Influx of Foreigners in Grand Kru Raises Security Concerns

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Illicit mining ongoing in southeastern Liberia

Due to the arrival or entry of large numbers of foreign nationals in Grand Kru County, reportedly in search of gold and diamond minerals, the joint security, headed by authorities of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), has raised concerns, thereby drawing the attention of local authorities.

The coming of the aliens, most of whom are illegal miners, according to the LIS, has prompted the agency to intensify border patrols across the County.

Grand Kru County LIS Commander of the Border Patrol Unit Prince Tobee has, therefore, disclosed a plan the agency formulated, including, but not limited to, keeping Surveillance Patrol, beginning Tuesday, April 24.

The LIS Grand Kru County Detachment moves to intensify patrols in the wake of warning from the agency’s Commissioner General, Lemuel E. Reeves, seriously alerting security personnel assigned in the County to stop the illegal entry of foreign nationals into the country.

Reeves wants aliens who are already in the country, and those desirous of coming into the country to, henceforth, comply with the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia, “or else, government will have to apply legal recourse.”

In keeping with the tentative schedule of the Surveillance Patrol, issued under the signature of Tobee, a copy of which is in possession of this newspaper, the LIS said there will be an intensive patrol in the Sass Town Region and its environs, including surveillance patrol at the Buah Region.

Additionally, the scheduled patrol will include Barclayville City, the County’s political capital, and its environs. This, accordingly, will be intensively inspected, while there will be an intensive patrol of the entire Forpoh Region, where gold and diamond minerals are heavily concentrated.

“It is not just our duty to admit or prevent  foreigners into the country, but also to monitor their activities, to ensure that what they are doing are in consonance with what they claimed they are here to do,” Tobee told the Daily Observer via mobile phone yesterday.

“The intensive surveillance patrol will follow a series of other patrols to control only the start-up and….. its our plan,” the LIS officer assured.

Flashback: Some of LIS officers are being recalled to active duty

A security personnel, who begged for anonymity, spoke of the need for effective border management as there are reports of illegal entry of aliens into the country’s porous borders.

For that, the LIS has indicated its preparedness to tackle cross border crimes, including human trafficking and other irregular migration activities, to contain illegal mining enterprises.

But the lack of logistics and equipment, along with training and a congenial (friendly, pleasant) working environment, are hindering the effectiveness of the LIS. This, according to Mr. Reeves, requires government’s intervention.

Some of the officers are of the opinion that erecting physical border controls, infrastructures, human resource, legislation, well-designed procedures and trained staff, as well as innovative technologies, are crucial for LIS’ officers to provide needed services at the borders.

It may be recalled that Grand Kru County District 2 Representative Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa told a news conference recently that the illegal mining of gold and diamond is on the rise in his district, a situation, he said, poses a serious security threat to the residents.

The Chairman on the House’s Committee on National Security Representative Alfred Koiwood of Gbarpolu County, via mobile phone yesterday, said, “the reported influx of illegal aliens and/or foreigners nationwide, specifically in mineral rich communities, raises concern among his colleagues, particularly law enforcement agencies, including the lawmakers who are the direct representatives of the people.”

“We hope this issue will be addressed by our joint security personnel through the LIS, because when we return to session at the end of the Esther break, we expect reports of the situation from security sectors, if we should see the need to summon them.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. we must treat foreign people with respect and also I understand what is going on with the foreign people and the governments of this world so it just have to be untail it stop.this is the time for it to stop because the foreign people got much power and how do we thinks they have much power????

  2. Colin Crews, I’m with you on that. With Liberia been one of the few countries on the continent ever exploited, it makes her a target for illegals to invade and mine for minerals where ever possible. But, this time they got it wrong. We will defend the wealth of this nation by air, seas, and land. I will suggest we put an army barracks in Lofa, Bong, Nimba, and Grand Geddeh. We put our army reserves barracks in Rivergee and Gbarpolu. Coast Guard barracks in Maryland and Grand Capemount, and our central command center, which will include our air force base in Grand Bassa County. With this plan and set up, we will be in full control and readiness to respond to any threat.

  3. Adequately and properly securing our borders should be one of the priorities of the national government. I fully agree with the gentleman who made a request for well trained immigration officers armed with the needed logistics and the enforcing power and supervision to safeguard our borders. This is entirely part of national security. Liberia will no longer maintain her sovereignty if her borders are overrun by foreigners without proper inspection and gross disregard for our immigration laws. Free Movement in the ECOWAS Region does not mean Illegal movement. I am quite sure that the tenets that put in place the economic community stressed the rule of law and strict observance of the sovereignty of each member state. Anything void of these core principles in the region will be giving solace to lawlessness with crime and insecurity which is diametrically opposed to economic development and progress for which the community was founded.

    The onus lies with our national government to carry out its constitutional duties in order to ensure the national integrity of the Republic of Liberia and the protection of life and property by properly securing the national borders. Foreigners running over our borders and mining our mineral resources at will without proper immigration documents to be in the country, while our national government officials are bogged down in Monrovia and making numerous trips around the world, is invasion of the country, on the part of the illegals, and callous dereliction of constitutional duties, on the part of our elected officials and their lieutenants!

    Let us remember that the Ebola Virus that killed thousands of Liberian citizens and lawful residents was brought into the country across the border by individuals who may not have been properly inspected at the borders. No, I am not saying that our trained immigration officers should play the role of Public Health officers, but their job to professionally inspect all entrants into the country could have slowed down the influx that facilitated the entry of the virus. It could have also helped alert the public health authorities of the virus in a timely manner in order to quell the onslaught of the virus.

  4. I PERSONALLY WANT TO THANK THE COUNTY COMMANDER AND THE LIBERIA GOVERNMENT FOR THE NEW PLAN PUT IN PLACE TO REGULARLY ILLEGAL MINING AND ILLEGAL ENTRY OF FOREIGNERS IN THE COUNTY. I WANT TO USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO RECOMMEND TO THE BORDER PATROL UNIT COMMANDER TO PLEASE EXTEND HIS DUTY TO DOUGBO CITY, A COMMUNITY LOCATED IN TREHN DISTRICT.
    BECAUSE THE ARE LOT OF ILLEGAL MINING GOING ON IN THAT PART OF THE COUNTY.

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