Wednesday, 30 July 2003

Monrovia (Fides Service) – “People are fleeing southwards as LURD (Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy) rebels advance a St John of God Hospitaller Brothers missionary doctor at St Joseph’s Catholic hospital in Monrovia tells Fides Service. “The area around the hospital is relatively quiet at the moment, people are still living in their homes, whereas in other parts of the city civilians have been forced to flee or take refuge in schools and churches” the doctor says. “But the supply of fuel for the hospital generator is running low and food and medicines are very scarce. The situation grows worse with each passing day”. “We are most concerned about the food shortage: soon we will be unable to feed our patients. Food supplies are blocked at the port which has been in the hands of the rebels for days” the doctor affirms.
“A few of our patients are being treated for wounds inflicted in the fighting but most of them were here before the outbreak of the conflict. Many others in need of hospital care are unable to reach us because of the insecurity on the streets”.
The St John of God Brothers Hospitaller Brothers, working in Monrovia since 1963, are guaranteeing continuing presence with dedication and courage.
Archbishop Michael Kpala Francis, at present in the United States to meet representatives of the United Nations and the American government, made a pressing appeal to the international community to intervene swiftly in Liberia. “People are dying while the international community hesitates and discussions if and how to act” the Archbishop said.
Stanley Sheriff, director of Caritas Liberia, reports that the organisation’s storehouses were looted and at least one Caritas worker was injured. LM (Fides Service 30/7/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 321)