The Bulgur Wheat Attack

By A Correspondent

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 14, 2003

The attack on Jah Tondo displaced camp was once again attributed to LURD. The fact of the matter is that on that Wednesday afternoon April 9, 2003, the World Food Program distributed food among the displaced people in that camp. The Taylor's militia boys were around at the time of the distribution of the food items, which included bulgur wheat, flour, sugar, etc.

Some people overheard the militia as saying that since they are fighting and there is no pay for them, they would take the food items from the displaced people and sell them. The plan for the attack was hatched right around the displaced camp and, suddenly there was shooting around the camp. The militia commandeered two pickups to transport the looted food items. One of those pickups belongs to an international NGO, OXFAM. The other pickup was apparently for a private person. This particular pickup was found abandoned in the heart of Monrovia. Up to press time, the OXFAM pickup was not yet seen around.

The looting was not only limited to the poor displaced people. Other victims included Fatu Giddens White of the Finance Ministry, the Superintendent of Montserrado County, Daniel Saydee who heads the National Food Assistance program, to name a few. Daniel Saydee was on radio Veritas this morning to say that it was not LURD that looted his house. If it is not LURD as the government claimed, then it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that government security forces were responsible. Just as the Global Witness report indicated, some of these so-called LURD’s attacks are the work of Taylor’s militia. This time around, some key functionaries of the government are also affected - though not severely as the hapless displaced people who have nowhere to turn.

Many Liberians do not buy the government version of the attack - they feel that LURD could not have attacked the Camp and fled the area with the looted food items because the road from Monrovia to Bomi Hills is sealed by government security forces that are stationed at the Po River. Besides that, LURD could not have driven the other pickup that was abandoned to central Monrovia. Even some government officials here are embarrassed over the incident. But this is the repercussion of having so many armed militia boys roaming the city and towns of the country without any control.

Meanwhile, Liberians here see the need for people to rally around Global Witness report and begin instituting class action against the characters involved. Benoni Urey, Emmanuel Shaw, Cyril Allen, Jenkins Dunbar, etc., are people whose names were left out. Once people focus their attention on Taylor alone, the rest of the team players will tend to relax.