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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Eyewitness: Monrovia 'living hell'
Kate Wright and her daughter are among some 250,000 refugees in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.

She told BBC News Online how she is coping as fighting between rebels and pro-government forces nears the city centre.

We spent Sunday night in a wet and cold building along with about 50 other refugees.

It was raining heavily, we had no food to eat and there was intermittent shelling for most of the night.

Liberian children
The war has separated many children from their parents
We huddled together and prayed that we would see daybreak.

This was a replay of the kind of life that I have had to cope with since I arrived in Monrovia from Virginia in eastern Liberia.

On Saturday, shells landed close to my cousin's house in the neighbourhood of Tucor International Hotel, killing four people and injuring many others.

We do not know the fate of the injured - some may have died later.

A similar incident took place on Friday night when shells landed in a nearby school compound.

When I fled to Monrovia from Virginia I lost contact with my family, including my son.

As the shelling intensified on Sunday night, my son was constantly in my thoughts.

I wish I knew his whereabouts, his condition.

I keep praying and hoping that he is all right.


Monrovia is a living hell because almost all the basic necessities are difficulty to come by.

Here we have a shortage of food, a shortage of water, a shortage of medicines, a shortage of everything that a human being needs to survive.

Medecins Sans Frontieres has been providing medical services to the most vulnerable groups, but it is impossible to provide the services to everyone who needs them.

We know that they are stretched, so civilians are dying because they cannot access basic medicines.

I would like to leave Liberia and settle in another country but that is not possible now.

I have no money and I would hate to leave my children in the midst of this chaotic situation.

Everything that we owned has been looted - even the beds. We sleep on the bare floor.


For now I am hoping that a ceasefire will hold.

We need a ceasefire to hold, it must hold to enable us to live.

The war is senseless.

They are all fighting for their own selfish interests and it is now time that common sense prevailed.

The majority of the residents of Monrovia want the American troops to come in and restore peace.

We are depending on the Americans... they are our last hope.

The BBC's Jane Bennett-Powell
"Both sides say they will not give way until peacekeepers arrive"


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