Ivory Coast, Liberia Hold 2nd Chiefs, Elders Meeting

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The Liberian and Ivoirien governments are set to hold the second round of the Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders Meeting in Guiglo, La Côté d’Ivoire.

The first meeting between traditional leaders of both nations was held in Liberia in October 2013, with Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Alassane Ouatarra of Liberia and La Cote d’Iviore attending in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. More than 100 chiefs and elders from bordering communities of both sisterly nations were in attendance.

Addressing the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) press briefing, Acting Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf said the meeting is intended to further strengthen, promote and pursue the consolidation of cooperation, peace and security through regular cross-border meetings, confidence-building measures and sharing of information between citizens residing in border communities.

The date and venue of the meeting, which is expected to take place in western La Côté d’Ivoire, were agreed upon at the end of the Third Quadripartite with Liberia and La Côté d’Ivoire and the United Nations Missions in both nations.

According to Minister Sirleaf, delegates at the Abidjan quadripartite forum reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation between Liberia and La Côté d’Ivoire, acknowledging that the security situation remains fragile in the border regions in spite of the progress made so far.

He disclosed that the President and her Ivoirien counterpart are expected to grace the meeting, which is scheduled for January 16 to 18, 2016.

The UNMIL Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG), Mr. Waldemar Vrey, congratulated the two governments for doing everythng to maintain the peace along their borders.

Mr. Vrey also praised both nations for encouraging voluntary repatriation of refugees.

He assured the peoples of Liberia and La Côté d’Ivoire of the UN Mission’s continued support to maintaining peace in the region and appealed to both governments to continue in the spirit of cooperation.

Mr. Lanla Gbegbe, Chargé d’Affaires of the Ivoirien Embassy near Monrovia, confirmed that all was now set and in place for the meeting.

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