Hundreds of Ivoirians and Burkinabes are reported to have illegally entered Liberia, through the Cavalla River in Grand Gedeh County. The Cavalla River, which serves as the boundary between Liberia and La Cote d’lvoire, is located in the Gbie-Gbakwo administrative district in Grand Gedeh County.
Speaking to UNMIL Radio’s Coffee Break program, the Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County, Mr. Peter Solo, confirmed the report of the presence of the foreigners who allegedly crossed into Liberia through unofficial border points with single barrow guns and machetes.
He said many residents of the Gbakwo District were fleeing to other districts and towns along the Zwedru Highway as a result of the illegal presence of the Ivoirians and Bourkinabes. “When we got the information, what we did was to make formal report to central government, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs for intervention, and the Minister assured that he will meet with the president and the chief of police in order for the security apparatus to be dispatched,” he said.
The report additionally indicate that armed individuals, believed to have carried out similar attacks in the past, remained present in the forest areas of the Grand Gedeh border occasionally harassing and physically attacking local farmers -something which brought two heads of state, as well as chiefs of both Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire in a peace conference to find remedy to the cross-border violence by the Bourkinabes.
On March 18, soldiers belonging to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) officially left Liberia’s Gbarpolu County and redeployed to Grand Gedeh, along the border with La Cote d’Ivoire in an effort to support the present Liberian/UNMIL security force in the wake of increasing violence in the area.
It can be recalled that Liberia’s Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai visited counties in the south eastern region of Liberia to assure citizens preparedness of Liberian Government security forces to ensure peace and security after UNMIL, as well as to inspect various border entries of Liberia.
By Lewis S. Teh-Edited By George Barpeen