LIBERIA: Sen. Sherman Raises Red Flag Over Growing Wave Of Tribalism In Cape Mount

Senator Varney Sherman

Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney G. Sherman has alarmed that tribalism and ethnicity are gradually taking over Grand Cape Mount County.

In remarks on Sunday, February 24,  in Tienii Town, Tewor District at a meeting convened to mend relations between the Vai and Gola ethnic groups in Kinjor, Senator Sherman told the people that tribalism and ethnicity are two ugly enemies and that they must strive to get rid of the vices permanently.

According to Senator Sherman, in recent times, Cape Mount County has been engulfed by too many land conflicts something which, he pointed out, does not mean well for the county and its people.

The legal luminary revealed that not a single clan in the county is without a resolved or pending land dispute, adding that most of these land conflicts are either tribal or ethnic oriented.

The Grand Cape Mount Senator reminded the gathering that the county is already far behind on the development ladder of the country, indicating that tribalism and ethnicity will further ruin the chances of the county’s development.

Senator Sherman has, therefore, challenged the people of Cape Mount to do away with the issue of tribal supremacy, noting that the Vais, Golas and Mendes are the same people, and they should therefore use their differences as a means of development and not as a source of conflict.

The Grand Cape Mount Senator has also recommended a national dialogue to be held among Cape Mountainians to find an amicable solution to the wave of ethnic tension that continues to brew among the tribes of the county.

Meanwhile, the Cape Mount County local authority has constituted a five-man committee to work on the proposed national dialogue to swiftly address “a creeping devil” that has the propensity to stall the development of the county.

Since the establishment of the Bea Mountain Mining Company in Kinjor, there has been persistent conflict, mainly between the Golas and Vais, two predominant tribes in the county.

In the most recent tribal tension, Chiefs from four towns in Gola Konneh District selected one of their kinsmen to replace the Town Chief of Kinjor, who is a Vai, even though his tenure had not ended.

This resulted to retaliation from the Vai people.

The Minister of Internal Affairs intervened in the brewing conflict and set up an interim leadership in the town pending an election.

Also during the failed 2018 Grand Cape Mount County Council Sitting, it was observed that when it was time to vote for the leadership of the Project Management Committee, the delegates voted on tribal lines.

With the exception of the Treasurer position for which there was a single candidate, the two other positions were voted for based on regional or tribal influence.

During the election, delegates from Porkpa and Gola Konneh Districts that are made up pre-dominantly of Mendes and Golas, did not vote for candidates from Garwular, Tewor and Commonwealth Districts that comprise mainly of Vais, and this was the same with the delegates from Garwular, Tewor and Commonwealth District.

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About Cholo Brooks 13769 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.