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Cape Mount Violence Sparks Legislative Concern …Leaves One Dead, Several Injured At Kinjor

By Legislative Reporters
What started as a peaceful protest by some residents against the Bea Mountain Mining Company later turned chaotic thereby leaving one person dead and several others wounded in Grand Cape Mount County.
Some employees at the company had been agitating that the company adheres to the Mineral Development Agreements (MDA) entered with the government and that the company withdraws the huge security presence.
Report had it that the protesters went on a rampage, attempting to damage Bea Mountain’s properties, but were prevented by heavy resistance from the police.
According to the report, the situation resulted into burning of the Kinjor police station, amidst claims that the police allegedly fired live bullet at protesting residents, with one being shot in the chest and the others in the legs.
The Senate Committee on Defense, Security and Intelligence Chairperson, Momo Cyrus, confirmed the information in plenary yesterday, February 29, 2024, in Monrovia.
Sen. Cyrus told his colleagues that the situation which started on a low-key, has now resulted into something else, and as such, if care is not taken, it could spread to other parts of the region.
He informed the Senate that the violence came as a result of a protestation from some local residents against BMMC over bad labor practice but has escalated between the Liberia National Police and some aggrieved residents at Bea Mountain Company in Kinjor.
Gbarpolu and Bomi Counties’ senators, Gboto Kanneh and Alex Tyler, described the situation as a national security threat which could undermine the country’s peace and stability.
Sen. Kanneh also disclosed a planned strike action by residents of her county against a Chinese company (Bio Chico), coupled with a threat to put the ‘country devil’ (masquerade) out if the government fails to address their concerns against the company.
While Sen. Tyler warned that residents of Bomi are also tired of the bad labor practices by various concession companies operating in the county.
As such, the plenary of the Liberian Senate has immediately summoned the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Oswald Tweh, and Police Inspector General, Gregory Coleman, to brief that body about the Cape Mount incident and how they plan to calm the situation.
The body said its decision is to listen to the updates from both security heads and take immediate steps to address the situation and find a way forward.
However, legislative reporters were never briefed about the outcome of a closed-door meeting between the senators and the security heads, as all efforts exerted proved futile.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Fonati Koffa also constituted an Ad-hoc intervention committee to ascertain what went between residents and the Bea Mountain Mining Company in the county.
The committee is tasked with conducting a thorough investigation into the issues surrounding the protest, ensuring a fair and impartial inquiry, and make report to full plenary at a soonest possible time.
The delegation comprised of Representatives Yekeh Kolubah, Dixon Seboe, Eugene Kollie, Emmanuel Dahn, Foday Fahnbulleh, Edward Flomo, and Cape Mount’s three lawmakers who are already in the county.
Also, the Ad-hoc Intervention Committee is tasked to work diligently to gather facts, engage stakeholders, and present a comprehensive report that will guide future actions and decisions, aimed at avoiding reoccurrence.
Speaker Koffa, at the same time, called for calm and cooperation from all parties involved, urging the citizenry to trust in the investigative process, pledging the House’s commitment to transparent governance and ensuring the well-being of all Liberians.
As the government embarks on a means to resolve the issues, the Cape Mount incident highlights the need for effective conflict resolution mechanisms and the importance of addressing underlying issues that can lead to chaos.

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