A group of men have staged what has been described as “an insurgency” in the concession area of the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC) in Kinjor, Gola Konneh District in Grand Cape Mount County.
Journalists who visited the area gathered that the ‘uprising’ was allegedly masterminded by Thompson Darblo, Edwin G.K. Zoedua, Boakai L. Taliferro, Mohammed Dramine, and some hidden hands that include a former Senator and another prominent citizen.
These individuals, are reported to have rolled into Kinjor Village at night fall under the disguise of the men traditional society, known as the “Poro”, forcing women and children indoor, injuring several innocent villagers and allegedly extorting cellphones, cash, and personal effect from their victims.
In the wake of the mayhem, Boakai “Jehdee” Swaray, spokesperson of the project affected community of Kinjor, Lansana “Kayknight” Sambola (former Kinjor Town Chief), and E. Siafa “Press the Button” Fahnbulleh are said to have mobilized the community in support of peace in the area, resisted the takeover of their village and arrested 12 of the perceived insurgents.
Some of those arrested include “Dr” Edwin G. K. Zodua (Marvoh Land Administrator), James Kamara, Zoe Foday, William Sando, Varney Zopu, Morris Sheriff Boakai Duke, Emmanuel Askia, Boakai Kamara, Ansu Tarweh and David King, all of Bomi County.
But, residents of Kinjor have vehemently detested the action and are emphatic in saying “NO to violence”. That “No to Violence” is now the refrain in the Mining Town.
Our sources in the catchment area of the affected community said the Kinjor Community and the Traditional Council Chairman of Grand Cape Mount County, Chief Haji Sombai and Traditional Council Spokesperson, Varney Kangor Fahnbulleh, who were visiting Kinjor at the time, moved swiftly to inform the authorities of Grand Cape Mount County and the Government of Liberia about the situation that was unfolding in the mining town.
Acting swiftly, a government delegation led by Asst. Minister Joseph Jangai, County Superintendent, Aaron Vincent, and Traditional Council leader Chief Zanzan Karwor, and the Traditional Council members in Grand Cape Mount County arrived in Kinjor for initial fact finding the day after the incident.
The Liberian government also deployed 16 Police Support Unit (PSU) officers in the Kinjor Community and environs to stabilize the area and restore peace.
A series of weekend meetings followed with the management of the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC), at the request of stakeholders, including the Kinjor Community; Youth Groups-FLY of Grand Cape Mount and Mana/Laah Clans of Gola Konneh District, and the Marvoh and Darblo clans of Gola Konneh District.
These initiatives, the sources told journalists, were supported by radio talk shows in Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties and print and television coverage of the incident.
The journalists who visited the area at the weekend also learnt that as a direct result of these interventions, the alleged suspect, Thompson and his cohorts are effectively isolated, with their capacity degraded and are now in retreat.
“They can no longer disrupt the operation of the mine or Kinjor Village,” said Jehdee Swaray, spokesperson of the resettled town of New Kinjor village, adding: “We are tired of this habit of disrupting the peace and economic life in this place.”
In fact, the journalists found out, some of the members of the riotous band have begun appealing to officials of Government to intercede for them and grant clemency; while their elders and parents have offered apologies, condemned and disassociated themselves from their children’s actions.
A few of the alleged backers of the unruly act are now on radio, trying to extricate themselves, while Bomi and Cape Mount citizens are calling for swift government intervention to arrest and try Thompson and his co-perpetrators.
The citizens believe, this action will help to avert a Thompson-instigated conflict between two historical allies, the Vais of Cape Mount and the Golas in Cape Mount and Bomi counties repectively.
Mining activities has since resumed after calm and stability was restored to the concession area.
Investigation continues in the aftermath of the saga relative to actions that will curb the intermittent incitement to violence that have plagued the mining town on a powder keg, leaving peaceful residents to live in a state of constant fear and uncertainty over what might befall them later.