The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization or BIN has disclosed here that it has trained border officers to monitor the affairs of every border point in the country. The training was conducted in three separate counties- Nimba, Gbapolu and Lofa.
Addressing journalists Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism during the ministry’s regular press briefing, Acting BIN Commissioner Peter Zaizay noted that the training was intended to prepare the officers for any illegal entry by foreigners, as well as to deal with any suspected case of the deadly Ebola virus.
“Since Liberia opened its side of the borders in February, there have been series of trainings by the BIN to educate officers on how to deal with travelers; last week, our counterparts in Guinea opened their side of the border in Ganta; it is something that we should give serious attention to avoid any calamity,” Zayzay said.
According to him, any foreign national found by-passing the official entry point into the country, stressing that the BIN was aware of illegal entry into the country by certain individuals without proper documents- something prompting the BIN to divide the country into five major parts to adequately monitor every border point.
Mr. Zaizay indicated that the idea of demarcating the country was to identify illegal; immigrants, noting that there were 176 border ‘pop holes’ in the entire country, with 47 crossing points. He, however, pointed out that the main focus of the BIN is to monitor every border point and check point to ensure that Liberia is free from border conflicts.
“Liberia has 176 borders, with 47 crossing points at land and 4 at Sea- Free port, Buchannan Port, Greenville port and the Port of Harper,” he added. According to him, the BIN has begun confidence-building meeting with its counterparts along the Sierra Leone- Liberian borders to share vital information on the prevention of Infectious disease and security activities as a way of building up various border capacities. He said the meeting was also intended for the BIN to examine itself and derive strategies that will make the BIN more effective and efficient.
“We await the departure of UNMIL from Liberia; much will be expected of the BIN and other security apparatus to protect the post-conflict nation and its people,” he indicated.
Commissioner Zaizay noted that it was in view of the foregoing that the Bureau decided to organize the retreat so that it can identify challenges and gaps in order to strategize on how to make BIN perform its duties with credibility, integrity and professionalism.
Mr. Zaizay also said efforts were underway to revamp the BIN training programs in the fifteen Counties to develop qualified officers who will be assigned at various borders and checkpoints.
By Lewis S. Teh