As Violence Hits Timber Business and Association Youths Battle Over Hastings Airstrip
In a press conference held at the police headquarters, Sierra Express Media (SEM) was updated that the issue of timber logging and trade has been a lucrative business over the years attracting different sectors of society and foreign nationals; some involving in criminality.
According to the Sierra Leone Police, there was a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Timber Association Sierra Leone based at the Hastings airstrip. On 2nd October, 2018, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security wrote them a letter suspending the agreement and MoU for the setting up of a Timber Agency.
During the course of the week, a group of youths including ex-combatants stormed the airstrip in a bid to take from the Timber Association Sierra Leone, the Hastings Airstrip; a situation that degenerated into a public disorder characterized by missile throwing and personal attacks leading to the burning down of the Airfield Police post, the Association’s office and other structures. At least two police officers were injured .With reinforcement from the regional headquarter; that rowdy crowd was dispersed by the firing of tear gas canisters. However, it was reported that 28 suspects were arrested, investigated, and charged to court. There is warrant of arrest for the two ring leaders.
By: Allieu Lamin Kamara
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