‘Security forces pursuing Liberians in house-to-house search in Ivory Coast’
MONROVIA – Since the recent gunning down to death of three men believed to be Liberian mercenaries in neighbouring Ivory Coast, the current security status of Liberians residing in that country is reportedly volatile, Womenvoices newspaper has learned.
Prior to their demise, the men believed to be Liberian mercenaries allegedly launched an armed attack on a military barrack in the Ivory Coast.
The Liberian Community in Ivory Coast has alarmed over the current security status of Liberians residing in Cote d’Ivoire.
A communication which Womenvoices is privy to, written by Adam Fahnlon Gweemei, the National President of the Liberian Community in Cote d’Ivoire, addressed to the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia, divulged that Ivorian security forces are currently pursuing peaceful Liberians through a door-to-door search in communities where Liberians are believed to be dwelling in Ivory Coast.
“Right now the Ivorian Government security is moving from house-to-house to arrest peaceful Liberians that are living here for many years doing their normal businesses and working,” Gweemei alarmed in the communication.
The National President of the Liberian Community in the Ivory Coast lamented in the communication that the security situation of Liberians in Cote d’Ivoire is becoming deplorable on a daily basis to an extent that Liberians can no longer go about their normal activities.
Gweemei added that Liberians are being intimidated, harassed and even incarcerated by members of the Ivorian security forces since the occurrence of the alleged armed attack on the military barrack in Ivory Coast.
“Words are inadequate to express exactly what we are going through. Our families are going through a lot of difficulties as we Liberians are been searched for everywhere in this nation. The remaining of us who are still alive is in hiding,” the National President of the Liberian Community in Ivory Coast wrote.
He called on the Government of Liberia through the Liberian Embassy in Ivory Coast to provide protection for Liberians residing in Cote d’Ivoire.
Gweemei is urging that both governments of Liberia and Ivory Coast, and nationals of the two countries maintain the cordial relations subsisting between the both nations for the betterment of the two neighbors and their peoples.
It can be recalled that the Government of Liberia through its Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) has since denounced and condemned any act which disrupts the peace of its neighbors and the region as a whole.
The Government in a recent statement issued reiterated its commitment to ensuring that no inch of its territory would be used as a launching pad for insurrection in any country.
Government at the time said it had initiated contacts with its Ivorian counterpart in order to determine the full extent of the reported incident. Additionally, both governments have committed to strengthening the joint border surveillance mechanism.
“The administration of President George M. Weah has worked tirelessly to build on the sisterly relationship the country has with the Cote d’Ivoire, including the President’s personal connections with Ivorian leaders,” the MICAT statement pointed out.
“The Liberian government recognizes that conflict in any of the Mano River Union countries doesn’t serve the best interest of Liberia,” the MICAT statement added.
Meanwhile, President Weah has announced his intention to shortly dispatch a delegation to Cote d’Ivoire to meet with Ivorian authorities.