Liberia Issues ‘Shoot On Sight’ Order On Sierra Leonean Immigrants

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Border guards in Liberia have been ordered to shoot on sight people found sneaking through the border with neighbouring Sierra Leone at night. The order issued last week took immediate effect in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties in western Liberia and is seen as a countermeasure against the spread of Ebola.

Speaking in an interview with the {African Press Agency} on Monday, The Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs, David Dahn said the order was in line with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s drive to prevent further problems posed by the epidemic.

Dahn said the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Col. Eric Dennis passed the order to the commander of the platoon-size AFL soldiers deployed at Bo Waterside.  He said it was prompted by information received from officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization assigned at the Bo Waterside border with Sierra Leone that people were illegally entering Liberia from that country under the cover of darkness.

The Bo Waterside Immigration Commander, Colonel Samuel Mulbah, was reported as saying that despite the closure of the border, Sierra Leone nationals were using canoes at night to cross people into Liberia as well as transport others the other way. He said Sierra Leoneans were taking advantage of the 35 illegal entry points to enter Liberia due to the inability of immigration officials to effectively man the porous border.

President Johnson Sirleaf ordered the closure all borders as the Ebola epidemic worsened killing over 1000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria since the outbreak began in February.

-AFP

Sylvia Eneghalu

Sylvia Eneghalu

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