News / Africa

Liberia Begins Three Days of Land Conference amid Backlog of Disputes

Land Commissioner Cecil Othello Brandy hopes the conference will come up with basic guidelines to help the government develop its urban policy

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

Liberia’s Land Commission begins a three-day National Urban Conference Wednesday in Monrovia to discuss the ever increasing urban land issues in the country.

Cecil Othello Brandy, chairman of the Liberia Land Commission, said the commission hopes the conference will come up with basic guidelines that would help the government develop its urban land policy.

“As a result of the war, many internally displaced persons relocated into new areas and a lot of them moved into urban areas. This has placed enormous pressure on urban facilities, and so increasingly land has become a major issue in Monrovia. We are hoping, as a result of (the conference) to device some basic guidelines that can help us develop an urban land policy,” he said.

Two years ago, a survey by the then Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded that there was a strong possibility of Liberia returning to violence unless the government took steps to address the land issue.

Brandy concurred with the commission’s findings, but said land reform has always been a top priority for the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“From the very beginning of her administration, the first thing the president mentioned was the need for land reform. I think in her inaugural address she mentioned that land reform would be on the top of her agenda, and she proceeded to do this,” Brandy said.

Map of Liberia
Map of Liberia

He said it took two years of consultation with all stakeholders around the country before finally forming a land commission which President Sirleaf signed into law last year.

“As you rightly said, land poses a major problem, a potential flashpoint , and unless the major issues of land are addressed, we run the risk of major disputes starting. I wouldn’t say a full-blown war, but minor skirmishes might arise. And this conference is another attempt to begin to look at the issues concerning our urban centers,” Brandy said.

The many land problems afflicting Liberia are happening against the backdrop of what some observers called a weak and sometimes corrupt judicial system.

“We feel the need for instituting measures that can enforce the rule of law with regards to land dealings. That is critical, and unless that is done, you are right we won’t be able to solve the problem,” Brandy said.

He said the land commission has already established a dispute resolution task force.

“We are in the process now of involving all of the stakeholders who have, in the absence of a land commission been involved in land disputes. As you know a lot of the actors involved in land dispute resolution are local authorities, traditional leaders. And so we are developing some procedures so that we can begin addressing quickly the huge backlog of disputes,” Brandy said.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid