Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh has appealed to African countries that have placed travel restrictions on Liberia to reconsider their decision owing to the adverse consequences on an already strained Liberian economy.
Tengbeh indicated that while it is true that self-preservation is vital, travel restrictions have the propensity to create a shortage of food and other basic commodities, and generate fear in Liberia.
“Already, the travel restrictions are having a negative impact on the importation of rice (the Liberian staple) and other commodities,” he noted.
Some of the countries that imposed travel restrictions on Liberia are Kenya, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
Speaking in an interview with the Liberia News Agency at the weekend, Senator Tengbeh said governments in those countries need to spell out requirements Liberians should meet to be allowed entry into their countries.
He said in times like these, African solidarity must be shown to lend meaning to the concept of unity, brotherhood and peaceful co-existence.
“African countries are not responding to the Ebola crisis as they should so there’s a need to look into that quickly,” the Liberian Senator said.
International partners, including the African Development Bank (ADB) Resident Representative, Margaret Kilo have made similar appeals to African countries to lift the travel embargo on Liberia.
Madam Kilo said the decision by some countries to distance themselves from Liberia and other affected West African nations in these crucial times is troubling and serves as “double-punishment on the people.”