ECOWAS wants security heightened on Lib-I. Coast border
Heads of state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have expressed serious concern about security on the Ivory Coast-Liberia border, in the wake of the trafficking and circulation of small arms and light weapons.
The concerns were raised in a communiqué released by six heads of state of Liberia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana at a mini-summit in Abuja, hosted by the current ECOWAS Chairman President Goodluck Jonathan.
The leaders of the sub-regional bloc expressed fears that armed groups could be be used to further violence and disrupt the October 11 presidential and general elections in Liberia.
“Having reviewed the potential impact of the situation on the forth-coming elections in Liberia, particularly in the light of the tensions generated recently, and the probability of the armed groups being used to perpetrate violence and disrupt the elections,” the communiqué said.
The ECWAS leaders called on the United Nations to provide additional technical assistance to the UN peacekeeping force currently deployed in Liberia, UNMIL, calling for joint patrols on the Liberian and Ivorian borders by UNMIL and UNOCI, the UN mission in Ivory Coast.
Meanwhile, because of the potentially volatile security on the Ivory Coast-Liberia border, the ECOWAS Commission is holding an emergency meeting of the chiefs of defense staff and police chiefs.
At their meeting in Monrovia on Tuesday, they will assess the security threats in the area, and mainly Liberia’s electoral process.
The heads of state also expressed deep concern about the plight of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDP) in the area.Tweet