Twenty-five Journalists Victimized by Fighting in Monrovia Need Helping Hand
We, the war-affected Liberian journalists, write to acquaint you with the chaotic and desperate conditions that we are presently faced with owing to the fighting in Monrovia between Liberian government troops and rebel forces.
As a result of the hostilities which claimed over 500 innocent persons' lives in Monrovia, the administrative seat of Liberia, 25 Liberian journalists including practicing journalists and editors of both print and electronic media are displaced in the various parts of Capital.
The situation we, the suffering and displaced media practitioners, find ourselves in presently is very grave, chaotic, pathetic and above all, beyond human imagination. We have been reduced to nothing and living on "hand-out". What a shameful and disgraceful situation we find ourselves in! Each and everyone of us has been victimized and seriously experiencing the consequences of the war.
Can you imagine that we are finding it very difficult to sustain ourselves and family? We have been the "bread winners" for our family members but that status can longer exist due to the situation that we find ourselves thereby making lives unbearable for us and our families. We have lost everything in our lives, leaving us at the mercy of Almighty God.
Some of our professional colleagues said they have not been able to find a meal for three (3) days and only living on water while others can openly be seen walking in the various streets of Monrovia with shower slippers on their feet. Some of us have not been able to change either shirts or trousers for a week.
Three of our colleagues lost their family members while one of the member fainted in the crowded Carey Street of Monrovia early last week and almost die. He was however rushed to a local hospital where he was ably treated and later discharged. Frustration can be seen on our faces and a need for assistance cannot be over-emphasized.
Inspite of our pathetic situation, which we find ourselves in, we vehemently remain uncompromising in the discharge of our professional obligation to the society, holding on to the journalistic principles and ethics.
Since the onset of our grave and chaotic situation, no institution or organization in Liberia have rendered us any assistance, apparently because we have resolved not to support their cause and interests, something we vowed never to do, as it is better for us to maintain our independence.
Sir/Madam, it is against this backdrop that we write to appeal that you render us the best possible assistance, aimed at alleviating our plights and improving our welfare. Without doubts, you are the right and best persons to save us from this condition. We are counting on you; please "Help Save A Life".
During the fighting, the rebels succeeded in abducting an investigative Liberian journalist of the independent NEWS Newspaper, Bobby Tapson, while another reporter of the independent INQUIRER Newspaper, Patrick K. Wrokpoh lost his mother who was shot dead by an armed militia in New Kru Town on Wednesday.
Other independent journalists such as J. Moses Gray, David Targbe, J. Kaba Williams, etc are unable to locate their family persons. The Monrovia fighting has displaced over 100 thousand persons.
For journalists like Philip Moore, Kaba Williams, Charles Asumana among others' homes were set ablaze by unidentified persons while the rest of the journalists' homes have suffered massive and systematic looting.
The 25 Liberian journalists include David Targbeh of the West African Media Network; J. Moses Gray, President of the University of Liberia Press Club/Editor, The INQUIRER Newspaper; Albert Jaja, National Chronicle Newspaper; Khalifa V. Sheriff, Program Coordinator of the UL Press Club/Senior Producer, Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS); Wilmot Kayou, reporter/LBS; Isaac C. Yeah, News Editor, Ducor Broadcasting Corporation (DC 101); and Stanley McGill, reporter, the Independent NEWS Newspaper.
Others are Emmanuel Mondaye, Senior reporter, The INQUIRER Newspaper, Patrick Wrokpoh, The INQUIRER, I. Solo Kelgbeh, Sports Editor, The INQUIRER, Charles Crowford, reporter, The INQUIRER; Sorbor George, reporter LBS; Joe Watson, LBS; Philip Moore, Editor-In-Chief, Independent Newspaper and Augustine Choloply, catoonist, The INQUIRER.
The rest are Timothy Seaklon, News Editor, The INQUIRER, Alex Togba, ANALYST Newspaper; Ignatius Roberts, National Chronicle Newspaper and Charles Asumana, Typesetter, The INQUIRER Newspaper.
As we anticipate a successful reply from you, we send you our warmth love and best greetings.
J. Moses Gray
COORDINATOR/War-Affected Liberian Journalists