Gov’t Trains 3000 Additional Border Control Officers for UNMIL Drawdown

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Government of Liberia has commenced the training of 3,000 additional officers for deployment at its borders.

Speaking at a press conference in Monrovia, the acting commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Peter Zayzay, indicated that the cadets are expected to graduate in three months.

Zayzay said the three-month training program is intended to ensure security along the country’s borders as the United Nations Mission in Liberia completes its drawdown in July of next year.

Training workshops are being provided to educate cadets and officers on border patrol. Zayzay shared that the first training was in Bo Waterside. The training brought together immigration officers, health workers, and community leaders.

Additional workshops are also being delivered to other communities.

‘’From Sinje, we moved to Ganta and held educational workshops for border community groups that are made up of customs, immigration and agriculture officers who are at these sites to screen animals crossing the borders with traders,” Zayzay stated.

Zayzay added that the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization is also instituting extra Ebola preventive measures at the border entry points to curb the disease as the country prepares for the post-Ebola era.

Further, he disclosed that screening forms have been developed by the Ministry of Health with support from the CDC, IOM and UNMEER. They are currently used at Liberian airports and will be used at the land borders particularly in the eight counties bordering Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast.

With UNMIL withdrawal occurring within a year, Liberia officials are working to ensure they provide border control and safety procedures to maintain an Ebola free Liberia.

That includes working with the neighboring countries. Zayzay said ‘‘Liberian officials  are working with our counterparts at the Guinean border to ensure they observe all measures implemented by Liberia.’’

Featured image courtesy of United Nations Photo

Zoquay Beysolow

Zoquay is a Bush Chicken Journalism Fellow. She is a young reporter who is also a student at the University of Liberia. She currently serves as a newscaster at the radio service of the Catholic Media Center, Radio VERITAS FM 97.8.

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