6 July 2014

Liberia: 2,624 Aliens Denied Entry

The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) has denied entry to 2,624 foreign nationals for lack of requisite travel documents, entry visas among others.

BIN, established in 1955 within the Ministry of Justice with the mandate to implement all provisions of the aliens and nationality laws of Liberia, cited in its 2013 Annual Report that those denied admission included citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and non-Africans.

The Bureau added that the move is consistent with the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia and the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of citizens of member states.

The report maintained that during the period under review, several inspections were conducted along the borders, ports of entry and other strategic points of entry, in order to ensure the enhancement of the performance of the officers assigned in the leeward counties, particularly the border areas.

Citing the number of Liberians who arrived and or departed the country through the ports of entry and border posts, the Annual Report indicated that the period under review also saw the arrival of 128,746 Liberians in the country while 79,349 departed the country.

As security improves, the report noted, 1,751 Liberians, who fled the country and sought refuge in the sub region as a result of the civil war, voluntarily returned to the country from Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria.

Similarly, 14,669 Ivorian nationals were repatriated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to their homeland via Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties.

Noting some challenges, the Bureau cited lack of housing units/barracks for officers assigned in the rural areas especially at the borders; inadequate vehicles, which sometimes impedes operations.

The Bureau also considered the reformation of the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia/or the development of an Immigration Act to meet international best practice to provide tougher punishments for immigration violators, as some of the challenges facing the agency.

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