In early 2014, Ivory Coast closed its border with Liberia due the Ebola outbreak that killed over 4,700 Liberians and foreign residents.
Due to the outbreak, the Liberian government introduced the cremation of dead bodies for the first time and banned several traditional practices, like shaking hands, hugging and bathing of dead bodies, among others.
Delegates representing Liberia and Ivory Coast at the end of the meeting signed a Joint Communiqué calling for the reactivation of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation that was established in 1976.
The commission aims to restore peace, stability and security along the cross-border area.
The communiqué was signed at the just-ended second JCCEM held in Guiglo western Cote d’Ivoire.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press briefing Thursday, acting Internal Affairs Minister Sirleaf said the presence of Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Alassane Ouattara at the meeting signified renewed commitment in support of peace and harmony in both countries, particularly the borders regions.
According to the communiqué, the governments of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire have taken immediate steps to resolve all land occupation-related issues along the border, increase the participation of chiefs and elders as well as youth and women in the cross-border peace building and development initiatives.
The communiqué also provided that both authorities find durable solutions for the reception and resettlement of refugees.
Ivorian refugees, over 30,000 of whom are still in the country, fled to Liberia as a result of the Ivorian crisis that followed presidential elections in that country in 2010.