Security Concerns At Liberia-I. Coast Border
By Edwin G. Wandah From Nyaaken Liberian Border
The Nyaaken Border in River Gee County with the Ivory Coast is said to be vulnerable, with just three Immigration-BIN personnel and no Liberia National Police-LNP Officers seen.
According to several residents in the area, Nyaaken which is the last town between River Gee and Maryland and borders Liberia close to the Ivory Coast, there is little presence of security personnel at the border to keep the place safe.
The residents stated further that sometimes at night, the main border remains completely empty with the few Immigration officers that are assigned at the border abandoning their duties.
Recently, several Ivoirians used the Nyaaken border to enter Liberia after fleeing what was described as another form of renewed war in that neighboring country.
According to a credible source, on February 7, 2014, a new training base was discovered in Little Webbo in Liberia, and two days later, five persons (dissidents) were arrested by the Liberia National Police- LNP personnel in River Gee County.
Our source also revealed that those arrested were 14 Ivorians and a Liberian who later crossed over to the Ivory Coast.
Although, our source did not say what happened next, but according to some of the Ivorian refugees who managed to cross over to Liberia, they explained that a nearby town of Geemane was burnt down by some unknown men, leading to the death of three persons.
According to Hie Patrick, head of the Ivorian Refugees in the area the situation at the border remains a serious concern.
He expressed that after escaping to Liberia for fear of being killed in Ivory Coast, their security in Liberia was a major concern. “We are concerned about our security in Liberia; we are grateful to our Liberian brothers, especially, the Superintendent of River Gee County, Daniel Johnson, for his supports in seeing that our safety in Liberia becomes a priority,” Hie stated.
Meanwhile, several persons in River Gee County told this Paper that if nothing is done to secure the area, Liberia stands a serious risk of security threats since the fresh memories of fighting is still lingering in the minds of many persons.
Nyaaken border is approximately 3km from Konowroken, the residential seat of Nyaaken Statutory Superintendent, T. Harry Quiah; 47 to 50 kilometers away from Fish Town, River Gee County.
The area is also one of the major trade routes to surrounding towns and villages for residents in the surrounding towns and villages, for cross-border trade.
Meanwhile, when this Paper visited the Nyaaken border, it was also observed that all of the persons believed to be Immigration Officers assigned at the border were seen dressed in civilian outfits instead of their normal uniforms to distinguish them from other persons.
When quizzed about the security situation at the border, Lieutenant G. Bannie Ahiaye who is currently serving as the Deputy Immigration Coordinator for Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee Counties declined giving any information, but preferred that I speak with his boss in Fish Town.