LIBERIA: Concern mounts Over Huge PRESENCE of AFL SOLDIERS At Mining Site RAISES CONCERN

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In what appears to be a huge and unusual deployment of military personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia at the gold mining site of Bea Mountain Mining Company has continued to keep peaceful citizens in fear.

This situation, which has continued for at least two years now, has caught the attention of Grand Cape County Senator, Dabah Varpilah, thus prompting an official communication from her office to the plenary of the Liberian Senate.

Having given a few minutes to expand on her communication put on the floor of plenary during the 13th Day Sitting of the 1st Session of the 55th Legislature Tuesday, February 27, 2024, Senator Varpilah expressed her discontent with the deployment of those military officers.

“Strangely about two years ago or less, there was a deployment of huge military men, armed men in the concession area, in the community and that has created fears among the residents of that community,” Senator Varpilah narrated.

According to him, the concerned citizens have consistently complained to her office about the matter, recounting that almost two weeks ago, the people of the area staged a protest action against the company.

“One of their key issues was the deployment and they are asking the government to withdraw the military from the concession area and we know from our colleagues that as far as our recollection, there has not been such a deployment before in any concession area,” she stressed.

Making reference to some gold mining areas, the Grand Cape Mount County lawmaker indicated that currently, there is ongoing gold mining by the MNG Gold Liberia in Bong County without the deployment of AFL personnel.

In furtherance, Senator Varpilah named the ongoing operations of Liberia’s steel giant, ArcelorMittal in Nimba County but there is military deployment unlike in Grand Cape Mount County.

“We know that even in the urban areas, when you see military deployed, that’s a serious security issue less I say in the interior. So when they see those military people they’re always in fear. So they want for these people to be withdrawn,” she emphasized.

The lawmaker also questioned the security advice that informed the decision to deploy those military officers to where civilians are residing.

However, Senator Dabah Varpilah has requested the plenary to invite authorities of the security apparatus of concern to appear and explain to the body what has led to such level of military deployment among peaceful citizens at the concession area.

“If they have any concern of local security normally in a civilian setting, there should be police officers but not armed men. I pray to this honorable body to please ask for the withdrawal of armed men from Kinjor and Gbangomahn because I’ve always been informed that the military men have also been deployed in the new site,” she noted.

Meanwhile, the plenary of the Liberian Senate has forwarded the communication to the Committee on Security, Defense, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs to report back to the body subsequently.

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