LIBERIA: MINE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES DEMAND FULL SETTLEMENT FOR CROPS DAMAGED BY ARCELORMITTAL’S OPERATIONS

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On Wednesday December 19, 2023 scores of citizens from Gbapa and Zolowee were seen setting up roadblocks between Gangra and Tokadi mines that are operated by ArcelorMittal in demand of full settlement for crops and traditional sites destroyed by ArcelorMittal mining operations.

“We will surely continue this action until damages caused by Arecelor Mittal to our traditional heritage and our crops are fully repaired.” Steve ZEH, an inhabitant of Zolowee said.

In 2021, authorities of the world steel giant drove out citizens of the two towns from their traditional heritage located near the operation areas of Arcelor Mittal and the company promised to fully settle them.

With no hope of settlement at the horizon, youths, traditional leaders, and women groups have massively converged in AML operations’ area to manifest their disenchantment.

They have consequently stopped the transportation of Direct Shipment Ore (DSO) from Gangra to Tokadi mines where the ores are stockpiled.

Zolowee and Gbapa are the two mostly affected communities at about five kilometers away from the Tokadi Mine where drilling, blasting and haulage are routinely carried out.

Ground vibration, flying rocks and nose polluting directly affect civil structures and occupants in the towns.

Over the years, some citizens have advocated for sustainable measures to be taken by AML so as to reduce the risk caused by company in the communities but the management of the mining company has accordingly refused to respond to the messages preached.

On the other hand, the citizens have vehemently refused to accept AML on the property once explored by Solway Mining Inc. Last week, a group called Zor, Gba & Sehyi Advocacy Group wrote a letter to the County Attorney of Nimba and forward same to many national and international anti-graft institutions and embassies near Monrovia informing them of their plan action if the deal between ArcelorMittal and Solway is not clearly explained by the authorities.

Our sources say the officials of the advocacy groups have been contacted by some of the local and international integrity institutions to provide necessary information on ArcelorMittal and Solway stalemate.

The groups have begun submitting essential documents that include ArcelorMittal, Solway, Affected Communities and International logistics as well as Ministry of Mine and Energy in relation to the Solway’s license area to concerned institutions.

What appears to a forensic investigation is said to be lunched as key actors of Weah’s led government including MME Minister Gesler Murray, Len Eugene Nagbe, US sanctioned Samuel Tweah and Alford B. Morgan who claimed to be one hundred percent owner of Solway Mining Inc. and controversial International Logistics (InterLog) have been accused of masterminding a plan to monopolize the mining industry in Nimba county.

Recently, Mr. Alford B. Morgan a Liberian who claimed to be a one hundred percent owner of Solway Mining Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of International Logistics hired an advocate turned politician Armstrong Gobac Selekpo who participated in the just ended general and presidential elections in Liberia to use his influence to silent the voice and concern of the people as community consultant.

The defeated senatorial candidates was seen in the mine affected communities donating cows and money as a ransom for the renewable resources on behalf AML and International Logistics.

A deputy minister at the Ministry of lands and mines, Emmanuel Sherman, is said to be the master planner of the dubious deal between Government and AML for the illegal sale of Solway Mining Inc.

Sherman who is a close relative to Alford Morgan, deleted all communications’ records between Solway and the Ministry in order to pave the way for the $!( deal that landed the license of Solway in the hands of AML.

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