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3 dead, Govt deploys soldiers at Liberia-I/Coast border

Daniel Ankrah/Joseph T. Koon

 (elbcradio.com/Feb. 15, 2016) –The Government of Liberia has deployed soldiers at its border with Ivory Coast.

Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai, said the move is intended to prevent Burkinabes from encroaching on Liberian territory. Minister Sumukai said: “Government is under obligation to protect and defend the territorial confines of the country at all times.”

“Government will deal with anyone or group of individuals who threaten the peace and security of Liberia,” he emphasized.

The deployment of soldiers by government followed the deaths of three persons in a land dispute between some Burkinabes and other residents along the border of Liberia and Ivory Coast.

The victims, according to our correspondents, are all Burkinabes.

Our correspondent is quoted as saying the incident took place Thursday, February 11, 2016 following several months of disagreements between the two groups.

On Friday, February 12, 2016, the Defense Minister toured several border towns in Grand Gedeh County in the wake of land conflict in the area. For some time now, Burkinabes have been encroaching on Liberian territory, particularly in Grand Gedeh County and settled there prior to the land conflict.

In recent months, the Burkinabes have been claiming a portion of land located deep into Grand Gedeh County along the border with Ivory Coast on grounds that they have purchased the land from some Ivoirians.

According to our correspondent, most Liberians residing on the disputed land have begun returning to their homes following the deployment of soldiers.

In January this year, Council of Chiefs and Elders from Liberia and Ivory Coast convened a meeting in the Ivorian border town of Gigolo to deliberate on critical issues affecting both countries, especially issues arising along the border communities.

During the forum, the presence of Burkinabes was seriously highlighted by Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Alassane Ouattara of Liberia and Ivory Coast, respectively.

At the close of the meeting, Presidents Johnson- Sirleaf and Ouattara singed a Communiqué. The Communiqué, among other things, seeks to foster social cohesion and enhance peace and security along their common borders

 


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