Ebola-Hit Liberia, Sierra Leone Border Remains Closed

MONROVIA, Feb. 24 (PNA/Xinhua) — The Sierra Leone-Liberia border is still closed, local residents said on Monday.

Jubilant crowd who had trekked long distances from villages near the Sierra Leone-Liberia border Sunday to witness the reopening of the bridge linking the two Ebola-hit countries were disappointed because it did not take place.

Witnesses told Xinhua the Sierra Leone side of the border is still closed Monday despite meeting held Sunday between officers of the two countries at the border post.

Citizens on both sides of the bridge upon receiving information that the bridge would be reopen Sunday, embarked on a cleanup campaign to give the vicinity a face-lift.

The Liberia side of the border was opened Sunday by 2 p.m, local time consistent with a presidential directive to the joint security at the border.

The Liberian president’s order had reached the joint security on the Liberian side of the bridge and spread like bushfire prompting jubilation but their Sierra Leonean counterparts were yet to receive directive to the effect from Freetown.

The two countries closed their respective common border at different intervals when the Ebola Virus Disease overwhelmed both countries last year and has remained closed since.

The continued closure of the border between the two Mano River Union countries disrupted trade and the availability of essentials imported goods and locally produced commodities on both sides.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Friday ordered the reopening of all Liberia’s main borders that were closed during the Ebola outbreak.

The Liberian leader said her decision to order the reopening of the borders was based on the advice of the National Security Council of Liberia.

The president mandated the Ministry of Health to ensure the adoption and implementation of health protocols that will prevent the importation of the virus through any of the crossing points. (PNA/Xinhua)

(Source: PNA.gov.ph)

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