Grand Gedeh County Representative Alex Chersia Grant, expressing deep concerns over wide-held perceptions and accusations that the people of Grand Gedeh were the masterminds behind the recent mercenary attacks, warned that such accusations without ‘proper investigation and evidence’ could destroy the faith of his people in both the security and justice systems of Liberia.
The District Number 3 Representative of Grand Gedeh said he and his people were “deeply concerned about the recent alleged cross-border attacks on Ivory Coast, with claims from the Ivorian Government of Liberian mercenaries’ involvement.
Representative Grant made it clear that citizens of the county were “committed to the peaceful co-existence of the two neighboring countries and frowns on acts that would undermine the existing cordial relationship enjoyed so far.”
According to the lawmaker, eight names of Grand Gedeans, together with two Ivorians were announced as those responsible for the attacks. He said two of the ten persons are presently residing in Monrovia, struggling daily for survival under harsh economic conditions. He emphasized that the two in Monrovia have turned themselves in to authorities, upon being pronounced wanted for questioning by government, through the Ministry of Information. They were subsequently found to be innocent and granted clearance by the Liberia National Police, he said.
Representative Alex Grant, in a release, said such a ‘monumental error’ could be applied to others, saying that though Grand Gedeans were involved in the civil crisis in the past purely for self-protection, there are currently no reasons why they would wish to get involved in acts that would undermine the peace of this nation and the stability of the region. “Grand Gedeans are not war makers and they deserve the right to peaceful co-existence”. Rep. Grant emphasized.
The Grand Gedeh official has recommended to the government to take measures to ensure that innocent Grand Gedeans are not wrongfully arrested, maligned, and victimized simply because they are from Grand Gedeh County. He cautioned that to do so “is akin to witch-hunting and violation of their fundamental human and constitutional rights. Care must be taken as the county is one of the most hospitable rural counties in Liberia that plays host to several other Liberian tribes that were involved in Liberia’s civil crisis as well as refugees from the Ivory Coast,” Grant stressed.
He further noted that Liberia’s borders are very porous, and regrettably, immigration and other borderline security officers are neglected in terms of facilities and logistics to make them effective and efficient in protecting our borders. He thinks Government needs to re-visit its security priorities.