Neighboring Cote d’Ivoire continues to be unsettled since Laurent Gbagbo was militarily ejected from power as president reportedly by French and United Nations troops who claimed the job was done by the Ouattara rebels. The ascendancy of Mr. Alassane Ouattara to the Ivorian Presidency seems not to be occasioning peace and stability in that neighboring country, but reprisal killings, rape and torture perpetrated by his men in arms against those they considered supporters of Gbagbo in cities, towns and villages.
To the extent that the Ivorian rebels are even seen crossing over to Liberia at will, parading Ivorian refugee camps In the southeast with the acquiescence of our state, fears must be characterizing their well-being. Over and over, we at the New Dawn continue to raise alarms about the presence of these rebels on Liberian soil without any attention from the government. When we reported the issue of trade links between the rebels and Emergency Response Units or ERU a few weeks ago in B’hi Town near Toe Town in Grand Gedeh County, there were no measures to guide such relations.
Police Director Marc Amblard, in an interview with this paper, welcomed such, saying there was no problem with his men interacting with the Ivorian rebels. Probably as a result, there is now laxity in the relationship so much so that the rebels are now entering the camps, threatening and abducting refugees not supportive of President Alassane Ouattara and his rebels.
Whether or not these rebel activities are sanctioned by the government of Liberia, through the Liberia national Police, our concern or fear is the security threats, being very cognizant of the fact that there are Liberian mercenaries among those rebels who may one day run out of what they’ve acquired so far in the Ivorian conflict and decide to embark on other criminal ventures back home.
We think the national security must be very sensitive to the foregoing, instead of appraising whatever they claimed to be encouraging. Rebels are not decent and civilized people. Their activities are characterized by maximum destruction in minimum time, as well as looting and raping, and as such, men and women who have undergone professional security training must in no way, allow themselves to interact with them. The government of Liberia must act now to treat the rebel situation in Ivorian refugee camps in the southeast and elsewhere with seriousness and urgency so that it will just not be too late. The cross-border Ivorian rebel activities must be stopped at all cost.