General News of 2012-09-29

Travellers Stranded At Elubo

The volatile situation at Noe, a border town in Ivory Coast, which has led to the closure of the Ivorian side of the Ghana-Ivory Coast border, has left hundreds of commuters from Ghana to the French-speaking country stranded at Elubo in the Jomoro District of the Western Region.

The commuters, comprising Ghanaians, Ivorians and other nationals, have turned kiosks and other wooden structures at Elubo as their places of abode as there are no indications that the Ivorians will soon open their side of the border for the travellers to get to their respective destinations.

A visit by DAILY GUIDE to the Elubo border yesterday revealed that the hitherto busy town, particularly on Wednesdays, being the market days, had virtually become dull as Ivorians who plied their trade at Elubo were unable to enter the town because of the skirmishes which began last Friday at Noe.

Some of the Ghanaian travellers, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE on why they were at Elubo, blamed a section of the media for their woes.

They explained that last Tuesday, some media houses in Ghana reported that the Ivorian side of the border had been opened so because of that, Ghanaians and other nationals from different parts of the country had to travel to Elubo with the hope that they would be able to cross over to Ivory Coast.

“But when we got to Elubo on Tuesday, we realized that what was reported was false and now we all stranded here and did not know what to do,” one of them lamented.

Explaining why the commuters were stranded in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, Joyce Addo, Assistant Director of Immigration at the Elubo border, also attributed the problems the travellers were currently going through partly to the alleged reportage that the Ivorian border had been opened.

She noted that on Friday, September 21, 2012, at about 3am, personnel of her outfit at the border heard sporadic gunshots at Noe, the Ivorian border town, so the Immigration Service at the border had to call for military re-enforcement.

“The military and some of our personnel were therefore dispatched to certain vantage points around the border to ensure that the skirmishes did not spill over to Ghana”.

She added that at about 2pm on Friday, a delegation from Ivory Coast visited the Elubo border town and held a meeting with the security personnel at the Ghana side of the border.

She said during the meeting, the Ivorian delegation explained that there were sporadic gunshots at Noe because some rebels who were believed to have been looking for ammunitions attacked a military installation around the area and that the delegation was at Elubo to seek the support of their Ghanaian counterparts as they tried to deal with the situation.

Madam Addo indicated that on Monday, the mayor of Aibosso near Noe in Ivory Coast, also visited the Elubo border to assess the situation. She noted that according to the mayor, he had a distress call that many Ivorians were stranded at Elubo.

“On that day, from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm, both the Ghanaian and Ivorian sides of the border were opened and about 585 people comprising Ivorians, Ghanaians and other national were allowed to enter the French speaking country,” she stressed

According to Madam Addo, since then, the Ivorian side of the border at Noe had remained closed while the Ghanaian side had been opened, stressing that she did not know when the Ivorians would open their border for the commuters to cross over.

She however stated that Ghanaian security personnel were still patrolling the area including the banks of River Tano that separated Ghana and Ivory Coast at the border to ensure total security at Elubo.