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Rural News

Ivoirian Journalist Arrested

An Ivoirian community radio Station Manager based in the town of Touloupleu in western Cote D’Ivoire has been arrested and detained by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberian National Police.

Kai Paul, a journalist who fled New Forces rebel advances on Touloupleu early this week to seek refuge here, was arrested last Saturday while crossing into Liberia.

According to our correspondent, the ERU arrested Paul on ground that he allegedly entered Liberia with AK-47 rifle rounds, which they said were discovered in a bag he carried. Our correspondent said the Ivoirian journalist has been in a Police cell in Toe Town, Grand Gedeh County, 9 kilometers from the crossing point at B’hai Town for 5 days now.

Correspondent Johnson Sharty quoted the ERU officers assigned at the border as saying that a goat and 1000 CFA (US$2.00) were also seized from Journalist Paul upon his arrest. His detention has increased the number of Ivoirian refugees behind bar to 4-two each are been detain in Toe Town and Zwedru respectively.

Meanwhile, the detained journalist is appealing to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as the Red Cross and Liberian Government to intervene on his behalf.

In a related development the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Liberia Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) have disclosed plans to relocate over 4,000 Ivoirian refugees from Toe Town.

They named two possible sites  already  assessed as Dudgee Town, 10 kilometers from Toe Town and Polar Town,in Gbarzon, also 40 kilometers from Toe Town.

The two institutions spoke of more work to be done before the transfer of the refugees because of the deplorable road conditions, including damaged bridges despite the current dry season expected to end this month (March).

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