Abuja, Nigeria – As a general rule, Member States of the ECOWAS Parliament, through their delegation, present the status of their national report which takes into consideration, among others, security, health, education and the political situation. .
Friday, June 17, 2022, Liberia and three other countries including Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde had the opportunity to submit to their colleagues the state of their various countries with regard to politics, security , health and human rights.
The Liberian delegation comprising Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe of Bomi County who is leading the delegation, Senator Steve Zargo of Lofa County, Representative Clarence Massaquoi of Lofa, Representative Haja-Fatta Siryon and Senator Johnathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa County .
In their submission read by Senator Steve Zargo, they informed the regional parliamentary body of Liberia’s relatively fragile security situation by stating that crimes against persons and property are all on the increase.
According to them, the news of disappearances and mysterious deaths of peaceful citizens has instilled fear in the citizenship, despite the security clarification, this situation is under control and as such has created the need for support. increased budget to the security sector in the fight against crime.
On the Liberian political situation, they brief the regional body on the situation involving former Minister of Defense Brownie J. Samukai and the presidential pardon granted to him by President George Weah, the interparty feuds between the political parties of opposition giving a case study of ALP versus ANC, LP Versus LP and CPP versus UP. Influx of migrants
The delegation is also alarmed by a major tension caused by the continued illegal crossing and influx of migrants from the West African region into the southeastern part of Liberia to the border of Côte d’Ivoire and of Guinea, especially when it is reported that there is a huge Burkinabé presence in Grand Gedeh county.
The presence of the Burkinabè arouses fear among the inhabitants of this part of the country who express their fear that terrorists will mingle with these undocumented migrants, as their countries of origin have seen an upsurge in terrorist activities lately in the region. from the Sahel of Burkina Faso and Mali. .
“Similarly, citizens have complained over the years about how these migrants were involved in illegal agricultural activities, illicit mining and logging, distribution of drugs and other controlled substances, among others. It is estimated that more than 9,000 migrants, mostly from Burkina Faso, have crossed into Liberia in the past five years, and if nothing is done to stop the situation, Liberia risks losing some of its territories to its neighbour.
The report also says the government has made significant progress in ensuring equal social opportunity and protection of the law regardless of gender, race, religion or other social status. On the issue of gender equity and equality, the government has started to put in place the establishment of gender units in all ministries, agencies and commissions, as well as to mainstream gender responsive budgeting in the national budget for the 2022 financial year.
Free movement of persons, right of residence and establishment
The country continues to participate and comply with ongoing initiatives aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Establishment. The ECOWAS National Office, in collaboration with civil society organizations, periodically conducts awareness campaigns to emphasize the importance of respecting the principles of the free movement protocols.
Liberia continued to implement the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) during the review period. However, the number of companies registered in the Scheme has increased to twenty (20), compared to fifteen (17) at the end of December 2020.
Out of the seventeen (20) companies registered, only fourteen (14) of them were active and exported about forty (40) products under the scheme. The remaining companies had yet to resume their exports due to certain challenges, including high unit costs of production compared to some ECOWAS countries, thus making Liberian products less competitive in the region.
The National Approval Commission continued to provide technical assistance to prospecting companies registered in the system with a view to making them also competitive.