Some aggrieved citizens of Grand Cape Mount County in western Liberia have reportedly threatened to take to court the New Liberty Gold Mine, Aureus Mining for allegedly reneging on promises contained in its concession agreement.
The citizens, according to a local daily are claiming to be affected by the operations of the company in the County have officially requested the Environmental Lawyers of Liberia (Green Advocates International) for legal assistance.
Green Advocates International is a group of environmental lawyers providing free legal services to pro-poor and slum communities across Liberia who are aggrieved. The group’s work in advocacy for the protection of the environment has been recognized locally and internationally.
The International Finance Corporation is said to have pumped over US$19 Million into the New Liberty Gold Mine, but the project according to local residents, has not improve their livelihood as promised.
One of the aggrieved citizens’ representative, Elizabeth Fahnbulleh who spoke to a local daily, the Insight Newspaper, appealed to Green Advocates International to help them institute lawsuit against Aureus Mining for allegedly uprooting them from Kinjor, and for failing to complete construction of housing units embarked on for their citizens’ relocation purpose. Aureus Mining authority is yet to comment on the citizens claims.
Madam Fahnbulleh told as experience sharing workshop organized by Green Advocates International in collaboration with the Alliance For Rural Democracy (ARD) and the Natural Resources Platform on Wednesday that the place acquired by the Company to resettle them is in dispute while the construction of a health post project the company promised is yet to begin.
The Natural Resources Women Platform was setup in 2010 by a group of women from forest communities and urban slum communities across Liberia to amplify the voices of marginalized women, while ARD is a group of community based organizations working in the 15 counties of Liberia to resolve issues confronting rural communities, urban slum, squatter communities and independent labor unions in Liberia.
The experience sharing workshop, which brought together rights defenders from across the country, was held on the theme: “Using voluntary principles and international grievance mechanisms to project, respect, and remedy rights of affected communities.