Special Awards In Pictures

-React To Lawsuit Against Company

Citizens including chiefs, elders, youth groups and Imams of the affected communities of Kinjor and Larjor in Grand Cape County have sharply reacted to recent statement in the media and attributed to Ms. Elizabeth ‘Ma Pai’ Fahnbulleh asking Green Advocates International to help institute a lawsuit against Aureus Mining.

In their position statement dated April 23, 2017 and posted on GNN Liberia Website, the residents of Kinjor, Gola-Konneh district, Grand Cape County said the project affected communities of Kinjor-Larjor, representing the 322 family heads that voluntarily resettled in New Kinjor and Larjor in 2013, seek to be partners of choice with BMMC (formerly Aureus Mining) for developing mineral resources and helping to ensure that the companies’ investments in these resources enhance social and economic development locally and nationally, as an important part of accomplishing this goal.

Members of the PAC further said they believe in a strategic collaborative development outcomes that are beyond the exclusive control of BMMC. “The approach we are taking to development should involve BMMC and the Government of Liberia in other to shape outcomes as much if not more than a company’s corporate social responsibilities. We recognize that BMMC has core responsibilities, which need to be met,” they said in a statement.

The residents and citizens also indicated that by working in constructive partnerships with all stakeholders, they can play a positive role in helping BMMC provide a low income country, such as theirs with an important, and sometimes critical economic boost, helping to reduce poverty and re-engage in the global economy.

“However, we note that in our recent experiences such positive outcomes have not been achieved and are holding the key to unleashing progress in Kinjor. For example, there are numerous outstanding obligations, which are derivative of the purchased Resettlement Land and the lease of the production area land. We believe that BMMC can contribute to addressing such obligation gaps without a result to lies, deception, distortion, and innuendos,” they added.

They vehemently disclosed that the purpose of their position statement is to reject and disassociate themselves from recent statements attributed to Ms. Elizabeth “Ma Pai” Fahnbulleh, as reported by the online magazine editions.

“Citizens’ representative, Elizabeth Fahnbulleh, on behalf of the citizens of Cape Mount County asked Green Advocates International to help them institute lawsuit against Aureus Mining. Failing to complete construction of housing units embarked on for their citizens’ relocation purpose. The place acquired by the Company to resettle them is in dispute. The construction of a health post project the company promised is yet to begin,” the online news outlets reported.

According to them, they as residents and leaders of “Kinjor”, indisputably and categorically reject, denounce, and disassociate themselves from the statements attributed to Ms. Elizabeth “Ma Pai” Fahnbulleh.

The frowned that the alleged statements are ‘malicious, unfounded, baseless, and misleading’, the allegations are intended to undermine BMMC’s social and economic contributions to their community more importantly than ever.

“They are also intended to visit pain and human suffering on the vulnerable residents of Kinjor through unnecessary litigation, which has the potential of strangulating the economic lifeline of affected communities,” they indicated.

They alleged that Ma Pai acted alone and not in the name of the citizens of Cape Mount, not even Kinjor, where she resides and currently serves in the capacity of Co-Chairperson of the Resettlement Working Group (the management team responsible for the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan).

They alleged that the claim that she was representing citizens of Cape Mount is erroneous and misleading. “No citizen of Grand Cape Mount County sanctioned or supported her utterances at the Green Advocates organized program of April 12, 2017 in Monrovia. Ms. Fahnbulleh exploited an opportunity meant for sharing experiences to advance her personal agenda,” the said in their resolution.

They revealed that currently, the new BMMC management has provided hand tools valuing more than US$1,500.00 and an additional US$2,800.00 in financial allowances to 100 villagers carrying out a massive clean-up of the Kinjor Village.

The cleaning up of the village marks the restart of construction work of the RAP Village. A team from the clean-up campaign will form the Village WATSAN Committee to sustain a clean and environmentally healthy Kinjor. BMMC is now hiring qualified carpenters and form workers to begin construction work.

“In connection with Ms. Fahnbulleh’s claim of a disputed land (the 150 acres of land purchased) for resettlement in New Kinjor, we wish to reaffirm that the 150 acres of land was legally purchased, the deed was probated by the court and is archived at the National Records and Archive Center,” they clarified.

Our relationship with our landlords (the citizens of Jawajeh Marvoh, Jenneh Brown, Blain and Deayelee) is cordial. Issue of dispute over the planting of cornerstone has long been resolved. The 150 acres of land is now a conflict free land for the permanent residency of directly affected communities. There exists no dispute between us and our landlords or any other party connected to this land.

By Reuben Sei Waylaun

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