COLE BAY/BELLEVUE – On Wednesday, September 16th, scores of persons coming from both sides of the island took part in a peaceful manifestation.
The protest was organized by the Soualiga United organization on the northern side of the island. The purpose of the march was to send a clear message to the Prefet, demanding that the border check points be lifted.
The border closure established since Friday, July 31st and was supposed to have been lifted on Tuesday, September 15th; has been extended further, until October 1st. The pronouncement of the extension had been met with heightened opposition.
It is against this backdrop that Soualiga United decided to stage a manifestation demanding that the Prefet immediately open the border. As a result of this and the massive turnout of the participation of persons in the march Wednesday morning, a decision was taken to end the border controls in the Bellevue area Wednesday morning; however, an official announcement was yet to be made by the Prefet.
The announcement to ease the control in Bellevue was made shortly after nine, during the hoisting of the Unity Flag at the Bellevue/Cole Bay Monument. Alex “Shujah” Reiph is a member of the Soualiga United organization.
Wednesday’s event was attended by a cross section of persons on Sint Maarten, including the Honorable Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Silveria Jacobs as well as members of the Council of Ministers, Members of Parliament, government officials on the French Side including the President of the Collectivité, Daniel Gibbs as well as members of the