24 January 2013

Liberia: Land Commission Launches Consultative Campaign

Following the development of a comprehensive Land Right Policy, the Land Commission has launched a series of education and outreached activities.

These activities, the commission says, will culminate with the hosting of public consultative meetings aimed at gathering views and opinions of Liberians on key issues and recommendations advanced in the land right policy.

The commission hosted a three-day policy workshop in Monrovia recently, which was followed by its monthly media briefing.

During the workshop, Chairman Cecil Othello Brandy unveiled the Draft Land Right Policy and pointed out that the recommendations of the policy focus on four tenure categories that cover private, customary, government, and public land.

He disclosed that the commission had already presented the draft policy to the president; and that therefore, it was incumbent upon the media to assist in providing the necessary outlets for public discussions and debates.

The Land Commission boss praised President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the support she accorded his commission and for her commitment to transforming every sector of the Liberian society through mass participation of the citizens.

Lawmaker Gabriel Yekan, who spoke on behalf of the Montserrado County Legislative Caucus during the workshop, urged Liberians to speak on those issues that are affecting them.

In his view, it is only when Liberians speak out that the nation would move forward in the process of the transformation and reform, which the Sirleaf Administration has envisioned.

He observed that around that world land issues have become a problem-driven factor that often keep citizens in disunity, referring to the Clara Town-Vai Town land conflict that has created feuds between families.

Also speaking at the workshop, Rep. Munah Pelham said it was important that people of Liberia sit together to address the issues of land before they blew out of control.

"Let us not allow our country to be like other nations of the world where people are fighting for land, because in war women and children are always the victims," Pelham, also a Montserrado Count lawmaker, said.

She then expressed her desire to support the Land Right Policy, noting that there should be a transparent procedure in the justice system as it relates to land issues, if Liberians are to prevent another conflict.

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