By Thomas Domah, Nimba County
A long-standing land dispute between the people of Bah, Gayee Clan in Kparblee administrative district and those of Gbotuo in Gblor Clan, Doe administrative district, has led to one person being reported dead, while four others are said to be hospitalized at various health facilities in the county.
The wounded include Nelson Paye, 38, Eric Fayah, 35; and Robert Dowah, 33. The three are currently receiving medical attention at the Rev. S.K. Gaye Taye Clinic in Kparblee, while 32-year-old Philip Colkahn is being treated by traditional herbalists.
The New Dawn gathered that the victims sustained their injuries through the exchange of gunfire between rival groups involved in the land dispute.
The incident, according to the report, has left over 20 towns near the border with neighboring Ivory Coast completely empty, as residents crossed into Ivory Coast, abandoning schools and clinics.
The land dispute between the two towns, according to the report, started in 2017. Both sides have accused the County Administration and the government of being unable to address the situation.
The exchange of gunfire lasted from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. last Wednesday, 24 November. Emmanuel Kollie, a resident of Gbotuo Town, narrated that the latest conflict erupted when he along with some others, were arrested by one Sylvester Bah in Bah Town, while they were passing thru to get to their area Gbotuo, due to heavy flooding.
According to Emmanuel, Sylvester accused them of hunting for snails in a bush that does not belong to them. He said two bags of snail were confiscated from them, and they subsequently informed some of their brothers from Gbotuo, including Jimmy Zor, 33, and Oldpa Zor, 28, who told to wait and see.
Emmanuel continued that his senior brother Jimmy Zor in return threatened to arrest any citizen from Bah Town, and eventually arrested a hunter from Bah with a single barrel gun and meat.
Eyewitnesses also narrated that while the firing was taking place in Paye Village, which is the boundary between the two towns, a community watch forum officer, Solomon Gaye who had gone to make peace, was allegedly shot and killed.
During a visit to the scene, the New Dawn observed over 50 empty shells of single barrel rounds scattered on the ground, which indicates indeed, there was an exchange of gunfire.
According to eyewitnesses, the late Solomon Gaye was allegedly shot by the people of Gbotuo Town during the exchange of fire. Editing y Jonathan Browne