There are so many reports on ritualistic killings in Liberia, one should almost lose track. Below is another article, dating from 2005, on ritualistic murders in Maryland County, perhaps the most notorious region of Liberia as far as ritual murders are concerned. (webmaster FVDK)
Published: January 27, 2005
By Josephus Moses Gray – The Perspective
Some panic-stricken inhabitants of the southeastern county of Maryland, mainly in Harper city, over the weekend took the law into their hands when they staged a violent protest over the wave of ritualistic killings which has re-surfaced in the area.
The county is noted for ritualistic killings, despite serious actions taken over the years by the Liberian government – by putting perpetrators to death by hanging while giving others lengthy prison sentences.
According to latest report emerging from the county, hundreds of angry residents came out to protest the alleged failure of the appropriate security apparatus to curtail the wave of ritualistic killings in the county.
During the violence demonstration staged by the youth of the county, several persons were victimized while several business houses and private homes were reportedly attacked and looted by the mobs. Liberia’s Justice Minister, Cllr. Kabineh Ja’neh told journalists in Monrovia this week that the mobs attacked the National Police Headquarters on Green Street in Harper and released several prisoners sentenced for various crimes.
The Justice Minister explained further that the mobs ransacked the Harper Police headquarters and flogged two detainees severely. The two victims, according to minister, have been accused of being involved in the ritualistic killing in the county.
In order to restore calm in the area, the transitional government has imposed a dust to dawn curfew in the county, while at the same time the government has instituted a thorough probe into circumstances that led to the mob action.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Special Representative in Liberia, Ambassador Jacques Paul Klein told journalists in Monrovia that the UN Mission in Liberia is carefully studying the situation in the county.
According to the UN diplomat, UN peacekeepers are on standby to move into the county should the situation continue in an effort to help ensure the safety and security of the people of Maryland. Warning the residents to remain in doors during he curfew which run from 6: PM to 6:AM daily, ambassador Klein said UNMIL will provide full security for the people of the county.
The situation in the past led to severe punishment administered against convicted sons and daughters of the county, with some of them being publicly hanged to death, while others were given long prison sentences. Among those hanged were the former Superintendent of the County, James Anderson, Jr., Allen Yancy, Francis Nyepan, Philip Seton, Oldman Barclay and Madam Wreh Tarnyonoh, just to name few. They were hanged on 17th February 1979 during the regime of the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr. after a guilty verdict was brought down against them for killing a popular Kru traditional singer Moses Tweh.
Similar situation re-emerged in 1986 and took away the lives of two little kids in the county. Those connected to the act include former NDPL county chairman, David Clark, Alfred Davies, Jasper Bedell, Gbason Toe and one Gardner. They were arrested and brought to Monrovia where they were sentenced to prolong detention while under going investigation.
Another 200 persons were round-up by the former Superintendent of the county now Minister of Internal affairs, Minister H. Dan Morais for the mysterious death of Lt. Alphonso Chalde, former employee of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).