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Tens of Thousands of Residents and Internally Displaced People Trapped by Fighting In Grand Cape Mount, Liberia

MSF Team Forced to Withdraw for Security Reasons

New York, November 30, 2001 — Deteriorating security conditions in the Grand Cape Mount province, in southwest Liberia have forced Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to pull out its team from the Jenne Manna camp, leaving some 8,000 internally displaced persons without adequate medical assistance.

The MSF team at Jenne Manna consists of two international volunteers and 40 Liberians, and has been providing medical and nutritional assistance to the displaced population since the resumption of fighting in the Upper Lofa region last May.

Since August 2001, violent clashes between armed groups have increased both inside and around Jenne Manna. MSF believes that these zones are no longer adequately secure for MSF staff nor for the population.

MSF has already been forced to suspend its activities several times for security reasons. Today, considering the rapid deterioration of the situation, MSF has had no choice but pull its teams from Jenne Manna and to terminate its programs. Medicines and other relief goods have been left with health professionals living in Jenne Manna so that they can continue some work. But now, cut off from adequate assistance and trapped between armed groups, these people are left with no protection.

MSF again calls, for the second time since August, for concrete measures to be taken to guarantee the security of civilian population.