Local News

Liberian Family Hopes To See Peace In War-Torn Homeland

Posted August 6, 2003 10:08 a.m. EDT

— The fragile peace in Liberia is a huge burden for refugee families in the Triangle.

Right now, Liberia is a country torn by civil war and ruled by a ruthless dictator, but Siechieh Redd recalls a different Liberia.

"We got out of school about 2, 2:30 or 3 o'clock to a peaceful environment," he said.

But when Redd was 9 years old, President William Tolbert was assasinated. He said his father knew peace was in the past.

"He had this very grave look on his face and he said I haven't seen this before and it was a sign of some very troubling times," he said.

Violence soon followed and several of Redd's relatives became casualties. He came to America on his own. His parents and grandparents were forced to leave during the 1990s as rebel forces closed in.

"When they came, they just started killing," said Bridgette Redd, Siechieh's mother.

"We had to flee for our lives," said Benedict Witteveen, Siechieh's grandfather.

Redd served in the Navy during the Gulf War. He said only American forces are capable of bringing peace to his war-ravaged homeland.