Written By: Ibrahim M. Sesay
Grand Cape Mount County – Liberia and Sierra Leone have agreed to jointly monitor 74 illegal entry points between the two Mano River countries to increase the presence of security at the borders.
The disclosure was made to Local Voices Liberia recently by the head of the Community Watch Forum in Grand Cape Mount County, Abraham Balo.
According to Mr. Balo, the decision was reached by the two countries during a cross border community policing meeting held in Sinje Grand Cape Mount County.
He mentioned that only five of the 74 entry points in the county are legal which according to him are located in Bo- Waterside, York Island, Dassalamu, and Mano River Congo. Mr. Balo further said that due to the low level of security presence in the county, the Community Watch Forum Members are patrolling towns and villages situated along border to stop people from illegal entry into Liberia.
For the past years, Grand Cape Mount County has been a major route use by drug dealers to smuggle drugs into Liberia via Bo- Waterside.
Two years ago a presidential escort vehicle was arrested at a check point in Sinje with a huge consignment of marijuana. And a vehicle belonging to the United Nations Mission in Liberia UNMIL was also arrested in Grand Cape Mount County with Consignment of marijuana.
At a recent graduation ceremony of two hundred sixty six Bureau of Immigration (BIN) and Fire Service officers in Sinje Grand Cape Mount County, the superintendent of Grand Cape Mount County Madam Tenneh Simpson Kpedebah appealed to the heads of both security agencies to assign some of the new graduates to the county to beef up security in the wake of UNMIL draw down.
The two countries have experienced challenges due to the existing porous condition of the border points. There were also challenges in limiting the cross border entry of people from the two countries during the Ebola outbreak which overwhelm the two countries causing the death of thousands of people.