The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Col. Patrick Sudue alarms here that the country faces serious national threat in the wake of reported invasion of forest in Gedeh County by over 9,000 Burkinabes, operating in self-style governance.
Speaking before full plenary in the chambers of the Liberian Senate at the Capitol on Wednesday, September 09, Col. Sudue said that the invasion by illegal migrants into the nation’s dark forest is worrisome and should claim the attention of all Liberians especially, the government.
He said security authorities, including the Police, the National Security Agency and the Liberia Immigration Service are finding it difficult to speedily employ the rule of engagement or chase the invaders out as those terrains are cutoff due to bad road network and that fearlessly, the number of the Burkinabe is increasing on a daily basis.
According to him, despite the increase of the illegal migrants, they are reportedly engaging in farming and planting of cocoa and deforestation of Liberia’s rain forest, which is affecting the echo system of the country.
Col. Sudue appeared before the senate along with Presidential National Security Advisor Jefferson Karmoh, Liberia Immigration Service Commissioners, Col. Robert Budy, Liberia’s Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf and other top officials from the national security sector.
Also speaking at the appearance, Jefferson Karmoh said that the security institutions are thoroughly engaging every stakeholder in ensuring the situation is arrested, but low budgetary allocation is a problem.
Liberia Immigration Service Boss, Col. Budy said Liberia has about 180 border towns, but 140 of those borders are unprotected and vulnerable because of lack of resources to cater to officers who may take on assignment in those appalling areas.
Following their presentations, Grand Gedeh County Senator Alphonso Gaye said if he (Gaye) were the President of Liberia, he would have dismissed heads of the national security sector for neglect, unwillingness, and complacency in discharge of their respective duties.
Sen. Gaye lamented since the security actors are now in the know of the problems, what action have they taken towards the problem, instead of complaining about budgetary support.
He noted that the Liberian Legislature has never reduced budgetary allotments for security institutions since his days at the Capitol.
Gaye continued that due to failure by heads of the various security apparatus despite being in the know of the situation should warrant their dismissal.
But Montserrado County Senator Darious Dillon suggests that the security actors should present a ‘special security operation budget’ that lawmakers could act upon.
Adding his voice to the debate, Grand Gedeh County Senator Marshall Dennis said the invaders are armed carriers who could use the grounds to cause instability, if nothing were done speedily.
Senator Dennis recalled noted that during one of his visits to the United States, he was told by a U.S. Congressman that the entire West African region has been targeted as hot spot for ‘Islamic terrorists’, warning that delay or inaction by governments in the subregion could pose serious security challenge.
Several countries especially, Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkinabe Faso have suffered attacks separately from Islamist terrorists in recent years.
Following the heated debate, the senate plenary voted and instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to write a ‘memoire to authorities of Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso about the illegal aggression of their citizens at Liberia’s borders.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne