The recent startling revelation from the leader of Liberians residing in the Ivory Coast that most Liberians have been picked up at early morning hours from their respective homes and taken to a detention centers since the reported attack on a military barrack believed to be carried out by some unscrupulous individuals with three men killed, and reportedly identified as Liberians, is troubling and reflects a looming insecurity unleashed; and if not amicably handled in the long lasting supreme interests of both citizens and countries, could ruffle precious feathers of peace, trust, security and harmonious co-existence.
Also the clarion call from the head of the Liberians in the Ivory Coast that the fate of some of his arrested and detained compatriots as a result of the barrack saga, according to past development mainly in the security sector have been marred with suspicion, and again, the events of past activities of some persons reportedly railroaded the terrains of both countries at the zenith of the upheavals (separately in occurrence) wherein some elements with tribal linkage and connections; with harbored qualms, did not get the most appropriate security and political attention in resolving such conduct to avoid further looming escalation; should be thoroughly re-examined to ensure relaxed security and genuine sincerity.
The security problem between the two countries, could be deeply rooted in the 14-year civil crisis in Liberia when it was glaringly an open secret that the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) championed by Major Charles Ghankay Taylor enjoyed maximum protective cover and free corridors for the smooth movements of weapons and men who infiltrated the country through the borders between both countries; despite playing host to many Liberians during the era of the civil war in Liberia; to that end Liberians say hats off and well done for saving, protecting and affording Liberians to keep their noses above the waters of despairs and grave distress during those difficult times in the life of Liberia.
Equally, when the war broke up in the Ivory Coast, the principle of reciprocity was also wholeheartedly applied by welcoming many fleeing citizens of Ivory Coast with most needed hospitality accorded them as was done to some of our people who fled the country to several parts of the world including the very Ivory Coast during their raging fury imposed on them by what most Liberians dubbed: the senseless war.
Out of this orbit, many disbanded fighters either unable or rejected to be re-habilitated to fit into the post-war Liberia, and with their training, elected to continue their venture of militarism under the rubric of mercenariism ; which is a very difficult and hard zone; in their quest to amassing blood-strain ill-gotten wealth and fame; keeping in mind that no sin goes unpunished; therefore if it is authenticated that the three killed among the attackers along with the alleged captured assailant in the barrack fiasco are Liberians; it will be urgently expedient that business as usual syndrome is put far aside, and completely begin the process of quelling the wicked and demented act before it enters the cancerous stage and starts to spread.
The efforts and alarm raised by the leader of Liberians in the Ivory Coast through his recent revelation on the KOOL FM 91.9 Radio Station in Monrovia should not be taken for a short ride rather it must claim the fullest and collective concerns of all those charged with the responsibility to ensure that Liberians not connected to the attack, but are arrested and detained, be set free.
The government must play a pivotal role beginning with showing love and care for all of its citizens, and must not hesitate to protect them at home and abroad; if hooked into dubious and unwarranted activities, should be provided the due process of the law, if the trial is out of the country, legal representative through its established foreign mission must be available to ensure transparency, and if found guilty, must serve the sentence fully.
The fragile security situation between the two countries including former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration is no strange issue to the security sphere of Liberia to an extent that a peace and reconciliation summit was held between Presidents Sirleaf and Ouattara which touched on a wide range of issues including security, future of refugees as well as some citizens illegally occupying frost in Grand Gedeh County reportedly conducting agriculture activities including alleged illicit mining, something that has been kicked against and brought to the attention of the government with numerous calls from unhappy Liberians for the Ivory Coast’s citizen to quit their illegal occupation of the Liberian forest coupled with the illegal mining.
It can be recalled that 13 Grand Gedeans were indicted by the Liberian government for carrying out mayhem and mercenary activities in Ivorian towns closer to the Liberian border. They were also linked to the killing of seven Nigerien peacekeepers and at least 10 civilians on June 8, 2012 near Tai, Southeastern Ivory Coast
However, Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dee Maxwell Kemayah has condemned the act and termed it as an attempt to cause chaos and undermine democratic gains subsisting between countries within the Mano River basin the recent killing of three assailants believed to be Liberians in neighboring La Cote D’Ivoire.
According to Minister Kemayah, the Liberian Government has 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.
Meanwhile, the FrontpageAfica reported that three men believed to be Liberians have been shot and killed in the capital city of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, after they reportedly attacked a military base.
Arms and ammunition, machetes, Liberian passport and identity cards, driver’s license, were retrieved from the men who are now believed to be mercenaries hired to topple the Alassane Ouattara government. The incident reportedly occurred at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday. According to reports, the Ivorian government has launched an investigation into the attack.
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