The Government of Liberia(GOL) through the Land Commission in collaboration with the Crusaders for Peace, Land Conflict Resolution Project, USAID and the American people has ended a courageous first phase of a nationwide campaign to reduce or resolve the aged land disputes now on the increase in Liberia.
The Land Conflict Resolution Project was launched on August 31 with a call by the Chairman of the Land Commission, Dr. Othello Brandy, for all Liberians to stop fighting for land. Speaking at the Land Commission Office in Sinkor, Monrovia during a well attended program, Dr. Brandy said the issue of land is very fundamental to peace, security national reconciliation and development. He stressed that every Liberian has the right to own land and the Land commission has that mandate.
The Land Conflict resolution and outreach project was also launched in three counties including Kakata, Margibi County, Gbarnga in Bong County and voinjama in Lofa County. Speaking to our reporter at her 9th street office on Tuesday following the end of the first phase of the program, Commissioner Susana Vaye of the Land Commission responsible for Outreach and Education described the campaign as very successful.
The Land Conflict resolution campaign was initially intended to take place in five Counties including Nimba, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland and Bong, to take inventory of all tribal certificate holders to enable the commission document the quantity of tribal certificates in existence. However, due to impassable road condition, the campaign will be taken to Nimba and Mary Land counties during the dry season.
She said the key purpose of the campaign was to educate the public on the mandates and role of the Land Commission, take inventory of all existing tribal certificates and establish land conflict resolution Coordination offices in five counties including Nimba, Lofa, and Margibi, Maryland Bong counties. The land Conflict resolution office has already been established in Voinjama Lofa County while the ones in Margibi, Bong and Nimba are to be shortly established.
Commissioner Vaye, however, said the Land Commission is not a court to adjudicate cases. She said even though the commission does not have the power to adjudicate cases, it has the Alternative Land Dispute program to amicably resolve land cases out of court. She further clarified that the tribal certificate is not a land deed, but an initial process to obtaining a land deed, noting that land disputes have increased because these information were not made available. She called on all Liberians to stop fighting for land the land is more than the people.
The land conflict resolution campaign was spearheaded by Culture Ambassador Juli Endee and the Liberia Crusaders for Peace with the production of jingles, dramas, and songs in the various Liberian dialects, banners, fliers, posters and T-shirts among others. The crusaders also went to Bong, Margibi and Lofa counties, conducting meetings and staging street awareness programs aimed at educating the public against land conflict and the need to always dialogue in the event of land conflict.
Also speaking to our reporter on the outcome of the Land Conflict resolution campaign, Amb. Endee said she was happy to form part of a campaign mechanism to resolve land conflicts that have resulted to loss of lives and properties in Liberia. Amb. Endee said during the campaign, she had the opportunity to meet with chiefs, women, and students who made recommendations aimed at resolving land disputes.
She commended the Land Commission, USAID and the American People, the Land Conflict Resolution Project (LCRP) and all organizations that are supporting the land Conflict resolution Campaign. The Program is being funded by USAID and the American People. The LCRP headed by Miss Laurie Cooper is also providing support to the project.