A Daily Observer team back from Sinoe County gathered that that county is on the brink of a tribal conflict owing to the so-called formation of a “Kru Section” and “Sarpo Section,” caused by political meddling from both the county Superintendent and members of the county’s legislative caucus.
Mississippi Street, the principal street of Greenville, Sinoe County, established by the Mississippi Colonization Society, should probably be a beacon of peace and unity in Southeastern Liberia, but with the growing tribal tension amongst the two major tribes, fear is looming over the 150,000 people living in the County.
A group of youths, under the umbrella, Concerned Citizens of Sinoe County, admitted to the tribal division in the county, but argued that the Kru section alias ‘48 Kru Section’ and the Sarpo section called ‘Six Sarpo Sections’ were established to promote unity, development, and peace among tribal groups, but the interferences of political actors have overshadowed the original status quo.
Edward Kanmoh, secretary of Concerned Citizens, and three other members, Nelson Myers, Jlakon Blamoh, and Bill Wleh, told the Daily Observer that the seed of tribal discord was planted by Senator Mobutu Nyenpan, and Representative Matthew Zarzar. This allegation was denied by Curtis Jackson, Elijah Doe, and Alexander Wah, members of another youth group — Youth United for Development, who accused Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay of igniting and promoting disunity among Sarpos and Krus in the county.
The Concerned Citizens explained that Sen. Nyenpan and the late Nelson Wah Bah secretly told the Sarpos not to vote for a Kru candidate, which caused Sen. Joseph Nagbe to emerge as Junior Senator. They also argued that prior to the elections of Rep. Zarzar of District #3, who replaced the late Rep. Bah, Rep. Zarzar also, promised to reconcile the Kru and Sarpos, but has since failed to do so after getting elected.
Mr. Jackson, described the allegations as a fabrication and a lie. He argued that the elections of Sen. Nyenpan and Rep. Zarzar were based on their non-ethnic campaigns in Sinoe. He stated that the formation of the ‘Sarpo Section’ was created in the 1980s to primarily foster peace, while the Kru Section was founded after the civil war.
The president of the Tatweh Youth Group, who is also the head of the Federation of Liberian Youth branch in Greenville, Hilary Quiatoh, also confirmed the division among the two major tribes.
“The Kru and Sarpo Sections depict a division, but we want to suggest peace conferences and meetings for the sake of bringing peace to our people,” Mr. Quiatoh said.
When our reporter contacted Sinoe Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay, he said there was no tribal disunity in Sinoe County, but indicated that the‘48 Kru Section’ and ‘Six Sarpo Sections’ were purposely founded to promote development, peace, and unity.
Superintendent Teahjah admitted being responsible for the reactivation of the ‘48 Kru Sections,’ but clarified that it was wrongly perceived. He claimed it was intended to foster peace, development, and unity among the Kru tribe.
“Compared to past Superintendents, my office is the epitome of tribal equilibrium, but because of pervasive politicking by Senator Mobutu Nyenpan and Rep. Matthew Zarzar, tribal disunity is hurting the county,” Superintendent Teahjay said.
Senator Nyenpan refuted Superintendent Teahjay’s allegation and labeled him as the “virus of the county.”
He told the Daily Observer that prior to the appointment of Superintendent Teahjay, the people of Sinoe were peaceful and united, but the emergence of Teahjay brought disunity among the tribes.
“Teahjay is a virus in Sinoe, can you imagine he has publicly told the people of Sinoe that this is the time for Kru people, because they are in majority.”
The Sinoe County Senator also boasted of tribal equilibrium in his employment and said there is evidence that Teahjay has pursued Kru men to avoid dating Sarpo women.
Despite the heating up of the in-fighting between the Sarpos and Krus in 201, Sinoe County Police Chief Superintendent Lloyd B. Togba said there has not been any major standoff.
“There is no tribal disunity though there are Kru and Sarpo Sections, and we believe they are there for development,” Police Supt. Togba said.
Efforts to contact Rep. Matthew Zarzar by mobile phones proved futile.