West African Cops scared to return to Ebola affected countries after training.
11 Liberian cops seek refuge in Ghana.
only one chooses to go back to Liberia and die with his family.
Police officers from Liberia and Sierra Leone who are attending a Leadership Development Course at the Botswana Police College are afraid to return to their Ebola stricken countries.
As the dreaded Ebola virus continues to ravage the West African region, shockwaves are also being felt much closer to home.
But Botswana has provided a safe haven for these officers for now.
A Liberian student at the Botswana Police College near Otse expressed his fear of returning home during an address by the Director of Training, Senior Assistant Commissioner Goboletswe Dimeku last Thursday.
“The Director of Training was addressing us last week and we raised our fears. There were about 12 concerned Liberians in the batch that just completed training and 18 Sierra-Leoneans who told the Director that they wanted to go back home only after the situation has been put under control. As we speak now some of my fellow countrymen have sought refuge in Ghana,” he said.
Interviews with some of the West African police officers at the student cafeteria suggested a feeling of anxiety amongst them.
Although they were a bit reluctant to talk to the media, most admitted that they would have preferred to stay a bit longer in the country.
“I’m not so certain about the consequences of talking to you but the truth is that even though I miss home, I feel much more safer here. A lot of people are dying back home and I hope relief will come our way soon,” an elderly Liberian who has been in the country for the past two months said in parting as he crossed the street to the hostels.
A visit to the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) within the college premises revealed the gloomy atmosphere engulfing the West African students who told of the harrowing situation in Liberia.
Although he was equally concerned by the situation and felt safer here, one Liberian who introduced himself only as Moosa said despite the rising death toll in his home country he would rather go back to Liberia and die with his family than stay here.
“My family is out there facing the situation and I can’t run away and leave them. I’d rather die with them. I’ve only been here for a month and a half and as soon as I’m done with the course I’ll be going back home,” he said.
Acting Botswana Police Public Relations Officer, Senior Superintendent Near Bagali, said they will not be keeping any foreign students upon completion of their course. “They will be finishing on September 19th and after that they are all going home,” Bagali said.
Since the Ebola outbreak in March, it is reported to have taken more than 1,400 lives in the West African countries of Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Liberia has been hardest hit, with at least 1,000 cases and 624 deaths recorded by the beginning of this week and still rising which forced President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s to adopt drastic measures like ordering the Liberia army to shoot boarder jumpers on sight to curb the epidemic.
The President has also fired ministers and senior government officials who defied an order to return home to assist in the fight against Ebola.