Ethnic Sarpos Want County Status

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Ethnic Sarpos during a meeting in Monrovia last Monday reconfirmed their quest for county status, saying the creation of a county of their own would resolve standing ethnic conflicts with the Klaos (Kru).
The Sarpos, one of whom is Sinoe County Superintendent Thomas Quioh, say they would remain peaceful, supportive and seek the unity of the county, but if other ethnic groups continue to use their numbers to suppress them, the creation of a county would stop what he described as “the conspiracy of silence.”
Superintendent Quioh said ethnic Sarpos, the “minority tribe in the county,” is undergoing “painful political marginalization” in the county, pointing out that the recent statement by Senator J. Milton Teahjay to campaign against the re-election of Rep. Matthew Zarzar, the only Sarpo in the race, worsens their marginalization.
In an irritated tone, Superintendent Quioh challenged Sen. Teahjay, stating that Rep. Zarzar would be re-elected because ethnic Sarpos would ensure his reelection.
Former Senator Mobutu Nyenpan reinforced Supt. Quioh’s challenge against Sen. Teahjay on the re-election of Rep. Zarzar in 2017.
“We lost the Senatorial seat in 2014, so we should rally not to lose another seat in 2017,” Sen. Nyenpan said. “We are losing ground in Sinoe County and if we are not careful, there will be no seat for us,” he warned.
Though Sen. Nyenpan did not direct his comments to the creation of a new county, he encouraged ethnic Sarpos to stand their ground.
The Acting National Chairman of the “Sarpo Apoleopo,” Anthony Slewro, also said the dream of ethnic Sarpos of obtaining “county status” is in the pipeline and they are praying fervently for it.
These disclosures of the Sarpos on Monday confirmed reports gathered by the Daily Observer that ethnic Sarpos in Sinoe County are closing up their consultations to write the National Legislature to request county status.
Senior Sarpo citizen Mr. Cheslie S. Mennoh, said the perception of the creation of a county began in the 1980s.
He said besides Juazon, the proposed county would also include Kpanyan, Kabadeh, Numupoh, Wijah, Pinkun among other towns.
The Vice Chairman of Sinoe County Youth Association, Godfrey Pion, said most of ethnic Sarpo youths are in support of the formulation of a county for fear of “ethnic war” among themselves over being disadvantaged in numbers during political elections.
Pion said the Kru 48 Sections and the Sarpos 6 Sections, which were initially social organizations, have turned into political campaign groups and this is troubling the county.
The Daily Observer has gathered that citizens of the Sarpo ethnic group in the country and in the USA believe that the creation of their county would put to an end the continuous political conflict between the Sarpos and Klao, the two major ethnic groups in Sinoe County.
Accordingly, the proposed county would include the county’s first statutory district, Juazon, and thereby be called Juazon County.
The official tribe could be Sarpo, which is also known as Bush Kru, and the capital city would be Bellewo Creek.
If the county is created, it would border Sinoe and Grand Gedeh counties.
Sinoe County District # 3 Representative Mattew Zarzar would sponsor a bill for that purpose before the 2017 elections.
Although Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay said any group of citizens has the right to call for a county status or join another county, some interviewed for this story said the people of Sinoe County don’t have the appetite to partition the county.
Sen. Teahjay said he is surprised that one of the five lawmakers of the county’s caucus is calling for a partition of the county and that it would be legally impossible for 17,000 people to acquire county status.
“I wish Rep. Zarzar well, but the county doesn’t have the appetite for a partition,” Sen. Teahjay insisted.

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