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Rural News

Ivorian Rebel Leaders Visit Frontlines – Journalist Strikes

New Forces leader and Alassane Quattara’s Prime Minister, Gainoum  Soro has visited the frontlines of his men, mainly in the Liberian border town of B’hai in Jozon, 9 kilometers from Toe Town in Grand Gedeh County.

According to our correspondent, Soro is inspecting his men’s positions in areas under their control since taking over parts of western Cote D’Ivoire fortnight ago. During the visit, Liberian security deployed at the border raised the issue of discriminate shooting carried out by the New forces with Prime Minister Soro.

The Liberian border guards also complained of increasing concerns in the area among the population of continuous harassment and intimidation by the rebels.

In response, Soro promised and at the same time, warned his men as such behaioursl as there were investigations ongoing by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of human rights abuses in the conflict.

But despite the assurance from Soro, the situations at the border in B’hai remained the same as the rebels continue their abuses of Ivorian refugees and residents of the town.

In another development, an Ivoirian community radio Manager from the western town of Touloupleu, who was arrested and detained in police custody in Toe Town, Grand Gedeh County, has reportedly gone on  hunger strike.

According to our correspondent, Journalist Kai Paul has been refusing food for the past 7-days now since his arrest, on ground that he did nothing wrong. He said despite been accused by the Liberian security at the border, the issue of the demand for money and other things for his release continue to delay his investigation.

“I am a Journalist seeking refugee here. I do not have money to give to anyone. If they think I did something wrong as they are claiming, why they are demanding money from me for my freedom,” Paul questioned.

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The Ivoirian was arrested 5 March in B’hai, 9 kilometers from Toe Town at the crossing point into Liberia from the Ivory Coast. He is being accused by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberian National Police for entering the country (Liberia) with Ak-47 rifle rounds in a bag, which they claimed belonged to him.

Besides Kai, there are several refugees allegedly in detention in Toe Town and Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. There have been no reasons for their detention up to now.

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