LIBERIA: Gola Konneh Chiefs Detest Protest Against Bea Mountain -Say they Stand With the MOU

Chiefs, elders, and youths of  Gola Konneh District, host of the Kingjor, Weajue, and Ndablama operational sites in Grand Cape Mount County have recommitted their position against any form of protest and violence on Bea Mountain Mining Corporation.

 At a well-attended meeting last week, the chiefs issued a release in which they affixed their signatures on the document reaffirming their commitment towards peaceful coexistence.

According to the release, protest, and violence have never solved any problem in Liberia.

The release was signed by Ma Dabba Sama District Chairlady, Roland David youth Chairman, Fahn Gballey Clan Chief Laar, Tarweh Sherman Clan Chief Darblo, Gbandy Boima Clan Chief Mana and  Acting Paramount Chief Gbandy Boima.  Also, Arthur Konneh Sr., District Commissioner signed in support for mutual coexistence.

The chiefs and other representatives  said; “we as the host communities of Bea Mountain, especially citizens of Gola Konneh district, Categorically announce our condemnation of any protest against the Bea Mountain.”

The Bea Mountain Mining Corporation is located in Grand Cape Mount County and provides mining services. The Company explores and mines gold. The company has provided a number of services to the communities.

The Chiefs and elders in their release said they are prepared to defend the Clan Development Fund MOU  and will not allow themselves and their homeland to be used against their interest.

“We are particularly concerned to protect our ongoing relationship with Bea Mountain,” it said.

“ We note that we have executed a memorandum of understanding in which we have resolved with the company. This continues to our communities mana, Darblo, and Laar clans to set development projects and programs from funds provided by the company.”

“To date, we have received an aggregated amount ofUS$ 900,000.00 for the last two years.

The citizens and the company last year signed a non-violent document aimed at addressing any issue that either party would be unhappy with. The release said Gola Konneh district under the same MOU they have received enormous benefits from the company. The company gives over hundreds bags of rice to each clan for the upkeep of the elderly.

In addition to is corporate social responsibility program,  in early April this year, management disbursed a cash amount of US$50,000 (Fifty thousand United States dollars) to citizens of Kinjor in Grand Cape Mount County.

The amount is part of a microloan and saving scheme provided by BMMC and is intended to help empower citizens of the area and take them out of poverty.

The money was part of the company’s commitment to the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) agreement entered into with old Kinjor and Larjor.

The money will help citizens of the communities to be empowered and reduce poverty. At the time of the presentation of the money at the time, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Varney Sirleaf commended the Management for honoring the agreement it signed with the communities.

“We agree to, on specific channels to address issues and further made a commitment not to initiate or engage in any protest or strike actions,” the release said.

Speaking at the event, when the citizens met management to reaffirm their support, the General Manager for BMMC, Mr.  Reza Karimiyan thanked the Chiefs, Elders, and youths for their commitment towards upholding the MOU reached. He said the company is always ready to work with them in enhancing their development agenda.

He confirmed that the mine investment belongs to all stakeholders including people of Cape Mount and employees and added that creating any value added is a joint effort. Nothing can be done without the support of the host communities and consider them as potential partners. The efforts of the community leaders to boost up this cooperation are highly valuable and important.

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