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Sekou Damate Conneh Centre


JUSTICE - FREEDOM - UNITY - RECONCILIATION
PEACE - DEMOCRACY


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LURD
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy


LURD DESTROYED THE TERRORIST REGIME OF CHARLES TAYLOR;
LURD WILL RESTORE PEACE, SECURITY AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY IN LIBERIA;
BRAVO TO ALL THE FREEDOM AND PEACE LOVING-PEOPLE OF LIBERIA.


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Lurd HQ Bomi Hill
Sekou Damate Conneh
LURD administrator team
Lurd soldiers Bomi Hill

The destiny of the Liberian people was under serious treaths. Charles Taylor was not the right president - not for Liberians, not for any one. He brutally terrorised the Liberian people, destroyed their lifes and their homes, destroyed the whole country, and isolated Liberia from the international community. Gross violation of human rights, proliferation of security forces with no command structure and code of conduct, massive loot of the natural resources especially forest products, callous disregard for the needs of ordinary people has characterized the six-year rule of the Taylor government. The Government of Charles Taylor has put its fate in the hands of child soldiers, mercenaries from a number of countries and irregular armed groups known as “militias”. The reckless distribution of dangerous weapons to children without any structure of control sent a scary signal of total anarchy that turned against the government itself but most especially increased the vulnerability of ordinary people. The results were that Liberians have been harassed, tortured, raped, mutilated and killed. Men, women and children. And even if it was only one, it would have been one too much.

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Monrovia 2004
Monrovia 2004
Monrovia 2004
Monrovia 2004

Severe unemployment, amounting to 80% of the workforce, was the norm. Corruption was widespread. Ten years of lawlessness and misrule made Liberia a failed state. All social, political, economic, military, and cultural institutions have completely collapsed. What is left is a socially and politically broken nation-state. Our capital, Monrovia, is still lacking of properly functioning electricity, water and sewerage systems. All basic human needs are supplied through the international donor community, through church groups and through help from LURD. Most of the formal economy was controlled by Taylor or his close associates. Taylor's policies on human rights and fostering regional instability have prevented the international community from providing the support that Liberia desperately needed to adequately address the growing humanitarian crisis and to overcome its serious social and economic problems.

For the sake of the Liberian people and in its self-interest, LURD had to take tough, but we believe, essential steps to restore peace, prosperity, and democracy- to ensure our own survival. LURD could not wait any longer. Regardless of who took one step or another, we had to move forward, we were forced to take action, and we hope you will support us. The cost may be (too)great, but most importantly, the cost of doing nothing would undoubtedly be even greater for the citizens, and for the international community.

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Sekou Damate
LURD fighters
LURD shell
LURD soldiers

LURD's campaign against Charles Taylor was not only in the national interest but also of the sub-region and of major international importance. It was the only way to liberate the country, and attract the attention of the global community to Liberia. Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front forces were drawn from a reservoir of disgruntled youths from across West Africa. Some were ex-soldiers who had to flee their country after failed coup attempts. Taylor recruited most of his soldiers in Libya. His troops included Burkinabes, Ivorians, Guineans, Ghanaians, Gambians, Nigerians, Togolese, and Sierra Leoneans. Many former RUF fighters were integrated into the Liberian government forces and have been implicated in atrocities against Liberian civilians. Taylor’s army thus assumed a regional character right from the beginning. The civil war in Liberia has since engulfed the entire Mano River basin of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea including Cote d’Ivoire. Taylor succeeded to export its ‘new war’ to all countries bordering it. With the liberation process moving unabated and, the continued advances of LURD, the "myth" about the might of Taylor and his NPFL falled apart in 2003; and it was clear that Charles Ghankay Taylor got on a slippery path to doom.

Liberia’s political life has been driven by self-seeking political elites whose apparent aim in life was the presidency. In the previous elections the political parties attempted to form a coalition to contest the general elections in order to reduce Taylor’s chances of emerging victorious. That coalition did not see the light of day. They split into two groups again, not on any ideological basis but simply for and against Charles Taylor. Once Taylor was out the coalitions broke into fragments. Each party leader insisted that it is his/her term to become president in Liberia. This class is fast aging and seemed desperate to oust Taylor so as to improve their chances of tasting the sweetest cake in African politics. What is required is not a power but a leader. The Liberian people need a leader; not a leader that is obsessed with power, but imbued with the vision that will transform the people into masters of their own destiny. Liberia needs good leadership, the kind that can help it overcome the trauma of fratricidal warfare that has destroyed the unity and solidarity of the nation. Liberia needs a leadership that is not only as humble as it is powerful and tactful in urging all citizens to appreciate the necessity for encouraging individual and socio-political freedoms, but also to practice religious and ethnic tolerance. The leadership must be a relentless advocate of patriotic commitment to the maintenance of the country's peace, growth and development. Liberians deserve, and must demand this, and much more, from their leaders particularly at a time when premium must be placed on having the type of leadership that can efficiently coordinate the people's efforts in a genuine program of repatriation, reunification and reconstruction of our war-torn nation.

Although most eyes were only focussed on Afganistan and Iraq in those days - CNN, BBC, NBC, New York Times, Reuters, AFP, Washington Post and other media also started to cover the developments of the forgotten "war for liberation" in Liberia. Significant international focus was now on Liberia and pressure was being brought on the United States to demonstrate goodwill in the interest of its oldest friend in Africa. For the first time in the history of Taylor’s 6-year misrule civil groups were bold and daring to openly call for Taylor to step down. Even the heartless murderers of President Taylor could no longer quench such courage. Liberians and the international community have wakened up. The African Union, Ecowas, the United Nations, President Bush and Secretary General Kofi Annan finally understood that they had to act, and they did.

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SCharles Taylor's mansion
Peace & Harmony
The Constitution of Liberia
People watching Taylor's departure

With the help of the International Community, LURD sees a newly rebuilt Liberia on the horizon where the government provides a means to have public works to rebuild our cities, our water systems, our schools, our parks, and our public energy systems. LURD campaigned hard to liberate Liberia and to establish a Transitional Government. Major issues were re-instalment of peace and democracy. Freedom of speech, religion, and human rights. Freedom of press. Mutual respect and understanding: national, regional and international. It is time to smelt the weapons and build a new nation. A nation where people have jobs and education. With healthcare, values, generosity and a prosperous future.


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