hope. The Liberian government, LURD and
another rebel group are holding peace talks in Ghana and
Taylor agreed to halt hostilities on Wednesday, paving the way
for a ceasefire to be signed in the next few days.
"We hope the peace talks hold. Everybody is tired of war.
The civilians are suffering too much," said soldier
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- Embargoed:26th June 2003 13:00