President Weah To Hold Face To Face Dialogue With Fendell Demolition Victims Monday


Following President GEORGE WEAH’s recent offer to dialogue with the victims of the April 19-June 30, 2016 FENDELL demolition in an apparent response to more than two years of sustained advocacy by the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives (LMDI) against the wanton demolition and destruction of at least 3000 homes and 15 aboriginal villages, the president is expected to meet with the FENDELL victims to begin his conversation with them on finding an amicable resolution to the issue and a potential end to their long near three years of suffering.

In a telephone conversation with JOHN KOLLIE, Director of the LMDI on Friday, President GEORGE WEAH’S Deputy Press Secretary, SMITH TOBY confirmed that the president has agreed to hold his first direct face to face meeting with the leaders and some of the more than 50 thousand direct and indirect victims of the April 19—30, 2016 wanton demolition, illegal forced eviction and mass displacement of the people.
LMDI Director JOHN KOLLIE who and his team on their People To People platform, THE DIALOGUE have heralded the advocacy against the demolition and argued for the compensation and resettlement of the of the victims says he and the president’s press team have agreed to hold the meeting at the auditorium CONFIDENCE High School at the COOPER’S FARM near the University of Liberia (UL) FENDELL Campus, the scene of the demolition.

The CONFIDENCE High School has been the setting for all LMDI anti FENDELL demolition and plea for resettlement and compensation for the victims, since any gathering for such meetings could not be allowed at FENDELL, the real scene of the destruction.

The President’s first meeting with the FENDELL demolition victims is expected to be held under the LMDI Media and Community Outreach blended Popular People To People flagship platform, THE DIALOGUE which has served as the only space for hope for the victims since the destruction of their millions of U.S. dollars worth of property at FENDELL.

The President’s Monday meeting with the FENDELL victims is in fulfillment of a recent commitment to dialogue a way out of the quagmire in response to a plea by LMDI Director and Press Union of Liberia Journalist of the Year JOHN KOLLIE, at a media executives’ meeting.
In a frank exchange Journalist of the year and LMDI Founder and Director JOHN KOLLIE president WEAH committed that his government will in engage in dialogue with the thousands of the UL FENDELL campus private property destruction and negotiate a sober government to people resolution to the saga.
President WEAH said his government is one of prop-poor and does not acquiesce the destruction of the homes of poor people who have suffered to rebuild their lives after years of civil war.
The president said though the demolition was carried out by the UL authority in the regime of his predecessor, president ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF, he thinks it was ill advised and instituted against the thousands of poor people who have painstakingly suffered massive displacement by the wanton FENDELL campus private homes destruction.
President WEAH promised what he calls a pro-poor sensitive resolution that he said will relieve the victims of the pains and suffering already undergone since the destruction of their homes. He called for a direct first meeting with the leadership of the aggrieved FENDELL destruction and pleaded with LMDI Director JOHN KOLLIE to liaise with the FENDELL victims for such a meeting and other engagements to ensure that an amicable resolution is found.
JOHN KOLLIE and the LMDI have been but the only advocate against the demolition of at least 3000 private homes of Liberians ordered by former president ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF through the University of Liberia authority led then by WEADE KOLBA WUREH BOLEY.
JOHN KOLLIE has argued that the wanton bull dozing of homes of thousands of private homes and aboriginal villages of more than 40 thousand people was a violation of their fundamental human rights in keeping with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guidelines on forced eviction.
Between April 19—June 30, 2016, the University of Liberia influenced by and acting through its Vice President WEADE KOBLA WUREH BOLEY on orders of former president ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF instituted a wanton forced eviction of more than 40 thousand people and demolished private homes and at least 10 aboriginal homeland villages of ethnic Gola, Kpelleh and Bassa people who originally owned FENDELL.
Victims of the wanton UL destruction claim that more than 3000 homes and about 15 villages were destroyed…They put the cost of their destroyed properties at 40 million dollars. The victims have since taken their case to both Liberian and ECOWAS court for redress, but with the offered intervention of president GEORGE WEAH, the case may be withdrawn to allow for a negotiated settlement that could water down their demands.

Dealing with FENDELL saga has been seen as practically impossible as the government under ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF did not grant any ears to the thousands of people displaced by the wanton destruction of homes and villages at FENDELL and as such an amicable solution, if found could be one of the practical signs of the commitment of President GEORGE WEAH’S commitment to his heralded pro-poor agenda for prosperity.

Since the wanton demolition of the more than 3000 homes of people at FENDELL, the LMDI and JOHN KOLLIE have financed and run several sessions of their DIALOGUE forums highlighting the destruction and the plight of the more than 40 thousand people now displaced scattered in the bushes of rural Montserrado County.
John Kollie calls on the administration of President GEORGE WEAH, styling itself as pro-poor, to launch a probe into the situation and to address the concerns of the thousands of Liberians displaced by the wanton FENDELL demolition by former President ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF and UL Vice President WEADE KOBBA WUREH.
Kollie has argued that the FENDELL destruction is a gross violation of all provisions of the Universal Declaration Human rights on forced eviction and the dispossession of the human being of land or any real property as done at FENDELL, hence Monday’s meeting will be the beginning of show by the WEAH government that it will do true to its prop-poor promise to lift thousands out of poverty.