News24

Liberia reopens border with Ivory Coast

2012-09-14 20:58

Monrovia - The Liberian government on Friday reopened part of its border with Ivory Coast, which was closed in June after Ivorian clashes that killed 18 people, including seven Nigerian UN peacekeepers.

"The government ... has decided to partially reopen the border between Liberia" and southwest Ivory Coast, along a corridor in Maryland county, the information ministry said in a statement.

"This decision is intended to reduce hardship on business people [engaged in cross-border trade] and bring relief to the citizens in the area who are adversely affected by the poor road [linking] Monrovia to Harper" in Maryland county, the statement said.

"This decision also means that the security officers at the border will allow [a] limited flow of traffic with commodities such as food, medicine, fuel and building materials."

The Liberian government added that Liberian and Ivorian security forces would continue joint efforts to watch over the border, with plans to reopen the border completely if the security situation improves.

Western Ivory Coast has been plagued with violence for more than a decade, and incidents have increased since the post-electoral crisis of December 2010-April 2011, which claimed some 3,000 lives.

Supporters of Ivorian former president Laurent Gbagbo, who had to be ousted from power by force in April 2011 after losing an election, have been blamed for a June 8 attack in which the Nigerian troops were killed. The assailants were based in Liberia.

At the end of July, Liberian authorities said that they had arrested four people suspected of involvement in the attack.