Feb 19, 2014



Human Rights Watch blasts African Minerals in Sierra Leone




‘”Then, the paramount chief visited Ferengbeya in 2009 and told us that we

would be relocated. The chief said we should not ask any questions.”’


‘We were told, “Where you are is hell and where you are going is heaven.”’


‘A statement released by his (President Koroma's) office said:… Anyone caught trying to deliberately under[mine] the company’s activities will face the full force of the law…’


‘…one village elder from Ferengbeya told Human Rights Watch, “The company [AML] has used President Koroma’s statement to justify everything, including our relocation.”’


‘Afterward, a truckload of police arrived at the scene and started shooting teargas into the village and at people not involved in the dispute.’


‘Six days later, AML bulldozers began working on this parcel, destroying local crops…’


‘”The land could have fed our families for 100 years. We had no

alternative but to leave. We saw that Ferengbeya had already gone. We are

powerless against the PC [paramount chief] and the government.”’


‘“…the chiefs are accountable to nobody.”’


“What they told us they would do, they have not done...It was a trap. They said, “It will be paradise for you, but it’s completely different””


‘A holdover from the precolonial and colonial eras, Paramount chiefs...play a critical role in land-use decisions...’


‘Private investors...exploit...the lack of clarity around land title…’


‘In 1961 the Colony and Protectorate together gained independence from Britain as a single nation, but maintained different sets of rules, particularly around land ownership.’


‘Clarify the role of paramount chiefs in questions of land administration’


‘“Regarding land valuation and payment transactions, negotiations were conducted directly with the host community, with active involvement of the Paramount Chief. All AML land payments were effected through the Paramount Chief to the respective families. In terms of land valuation, the land was assessed according to Sierra Leone Government guidelines on land pricing in the province, as well as, traditional valuation practices that formed part of the negotiation discussions. These values were fully discussed during the consultation meetings held prior to actual resettlement efforts.”’


‘...retribution against sources...’?



…Download the full report