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Title:Liberia: a human rights disaster: violations of the laws of war by all parties to the conflict: an Africa Watch Report, October, 1990
Author:Human Rights Watch. Africa Watch Committee
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Geographic term:Liberia
Subjects:civil wars
law of war
offences against human rights
Abstract:In the course of less than a year, Liberia has become a human rights disaster. All parties to the conflict, the Liberian Army, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of Charles Taylor, and the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) of Prince Johnson, have committed grave abuses of human rights against civilians, violating the humanitarian standards governing noninternational armed conflict. During a visit to Côte d'Ivoire from September 11-19, Holly Burkhalter, Washington Director of Human Rights Watch, interviewed newly-arrived Liberian refugees in Ivory Coast. This report is based on the accounts of these eyewitnesses. Africa Watch found that: the Liberian Army has killed civilians throughout President Doe's ten year rule; Krahn soldiers' widespread killing of Mano and Gio civilians in early 1990 set the stage for reprisals by the NPFL; the NPFL has committed widespread killing and torture of noncombatants, particularly Krahn and Mandingos; children under the age of 15 are serving with NPFL forces; undisciplined NPFL fighters are engaging in killing and looting; Johnson is himself implicated in the murder of civilians and he and his forces are responsible for the murder in custody of President Doe; Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast are in need of greater food and medical assistance from the international community. Africa Watch calls upon the USA, the UK and the EEC to help resolve the conflict in Liberia, and to provide greater assistance to victims both within and without Liberia. Notes, ref.