Gov’t probes several suspects

Liberia’s joint security committee, including the Police, National Security Agency (NSA), Immigration and the Drugs Enforcement Agency, announces here that it is interrogating several persons over recent murders following several arrests.

Five terrible murder incidents, including the gruesome killing of a Liberian journalist have been reported in Monrovia and its surrounding, leaving many to panic here.
But Justice Minister and Attorney-General, Cllr. Musa Dean discloses that eight persons have been interrogated and one person detained so far in relation to the horrible murder of a man in Johnsonville, outside Monrovia recently.

“With respect to those arrested in the incident in Johnsonville, we have up to eight persons that have been interrogated and one of them has been detained up to today,” Minister Dean says. Victim Emmanuel Tarpeh was reportedly murdered in Johnsonville and buried in an unmarked grave.

Addressing a news conference in Monrovia Tuesday, 17 April Minister Dean says while government investigates the situation, people of interest are ordered to report to police everyday where necessary.

He indicates that the joint security committee is bringing its full strength to bear in the wake of recent killings here, saying, “our people should be assured that everything humanly possible is being done.”

With respect to autopsy on the body of murdered journalist Tyron Brown, Minister Dean says the investigation is underway and government’s decision and conduct will be informed by the initial findings in the investigation.

He assures that the joint security committee is actively engaged in efforts to ensure that communities are safe. “We are determined to ensure that our people live in peace and without fear; in fact, the only people who will know fear will be the criminals in our communities,” the minister vows.

He quoting statistics of recent murders, he says unknown persons armed with pistols, cutlasses and other weapons forcibly entered one Kebbeh Forkpah’s premises on Clay Street by 1:30 pm on 3 April, injured victim Wilson Tarpeh with a round of ammunition following which he was pronounced dead by doctors.

That incident preceded the one in Paynesville where he says police responded to a call on 7 April and found victim Princess Dwalo lying in a pool of blood with her boyfriend Hansan Kanneh in their bedroom, after which victim Princess was pronounced dead later at the John F. Kennedy Hospital.

Suspect Kanneh, who suffers severe injury at his private part, is being interrogated while he responds to treatment. Minister Dean says several persons remain under police investigation with respect to another brutal murder of Madam Joyce Otujawheh on 24 March at her ELWA residence outside Monrovia.

By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne


Sea erosion leaves over 1,000 residents homeless

Over 1,000 residents rendered homeless and about 15 houses submerged by sea erosion in Porpor Beach Community New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, Montserrado County’s Electoral District#16.

The entire Bushrod Island, a commercial district, is a coastal area that faces the Atlantic Ocean with a population of several hundred thousand residents. Some of the victims explain to the New Dawn Tuesday that they are now living in the streets, while others are seeking refuge at families’ residences and neighbors’ premises in the district and surrounding districts.

One victim, Robert Savice, narrates that the erosion began on Monday morning, 15April, threatening the community two days before it finally hit them on Wednesday night.

“We never expected the sea erosion to be so dangerous on Monday because it was always off and on for the past four days. It took us unaware, leaving us with nothing”, Savice laments.
He notes that two other communities in the district are under serious attack, including Fongay and Conner West communities, and if nothing were done to stop the erosion, “I’m afraid the D Tweh High School will even be swept out.”

According to him, since the beginning of this tragic incident, victims witness the arrival of two officials of government - Lands and Mines Minister, Gisceler Murray and Public Works Minister Mabotu Nyenpan, “who came and assured us of the government’s commitment in responding to victims.”

However, he notes that since they left scene, their eyes are on the road to see whether the officials will return to take some actions as they promised. According to him, the two officials even went as far as telling the people of New Kru Town to carry on some recruitment through the office of Representative Dixon Seboe, who represents the district, to adequately address their situation.

“Moreover, I want to use this opportunity to call on government and other humanitarian organizations to come to our aid, because we lost everything and we are now in the streets”, Savice pleads.

Another victim, Martha Nah, says she lost all her earthly belongings and needs help seriously. “I’m presently on the street, and have nowhere to go. The government needs to come to our aid now because we are dying slowly as a result of this disaster.”

Another survival of the sea erosion expresses fears that she could be the next victim, calling on government to come in to rescue the situation. “My house is still standing. It is not too far from the sea mouth. Our neighbors are in tears today. Tomorrow, it could be us. So we need to call on the government to take action now before the sea carries this community”, Madam Nah cautiously entreats.

Meanwhile, residents were seen accommodating some of the victims in their houses, while others sought refuge at various homes, crying, “We do not have anywhere to go. We have been asking our local government and the international community to see if they can help the government to help us."

According to them, their houses have been around for years and right now the government is not putting money anywhere to come to their rescue. “We are getting discouraged. We do not know what to do and we do not know where to start from because we do not think the government wants to render us help, because up to now, nothing is being done.”

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Scouts threaten to rampage

Dethroned officials of the Liberia Scout Association (LSA) are threatening to gather loyalists to “go on the rampage” against whoever claiming to be LSA leader ahead of an assembly due in June.

“It’s a serious crisis ... , we are going to put our men together, whosoever that claim … [to be] leaders over me until the AGM, my dear brother, we are going to go on the rampage,” outgoing LSA Chief Commissioner Windell Weah protested Wednesday, 18 April outside the Ministry of Justice in Sinkor.

He was speaking with journalists against an ongoing LSA general assembly being attended by international guests including World Scout Bureau Regional Director for Africa Mr. Frederick Tutu Kama - Kama and Africa Scout Committee Chairman Dr. W.A. Davis from Kenya.

“The international guest did not tell us that they were going to have assembly, so that is the reason everybody said okay, since … June is the assembly, we’re not going to make any noise,” he says further.

The LSA has been rocked in crisis after failing to conduct general assembly to elect new officers to end Mr. Weah’s four years of rule that began 2014.

A communication purportedly authorized by the international guests Dr. Davis and Mr. Kama - Kama dated 10 April claims that during a statutory meeting on 8 to 9 March 2018 in Harare, Zimbabwe, it was resolved to endorse the deadline of end of June for LSA to put its house in order or be recommended for suspension from World Scout movement.

Given the situation here, African Scout Committee Chair Dr. Davis was mandate, according to the communication, to do a field visit to Liberia to review the situation with all the stakeholders of LSA and to advise them accordingly.

But Mr. Weah says it is surprising that LSA was taken to Justice Ministry to elect an alleged “unconstitutional leadership” when the guests had come for an assessment.

He also accuses Mr. Walter Skinner of allegedly using his power as official at Justice Ministry to intimidate the LSA leadership, claiming that Mr. Skinner is trying to “bring chaos in Liberia.”

Mr. Weah claims to have written Justice Minister Musa Dean, the Liberia National Police, Ministry of Youth and Sports and other stakeholders, alleging that police stopped the conduct of the general assembly at the academy before it was taken to the Justice Ministry.

When contacted, newly elected LSA treasure and former councilman Mr. Walter Skinners claims that “the people who are protesting have disgraced Liberia and the association cannot take this disgrace anymore.”

He says LSA had international guests in December when a general assembly should have been conducted, but the protesters allegedly caused confusion and the guests returned to Kenya without anything to show.

He alleges that all the councilmen from 14 counties have met and decided that the current general assembly be conducted this month. He says the international guests’ visit here coincided with the general assembly, accusing Mr. Weah and his supporters of being the ones causing chaos for the organization. “These people can protest … this program today has been approved by the World Scout Bureau,” Mr. Skinners says.

By Winston W. Parley

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