"This news is disturbing because Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire are two sisterly Republics and they both should be able to protect each other's citizens living within their territories in times of peace and conflict," Johnson told a news conference in Monrovia.
The Minister warned that the Liberian government "will not sit back and see her citizens being humiliated and killed," while Liberia accommodates and protects Ivorian citizens either as residents or refugees fleeing the conflict in that country.
Johnson said the Liberian government was therefore calling on the Ivorian authorities to "halt immediately the reprisals" being meted against Liberians as such act was "unacceptable and unjustified."
He said Liberia has made "meaningful" contributions to attaining peace in Cote d'Ivoire, and therefore Liberians should not be seen as "enemies."
The Minister said while Liberia understood the frustration of Ivorians over the armed conflict in their country, it would not "compromise at all" the safety of its citizens.
Johnson denied allegations that the Liberian government was involved in the four-month-old military upheaval in Cote d'Ivoire, and reiterated Monrovia's pledge to prosecute any Liberian caught fighting in Cote d'Ivoire as mercenary.
- Pan African News Agency
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