Liberian, Ivorian traditional leaders want peaceful border areas; sign joint Communique

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Guiglo, Cote D’Ivoire-Jan19, 2016: Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire have signed a joint communiqué following two days of brainstorming sessions in western Ivoirian city of Guiglo.

The delegates call on the Governments of both countries to continue to strengthen their cooperation towards peace consolidation, stability and security in the cross-border area; take immediate steps to resolve all land occupation-related issues along the common borders; and cooperate with political and administrative authorities, refugees and UNHCR in order to find durable solutions for their reception and resettlement of refugees.

The JCCEM also called on both Governments to hold the 5th session of the joint commission for bilateral cooperation in the coming months, in Abidjan in order to find sustainable solutions to border area issues as well as common interests as part of bilateral cooperation; encourage both Governments to explore ways and means for the implementation of community development projects with the support of multilateral partners; increase the participation of chiefs and elders, youth and women in cross-border peace-building and development initiatives, leading to dialogue; as well as strengthen continuous joint border patrol.

The JCCEM urged both Governments to consult each other in order to implement the right of hot pursuit in compliance with Liberian and Ivorian Laws and international conventions; sensitize the youth on the importance of agriculture and support them through technical skills, training, peace-building initiatives, psychosocial interventions and financial programs; implement the resolutions; and hold the next JCCEM, in Liberia.

President Ellen Johnson Sirelaf of Liberia and her colleague President Alassane Ouattara graced the signing ceremony of the communiqué.

Over 150 delegates from Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire including local government officials, chiefs, youth, women and other community leaders participated in the tree-day event.