Land Disputes Threaten Peace in Liberia
Outgoing Internal Affairs Minister Harrison Karnwea, has warned that land dispute must be taken very seriously to harmonize boundaries conflicts among various counties for peaceful existence in Liberia.
While the judiciary is probing a recent land dispute in Nimba County that reportedly left at least one person killed with two others seriously injured, Karnwea disclosed that land disputes in eight additional counties have occupied much of the government’s time.
Briefing journalists last Friday at the Internal Affairs Ministry in Monrovia, the outgoing Minister said the judiciary and the local government (playing mediatory role) have not only been looking into series of land disputes in Nimba County, but conflicts across the country.
He said boundaries conflicts and other land disputes have occurred between Gbarpolu and Bomi; Grand Kru and Maryland; and River Gee and Maryland counties, respectively. He named other counties in land disputes as Rivercess and Sinoe; and Bong and Gbarpolu counties.
Speaking on the Nimba land dispute, he said despite the county Superintendent and police commander going on the scene and making some arrests, the place was still volatile. Police arrested at least 14 persons in the county in connection with the dispute.
Karnwea said the Nimba County Legislative Caucus led by Senator Prince Y. Johnson and all 10 members of the caucus visited Nimba and went on the scene for peaceful settlement.
“However, since courts normally do not make peace because as you know, the statue of justice is blind, so we decided to put our own local government machinery in place to mediate between both parties,” he said.
Karnwea noted that the traditional counsel representation in Nimba County along with the Superintendent’s office is mediating between the parties to the conflict, while the judiciary will adjudicate the part that has to do with criminality.