Due to recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in neighboring Guinea, officials of the Liberian Immigration Service or LIS have placed travel restrictions on persons wanting to enter Liberia to stay or do business.
"As we speak, as part of our efforts to avoid reemergence of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia, we placed travel restriction on human traffic movement, awaiting signal from the Ministry of Health and except for trade and commerce", says LIS Commissioner General, Robert Buddy.
Addressing reporters Thursday, March 4, 2021, at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism in Monrovia, Commissioner Buddy said while it's true there is an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, as part of their work to protect the territorial confines of Liberia, the Immigration Service has introduced several measures to prevent foreigners from crossing into Liberia.
He said LIS is a security institution of government established by an Act of Legislature with mandates to enforce aliend and nationality laws of Liberia, and all laws and recognition regarding immigration, naturalization, and citizenship across the country.
Buddy continued that the Service also has the responsibility to protect and safeguard the territorial boundaries, and borders of Liberia against illegal entry of persons, adding, LIS collaborates with relevant security intuitions that are responsible for the issuance of national travel documents, and identification records.
"We also regulate the movement of travelers throughout the country; we exit, and admit travelers, we further generate revenue, and support the national budget; this is our mandate."
The LIS Commissioner General recalled that during the heat of covid-19 here in 2020, the Service collaborated with relevant government institutions, including the Armed Forces of Liberia, Liberia National Police, and Drug Enforcementr Aagency, respectively to prevent wide spread of the virus, through reactivation and operationalizing the marine unit of LIS with the assistance of the national coast guards under the AFL.
Commissioner Buddy added during the collaboration, LIS intercepted several boat rides, and canoes crossing from neighboring countries into Liberia through the country's southeastern corridor, using the water, but they were sent back.
He detailed that Liberia has 176 border towns, and only 46 of those have state border security actors, so there is a huge gap of unprotected border entries, noting that LIS border patrol unit is charge with the mandate to do mobile, and foot patrol, and persons found at unofficial bordering towns making their way onto the country, were intercepted and sent back to their various countries. Editing by JonathanBrowne