The chiefs and citizens of the Gbehlay Statutory District in Nimba County want the United Nations Missions in Liberia to stay in Liberia until the 2017 elections are over.
Speaking at a one-day security meeting held with the team of UNMIL Joint Monitoring Analysis Center/JMAC on 9th June 2014 in the bordering town of Loguatuo, the chiefs among other things explained that the presence of UNMIL can boost security during the course of the general elections.
“At present, our security does not have the needed logistics, including communications gadgets and vehicles to properly watch over us,” said Mr. Daniel Bartuah Bartuah, Statutory District Superintendant.
On 9 June 2014, a team of experts from UNMIL JMAC visited Loguatuo to ascertain the security situation since the withdrawal of its troops from that bordering area.
The JMAC team, among other things, inquired about the current security situation, the impact of DDRR program on the ex -fighters, cross border movement of Liberians and Ivorians, as well as trade.
The team held two separate consultative meetings with the locals and the security apparatus working in Nimba, especially at the borderline. Outcomes from those meetings are yet to be made public.
On April 10, 2013, UNMIL withdrew its Bangladeshi Contingent from Loguatuo and closed down the base as part of its draw down process.
The draw down continued last week with the closing down of other bases including Buutuo base.
Some of the cardinal problems discussed at the consultative meeting were the rehabilitation of roads, the limited number of security within the district and failure of citizens to comply with chiefs’ instruction to side brush roads.
“Since the DDRR process and the Food for Work/FFW came to an end, the citizens do not side brush roads as it used to be because they want everything they do to be paid for,” said Womenpea H. Sandi, Township Commissioner of Kpanplay.
Gbehlay Geh Statutory District has a population of about 90, 000. It shares borders with Guinea to the North and Ivory Coast to the east.
Considering the porosity of Liberia’s borders, Chief Bartuah told the visiting UNMIL team that the number of security personnel assigned in the district is insufficient, although could not say how many are currently assigned there.