FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

16 May 2014

Liberia: Fighting Along Ivory Coast Liberian Border-Ivorian Chief, Others Flee

Monrovia — Heavy fighting is reported along the Ivory Coast Liberian border with Liberians in the border towns of Nyaaken and Konowroken reporting the sound of heavy artillery fire.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica via mobile, Philip T. Jah, Assistant Superintendent for Development of River Gee County said eyewitnesses along the border confirmed to him that the fighting broke out at 5:00 AM local time in the Ivorian town of Faiteh before moving to Glaabo along the border with River Gee County.

According to Superintendent Jah, the eyewitnesses said, gunmen armed with heavy weapons attacked Glaabo and arrested the Town Chief, tied him and held him for several hours before he was released based on orders from one of the commanders of the armed men.

The Ivorian Chief is said to have escaped into the Liberian town of Konowroken in River Gee County to safety, where he is currently. Assistant Superintendent Jah disclosed that other Ivorians have crossed into Liberia, but the exact number is yet to be known.

Fighting is said to be still ongoing with gun sound heard across the border and the people of Glaabo in the Ivory Coast are said to still be indoor as the gunmen are in control of the town.

The River Gee official also confirmed that residents along the border from the Liberian side have confirmed that a United Nations helicopter was seen flying over the border towns.

He said security forces are on the alert and he is calling on the national government and the Liberian Refugee and Repatriation Commission to move in and handle the situation.

Assistant Superintendent Jah said a team of security officers, including the United Nations Mission in Liberia, the Police and other security personnel in River Gee County visited the border to access the situation and from their assessment, there is no spillover effect in Liberia as of now with the exception of a few people.

Cross border attacks along the Ivorian-Liberian border is not a new phenomena as over the years the border towns have witnessed fracas.

Three years ago, 18 Liberians were indicted for alleged mercenarism in Ivory Coast and are currently facing trial. Five of the 18 have been released for lack of evidence with the remaining 13 still facing trial.

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