The Grand Gedeh Bar Association in collaboration with the Grand Gedeh County Legislative Caucus has ended a two-day Community leaders meeting with stakeholders of bordering communities near Ivory Coast. District Commissioners, youth leaders, the Chairman of the Grand Gedeh Legislative Caucus Alex C. Grant, and Senator Marshall A. Dennis, women leaders, traditional leaders and local chiefs, among others attended the forum.
The gathering followed numerous complaints of land dispute in the county, most especially, at the bordering communities, involving locals with forest land demarcation amid continuous reports that Burkinabe nationals have been crossing into Liberia illegally.
The Burkinabes have allegedly established lease agreement with local communities at several bordering towns with claims and counter- claims over the lease agreement.
Based on these factors, several local communities are in fear of not willing to accept those Burkinabes, while others are apprehensive of losing their lands to the illegal immigrants.
Grand Gedeans have called on their lawmakers to intervene to have the illegal immigrants leave the county.
During the special meeting, the Grand Gedeh Bar Association headed by Attorney Alphonsus Zeon, reviewed the ECOWAS Protocol, and raised awareness on customary land right and the new land law.
According to Attorney Zeon, the ECOWAS Protocol provides that citizens of members’ States have free movement within the region. He further explained that they need to only obtain legal documents, and enter through recognize border entries.
At the end of the meeting, citizens of bordering towns represented at the meeting signed a joint resolution which will allow those immigrants to stay in Liberia, if only they can obtain work and resident permits, and valid health certificates. Editing by Jonathan Browne