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Aid, access to western Liberia cut off due to heavy fighting - UN

Aid, access to western Liberia cut off due to heavy fighting - UN

Humanitarian crises in the West African region continue to mount in the aftermath of Côte d'Ivoire's five-month civil war as the United Nations reported today that intensified fighting in western Liberia has cut-off humanitarian access to huge numbers of displaced people.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the displaced - mostly women and children fleeing ahead of fresh clashes in the area - continue to stream into camps in and around Monrovia, Liberia's capital.

With access to humanitarian staff and goods cut-off, aid agencies already in these camps have been left to deal with the influx. As of last Wednesday, they have recorded a total of 5,881 persons arriving from Dewoin district in Tubmanburg, Mecca/Suehn and villages across the Po river. The numbers are increasing, OCHA said.

Sierra Leonean refugees and Liberian displaced persons sheltering outside the capital, meanwhile, have fled the camps in which they were staying.

Militias are reportedly harassing and robbing the fleeing populations of their valuables. Arriving displaced mothers are also reporting missing children. Meanwhile, OCHA says that rebels, in retreat, have reportedly abducted a number of persons from Cheesemanburg.

Teams led by representatives of non-governmental organizations and aid agencies in the camps are continuing to register new arrivals and provide them with food and non-food items, as well as health care, and family tracing services.