Liberia: Nimba Grand Gedeh Trash out Differences, Call for a United Peaceful Region


MONROVIA – Residents of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties have called for a peaceful and united region.

The people of both counties say they feel stigmatized and stereotyped, with many describing them as troublemakers in Liberia.

Both counties have agreed to move forward and trash out existing bitterness between them.

By Edwin G. Genoway, Jr (231886458910)[email protected]

For the past years, there has been a bitter relationship between residents of Zualay Nimba County and Tuzon Grand Gedeh County.

Both counties had been at loggerheads since the Liberian civil war where citizens from the counties went at each other during the war.

The Liberian civil war has since ended but the two counties have not enjoyed the comfort of each other.

Finding a solution for the two counties to coexist, citizens and top counties officials of Nimba and Grand Gedehon on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 gathered at the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church to dialogue on the long-standing issue of peaceful co-existence between, Nimba County and Grand Gedeh counties respectively.

Electoral District #6 Representative Dorwohn T. Gleekia did not mince his words in telling the audience of what still stands out as be continuing conflict between the two counties’ people.

Speaking at the start of a two-day peace conference of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties organized by Integrity Watch Liberia (IW-L), the Nimba County District #6 lawmaker pointed out that all other assertions that Nimbaians and Grand Gedians are happily living together in peace and harmony are mere lips service that does not represent the true picture on the ground.

Because of this, Rep. Gleekia wants all well-meaning Liberians, both home and in the diaspora, as well as the government and development partners to get involved through concerted efforts so as to bring an end to the deeply rooted hatred or conflict that is no way near an end.

“As I speak to you there is still a problem between the two people. I mean there is a serious problem there. As we speak, that part of the country is fragile. We are sitting on a time bomb. The Krahns and Gios still have bitterness and there is no way to sugar quote this if we want lasting peace to the situation. Please join us to resolve this issue. And as we sit in this conference, I want to call on the attention of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and all other stakeholders including our many development partners to help us engage in finding lasting solution to our peace,” Re. Gleekia added.

However, contrary to the Nimba County Electoral District #6 lawmaker’s assertion, several speakers including Grand Gedeh Electoral District #3 Alex C. Grant and local counties’ leaderships represented by the two superintendents and commissioners spoke of harmonious relationship between the two groups.

“Gedeh and Nimba are brothers and sisters from one mother but different father and this is why we are strong together. We have worked so hard over the years to have lasting peace and nothing is going to draw us back to our ugly past. It’s not going to work for politicians to use us again. War isn’t in our thinking,” Rep. Grant indicated.

According to Rep. Grant, the two counties have overcome sectionalism and tribalism and are happily living together as one family, an assertion that comes in contrast to Rep. Gleekia’s claim.

“Grand Gedeh and Nimba people are peacemakers. I want to call on our civil society people and NGOs to stop reminding us about the past. This kind of conference does nothing well for us, rather than bringing us bad memories,” he added.

Rev. Janice Gonoe, Senior Pastor of the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, called on both groups to make peace because according to her, without peace they are not full humans.

“Not ourselves created ourselves and so to hurt each other on the basis of tribe is hurting God. You need to come together and live like brothers and sisters and forget the past,” the Lutheran cleric urged.

Rev. Gonoe disclosed that the Church is contemplating on the construction of a museum so as to remember the dreadful massacre that occurred some 32 years ago at the Lutheran compound.

But to do so, the Church wants the assistance of the government and international community.

“Memorable service is not just enough for those massacred. We need a museum to promote human dignity and help us remember the tragedy. The church has spoken to the Swedish and US Embassies. You must forgive to be forgiven. Let’s forgive one another and God, our creator, will forgive us,” Rev. Gonoe noted.

Mr. Harold Marvin Aidoo, Executive Director of IWL and convener of the forum, explained that the ongoing dialogue is part of the efforts to ensure that people of the two counties forget the past and think about the future in a more positive manner.

He said the peaceful dialogue, which is being supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is in accord with the nation’s peacebuilding efforts.

“This is not different from the many peace processes being initiated across the country by Liberians. But ours is irrespective of the past; whether we were victims or perpetrators, all we want is let’s forget the past. And so we brought you here to cement the reconciliation effort and to discuss the future. We want to build the brothers and sisterly relationship of the people of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties,” Aidoo narrated.