GUN SHOT IN WELEMBELLE OVER ROSEWOOD HARVEST

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Welembelle was one of the communities that resisted the marauding activities of rosewood loggers which earned them unprecedented praise. This act of honour to preserve the fragile ecology for themselves and posterity has been allowed to slip away for not just to harvest rosewood alone, as guns have been pulled over questions and disagreement about land ownership in Welembelle following a renewed operations to cut rosewood. Radford FM News spoke with the unit committee chairman of Welembell Mr. Malik Asuru who said “it’s true but Welembelle have always had disagreement over several issues including rosewood and lands. Saying” unit committee and the elders took a decision not to allow anybody to log rosewood but to our surprise, individuals who own land brought loggers to harvest rosewood. Malik said all of these happened at the blind side of the unit committee and once the land owners contracted the loggers, we had little powers this then raise issue of who own what land. He has therefore appealed to those who pulled guns at each other .the unit committee is appealing to all who were involve to exercise restraints and allow everyone to co-exist like they used to do in the past and not allow harvest of rosewood to disunite the community . Malik however proposed the tree already felled should be made to be taken away and not repeated. The Police commander ASP Abanga confirmed and said the he mobiised and went to Welembelle with his men and the one who pulled the gun is being traced and appealed for calm in the already volatile area ”don’t allow rosewood to divide you and warned if the last trees dies the last man dies” in an interview with RadfordFM. “Currently we are also looking for the leader who pulled the gun and when we get him we will make his name public”. “There are 140 logs in the depot, after tracing the tractor that the wood logger used we shall convey them to Tumu”. Commander Abanga reiterated that nobody has license to harvest rose wood and that they would arrest anyone who is found to be harvesting. Welembelle is one of the biggest farming community in the Sissala East and lies closed to the Gbele game reserved where a lot of endangered species are protected. They remained one of the few communities that resisted rosewood operations for the past years and won tonnes of commendation from the public.
The community which has one of the oldest paramountcy is yet to sort out who replaces the former chief who passed to eternity few years ago is now faced with fresh rosewood harvest which is also introducing land litigation claims among settlers . It is the fear of this reporter that adding land conflict to an already fragile peace to Welembelle will be too much a burden on the Welembelle community and its sister communities.
By: Mohammed Balu Salia
Radford FM 28-02-18

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