The joint security from Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, have successfully conducted joint patrols in River Gee and Maryland Counties in Liberia.
This is in continuation of efforts aimed at increasing confidence between security forces and border communities and increasing intra/cross-border cooperation and peaceful co-existence within the two Countries.
The patrols are designed to help prevent illegal entry of people, arms, drugs, and other illegal substances.
They are also intended to promote peace, improve security, build trust and confidence amongst border security personnel and communities in both countries (Liberia and Cote d’ Ivoire).
The patrols included Police officers, Immigration officers, Drug Enforcement Agents and National Security personnel from both Countries.
The Liberian security team was led by the Director of Border Patrol at the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Col. Sarh Manasseh Felee, while the Ivorian team was headed by Commander SGTIA Grabo, Capt. Arsene Zaoly.
The patrols were jointly conducted along the borders in Pedebo - Kablaken, Maryland County; Prolloro- Blieron in Cote d’ Ivoire and Nyaaken and Tiboto in River Gee County and Cote d’ Ivoire respectively.
Capt. Zaoly described the joint patrols as a welcoming development for the promotion of peace and good neighborliness between the two countries and people.
“We are brothers and sisters. Whatever affects Liberia equally affects Cote d’Ivoire… and peace in Cote d’Ivoire also means peace in Liberia,” Capt. Zaoly said through an interpreter during a brief meeting prior to the start of the patrols in River Gee County.
He thanked the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other partners for such a project that seeks to promote peace and social cohesion in the two countries.
With funding from the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (UNPBSO), the project is aimed at increasing cooperation and trust between Ivorian and Liberian border communities through strengthening social cohesion and border security.
Nyaaken Township Commissioner Bobby Freeman welcome the security actors to the community and called for more of such engagements between the two countries.
“This is a very important day for me and people of Nyaaken to see our brothers (security) from the other side (Cote d’Ivoire) seated here with us and also in readiness to go for this joint patrol,” Commissioner Freeman said.
For his part, Col. Sarh Manasseh Felee thanked the Ivorian security team for accepting to form part of an exercise that promotes peace in the Liberia and Cote Ivoire.
Eric Opoku is UNDP’s Community Development Specialist and Manager of the UNDP/IOM Cross-Border Cooperation project.
Mr. Opoku expressed appreciation to the joint security from both Liberia and Ivory Coast for ensuring the success of the project which intends to bring the two countries and people together.
“The patrols are intended to bring unity and build trust between you (securities) and the communities; the two security forces (Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire) for sustainable peace in the two countries,” Opoku said.
He called on security personnel to take ownership of the project for its sustainability.
Other members of the delegation included, Herve Karege of IOM; Christian Jallah of the Mano River Union (MRU) and Saymor Mulbah, Deputy Commissioner of the Liberia National Police.
In collaboration with all its national partners, the project galvanized support to boost the morale of the officers and the activities in enhancing and improving peace, coordination and security along the borders.