Liberia, Ivory Coast disagree over deadly ambush on UN
Liberia says it cannot confirm that the perpetrators of Friday's ambush came from within its territory, while the Ivorian government firmly asserts they did.
Liberia has called a deadly ambush Friday on a village across the border in Cote d'Ivoire an "act of terrorism" and has ordered the immediate closure of the border. But the Liberian government has said it cannot confirm whether the attackers came from within its territory, while the Ivorian government firmly asserts they did.
The ambush killed seven UN peackeepers, eight civilians, and a soldier.
Cote d'Ivoire's Minister of Defense Paul Koffi Koffi has put forth the idea of sending troops into Liberia to clear militants who are are carrying out cross-border attacks.
"These people came from the other side of the border. They are militias and mercenaries," Koffi Koffi said, according to Reuters. "We must go to the other side of the border to establish a security zone. We will clean up and secure the zone. This will be done, of course, with the agreement of the two countries."
But in Liberia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Ngafuan said security agencies were still investigating the incident. “There is no confirmation as to the nationality of those who are perpetrating these attacks,” he said. “As to where they come from the security outlets are still trying to establish that.”
In addition to the closure of the borders, the Liberian government has called for the deployment of the Armed Forces of Liberia on the border and a beefing up of border security forces. The government has also pledged to suspend artisanal gold mining along the border that reportedly funds attacks and undertake surveillance of Ivorian refugee camps with plans to possibly relocate them away from the border.