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CSOs renew commitment for passage of Land Rights Act

Jos Garneo Cephas/Joseph T. Koon
Protesting over land rights in Liberia
Protesting over land rights in Liberia

(elbcradio.com/Jan.27/2016)- The Coalition of Liberian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has expressed concern over the prolonged delay in the passage of the Land Rights Act.

The Program Coordinator of Sustainable Development Institute, Ali Kaba said: “The importance of the Land Rights Act, if passed, will give Liberians the rights to establish customary land ownership”.

Mr. Kaba said:” The failure of the House of Representatives to pass the Act could render Liberians hopeless in the land reform process.”

Earlier, the Liberia Reform Movement Director, Alphonso B. Henries, said land ownership is vital to the growth and development of any society.

Mr. Henries noted: “Given the critical importance of land history in Liberia, it is important to keep the public abreast of the ongoing land reform.”

In a released statement, he read on behalf of the coalition of CSOs, Mr. Harris, called on the House of Representatives to intervene to meet the aspirations of the Liberian people.

The statement released January 21, 2016 earlier before President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s State of the Nation Address, in which she reiterated the importance of the Act  among other bills submitted by her office and called on the Legislature for the passage.

In 2014, the Land Rights Act was submitted to the House of Representatives for passage.

The statement also quotes the the CSOs as saying: “Calling on Government, international partners and the public to uphold support and defend the integrity of Customary Land Rights upon its passage into law.”

The draft Land Rights Act was created from the Land Rights Policy, after broad based highly participatory consultations with the Liberian people, before it was submitted.

Unfortunately after a massive dialogue, lobbing and awareness on the Land Rights Act, during the first sitting of the law makers in 2015, the passage of the Act, was disappointingly dashed into committee room.

In her recent State of the Nation Address, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, submitted several bills to the National Legislature for timely consideration and passage.

The President’s resubmission of such bills is commendable, public-spirited and is in support of the Consortium of the CSOs. 

 


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