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Thursday, May 23, 2024

GRAND CAPE MOUNT COUNTY CITIZENS BLOCK TURKISH ENTRY INTO KINJOR

Date:

GRAND CAPE MOUNT CO., LIBERIA – Reports from Grand Cape Mount County indicate that on Friday, May 3rd, citizens of Tienii took action to prevent the entry of Turkish individuals, who were on board Bea Mountain buses, into Kinjor. The citizens erected a roadblock to stop the Turks from proceeding further into their community. Kinjor is home to the mining company Bea Mountain, and it is believed that the Turks are being taken there by the company.

However, the situation in Tienii appears tense, with citizens expressing frustration over the influx of Turkish individuals into the area. They claim that the Turks are being brought in to work in Kinjor, despite government directives against such actions. According to the citizens, the Turkish individuals are being transported in vehicles, along with their luggage.

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Efforts to peacefully block the entry of the Turks have been met with resistance from the authorities. The police commander at a nearby station reportedly refused to allow the roadblock, leading to a standoff between the citizens and security forces.

The scene in Tienii is one of uncertainty, with both citizens and security forces on edge. There are concerns that the situation could escalate into violence if not handled carefully. The citizens are adamant about their stance and are determined to prevent the Turks from entering Kinjor.

The government’s position on the matter remains unclear, as there has been no official statement regarding the incident. However, it is evident that tensions are running high in Tienii, and there are fears that the situation could spiral out of control if not addressed promptly.

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It can be recalled that on Thursday, February 29, 2024, a protest at the Bea Mountain Mining Company escalated into violence, resulting in two fatalities and several injuries. The clash, between the Liberia National Police (LNP) and protesting citizens, underscores the mounting tensions surrounding mining activities in the region.

Initially a peaceful demonstration voicing grievances against the mining company, the protest quickly spiraled into a confrontation as police sought to disperse the crowd. Reports suggest that the use of force by the police led to a chaotic and violent outcome.

Amidst the chaos, two individuals lost their lives, and several others sustained injuries, intensifying the already volatile situation. The circumstances surrounding these casualties are under investigation, with conflicting narratives from both sides. While witnesses allege police brutality, authorities argue they intervened to maintain public safety amidst escalating unrest.

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The Bea Mountain Mining Company, a major player in Liberia’s mining sector, has faced criticism from local communities over issues like land rights, environmental concerns, and economic disparities. This incident highlights deep-rooted grievances and social tensions in regions where extractive industries operate.

Following the violence, Mohammed Dosii, the newly elected lawmaker of Grand Cape Mount County District #2, expressed support for the ongoing protest against the mining company. He cited grievances over labor practices and encouraged residents to voice their discontent.

In response to Dosii’s encouragement, protestors damaged several company properties, including a vocational school building, and set fire to the home of Boakai Lansanah Taraferro, who contested against Dosii in the 2023 election. Taraferro accused Dosii of orchestrating the attack on his home.

Dosii, however, defended the protest, stating it was a reaction to the presence of armed personnel hired by the mining company. He claimed to have written to fellow lawmakers to request the withdrawal of armed guards from the mines, arguing their presence incited fear in the community.

Contrary to Dosii’s claims, some citizens supported the hiring of armed guards, citing past instances of violence and the need for security at the mining facilities. The Mineral Development Agreement between the Liberian government and Bea Mountain allows for the employment of armed guards under certain conditions, highlighting the complexities surrounding security in the region.

Smart News Liberia will continue to monitor the situation in Grand Cape Mount County and provide updates as they become available.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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