Mano River Union Sets to Settle Dispute Over Yenga

The Mano River Union (MRU) is set to settle the territorial dispute between Sierra Leone and her closest neighbor, Guinea.

MRU made this move following the latest advance of Guinean Military in Yenga, a town boarding the two West African nations.

It is reported that the Guneans have erected a pillar at Yenga which has raised serious concerns among some Sierra Leoneans. They believed it is a direct infringement of the Guinean authorities on the territorial integrity of Sierra Leone.

Amb. Maria G. Harrison, the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretary-General says they have begun talks with community leaders, tribal heads and all stakeholders over the uncertainty surrounding Yenga and it environmental issues and how stability can be restored between both countries respectively.

it was disclosed that the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) has approved and provided granting aid of  $25 million to build the 276 meters “Peace” bridge over the disputed Makona or Moa river , and FIFA has also expressed interest to build sports complex including recreational central, sports academy, stadiums for both indoor and outdoor games in the region.

This can only happen if there is Peace within the two countries, the right to host the 2025 Nations Cup has been taking away from Guinea as engagement is ongoing for the tournament to be hosted by the Mano River Union Nations before 2030.

With the engagement many individuals especially the sierra Leonean side believed that, the issue will be amicably sort out to avoid any problems between the two countries either now or the future.

Yenga, a village at the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea in Kissi Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun District, is originally part of Sierra Leone.

Guineans came to occupy the territory during the civil war in Sierra Leone. It follows after Guinean troops were sent into the village to help Sierra Leone army suppress the RUF rebels. But the Guineans remained in the community after the war ended, eventually claiming ownership of the territory. Since then, there has been dispute between residents of both countries over who own the village largely occupied by the Kissi people of Sierra Leone.

In 2005, the neighboring countries signed an agreement that Yenga belonged to Sierra Leone. Later in 2012, they declared that the village be demilitarized.

But the dispute over ownership of the area remains unresolved despite the many bilateral agreements signed.

See Press Release Belew:

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