Growing Wave Of Insecurity In c Claims Senators’ Attention

Sen. Gbotoe Kanneh & Sen. Momo Cyrus

MONROVIA – The increase in violent protests at concession companies in western Liberia has claimed the attention of members of the Liberian Senate.

By Obediah Johnson

Aggrieved citizens of Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu counties have been staging violent protests demanding the management of Bea Mountain Company and BAO CHICO to amongst other things improve their working conditions and salaries at the companies.

The incident reportedly led to the death of at least one person in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount County.

Several others, including a police officer have been injured and hospitalized.

Speaking during regular sitting in the Chambers of the Liberian Senate on Thursday, February 29, Gbarpolu County Senator Gbotoe Kanneh observed that armed officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) have been deployed at BAO CHICO in the county.

She said the situation is instilling fear in the locals.

“They sent about three pick-ups full with PSU officers on the camp. They got there last night. Because the citizens where protesting this morning, the PSU officers took the Chinese people and carried them on the mount. Our citizens need our immediate attention.”

She maintained that the Senate should take actions before the situation escalates further.

Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado stressed the need for the Senate to ensure that the relevant authorities of the government, including the Ministries of Justice, Agriculture, Labor and the Liberia National Police (LNP) take cease of the matter.

He said those heading the various entities should abreast the Senate with details about the happenings.

He claimed that ensuring that calm is restore to the counties remains concerning, but it mainly rest on the shoulders of the executive.

For his part, Senator Alex Tyler of Bomi stressed that the current situation is serious and as such, the relevant committees of the Senate  including members of the legislative caucuses of Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu should intervene.

He expressed fear that the separate violent protests in the western region would have a spill over to other counties if prompt actions are not taken.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs Senator Momo Cyrus confirmed the death of at least one person as a result of violent clashes between aggrieved citizens and police officers in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount.

He noted that two civilians were also shot with live bullets in the head and chest respectively.

According to him, several persons injured are currently undergoing treatment at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and at Bea Mountain Company.

“The protesters were threatening to attack the mountain as well. There is a confirmed death of one person and several citizens injured.”

Senator Cyrus noted that the incident is a national security concern that needs swift action.

The Plenary of the Senate, however, voted to invite the Minister of Justice and the Inspector General of the LNP to provide detail updates on the incident.

Senators held closed door hearing with the officials’ few hours after the issue was raised during the sitting.

The hearing was intended to direct the Senate’s decision in taking the necessary actions to address the incident.

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