Authorities of Grand Gedeh County in southeast Liberia, including ordinary citizens are unease over repeated news of the presence of Burkinabees in the county’s forest, carrying out farming activities.
Grand Gedeh County Superintendent Peter Solo has disclosed plan to tour forest in his area to get the foreigners out of Liberian soil. Our correspondent who just returned from the country quotes Superintendent Solo as disclosing that some local authorities allegedly provided lands to the Burkinabees, who are living with them in the county.
Superintendent Solo was unable to state the total number of aliens in the forest, but disclosed that they paid cash to local authorities for the lands they occupied. He disclosed plan to shortly tour the forest of Grand Gedeh in order to thoroughly advise government on the matter.
The forest is about sixteen hours’ walk from Zwedru City. The Burkinabees reportedly crossed from Ivory Coast into Liberia and are cultivating cocoa and coffee on forest land they allegedly bought from local authorities paying between US$150 andUS$175.
Liberians go to elections in October this year and continuous news of the presence of undocumented foreigners on Liberian territory is worrisome here, with some stressing the need for urgent action, warning that in the past politicians have been trucking people from one county to another to vote for them.
Due to fear of coming in contact with strange persons in the forest, many villagers in the county are abandoning their farms. The Burkinabees have reportedly been in the forest for over seven months with unverified reports of new arrivals.
Some citizens claim that about 700 Burkinabees are buying lands from local authorities. But Superintendent Solo said after his pending tour to establish all facts, government will act decisively to get the foreigners out of Liberian territories.
By Franklin Doloquee, from Zwdru