Extradition of Ivorian Political Refugees from Liberia: Can Monrovia Face Reciprocity? Martial Frindéthié

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

On   June 24, 2012, 41 Ivorian political refugees, who fled to Liberia to seek sanctuary from Alassane Dramane Ouattara’s brutal ethnocide in Cote d’Ivoire, were rounded up by Liberian authorities, shackled, and sent back to their tormentor. Liberia’s verdict not only infringes on the International convention guaranteeing safe haven to political asylees, but it also sets about a delicate precedent in the Liberian-Ivorian relationship that the country of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should be prepared to acknowledge when the chickens come home to roost.

Over the past two decades, the people of Cote d’Ivoire unified to welcome successive waves of Liberian refugees. Thousands of Ivorians opened their homes to distressed Liberian families and broke bread with tens of thousands of Liberians fleeing the atrocities of the 1989-1996 and the 1996-2003 Liberian wars. They acted in a thrust of mere compassion, and without any reflex for population control. Today, with the genocidal regime of Dramane Ouattara, so,e of these Ivorians find themselves faced with the cruelty that had hitherto sent Liberians seeking refuge in Cote d’Ivoire: For the sake of moral decency, Liberians ought not to become so suddenly amnesic and duplicitous.

In the absence of any moral commitment, it is at least the international political responsibility of Liberian authorities to guarantee asylum to the people who are fleeing Ouattara’s death squads. Liberian authorities should not succumb to the “not-in-my-backyard” impulse and send Ivorian refugees back to the deadly squeeze of the Butcher of Abidjan. In a sub-region whose stability is thinner than a leaf, Ellen Sirleaf should understand that the chickens might come home to roost.

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One Response to Extradition of Ivorian Political Refugees from Liberia: Can Monrovia Face Reciprocity? Martial Frindéthié

  1. frindethie says:

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