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Grand Gedeans in the United States have complained of the outpouring of intruders from Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast into parts of Grand Gedeh County, reportedly terrorizing citizens and subjecting them to living in perpetual trepidation. 

This situation as revealed by a release under the signature of Gibson Jerue, an executive of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas, has been occurring since the beginning of this month.

They claimed the alleged Ivorian and Burkinabe intruders continue to encroach in areas in Grand Gedeh County. “The place of tension and attention is the Gbarzon Statutory District. The situation has created panic in locals and residents of the surrounding villages, with no government action to stop the intruders,” the release said.

“Even worst is the fact that residents of “Joe Village” are living in total fears. Since January 19, 2016, reports have it that a group of Burkinabes stormed two villages in Gbarzon District and looted food and non-food items from the villagers.”

The claims could not be independently verified, though it is not the first report of intruders from neighboring countries pillaging forest along the border. It was recently reported that Burkinabe merchants and farmers had crossed into Liberia, and were carrying on illegal farming activities.

The release said, “This barbaric act has already come to the attention of the Liberian government, but security apparatuses responsible to keep our people save have done nothing to bring the situation under control.”

The statement also blamed the Government of Liberia of doing nothing to “stop this barbaric act against our people.” “It is the responsibility of the Government of Liberia to protect our people.”

What the statement did not say is whether the authorities of the county have been alerted on this alleged wanton encroachment by the alleged intruders. Since the end of the civil war, Grand Gedeans have not had good feelings about the conduct of governments, and the situation reached the peak of ugliness when several sons of the county were arrested in connection to cross-border attacks in Ivory Coast.

Over dozen Grand Gedeans are presently behind bars on accounts of their roles in those attacks that left both civilians and soldiers dead in 2012. “The people of Grand Gedeh have seen and endured far more excruciating conditions to see other brutal acts against them. The Government of Liberia must demand from the Government of Ivory Coast to stamp this cruelty against our peace-loving people,” the release said.

 “We are making this demand now not because our people are afraid to beat back the intruders. But the people of Grand Gedeh County are law-abiding citizens. Our people have moved on with their lives since the bitter years of war, and the recent wave of arbitrary and unjustifiable arrests and detention of their sons, who are no facing bogus life sentences for act that they do did not commit.”

“If the Government of Liberia could act on behalf of the Ivorian Government for acts that remain questionable, it is only fair that similar action is taken when the attacks on our people are conspicuously taking place with the security forces now fully aware.”

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