Liberia-Cote d’Ivoire border reopened

Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo appearing before the International Criminal Court. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The governments of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire have agreed to reopen their border, Liberia's Information minister Lewis Brown disclosed Thursday.

Addressing his weekly press conference in the capital Monrovia, Mr Brown said Liberian soldiers and UN peacekeepers who were deployed there to ensure security have been withdrawn and the border is now being manned by police and immigration officers.

“The entire border area is currently peaceful, “ Mr. Brown said. He said the reopening of the border is an outcome of the recent quadripartite meeting of the Liberian and Ivorian governments as well as the UN Missions in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and Liberia (UNMIL).

The Liberian government’s disclosure comes amid reports that the Ivorian government has requested the UN to deploy drones to overfly the volatile border.

The border was closed last year following a series of raids into Cote d’Ivoire reportedly by supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo operating from the dense forests of eastern Liberia. The raids left scores of people, Including seven UN Nigerien peacekeepers, dead.

Gbagbo’s refusal to cede power after he lost the 2011 presidential poll sparked off a war that claimed thousands of lives.

He is currently being tried by the International Criminal Court in the Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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