News24

Liberian held over I Coast border attack

2012-10-18 16:32

Monrovia - A Liberian accused of organising a deadly attack on UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast has been arrested in northern Liberia, officials said on Thursday.

"Police arrested Bobby Shappy Julu the night of Monday to Tuesday. He is now in the hands of the police undergoing preliminary investigations," Information Minister Lewis Brown told AFP.

Julu was one of 10 people declared wanted by the Liberian government after a June ambush along the Ivory Coast border left 18 people dead, including seven United Nations peacekeepers from Niger.

"Bobby Shappy is the principal brain of the group. His arrest is very significant," a police source told AFP.

He was arrested in the northern town of Ganta, near the Ivory Coast border, then transferred to the capital Monrovia, the information minister said.

In July, Liberia announced it had arrested three people in connection with the border raid, which authorities in Ivory Coast said had been carried out by attackers who came from Liberia.

Two other suspects have turned themselves in and another was arrested last month.

The latest arrest came as Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was scheduled to make a visit on Thursday to Ivory Coast.

The UN has said instability in Ivory Coast, which has been hit by a wave of attacks on its army and police launched in part from Liberia, is a threat to both countries.

On 17 September, the UN Security Council called on the two neighbours to cooperate more on patrolling their joint frontier to stop rebels from taking refuge across the border.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara's government has requested the extradition of six Ivorian civilians arrested in Liberia after an August 13 attack on an army base in the town of Pekambly, near the border.