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Vol 43 No 4

Published 22nd February 2002

Rebels versus rebels

The Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebellion seems to have started in April 1999, when rebels attacked Liberia from Guinea. After more fighting in north-western Liberia in August 1999, a character calling himself 'Mosquito Spray' rang the BBC to denounce President Charles Taylor. The name seemed derived from that of the Revolutionary United Front commander Sam Bockarie, a Taylor ally who calls himself 'Mosquito'. More attacks followed. The LURD began to claim them in July 2000, when they captured Voinjama, in Lofa County, bordering Guinea. The county is home to many Mandingos and a logical place to launch an anti-Taylor rebellion. The LURD is not a national movement but overwhelmingly from Lofa County, controlling an ill-defined area around Kolahun.

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