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|Bong Miners Take China Union to Task; Vow To Resist Company’s Operation in Area||| Print ||
|Written by Kennedy L. Yangian email@example.com 077296781|
|Tuesday, 04 December 2012 23:35|
Monrovia - Residents of Bong Mines vowed to resist operations of the China Union mining company unless they receive appropriate compensation before they are resettled.
More than 200 residents during the week assembled before a law firm run by Cllr. Rosemarie B. James in Monrovia where pledged to work against the company if their demands are not met.
“We will not allow these people to come here and remove us, destroy our farmlands which are our only source of income and give us pennies,” Morris Binda, head of the group, warned sternly.
“How do they expect us to survive with our families? We will resist their operation if our just benefits are not paid.”
With just one month ahead of their eviction, Binda claimed that there had been no negotiation with the locals over resettlement benefits when the assessment team from consulting firm EarthCons arrived in the area to assess their properties.
The group alleges EarthCons conducted an improper assessment before China Union decided to pay the residents from US$120 to US$200 depending on the number of rubber trees a person had.
Binda then claimed that since China Union resumed operations in the Bong Mines, the locals have experienced a lack of basic services including safe drinking water.
Cllr. Rosemarie B. James, legal counsel for the aggrieved residents urged them to remain steadfast in refusing to relinquish their homes until their just benefits are paid, as any attempt to forcibly remove them will have the China Union dragged to court.
James accused Deputy Lands and Mines Minister for Administration Betty Larmie of spearheading negotiation which has resulted in alleged inhumane treatment of the residents.
“Betty Larmie went with the money to distribute it to the residents, but instead of giving out cash, she issued checks to the 52 family heads,” James said.
James then called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to investigate the matter as there are people in her government bent on tarnishing the name of the President. “This is the reason why most Liberians have accused the President’s government of being highly corrupt.”
Efforts to contact Minister Larmie proved futile as she is presently in the U.S.
However, a China Union official who agreed to speak to FrontPageAfrica anonymously denied residents’ claims.
In a brief response, the official said the issues relating to resettlement benefits were handled by the Ministry of Lands and Mines and not China Union, therefore the aggrieved residents should contact the ministry for redress.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 December 2012 01:13|