Ethnic Conflict Looms in Sinoe

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The Daily Observer has gathered that there’s an increasing ‘tribal tension’ between two major tribal groups in Sinoe County, the Kru and Sarpo, which might result to ethnic conflict.
The County, which is comprised of four ethnic groups, the Kru, Sarpo, Grebo and Americo-Liberians, is being dominantly represented by the Krus in the National Legislature, and reports gathered say that as the political and the electoral calendar draw nears, the tribal tension is ‘building-up’ with threats, insults and friction amongst and between the County’s Legislators and local authorities.
Currently, there is “bad blood” between the local authority of Sinoe County, headed by Superintendant Thomas Romeo Quiah –(a Sarpo), and the County’s Legislative Caucus.
The Caucus, comprising of four Krus and a Sarpo, are demanding an approval for expenditures from the County Development or Social Fund, but the local authority feels disobliged, being answerable to the Executive Branch – a similar argument Sen. Teahjay raised when he was the then Superintendent.
According to reports, Rep. Matthew Zarzar of District # 3 – Sinoe County, who is the lone Sarpo man, is in favor of the Quiah decision.
Rep. Zarzar, the former Chief Advisor of the defeated Mobutu Nyenpan re-election Campaign (Nyenpan is also a Sarpo man) and Senator Milton Teahjay, are chief rivals.
The two Sinoe statesmen are at loggerheads over the ethnic reasons – majority and minority tribes.
Their followers in Monrovia and in the County inarguably buttressed their clash on Capitol Hill, and there is an eminent conflict.
Both tribes have resolved to not attend any program organized by opposite tribal person(s) or groups.
Besides the disagreement in the use of the County Development Fund, there is a claim that the County must be represented by only ethnic Krus and Rep. Zarzar, on several occasions accused Senator Teahjay of changing the vision and the mission of the Kru 48 Sections, a former social organization, for political gains.
Rep. Zarzar, as a strategy against his removal and manipulation of Kru influence, stopped Sen. Teahjay from attending a program or going on a tour in District # 3.
The disagreement has resulted into “insult and threats” and there was nearly a fistfight during a “talk show discussion” at the Voice of Sinoe.
In June 2015, Sinoe County Superintendent Thomas Romeo Quiah, (a Sarpo) – accused Sen. Teahjay, as the architect of his removal because of ethnicity, when dozens of Sinoe citizens protested against his removal when President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visited the county in May 2015.
Meanwhile, Liberia’s 2015 July 26 Orator, Amb. Charles Minor and the Speaker of the Mano River Union Youth Parliament Liberia, Melvin Sarh are going for an “anti-divisive conference” or a “peace and reconciliation” conference in Sinoe County.
Amb. Minor, a senior citizen of Sinoe reiterated that the Krus, Sarpos, Grebos and the Americo-Liberians are all Liberians of Sinoe County or of any other county in the Republic.
“Almighty God will give us hearts of flesh and not of stone and the capacity to bridge the chasm that divide us in this county,” Amb. Minor said in his July 26 oration in Greenville this year, “and that the friendship and peaceful co-existence that existed between the first Sapo generation, their hosts the Krus and other co-settlers will be re-kindled and the people of Sinoe will discover that with a new sense of unity, we are strong, Sinokree strong; Sinoria strong; GeCraw strong, and upon that strong foundation we will consolidate our gains and accelerate efforts to develop and grow our communities, our economy and improve the lives of our people.”
For his part Amb. Sarh said though it’s difficult to solve bargaining problems, a national conference could be possible to heal divisiveness in the county.
He argued that the county’s division is caused by the disunity on Capitol Hill.
“If peace would exist in Sinoe County, it must start from the Legislature and between the Legislature and the Executive,” Amb Sarh said.

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