Liberia: Urgent attention of Security Council on protection of internally displaced people is vital

Amnesty International calls on the Security Council to take the lead in calling on the international community to provide adequate protection and assistance to internally displaced people in Liberia.

Since April this year the instability in north-west Liberia has progressively worsened, reaching a point of crisis in recent days as over 20,000 internally displaced people have been forced to flee southwards, as fighting between government and militia forces increases.

Agencies on the ground describe these internally displaced people as "totally impoverished and without any protection" and are urging their "immediate relocation" to safer zones. The Liberian government is preventing their movement to safer areas close to the capital Monrovia, whilst at the same time failing to provide protection to them where they are.

Security Council action on this urgent matter would constitute a positive response to the clear recommendation in the UN Inter-Agency Report on West Africa, of March 2001 - the subject of yesterday's Security Council debate -which stressed "the importance of ensuring human rights protection at all times" and expressed "grave concern" about "the situation at the border between Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, including lack of access to the population and large numbers of refugees and internally displaced people".

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