Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire Agree to Tighten Security

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The Republics of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire as well as the two United Nations Missions in both countries have concluded the 3rd Quadripartite Meeting with parties reaffirming their commitment to strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation and tighten border security between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.

A Foreign Ministry release said the parties, on the issue of security and humanitarian situation, expressed deep satisfaction over the improvements in the security situation, especially progress made regarding the consolidation of peace and security in both countries. They hailed efforts by both Governments to stabilize the region through genuine peace and reconciliation.

They also acknowledged that the security situation remains fragile in the border regions; hence the necessity to pursue the reinforcement of their cooperation for peace and security consolidation through regular cross-border meetings, confidence building measures, and sharing of information between the security agencies of both countries.

The governments of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and Operation of the United Nations Mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), during the event held on March 10 also agreed that the Second Session of the Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders Meeting (JCCEM) will take place in May in the western Ivorian city of Guiglo.

It may be recalled that the First Session of the Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders Meeting was held in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in 2013.  It brought together Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Alassane Outtara of Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, respectively, along with scores of chiefs from both countries. 

The parties also agreed to hold the Sixth Liberia-Ivory Coast Joint Commission Meeting for Bilateral Cooperation in April.

The meeting also reaffirmed the importance of the support of both United Nations missions to the security institutions of both countries in conducting joint security operations in the border regions.

On the humanitarian front, the Parties lauded the resumption of the Tripartite Commission meeting which took place on 12 and 13 March 2015 in Abidjan. The Tripartite Commission met to discuss issues concerning the voluntary return of Ivorian refugees in Liberia, the institution of control mechanisms to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease across the borders, among other issues.

The Ivorian Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Charles Kofi Diby, in his opening remarks welcomed his Liberian counterpart and delegation to Cote d’Ivoire, and saluted efforts of the Liberia Government in the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus.

He reaffirmed his government’s fullest support and solidarity with the Government and people of Liberia in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.

The Liberian Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, for his part, recalled the success of the first and second Quadripartite meetings held in 2012 and 2013 in Abidjan and Monrovia, respectively, and the Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders’ meetings held in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in 2013.

Also speaking at the gathering, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of the United Nations, Karin Landgren, reiterated the United Nations’ commitment to working alongside the two Governments to address the challenges of Ebola and other security and health related issues in the border areas of both countries. Ms. Landgren further acknowledged the efforts of the Governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia to facilitate the voluntary return of Ivorian refugees from Liberia.

Foreign Minister Ngafuan led the Liberian delegation that included Internal Affairs Minister Morris M. Dukuly, National Security Advisor    Henry B. Fahnbulleh, Jr., Saint Jerome Larbelee, Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations and other senior representatives of other government institutions.

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