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Rep. Zahn–wea alarms over influx of Ghanaians, calls for immediate investigations

Jonathan Grisby/Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.
Disaster in Rivercess County
Disaster in Rivercess County

RIVERCESS COUNTY,LIBERIA-Rivercess County Representative, Byron Zahn-wea, has termed as a national security threat over the constant illegal entry of Ghanaians and other foreign nationals in that part of the Country.

Representative Zahn–wea said on daily basis hundreds of foreign nationals, mainly Ghanaians, are entering the County without proper documents and check by security personnel assigned in the River Cess County.

He said those Ghanaians usually entered during the night from Bulkor Point, a town  along the Cestos River and the Atlantic Ocean with  boats  from Ghana, which he alleged is to the knowledge of security personnel in the county.

He said : “I am alleging this because when the Ghanaians come during the day, they will wait in that town until night before their boats will sail through the Cestos River and then to Kpa-quah before extending to other areas in the county.”

He indicated that what they are bringing in those boats are unknown, and worst of all security personnel like the police and immigration, including the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry Agents has not made a single arrest or an inquiry about the many foreign nationals in the towns and villages and what they are engaged in.

Besides, the Rivercess County Lawmaker said their illegal entry into the county; they are carrying out massive illicit mining along the Cestos River which is threatening the livelihood of residents.

“As I am speaking to you now in Rivercess County, there are over four- hundred dredges currently being operated by Ghanaians along the Cestos River from a Town called Kpa-quah up to ITI.

ITI is a town along the upper part of the Cestos River which used to be a logging area but has turned to a commercial hub in Rivercess County.

Representative Zahn-wea said due to the illicit mining, this has led to deeper pits along the Cestos River and the contamination of creeks from where residents fetch drinking water, and can no long set their baskets for Cray–fish.

The Lawmaker is at the same time calling on the Liberia Immigration Service, the Liberia National Police and Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to launch an investigation concerning the trooping of thousands of Ghanaians in the county and their illicit mining activities.

Representative Zahn-wea disclosed that the act is not only limited to Rivercess but across Liberia, especially in the leeward counties, which is serious national security threat.

He said because of the current situation, he has begun engaging relevant government ministries and agencies responsible for aliens and mining to find an immediate resolution to the problem.

Representative Zahn-wea said: “What is happening now is that the Ghanaians and other foreign nationals are using money to break the homes of married and lovers, which is another serious social problem in the county.” 

He vowed that if nothing is done by, he will reach the issue to President George Manneh Weah whose focus is to see the livelihoods of ordinary Liberians improve.

Representative Zahn-wea is representing District 2 in Rivercess County massive illicit mining is allegedly going on.

Early Allegations: 

On February 12, 2019, the Department of Human Rights Monitor of the Liberia Annual conference – United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC), spoke of foreigners, mainly Ghanaians, intrusion in Rivercess County who are engaged in uncontrollable mining.

The LAC/UMC Human Rights Monitor revealed from its two – man assessment visit to Rivercess in January 30 – 31, 2019 that water used by residents along the Cestos River are affected, including sexual abuse meted against young girls from various communities.

The Monitor’s assessment further showed that residents allegedly accused some influential local authorities of Rivercess County for conniving with the foreigners by presenting a picture that indicates that government is aware of the Ghanaians’ operations in the county.

Recommendations:

Following the assessment, the Human Rights Monitor of the Liberia Annual Conference – United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC) put forward five recommendations to address the ongoing intrusion of foreigners in that county.

It called on the National Government to move swiftly to investigate the alleged intrusion into the county and illegal arrangements, whereby foreigners enter Liberia’s territory in such a large number and undertaking mining ventures in the absence of required legality.

The   Monitor also recommended that government declares the illegal entrance of the concerned as a ‘National Threat to our National Security’ and thoroughly investigate all persons responsible within the local territorial confines, where the alleged unusual  and unacceptable transaction are taking place, government should attach extreme urgency to the reported situation , threats to lives and security, illegal mining and the devastation of the wellbeing of citizenry, territorial waters and the environ,  as well as to ensure the provision of clean and safe drinking waters and clean and safe environment, among others.

 


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