President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appointed a National Cemetery Task Force here, for the establishment of a new National Cemetery. The Task Force is also mandated to oversee successful relocation and closure of cemeteries that are full and are being desecrated across the country.
A press release from the Ministry of Internal Affairs Wednesday said the constitution of the National Task Force on modernization and relocation of cemeteries comes in the wake of public outcry and assessments that show that some major cemeteries are in deplorable conditions.
The National Cemetery Task Force is chaired by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, while the Land Commission serves as Co-chair.
Members of the Task Force include the Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Information, Environmental Protection Agency, Liberia National Red Cross, Inter-religious Council of Liberia, National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning serving as Ex-official.
Others are City Corporations of Monrovia, Paynesville, all 15 County capital cities, Careysburg City Mayor, Governor of the Borough of New Kru Town, and the Civil Society Council of Liberia.
The Internal Affairs Ministry notes that some major cemeteries are being used by criminals as hide-outs.
This violates the cultural respect that Liberians pay to their dead, the Ministry release said.
The Ministry also observed that on Decoration Day every year, mainly in Monrovia, grave sites are usually scenes of chaos involving different families claiming ownership of same graves because their identities have been taken away by criminals.
According to the release, some of the tussles can lead to destruction of graves which is demeaning to the national spirit of respect for the dead, the release concluded.