Liberia: Sinoe Citizens Storm Capitol

A group of citizens from Sinoe County on Tuesday, 30 April stormed the grounds of the Capitol with placards, petitioning the Legislature to intervene in the land dispute in the South East.

The Sarpo Ethnic Group under the banner: "Sarpo Appoliebo Development Organization" presented a petition to the Speaker of the 54th Legislature Bhofal Chambers during their assembly.

They requested the rejection of draft bill by Senator J. Milton Teahjay that seeks to amend the Act creating the Seekon Statutory District in Sinoe County.

The Sarpo Ethnic Group said they are people from the Southeastern part of Liberia with the common topograph ranging from and including the Putu Mountain and the Putu people in Grand Gedeh County through the Wed Carba Statutory District, the Seekon Statutory District, the Juarzon Statutory District and Numopo County District in Kpayan District in Sinoe County.

The group laments that the bill has sinister and ulterior motives with the propensity to further inflame tribal conflict and destroy the fabric of their peaceful coexistence.

They believe that if action is not taken immediately to address the situation, it could affect the people of the Sarpo Ethnic Group and the people of the Taryowon ethnic group.

Furthermore, the group said the bill undermines reconciliation, peace and development in the region They explain that in 2000, the people of the then Tarjouwon Chiefdom by the making and influence of the then Deputy Minister of Information, Mr. Milton Teahjay, petitioned the 51st Legislature during the Administration of former President Charles Taylor to elevate their chiefdom to a Statutory status.

The group further said while the referenced petition was in the Committee Room at the Legislature, the Sarpo people under the banner of the Sarpo Appoleabo Development Organization filed a protest against said petition for its encroachment on Sarpo land area which include Plandialebo City of the then Seekon Chiefdom and Tugba and Neplubo Towns of the then Juarzon Chiefdom.They added that the bill in reality is a recipe of chaos, confusion and disunity in the Seekon Tarjouwon region in Sinoe.

"The bill to a larger extent has some hiding agenda solely to put the Kru and Sarpo people of the region at loggerhead," the group warns.Receiving the resolution, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers commended the group for their peaceful approach and urged them to remain calm.

He said the House of Representatives will look into their concerns raised, most especially, an accusation against a member of the Legislature.

In response, Sinoe County Senator Milton Teahjay accused Representative Matthew Zarzar, also of Sinoe, of allegedly masterminding the resolution.Teahjay claimed that Representative Zarzar is fueling violence in Sinoe. "Let Zarzar think about himself and stop sponsoring division in Sinoe".-

Edited by Winston W. Parley

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