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Strange ship presence requires speedy investigation

Riot troops from the Police Support Unit or PSU of the Liberia National Police based in the town of Sinje in Grang Cape Mount County are already deployed in the town of Sandehun, near a mountain close to the City of Robertsport where an abandoned ship is currently docked.

The strange ship – flying a flag under the Nigerian Maritime Program, was abandoned since May 3, 2016 by three unknown men who escaped by canoe. Curious residents are reported to have converged on the scene to view a ship without crew members except the three unknown men, but were suspicious with fears as to whether their waters were not being infested.

While authorities of the Liberia Maritime Authority – responsible for marine activities are yet to comment up to the time of this editorial, the swift intervention of the incapacitated Liberian Police is commendable – even though investigation into the origin of the strange ship and how and why it was in Liberian waters straight into the western region, was ongoing.

Also complimenting the efforts of the police are the Armed Forces of Liberia, Bureau of Immigration, National Security Agency, as well as the Liberia Maritime Authority, among others – a collaboration for which they must be hailed.

However, considering the occurrence of similar situation in the 1980’s when some vessels docked in Liberian waters with toxic wastes in Liberia’s southeast only to be known that it was deal with some Liberian Government officials, it is prudent that the investigation also include the aforementioned.

While such investigation is welcomed and may consider the foregoing, serious concentration must be placed on the issues of terrorism, as well as piracy, among others. The ability of the investigators to establish contacts with Nigerian since the vessel is flying a flag under the Nigerian Maritime Program, as well as the whereabouts of the three unknown men who abandoned the ship and the status of the canoe in which they reportedly fled would also prove very substantial as to the purpose of the vessel.

The Government of Liberia must be challenged to do everything possible in establishing the facts surrounding this strange vessel, especially when global terrorism is taking a different dimension as evidenced by the recent terroristic attacks in the Burkinabe Capital, Ouagadougou and Grand Bassam, near the Ivorien Capital Abidjan.

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 As the national security apparatus conduct the investigation, we must all exercise the highest degree of patience and avoid the un-necessary public utterances without just assuming or jumping into conclusion that would present ‘mid-way’ conclusive findings.

It is also our hope that the ongoing investigation into the strange vessel will be concluded in the shortest possible time and the findings made public.   

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