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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: Bea Mountain Attack: House Orders Probe

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House Speaker Fonati Koffa Sets Up Ad-hoc Intervention Committee to Probe Ongoing Protest at Bea Mountain Mining Company in Grand Cape Mount, calling for calm and cooperation from all parties involved.

According to the House Press Bureau, the committee is tasked with conducting a thorough investigation into the issues surrounding the protest, ensuring a fair and impartial inquiry.

The legislative delegation, comprising esteemed members such as Representatives Yekeh Kolubah, Dixon Seboe, Eugene Kollie, Emmanuel Dahn, Foday Fahnbulleh, Edward Flomo and three lawmakers from Cape Mount, is en route to Cape Mount today.

This delegation, as deputies of the people, demonstrates the commitment of the Honorable House of Representatives to working in the best interest of the citizens.

The Ad-hoc Intervention Committee will work diligently to gather facts, engage stakeholders, and present a comprehensive report that will guide future actions and decisions.

The House emphasizes its dedication to addressing the concerns of the people and fostering a resolution that ensures justice and fairness.

How County Lawmaker was Involved

The newly elected lawmaker of District Number Two Grand Cape Mount County, Mohammed Dosi has given his blessing to the ongoing protest against Bea Mountain Mining Company which led to the destruction of company’s properties.

On Wednesday, protestors went on rampage after the lawmaker held meeting with them. He told reporters that they were embarking on the protest due to bad labor practice and there were armed men presence in the town; which he opposed.

He told residents in Golgoma, Grand cape Mount County that they were unhappy.

The protestors later set ablaze  the home of one   Boakai Lansannah Tararero, a citizen of the county.  He contested against Representative Dosi in the just-ended election of 2023. He is seen as a potential rival to Hon. Dosi.

In his official facebook page he accused Mr. Dosi for supporting the burning his home.

Due to the seriousness of the protest, the police had to fire light bullets and teargas to dispel protestors.   There were reports of one death as a result of the protest. It is not known what led to the death of one person.

The newly dedicated vocational school in the area was destroyed as well as several machines and other centers in the town.

The police has dispatched a team of officers to ascertain more facts. Not only them, but also the house of Representatives has sent a team of lawmakers to the area to know the details of the incident.

In an interview the journalists at the scene, Hon. Dosi said because the Turkish company hired armed men to the place, that was the justification for the protest.

On whether he was aware of the burning of equipment, he said, he only heard about it but, said: “because the armed people are here to make our people afraid. Why will you bring armed people to  the community that you want to work in? That is a conflict,” Dosi told reporters.

Dosi admitted that he wrote his colleague lawmakers to call for the withdrawal of armed men at the mines. According to him, there is no need to hire armed men to be at the mines.

But his statement was debunked by some citizens from Cape Mount who said that BMMC was right to hire armed men to protect its facilities.

According to Amara Folley, a resident of Kinjor, the presence of armed men was necessary due to past experience in which BMMC facilities were destroyed.

According to him, approaching the general elections last year, the National Security team did an assessment of all potential Hotspots in the country and determined that the explosives magazines at Bea Mountain was a potential risk point.

It was realized that the presence of police was not strong enough to withstand any violent activities. So, the Ministry of Justice sought support from the AFL and the troops were deployed not only at Bea Mountain but also at LEC facilities like Mount Coffee.

More importantly, according to  Section 11.2 .a  of the MDA-Mineral Development Agreement  signed between the Liberian government   and  Bea Mountain states that; “The Company may, directly or by contract with a responsible provider of security services, establish, manage and maintain its own asset and employee security and protection service for the purpose of protecting assets in the Production Area and in the immediate vicinity of other locations at which Company has or maintains property and assets through its own security force and to do so always in accordance with Law and rules and regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Justice relating to security forces.

Such security force shall not bear arms and shall at all times operate subject to the authority of, and coordination with the Liberia National Police.”

Not only that, but also, In section b says;  “In the event the Company deems it absolutely necessary to have armed guards for the purpose of protecting assets in the Production Area and in the immediate vicinity of other locations at which Company has or maintains property and assets, the Company shall make a written request to the Government.

The Government shall provide armed guards as needed, which expense shall be borne by the Company.”

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