CSNL Condemns BMMC Violence -Wants Rep. Dosil Account for His Involvement

MONROVIA: Noticing that the violent incident in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount established that the violent protests was in violation of an MOU Agreement reached by citizens of Gola Konneh District and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, halting all protests against Bea Mountain Mining Corporation for a period of four years, the Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL) strongly condemns violent protest at Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC)  by some citizens which led to the loss of lives and properties at the concession operational sites and accused  Grand Cape Mount County District #1 Representative Mohammed Dosil of supporting the  protest as the group called for investigation into the violence.

“Representative Mohammed Dosil must be brought to account for his role in the Kinjor violent fracas, which cost the loss of lives and properties. No one is above the law. As such, Representative Dosil and all those behind the Kinjor violence must be investigated and prosecuted,” the Civil Society Network’s press statement indicated, calling on the Liberia National Police to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book to serve as a deterrence to future occurrence of the situation.

The perpetrators of the violence at the Bea Mountain operational sites, the Network noted, undermined and destabilized the peaceful co-existence of the citizens in Kinjor, and the concession company, stating that since the commencement of the company’s expansion which the CSNL noted has also increased the company’s tax portfolio to Liberia, it has employed over four thousand workers, and more than six thousands contractors, most of whom are Liberians, then CSNL..

“Investigation conducted by the Civil Society Network of Liberia on the violent incident in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount established that the violent protests was in violation of an MOU Agreement reached by citizens of Gola Konneh District and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, halting all protests against Bea Mountain Mining Corporation for a period of four years” the statement maintained

The CSNL expressed belief that investigation into the violence to bring the perpetrators to justice, will serve as a means of deterrence to such violent acts which the group said has the proclivity to drive away investors, and scare away investments in Liberia. This could also lead to the loss of several jobs for Liberians.

The CSNL recalled that few citizens of Grand Cape Mount County recently led a violent protests against Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, for allegedly engaging into unfair labor practices and also called on the Management of Bea Mountain to remove Mr. Debar Allen as General Manager of Bea Mountain for a son of the county to occupy the job.

The Civil Society Network of Liberia’s investigation also established that Grand Cape Mount County District #2, Representative, Mohammed Dosil was publicly seen facilitating the violence in Kinjor against Bea Mountain Mining Corporation noting that the Liberia National Police and Ministry of Information is on record for saying that a certain lawmaker incited the violence.

The group expressed disappointment that the Liberia National Police is yet to arrest and charge all those who orchestrated the violence against Bea Mountain Mining Corporation; which disrupted the peace, caused the deaths of few persons and the destruction of the company’s facilities.

While the Civil Society Network of Liberia believes in the protection of civil rights and the compliance of the MDA Agreement with the Government of Liberia, we will not support people to use the citizens to venture out their personal interests. Our investigation discovered that some individuals with vested interests are also behind fueling the conflicts between Bea Mountain and the citizens of Kinjor. Some citizens, who are suppliers of goods and services with high prices are unjustifiably aggrieved that Bea Mountain Management are not purchasing from them. And as a company, Bea Mountain has the normal choice to take the best possible low prices. It is not logical for Bea Mountain to purchase fuels, gasoline and other consumables at high prices from these aggrieved suppliers when there are suppliers with lower prices for these goods and services. Therefore, we urge the individuals who are bent on preying on the ignorance of our peaceful citizens to stop fomenting pandemonium that could scare away investors.

The Civil Society Network of Liberia is appalled and disgusted that few citizens of Grand Cape Mount County will see the General Manger of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, Mr. Debar Allen, as the obstacle to the company’s compliance to the terms and conditions spelled out in the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Government of Liberia and the company.

“If there seems to be some negligence on the part of the company to adhere to MDA enshrined agreements, there are laid down procedures through which the company can be compelled to comply,” the statement averred, noted that for a handful of citizens, seemingly backed by a lawmaker in Mohammed Dosil and some prominent sons of the county to incite protests, and hold Mr. Debar Allen responsible for such alleged negligence is preposterous and ridiculous.

“We believe that the existence of any alleged unfair labor practices at Bea Mountain Mining Corporation must be investigated by the Liberian Government, instead of holding Mr. Allen responsible for such. Hence, the Ministry of Labor needs to launch an investigation into alleged unfair labor practice, in order to restore peace and harmony among the workforce of BMMC.”

Consequently the Civil Society Network of Liberia said the calls by a few citizens of Grand Cape Mount County for the Management of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation to remove Mr. Debar Allen, a son of Grand Bassa as General Manager of the company is divisive and has the potential to fuel tribal conflicts in Liberia.

“Mr. Debar Allen is a Liberian who is qualified and competent for the position. Since the establishment of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation in Liberia, Mr. Allen has served with diligence, dedication and competence as General Manager of the company. This qualified and competent Liberia was hired in compliance with the MDA Agreement which calls for a Liberian to occupy such a senior management position. There is absolutely no valid reason and legal reliance why a Liberian, like Mr. Debar Allen should be removed as General Manager of an investment, when he has shown no cause to be dismissed,” the Network said.

The CSNL furthered that it is important to note that all Liberians, irrespective of your County of origin, have the right to occupy any senior management positions in any investments in Liberia, once you meet the criteria for such a position.

The Network also said it is also interesting to note that there are Liberians from other counties, like Grand Cape Mount who occupy senior management positions within other concession companies operating in different counties, like the one occupied by a Mr. Debar Allen, a son of Grand Bassa County at Bea Mountain Mining Corporation.

“As an example, currently there are several Liberians hailing from different counties who are serving in senior management positions at concession companies not operating within their counties of origin. If we were to name them, we will be opening a pandora box for more calls and protests.” According to the Network in its statement.

The Civil Society Network therefore call on citizens fueling the calls for Mr. Debar Allen’s removal as General Manager of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation to redirect their calls to members of the Liberian Government to exhaust the necessary mechanisms that will compelled Bea Mountain to be in compliance with the MDA Agreements between Liberia and the company, adding that over the years, Mr. Debar Allen has ensured that Bea Mountain Mining Corporation regularly paid taxes due Liberia, and that the welfare of Liberians working at the company are prioritized

Signed by the CSNL’s Secretary General Francis Collins and approved by Executive Director Sensee Kiadii, the statement of the Network in  its once again called on state security, especially the Liberia National Police, to investigate circumstances leading to the violence and subsequent vandalization of Bea Mountain operations, which led to the deaths and injury of several Liberians.

“For investors to invest in a country, security of the investment is key. If Liberia is to progress, citizens need to adopt a constructive approach in resolving issues. It is only in peace and unity that we Liberians can impress on Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, through constructive engagement that we can benefit from our natural resources,” the Network indicated.

The group opposed what it called “all creeping forms of tribalism and favoritism” since Mr. Debar Allen who enjoys the confidence of the Management of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation is a qualified and competent Liberian, and called for calm and unity among the Citizens of Grand Cape Mount in Kinjor.

“Let us allow the Legislature, charged with the authority to review concessionaires, to investigate the alleged unfair labor practices of Bea Mountain Mining Corporation in adherence to the MDA,” the statement concluded.

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