The Standard Bearer of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MRD) alarms here that officers of the elite Emergency Response Unit (ERU) from the Liberia National Police have allegedly mal-handled several local miners in David Dean Town, Kokoya District, Bong County in central Liberia.
Senator Prince Yormie Johnson explains to this paper recently that the town has huge gold deposit, and a Turkish company MND has hold of the gold deposit in that part of the country.
According to him, the mining company detonate explosives to crush rocks in the mines where pieces of gold are collected like rocks and then the dust are thrown in nearby streams but whenever residents of the town go to the stream to gather dirt for rewashing in order to earn daily bread, the police move in with arms and arrest them.
According to the Nimba County Senator, the only decent structure in the area is a police station, well furnished and painted and police officers assigned there are well taken care of, while the rest of the town and its residents wallop in poverty and ruin as though the place is a forgotten land.
He expresses fear that if nothing was done to address alleged mal-treatment against the people by both the police and the mining company; they could result to something ugly.
He further details that due to residents continuous visit to the company’s waste site, police arrested and flogged several of them, adding that some of the residents were brought to Monrovia and detained.
He says before they were released, Liberia’s Minister of Defense Brownie Samukai allegedly threatened to deal with them drastically, if there were a repeat of their action.
Senator Johnson says he had informed Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor about the situation, and the matter is expected to appear on the floor of the Liberian Senate plenary.
He stresses that the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Patrick Sendolo, will be invited to explain about the company, pointing out that as a member of the Liberian Senate, he could not recall a concession agreement between the MND Company and the Liberian government ever signed.
The MDR Standard Bearer describes as frustrating and disappointing, the manner in which Liberians are being treated at the gold mine by foreigners, who under the watch of the government.
When Presidential Press Secretary Piah was contacted via mobile, his cell phone rang endlessly on several occasions without picking up the call. However, Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, has written the plenary of the Liberian Senate, seeking the intervention of that august body into alleged illegal mining in her county.
Making her case before the full plenary of the Senate Tuesday, 8 August Senator Taylor explains that a troubling situation is affecting her people, especially, citizens in upper Bong in whose communities two mining concessions AMlib-Liberia and MNG Gold operate.
She says that since the inception of these concessions in the county, residents of communities in which they operate, are yet to benefit from their operations as per acceptable social agreement under such circumstances.
“Our citizens have complained that these companies are not providing the expected assistance to the communities in which they operate despite the extraction of huge mineral deposits from their communities. Considering the gravity of this matter and the urgency required in responding to the grievances, as expressed by our people, I deem it a compelling duty, as senator of the county, to bring this situation to the attention of the Liberian Senate for appropriate redress so as to bring relief to our people,” Senator Taylor’s communication dated August 7, 2017 reads.
Meanwhile, the plenary of the senate has forwarded the communication to its committee on Lands, Mines, Energy for thorough investigation and report to plenary within one week.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne