Grand Kru County Electoral District # 2 Representative Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa has called on defense authorities to deploy officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in Grand Kru County to stop the invasion of the county by aliens.
Over the weekend, Cllr. Koffa alarmed the influx of “illegal miners” in the county that he says are actively engaged in illicit mining.Speaking to reporters on Friday, 6 April at his Capitol Building office upon his return from Grand Kru, Cllr. Koffa narrated that many of the foreigners that are invading the forest and the mining sector in his county are Ghanaians, few Nigerians and Ivoirians.
Rep. Koffa acknowledges that Grand Kur is challenged with lot of problems, but top among its problems is the invasion of the mining sector by aliens and foreigners.
Cllr. Koffa accuses Ghanaians, Ivoirians and other nationals as those heavily involved with the illicit mining activities in Grand Kru.Most of the border points in Liberia are porous, with authorities at the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) disclosing that about 131 entry points in the country lack security presence.
Such situation might even become worse due to the departure of the United Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).Officers under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN) that were backing up Liberian security forces in manning the country’s borders have departed the country on 30 March, leaving the country in the hands of Liberian security apparatus that is challenged by lack of manpower and logistics.
Cllr. Koffa adds that the incapacity of the country’s security to man the border points is one of the contributing factors to the illegal influx of aliens in Grand Kru.
“You have foreigners and aliens coming in at different points, some of which are not border points,” he says, adding that they invade the county and bring in dredge machines and get gold out of Liberian waters.
He raises concern that these foreigners and aliens are likely to cause environmental damage here.“… We think, may be a request for assistance from the President to order the deployment of the military to those areas will be constitutionally prudent,” Cllr. Koffa suggests.
Rep. Koffa who also chairs House Committee on Judiciary says what is most frustrating about the illegal miners in his county, especially his district is the habit of the very citizens in the district serving as host to those illegal aliens. He observes that security presence in the county is very low.
Artisanal mining predominantly of gold and diamonds takes place in many parts of Liberia, especially remote counties.Artisanal mining–traditionally carried out by unlicensed and illegal miners–contributes to the country’s economy through royalties and taxes paid by licensed dealers.
Some of the most lucrative mines are located in remote and inaccessible areas in forest regions, and the government lacks the necessary resources or capacity to monitor mining activities.
The government complies with the Kimberly Process (KP) of Origin Certification, which enables Liberia to export rough diamonds (legally) to other KP member countries.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley