Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire sign border peace deal

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara meets Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on October 18, 2012 at the Felix Houphouet Boigny airport in Abidjan. Mrs Sirleaf arrived in Cote d'Ivoire discuss security on the countries' border, which has been violated in recent months by armed gangs raiding the Ivorian side from Liberia.  PHOTO| AFP

Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire have signed a joint communiqué aimed at promoting peace and security at their border following a spate of cross-border attacks.

Under the agreement, they would share information on security, economic activities and culture as well as reactivate the Joint Liberia-Cote d'Ivoire Commission established in 1978.

The joint commission was rendered inactive by civil conflict.

According to a presidential mansion press statement issued here late Friday, the communiqué was signed during a one-day working visit by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Cote d’Ivoire Thursday on invitation of President Alassane Ouattara.

Addressing a joint press conference in Abidjan, President Sirleaf renewed Liberia’s support and solidarity with Côte d’Ivoire in maintaining border and regional peace and security.

Mrs Sirleaf named the deployment of Liberian security forces at the border and the extradition of suspected Ivorian mercenaries as some of the practical steps taken by Liberia to demonstrate its commitment to the bilateral relationship.

"I want to reassure you that we will continue our surveillance, our monitoring, and our intelligence gathering and will take whatever action necessary to ensure that peace and tranquility prevails between our two countries,” the Liberian President assured her Ivorian counterpart.

President Sirleaf said that the Joint Liberia-Cote d'Ivoire Commission will help promote peace and friendship in the sub- region and help the two countries meet the needs of their respective citizens.

Speaking earlier, President Ouattara praised President Sirleaf and Liberians for taking practical steps in the maintenance of peace and security along their borders.

"Actions taken by Liberia in dealing with border insecurity have drastically contributed to efforts in stabilising post-conflict Côte d’Ivoire,” he stated, adding that his country would never have been able to mitigate the insurrection from dissidents without the actions taken by Liberia.

On the broader regional scene, the two Presidents welcomed the peace plan for troubled Mali, which includes the deployment of peacekeeping troops at the request of Malian authorities.

Presidents Sirleaf and Ouattara also expressed concern at the situation in Guinea-Bissau and hoped that practical actions are taken to restore that country to democratic rule.

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