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River dispute… one wounded, houses on fire

River dispute… one wounded, houses on fire

The Mano Sakrim and Masam Kpaka chiefdoms in Pujehun District are reported to be engaged in a very bitter and long standing dispute over a fishing territory which both chiefdoms have been claiming and every effort by the District Officer, Kemoh Mansaray, to resolve the quarrel has proven futile.

Recently, the dispute degenerated into violence when the people of Mano Sakrim reportedly invaded Sumbuya in Masam Kpaka Chiefdom where they burnt some houses and severely wounded an old man named Buakei Kamara. This reporter was in Masam Town when the wounded old man, who was oozing blood from his buttocks, was brought on a motor bike to the Paramount Chief of Masam Kpaka, John Salia Rogers.

The ugly incident occurred shortly after the District Officer left the disputed river where he went on that day site seeing. The unfortunate incident prompted the Local Unit Commander of Pujehun police, Richard Seddu to dispatch a team of OSD personnel to the scene.

In an interview, the District Officer told this press that the dispute erupted long ago when the people of Masam Kpaka accused the people of Mano Sakrim of trespassing on their fishing ground and stealing their fish, adding that the people of Mano Sakrim are in turn claiming that the fishing area belongs to them. The District Officer further stated that the quarrel compelled him and other concerned authorities to put a ban on fishing in the area but that the ban has never been obeyed as unidentified people keep raiding the prohibited area and stealing the fish.

By Joseph Milton Lebbie

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