The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the National Security Council (NSC) has ordered the arrest of ten (10) persons in connection with "security threats" at the Liberian-Ivorian border. Those ordered arrested by the government are: Charles Ble Goude, Didier Gbagbo (no link to former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo), Isaac Sayou Chegbo "alias" Bob Marley, Amos Cheyee, and Bobby Sharpee "alias" Julu.
The rest are: Ofore Diah, Tailey Gladier "alias" Igwe, Abenego Zleh, Nehzee Barway and "General" Congbe Norman "alias" Col. One Way. According to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) boss, Mr. Lewis G. Brown, the men ordered arrested are to turn themselves over as soon as possible because security forces are after them.
He made the disclosure Thursday, June 14, 2012 at MICAT's regular press briefing held at the Charles Gbenyon Press Hall in Monrovia. He said the 'wanted men' are persons of interest concerning the conflict in neighboring Ivory Coast.' Minister Brown pointed out that the men identified pose security threats to the two Mano River Union (MRU) countries. He noted that the relationship between Liberia and La Cote D'Ivoire is not souring as being speculated in some quarters.
"The National Security Council (NSC) has endorsed specific addition measures to the border situation. One of these measures is to order security forces to identify and arrest persons of interest to both countries who maybe within the territory of the Republic of Liberia. Ten (10) individuals have been identified as persons of interest. Security forces are going out searching for them. We are asking these individuals to turn themselves over," he maintained.
At the same time, Minister Brown has disclosed that security forces arrested several individuals recently along the Liberian-Ivorian border on suspicion of illegal entry into the country.
But he fell short of disclosing the names of the arrested individuals.
However, he stated that the suspects were screened by the UNHCR, LRRRC and the LNRCS.
The tough talking information minister further disclosed that some of the individuals were turned over to their parents after they were identified by the screeners.
He said those individuals turned over to their parents are all children between the ages of 15 to 16.
He said the others were taken to a secured location for an extradition hearing proceedings.
"Immediately after the extradition hearing, these individuals will be turned over to the Ivorian authorities," Minister Brown further stated.
Meanwhile, Minister Brown has again reaffirmed the GOL commitment not to allow a single inch of its territory to be used to plan, design or orchestrate the invasion of any neighboring country.
Minister Brown said the beefing up of security at the border point with Ivory Coast in no way signifies that Liberia is under attack.
He clarified that the move by government 'to send an adequate number of security personnel at the border is a decisive response so as to be a good neighbor and consolidate the peace of the nation.'
Last Friday, a bloody armed raid took place along the Liberia- Ivorian border. The bloody armed raid left seven U.N. peacekeepers dead. The peacekeepers, all from Niger, died in an ambush near the Liberian border. Eight civilians were also killed in the attack. The soldiers were on patrol south of the town of Tai, in an area where the U.N. has strengthened its presence due to threats of attacks against civilians. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack and said he is worried about some 40 peacekeepers remaining in Ivory Coast's remote region. He urged the Ivorian government to identify the gunmen and hold them accountable.
Recently, Human Rights Watch warned that fighters loyal to Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo are staging attacks on Ivory Coast from Liberia.
The rights group said that about 40 people have been killed in cross-border raids in the past year. For its part, the Government of Liberia (GOL) in response said it has and will continue to pursue a decided policy, which prohibits even an inch of Liberian soil from being used to destabilize a neighboring country. "This policy is repeatedly exemplified in President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Chairperson of the Mano River Union (MRU) and Liberia's participation in numerous regional, continental and global effects for peace, democracy and security," the GOL among other things added in a statement issued in Monrovia early last week.