27 February 2013

Liberia: Dozens Protest Removal Order - Say Planned Demolition Exercise Is Illegal

Hundreds of residents of the Bushrod Island, Virginia and Brewerville communities stormed the grounds of Capitol Building on Tuesday February 26, 2013 to petition members of the House of Representatives to intervene on their behalf for extension of one month to one year as be warned by the Ministry of Public Works.

Reading the petition on behalf of the group Fadilla Shaibani, a six grade student of the J. W. Harris Memorial School described the removal order as highly illegal and wrong on the part of the government as 60& of these properties in question are privately owned.

She said the removal order is also illegal assuming without admitting that the minute aspect of the configuration of the intended affected communities are squatters who are paying taxes to the government.

According to the petition, the government intends to construct a railroad estimated at cost of US$400,000,000 considering the distance from Bomi County to Monrovia, had failed to employ an alternative plan in order to avoid the destruction of about US$500,000,000 properties and the displace of more than 300,000 persons.

The petition also stated that the construction of railroad in the planned affected communities will destroy about thirty churches along with three mosques, a situation which has the propensity to undermine the constitutional rights of the people including religious beliefs.

Receiving the petition Representative William Darket of district # 17 and Representative in separate statements assured the petitioners that the matter will be considered for discussion.

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