- Title: LIBERIA: HUNGRY LIBERIANS STORM PORT FOR FOOD
- Date: 14th August 2003
- Summary: (W5) MONROVIA, LIBERIA (AUGUST 13, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. SLV PEOPLE CARRYING FOOD AID FROM PORT; SLV CIVILIANS LOOTING FOOD FROM PORT; SLV PEOPLE WALKING AND CARRYING BAGS OF FOOD AID ON THEIR HEAD (7 SHOTS) 0.39 2. SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED CIVILIAN, SAYING "I have no control in the area, they have to go and get food and eat. We don't know what the arrival date for food will be for them. The people who cannot be here, we have to come to the port to share the food. We have to give to them. So now, I have to go, I don't have to explain to you. Until it arrives, all these people here aren't going to eat until it arrives." 1.00 3. TRACKING SHOT PEOPLE GATHERING AND LOOTING; SLV CROWDS THROWING STONES / RUNNING AWAY FROM MEN WITH GUNS; SLV LURD REBELS TRYING TO STOP LOOTING; SLV CROWDS FLEEING AROUND A CEMENT WALL (5 SHOTS) 1.47 4. SLV ARMED WOMAN WALKING INTO FIELD AND PREPARING WEAPON; (AUDIO GUNFIRE) PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH FENCED ALLEY; SLV ARMED REBEL WOMEN TAKING AIM WITH WEAPON (3 SHOTS) 2.13 5. SLV MEN BEING CHASED INTO AREA WHERE THEY ARE HIT BY REBELS WITH THEIR GUNS 2.27 (W4) MONROVIA, LIBERIA (AUGUST 13, 2003) (REUTERS) 6. AV CHINOOK HELICOPTER FLYING ABOVE MONROVIA; AV BLACK HAWK HELICOPTER FLYING ABOVE MONROVIA 2.57 7. SLV / MV U.S. EMBASSY WITH AMERICAN FLAG OUTSIDE 3.09 8. MV U.N. RELIEF CO-ORDINATOR CAROLINE MCASKIE WALKING 3.15 9. SOUNDBITE (English) U.N. RELIEF CO-ORDINATOR CAROLINE MCASKIE, SAYING "Well the short-term challenge will be to stabilise the humanitarian situation of the people and the second-biggest challenge will be to help the Liberian rebuild and that's a longer term. And Mr. Klein is, I know, looking at a period of at least two years and putting in place a U.N. structure to help Liberia re-build over two years. But both these things depend very much, as you yourself have said, on the security situation." 3.45 10. AV HELICOPTERS FLYING 3.58 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 29th August 2003 13:00
- Location: MONROVIA, LIBERIA
- Country: Liberia
- Reuters ID: LVA94IEMMQEOW0JMUOUJBY0MPUE3
- Story Text: Hungry Liberians storm port for food
Hungry Liberians stormed into Monrovia's port to grab
food on Wednesday (August 13, 2003) as rebel fighters packed
up to hand it over to United States (U.S.)-backed West
African peacekeepers and pull out of the battered capital.
New President Moses Blah said fighter planes from a
floating U.S. task force would soon start patrols to help
bring peace, after the flight into exile of pariah leader
Charles Taylor raised hopes of an end to nearly 14 years of
The rebels have promised to pull out of the port on
Thursday (August 14) to allow food shipments to hundreds of
thousands of famished people in a city where recent
fighting left 2,000 dead.
But hundreds of people could not wait.
Men, women and children scrambled through containers
and ripped open sacks in a frantic search for any aid
stocks still left. Rebels fired shots in the air to halt
the chaos, panicking looters for cover with bags of
cornmeal on their heads.
Civilians have been the main victims of untrained young
fighters on both sides, who delight in murder, rape and
pillage and are still dug in along the front line cutting
through a city where the smell of death lingers.
Liberians would love to see U.S. troops intervene in a
country founded by freed American slaves but Washington is
wary of any deep involvement. Memories are still sharp of
the bloody U.S. debacle in Somalia a decade ago.
Blah said after a meeting with the U.S. ambassador that
fighter jets would soon start patrolling the skies.
Three U.S. warships are anchored off the capital
Monrovia with a 2,300-strong Marine task force and U.S.
Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters could be seen flying over
the capital and landing at the U.S. embassy in on Wednesday
(August 13). So far, Washington has said the only prospect
for intervention would be small groups of Marines, maybe
five or six-strong, to help with aid.
A senior United Nations humanitarian official, who
arrived to help coordinate relief for the war-wrecked city,
said the U.N. was looking at a two-year plan to rebuild
"Well the short-term challenge will be to stabilise the
humanitarian situation of the people and the second-biggest
challenge will be to help the Liberian rebuild and that's a
longer term," Carolyn McAskie told Reuters. "But both these
things depend very much, as you yourself have said, on the
Fresh fighting by another rebel group near the second
city of Buchanan on Tuesday came as a grim reminder that
Taylor's departure would not mean instant peace.
Peacekeepers rolled out of town to head off any further
Taylor, an ex-warlord accused of stirring regional
conflict and wanted by a U.N.-backed war crimes court in
Sierra Leone has begun exile life in Nigeria's southeastern
city of Calabar.
Blah, his former deputy, is scheduled to step down in
October for an interim leader to guide Liberia to the first
elections since Taylor was elected in 1997 after a first
round of war left 200,000 dead.
Blah has offered the rebels the vice-president's job as
an olive branch to reunited the country.
But the rebels say he is just another of Taylor's old
cronies and doubts remain over exactly how and when
Liberia's bitterly divided warring factions and politicians
will pick a replacement at ongoing discussions in Ghana.
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