Justice Minister Orders Closure Of Borders Ahead Of Tuesday’s Elections
The Liberian Immigration Service (LIS) has announced the closure of all land borders beginning Monday, 9 October 2023, ahead of the presidential and legislative elections due Tuesday.
LIS spokesman Abraham Dorley said over the weekend that their decision to close all borders is based on Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean’s instruction.
Mr. Dorley told a press conference that the border closure is to ensure boarder safety and security during these elections.
He said the Liberian Immigration is working with its counterparts from neighboring countries to strengthen and build border confidence.
He said the border will be closed at 6:00 pm, adding that it will not affect trade and economic viability.
Mr. Dorley explained that the border closure is just a normal protocol for borders during elections.
“… The Attorney General of Liberia Cllr. Frank Musa Dean instructed the Commissioner General of the Liberia Immigration Service, Col. Robert W. Budy, Sr., that beginning Monday, at 6:00 PM, all land borders should be considered closed,” he disclosed.
Based on the mandate, Dorley said the LIS has instructed its border and county commanders to close all entry points, which include both authorized and unauthorized land borders.
According to him, all land boarders will reopen to the public for transaction and movement at 8:00 am on Wednesday.
Mr. Dorley pointed out that Col. Budy has also instructed the LIS’ border patrol unit to make sure that borders that unauthorized borders are closed.
“For Liberians that [are] wanting to participate in these elections, you need to be in Liberia before Monday, 6:00 pm, because nobody will be allowed to come in to partake when the borders have been considered closed,” said Dorley.
According to Mr. Dorley, they have been having a series of meetings and engaged with neighboring Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, among others, to strength and build borders confidence and security.
“We are working jointly with our counterparts to ensure boarder safety and border security during these elections,” he noted.
“The closure of a boarder during elections is a normal protocol to regulate people. For trade, at 6:00 pm when the borders are close, it will not affect commercial trade and after that we will reopen,” he concluded.