LIBERIA: Tartweh Community in Monrovia Retracts Statement

As a result of consultations between and among the Tartweh leadership in Monrovia, the Tartweh Community wishes to retract the recently published article in the Inquirer Newspaper concerningits engagement with oil palm company, Golden Veroleum Liberia. In the statement published by the Monrovia-based media outlet, entitled “Citizens Detect Irregularities in GVL Deal,” referring to the Memorandum of Understanding, signed October 11, 2014, between the company and the Tartweh people, the Monrovia-based community have been working with Golden Veroleum Liberia to ensure that issues are addressedahead of the upcoming review period, scheduled for the October 2015. And that Monrovia citizen is included during the review.

We are grateful that the Inquirer decided to seek clarification on yesterday’s publication, however as part of improved relationship between Tartweh and GVL,we have resolved that such issues should not be made in the media in the future. As citizens of Tartweh in Monrovia, we are actively working and coordinating with our brothers and sisters in the local communities to work with GVL in order to ensure development, employment, and sustainable growth.

While in the past the levels of communication between GVL and our Tartweh Community has been cordial, and we are confident and satisfied that GVL has begun addressing our concerns.

Over the course our ongoing meetings GVL has reconfirmed its commitment and we have been working vigorously in the past to ensure compliance with the Free Prior Informed Consent process. GVL Communications Head, Mr. Virgil Magee, has from their side helped very much to correct all of these issues,” said the Tartweh Community.

The company has publically stated that it agrees that Tartweh citizens are entitled to legal support, as well as deciding its own in house leadership representatives, operation in Lower Tartweh on unheeded land and to incorporate community issues into future negotiations during the upcoming review period.

Not only has the company provided all the requested information, including the MOU, Concession Agreement, FPIC Guide, Things to Know Guide and much more, but it has committed to ensuring fairness in line with its Concession Agreement, the Tartweh MOU and international best practices.

“We would like to make it perfectly clear, that development in Tartweh must move forward, and that we the Tartweh Monrovia community are fully committed to working with our local brethren in the community and GVL in order to make it so. We the Tartweh Community support development that is being carried out by GVL not only in Tarweh but other parts of Sinoe County,” said Sampson B. Borteh Sr., Tartweh Community in Monrovia Chairman.

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