As fighting intensified Thursday morning between supporters of rival presidential claimants in Ivory Coast, Liberians near the Ivorian border are expressing fears of a possible spillover, as they witness series of cross border incidents. According to our correspondent in the region, forces loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo came close to the Liberian border town of B’hai, about 9 kilometers from Toe Town in Grand Gedeh County attempting to cross into the country with their vehicles, claiming to be refugees from Abidjan.
As a result, confrontation ensued for hours between them and Liberia security forces at the border point in B’hai. Some personnel of the joint security assigned at the border told this paper that the Liberian security that the intruders were asked to handover their weapons before entering Liberia.
According to them, their decision to impound the vehicle was based on customs formalities. They noted that the vehicle, known as kia- motor literally here, did not have documents as the claimed.
Meanwhile, calm has returned to the border following the deployment of personnel from the Emergency response Unit (ERU) of the Liberian National Police. In another development, more than 1,000 people fled into Liberia on Thursday from the ongoing fighting near the border with Liberia from Ivory Coast.
The refugees, mainly women, children and the elderly, arrived in Toe town on foot. According to our correspondent, conditions for the refugees are unfavorable. Grand Gedeh County Superintendent Chris Bailey, who visited the refugees, expressed regret about the current situation in Ivory Coast.