By Abel R. Okai, GNN-Liberia, Bong County Correspondent/Cells#: +231-886-576-379 /+231-770-019-857/Email: email@example.com
A Representative Aspirant of Jorquelleh District three has observed with grave concern the ongoing demolition exercise something he described destruction of shelters including residential and business houses by the Gbarnga City Corporation is forceful.
Mr. Edward Gboe said, while residents of the county look forward to improvement in the outlook of communities and cities, the Gbarnga City Council has violated the basic rights of individuals by forced evictions, with reference to the United National Human Rights Fact Sheet No. 25/Rev.1, 2014.
The Aspirant said, “Disruption of children’s education, interruption of medical treatment, mental trauma, loss of jobs and livelihoods, inability to vote because of homelessness, no access to basic services or justice, while identity and property papers may have been destroyed or gone missing during the eviction process are major challenges that are hindering them.
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, definition of Force Eviction as “the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection”
Gboe’s opinion on the current demolition exercise
“– For instance, there seem to be no or adequate consultation or participation, or information, or recourse mechanisms associated with the demolition exercise.
– There seem also to be for instance, no notification, no relocation available, or compensation provided, and some of the demolitions are subject to unjustified conditions.
– The manner in which the demolitions are being carried out for instance, no protection for the victims and their belongings
– The use of harassment, threats, violence or force such as forcing people to sign agreements, using bulldozers when people are still salvaging their belongings, etc, are also attributed to rights violations by the UN Human Rights Commission. There are traits of these conditions in the current exercise of the GCC”.
Edward Gboe used the medium urging the local administration and the Bong County Legislative Caucus to employ immediate measures in halting the current demolition exercise by the GCC as it has the propensity of creating tension between the government and the citizens.
Mr. Gboe further called on all affected persons to remain peaceful and engage with their leaders or pursue the course of the law for redress.
The Representative hopeful encouraged the Gbarnga City Cooperation to re-direct its current efforts and resources to improving the sanitary condition of Gbarnga, as already started, and possibly opening up streets in Gbarnga that are closed due to the lack of maintenance over the years in the immediate term and follow the proper steps required in effecting any form of eviction as required by law and international instruments.