Kakata, Margibi County – Stakeholders of Bong and Gbarpolu Counties are meeting in Kakata City, Margibi County for the purpose of finding an amicable resolution to a long-running boundary dispute between the two counties.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs is convening the boundary harmonization dialogue with support from the United Nations Development Program, UNDP.
According to a release from the Internal Affairs Ministry, the Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO), Office of National Peace Ambassador ((ONPA), Liberia Land Authority (LLA) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LIGIS) are jointly providing technical expertise to the exercise.
For a long period now, Bong and Gbarpolu have been at loggerhead over a disputed area including Jungle James Camp, which is famous for mining activities. The leaderships of the two counties have claimed ownership of the area, with both making reference to legal title documents including maps and Acts of the Legislature.
The Kakata consultation taking place from October 9-10, 2019 is also being attended by members of the Legislative Caucuses of both Counties. In attendance on day one were Senators Armah Z. Jallah and Daniel Nataahn of Gbarpolu along Superintendent J. Keyah Saah and local officials, while Bong County Senator Henry Yallah, Superintendent Esther Walker and a host of local officials are representing Bong County.
Speaking at the opening session on Wednesday, Acting Internal Affairs Minister Honorable Momolu S. Johnson said the dialogue is very important to the resolution process. Honorable Johnson encouraged representatives of both counties to be truthful during the dialogue as to the ownership of the disputed area.
The release quotes the Acting Internal Affairs Minister as saying a study conducted by the Ministry discovered that boundary disputes are almost everywhere throughout the country.
The Kakata Dialogue is a follow up to similar consultation which was held in Bong Mines, Bong County from July 31st – August 2nd, 2019, which among other things states that while further consultative processes are ongoing for final decisions about the true ownership of the disputed parcel of land, the leaderships of the two counties should continue the maintenance of peace and stability in the Counties.
Giving an overview, Mr. Christopher Fayia, Senior Program Manager of the Liberia Peacebuilding Office said participants are expected to review documents (maps, Acts and others) being presented by the Liberia Land Authority with the intent of a possible agreement.