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Fighting In Northeastern Liberia Threatens Displaced People - 2003-08-20

The humanitarian group, Doctors Without Borders, says fighting northeast of Monrovia is threatening the safety of 60-thousand displaced people. This despite this week’s signing of a peace deal.

The group says the displaced people are in the Maimu, Totota and Salala camps in Bong County, some 45 kilometers from the frontline. Pierre Mendiharat is the head of mission in Liberia for Doctors Without Borders. From Monrovia, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the situation.

He says, “There has been no general food distribution in these camps since mid May and people are surviving on cassava foraged in the surrounding bush.” He says the group has sent assessment teams to Tubmanburg in Bomi County, Bo Waterside in Grand Cape Mount County, Zwedru in Grand Gedeh Coumnty and Buchanan in Grand Bassa County.

Mr. Mendiharat describes these as “areas of Liberia that have been cut off from humanitarian aid for months and have virtually no access to medical care or sufficient food or water.”

In Monrovia, the aid group says it is still caring for thousands of people who had sought shelter in the city’s Doe stadium weeks ago. But he says the food situation has improved and fuel is now available.

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