ECOWAS Vows To End Extortions At Border Posts In W/Africa

ECOWAS Vows To End Extortions At Border Posts In WAfrica
ECOWAS Vows To End Extortions At Border Posts In W/Africa
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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has vowed to intervene to end the alleged ongoing extortion of citizens of the sub-region at border posts by security operatives in ECOWAS countries.

The pledge came late on Monday when the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Sidie Tunis, spoke at Gbahjakeh in Bomi County in Liberia when he was on an oversight visit to some communities at the County on entering Liberia from the Sierra Leone border.

Reports say Tunis embarked on the trip to engage with ECOWAS citizens in the border communities to know their challenges and how the parliament could tackle the challenges.

The major complaint of the ECOWAS citizens at the border town of Gbahjakeh were mostly built around extortion by immigration officials each time citizens tried to cross the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia to trade.

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Tunis pledged that the parliament would intervene to end the problem, saying that he planned to first and engage with relevant authorities in Liberia and other West African countries.

The speaker noted that in line with the ECOWAS protocol on the free movement of persons and goods and to foster integration, ECOWAS citizens should be able to move freely within the sub-region without any form of harassment.

Tunis, however, urged ECOWAS citizens to be law-abiding in any country they live in or do business.

One of the reasons why we always have our delocalized meeting is to bring to the notice of authorities the ECOWAS protocol on the free movement of persons and goods and the issue of immigration officers.

‘Extortion is just one of the challenges we have as a region and it is not just here in Liberia but it also happens in Sierra Leone and Guinea and in other countries of the sub-region.

‘These are all part of the challenges that we are having.

‘We would need to work collectively as a parliament and as an institution to be able to bring this to the attention of the authorities so that we can stop it.

‘While I am here in Liberia I will definitely meet with the minister in charge of immigration, the ministry of interior and justice, and bring to their attention the complaints we have just heard at the border areas.

‘I also urge you all to be law-abiding when you are in another country. Do not commit any crime or run into trouble.

‘It is our responsibility as lawmakers to promote integration and your responsibility as citizens to be law-abiding,’ Tunis advised.



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