A team of local authorities headed by County Superintendent, George A. Prowd have instituted measures aimed at restoring peace over a disputed farmland between Boniken and Weleken in Karluway Statutory District, Maryland County, southeast Liberia.
Boniken, a town situated in Nya-ou Chiefdom and Weleken, in Yederobo Chiefdom have been contesting ownership of the farmland between both communities for several years.
Following a daylong town hall meeting with both parties last Thursday, February 27, 2020, Superintendent Prowd has told those farming in the area to continue because of time, but mandated them not to expand their farms, neither plant any life tree, pending government’s final demarcation of the area.He also requested the Karluway Land Dispute Committee that was setup for the past four years to submit its findings by March 20.
The report, Prowd said, will help to determine the next plan of action by the county leadership and authorities of the Liberia Land Authority.
He thanked both parties for conducting themselves in a civil manner and urged them to remain calm as the local authority works out modalities to bring to an end the aged-old problem.
Superintendent Prowd wants traditional historians be truthful in their testimonies during land cases, noting that it is only the truth that makes investigation easy.
He said it is important that Marylanders settle their internal dispute to be able to join hands in settling land conflicts with neighboring counties.
While authorities of Grand Kru and Maryland counties are negotiating on the way forward, Prowd stressed the need for cooperation among citizens of the county in resolving the long-standing land dispute between Wlowien and Behwan.
Prior to his call, both parties had made presentation of their grievances in which they identified the Kaya Creek, which form a portion of a privately-owned rubber farm belonging to the Pratt’s family.
The parcel of land in question is located between both communities, having common boundaries with Pratt and former Liberian President William V.S. Tubman’s rubber plantation.
Meanwhile, Karluway Statutory District Superintendent Solomon Johnny, has lauded Superintendent Prowd for his intervention, and pledged his office full support to the ongoing investigation.
Johnny warned that anyone who engages in fistfight with others especially, in the bush for land will be dealt with according to the laws of Liberia.
Land is a sacred traditional inheritance across Liberia, particularly in rural areas, which business often lead one clan attacking another over ownership. The government has established the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) that addresses land cases and reunites disputed parties. Editing by Jonathan Browne