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We’ll converge at Foreign Ministry

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Thousands of disenchanted residents of the Chicken Soup Factory and LPRC communities, illegally occupying the Monrovia Industrial Park have vowed to gather whatever is left of their belongings and converge at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as government demolishes illegal structures inside the Industrial Park.

The demolition which is being carried out by the Ministry of Public Works in collaboration with the National Investment Commission entered its second day Tuesday, 19 January with over 50 incomplete structures brought down by bulldozers under the watch of heavily armed riot police deployed in both communities.

The 10 days exercise started early Monday when panic-stricken residents woke up to the sounds of yellow machines in their communities bringing down buildings under construction in a campaign to effectively expel illegal occupants from the park designated by the government industrial purposes.

“We are tired of the government taking advantage over its citizens; we are seriously frustrated with the action of the government to make us homeless, but we will not just stop here. We will take our things at the front of the President Office to sleep there,” the grieving residents, mainly women with hundreds of children said in tears.

An affected resident Alex Togah, claimed he has legal documents to authenticate he bought the land on which he had been constructing his house, from a man only identified Tamba, adding a deed in his possession is registered with the National Archive.

According to him, his house shortly to be demolished valued about US$30,000 and would not sit and watch his hard earned money go down the drain. For her part, a female resident who appeared frustrated upon seeing the yellow machine demolishing houses, said government should just kill her and her children, but they will not leave the only dwelling her late husband left for the family.

“My son I don’t want to talk to nobody except the President that we put in the chair (power) because they will kill me and my children right here; this is the only house my late husband left for us. I don’t have anywhere to go so tell me, where the President wants us to go now, ehn they say that her gave them the power to break our houses, so let her tell us-o-o,” she collapsed in tears.

An officer of the Police Support Unit deployed at the demolition site, said the authorities were not immediately targeting homes being occupied by residents adding, they are given three days grace period to relocate.

Hundreds of squatters occupying the government-owned Monrovia Industrial Park along the Somalia Drive in Gardnerville outside Monrovia were in tears Monday, 18 January when a combined team from the Ministry of Public Works and the National Investment Commission heavily guarded by the Police Support Unit or PSU of the Liberia National Police and troops from the Nigerian Contingent of UNMIL led bulldozers or yellow machines to demolish structures erected in the park, set aside for industries.

Speaking to The NewDawn Monday at the demolition site, an aggrieved resident, Mr. Allen Mandoabor, said government did not provide prior notice for the exercise, adding the demolition came as a surprise.

By Ben P. Wesee-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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