‘Liberia Becoming Exit Point for Illegal Migrants’

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-IOM Program Manager and Country Focal Person, Diallo, discloses

The Program Manager and Country Focal Person at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) based in Monrovia, Mohammed Cherif Diallo, says Liberia is now playing a leading role as an exit point for migrants who are journeying from their home countries with the dream of settling in other parts of the world.

“The situation is so dire and is causing the country to lose human capital to the cycle of irregular migration,” Diallo said, stressing that in order to stop this, the government and international organizations will have to fight poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance through conscious practical policy and legal framework.

 “And since most of these irregular migrants are young people, emphasis will have to be placed on youth empowerment,” Diallo suggested.

Diallo also said that his organization has repatriated more than 2,000 Liberian migrants that were stranded in the Sahara Desert since 2017 up to the present.

He gave the revelation when he spoke at a one-day national roundtable discussion on international and regional migration, causes and effects, and the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States’ Protocol on the free movement of persons.

The roundtable discussion held at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia was hosted by the National Coalition of Civil Society Organizations of Liberia (NACCSOL) and was jointly funded by the European Union (EU), ECOWAS and the IOM.

He urged Liberian to stay back home and build their nation. According to him, only Liberians can build Liberia.

Diallo also used the opportunity to encourage the government to create a better environment for the youths to thrive and foster development because, according to him, between 30 to 40 percent of the country’s population is youth.

“Liberia is changing and 30 to 40 percent of the population is youthful.  These young people have the responsibility to build Liberia. I want you to build a new Liberia where nobody will decide your future, but you have to take up the responsibility,” Diallo challenged the country’s youthful population.

“You are the one to develop Liberia and I believe it is good for your country because if the country did not succeed, Africa will not succeed. When this happens, it will reduce the problem of illegal migration,” the IOM head of mission stressed during the gathering.

Often times, Diallo said, when people leave Africa, they don’t think of home, and this hampers innovations in Africa. If all the talents that leave Africa were pooled together, there would be a lot of positive developments.

Another factor complicating the issue of border crossing is Liberian membership of ECOWAS. The ECOWAS founding principle is to create a borderless region where citizens of member countries can move freely throughout the sub-region without the need for visas.

However, Diallo wonders as to why most of Liberia’s borders are not secure, which he believes is giving rise to illegal migration, stressing, “Securing your border is very much important to tackling the mass exodus of migration that the country is experiencing.”

Also commenting, a proxy of the US Ambassador Christine Elder, Thomas Quaye, assured the coalition of the US Embassy’s commitment to working with the civil society organizations to formulate a strategy in the fight against illegal migration.

Lydia M. Sherman, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Protection at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) called for collaborative efforts if the country would be successful in tackling illegal migration.

Early, Cecil B. Grifiths, Project Coordinator of NACCSOL, reminded his colleagues that a single organization would not help if the country would make meaningful successes in the fight against trafficking and illegal migration.

He also called for collaborative efforts with the IOM and the ECOWAS community for the implementation of the ECOWAS protocols regarding the free movement of people.

The roundtable mainly focused on several issues that include the role of the Liberia National Police in combating trafficking in persons; role of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) in the implementation of the ECOWAS protocols on human trafficking and combating trafficking in persons; and the role of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) in mitigating trafficking of women and children and mitigating child abuse and child labor.

Other issues included the challenges in the implementation of the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons, residence, and establishment, the African Union strategy for mitigating illegal migration to Europe, supporting national initiative in combating trafficking in persons especially trafficking of women and children, and the role of the civil society in supporting efforts to combat trafficking in persons and promoting the ECOWAS protocols on free movement.

10 COMMENTS

  1. “Stay home and Build Liberia” you mean stay home and die in poverty? Government should strive to prevent migration by working in the interest of it citizens. “Poor governance is one of the leading factors for migration. Not everyone feel pleased leaving everything behind including families but its not a matter of choice.

  2. Mr. DIALLO,

    Tell our government to revamp our educational system, build our roads, provide electricity in the length of breadth of the country, provide pipe borne water in every hamlet or village and provide us with good healthcare system for us to live as humans.
    We would find no pleasure leaving our country to risk our lives in the Sahara Desert if our government provided us with the basics of livelihood.
    We would find no pleasure risking our lives on the high seas if our government catered to us as promised during campaigns.

    We need to feel that we are important too, that we can love and be loved, that we can shape the environment around us, that we can proudly go out dancing with our loved ones and proudly sing the Lone Star in the defense of our pride.

    Mr. DIALLO, put the horse before the cart and not the opposite. Be bold to make these demands to our government. We cannot demonstrate our frustration in the streets lest we are brutalized or even killed for our opinions.

    To our detractors, get this message clear once and for all. We are NOT CPP or CoP. We are proud to be who we are. We are the Alternative National Congress, a political establishment founded in 2013 after a well-thought and matured consideration. Our president and standard bearer is Alexander B. Cummings.

    Directly face us and tell us what you want and think. We are neither a subversive nor a banditry grouping. We are a group of honest patriots with the conviction of improving our livelihood and that of our fellow compatriots by expediently harnessing our natural resources to benefit all regions and children of Liberia and not a handful of strong men or roguish elites. We are indeed impatient to see 2023 roll over because our hearts faint to hear and see what is unfolding in a country where the blood of the natives runs in our veins, and where the remotest hamlets and villages are our origins and places of birth. We would once more love to sleep in those hamlets and villages that cuddled our infancy in the hills, plains, jungles and forests of our bosoms.

    Stop calling for help from unresourceful bad-mannered character. We will NEVER again procrastinate our time engaging ineptitude, ignorance, incompetence and preposterousness. We understand some of you cynically love Liberia to keep it as a big village where you come to harvest to go and build “city America’. No, we have a different view. We want to be like other Africans who go on adventure in the diaspora and come back home to develop their hamlets into villages, villages into towns, and towns into beautiful cities with all modern commodities and facilities.

    Remember this today and forever, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke.

    No more war!

  3. Honorable Diallo,

    The educational system in Liberia will be improved. Roads will be built and serviced. Electricity will come. Pipe-borned water will reach every corner of the country just as it is in most parts of the Ivory coast, the former French colony that was planned by none other than the French imperialists.

    Mr. Diallo, let me tell you something. We the people do not like our country to be used and misused. Our beloved country is being misused as an exit point because “some” neighboring countries do not want to tighten up their porous borders. Then what makes things worst is that “some” neighbors of Liberia exploit the Liberian people by selling their produce in Liberia. Once these so-called business people enter into our beloved country, (we’re very generous), they establishment a stronghold and pose as genuine Liberians. Mr. Diallo, there’s ample evidence to back up everything I have just told you. Mr. Diallo, by nature, Liberians are very magnanimous. But we’ll stop that. In fact, because of our magnanimity, we’re often misused.

    Mr. Diallo, there’s too much confusion in Liberia, especially within the ranks of the opposition. Please remember this:
    “Politics makes strange bedfellows” sometimes. Opposition parties merged at one specific time. Today, they’re enemies…… strange bedfellows! In 2018-19, the opposition formed a union. The expressed purpose of the union was to do battle with CDC and demoralize the CDC’s ability to govern. We the people listened intently, patiently observed the opposition’s political behavior and gained nothing. Of late, the opposition is fighting for domination and survival. In fact, “some” of the founders of the union that was proudly called CoP or CPP are distancing themselves from the very union they bragged about. Aren’t you surprised?

    Mr. Diallo, I am going to be brief because there’s more to be said later. Please note that George Gbekugbeh Jlarkon Manneh Bad-Road- Medicine-Man Weah is a fixture and a savvy political guru on the Liberian political scene. In order to punish his enemies (meaning the opposition) Weah cleverly planted seeds of discord within the annals of the opposition. That’s why “some” people do not want to be associated with titles such as “CPP or CoP”. The infighting is ongoing. The situation is very tense.

    Mr. Diallo, Liberia will get better.

  4. Correction….
    Should be “they establish a stronghold.”
    The computer that I use is stupid, very stupid. The computer changes the spelling of words unknowingly.

  5. Thank you.
    You see Mr. Diallo, some people have very good intentions. I know of them. They want a better Liberia. Honestly, they’re 100% correct.

    But their bosses are a big question mark. That’s where the problem is Mr. Diallo. The campaign workers are great. The men they campaign for are not too serious.

    Thanks Mr. Diallo. I promise you Mr. Diallo. If I am fortunate to meet some of the campaign workers, I will be hospitable to them, not their bosses though.

    Peace Mr. Diallo.

  6. I am again chuckling uncontrollably. I laughed so loud that a colleague just came running into my office to ask me what was going on.

    Anyway, I would really love to see this compatriot in person. I wish he could accept my invitation to make a stopover in Abidjan. I am sure he will get me laughing unendingly but will surely pick up the ANC ticket as he practically agrees with what we stand for.

    Mr. Diallo was just transmitting a message. You have received the message and promised to fix things. Send the message over to your government. We are tired loitering and lingering in foreign countries.
    I agree with you 100% of the magnanimity of the Liberian people. The reciprocal effects were however a sad reality when we ventured beyond our borders during the war and found out we were termed invaders, economic burdens and low-mental human beings.
    That’s why we need fixes quickly. There will be no retaliation as Liberia was built on Christian principles, but we need to clearly define some rules and learn to protect our borders to better plan and care for everyone within our borders.

    My boss Cummings is a wonderful man. If I can enter politics because of him, it means he is a man of great virtues. He will bring you home to help Motherland with no preconditions or strains attached.

    We love you sincerely with the love of God, Uncle Hney!

  7. Dolo,
    God willing, I will see you. I don’t know exactly when.
    You’re a great guy. I don’t have an inch of a problem with you. I am skeptical about the gentleman you’re supportive of. There are some things you should know. But I can’t discuss them on the air. Say hello to the members of your household.

    Blessings
    Peace

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