Internal Affairs Ministry's swift intervention adverts major protest at Sime Darby Plantation.

In Grand Cape Mounty
In Grand Cape Mounty
Photo Credit: MIA

Monrovia, October 30, 2018:A major protest action by residents of project affected communities (PAC) of Sime Darby Plantation was on Monday put to a halt by the swift intervention of Internal Affairs Minister Honorable Varney A. Sirleaf.

The community dwellers of the Plantation area threatened to close the company’s operations alleging that the company has failed to honor a Memorandum of Agreement signed between them and Sime Darby few years ago.

According to a release from the Internal Affairs Ministry, the Co-Chairman protesting group Mr. Omaru F. Kanneh disclosed that his group represents seventeen communities.

In his quest of maintaining peace in the counties, upon hearing about the protest, Minister Sirleaf convened a meeting with the citizens and the Company in Grand Cape Mount County on Monday.

During the meeting, Mr. Kanneh told Minister that the company is yet to execute its portion of a Memorandum which calls for building of latrines, furnishing of the PAC office and provide buses for students attending the company run junior high school in Senni town Grand Cape Mount County.

However, contrary to the claims, the General Manager of Sime Darby Mr. Ali Kamal Abu Hassan disclosed that 70% obligation under the MOU has been achieved.

He said as part of the commitment, the Company has employed at least forty one members of the PAC, initiated the participatory mapping exercise, and constructed forty one hand pumps in the seventeen project affected communities.

According to Mr. Hassan, a major setback to the Company is the delay in acquisition of additional land for its expansion which was earlier assured by the Government of Liberia.
"As a result of this situation, top managers of the company are skeptical in sending funding for the company’s operations in Liberia". Mr. Hassan asserted.

Meanwhile, Minister Sirleaf called for calm between the two parties.

He assured the citizens that Government, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs will work with the management of Sime Darby to honor their part of the MOA signed between the two parties.

The release said Minister Sirleaf, the Management of Sime Darby, National Bureau of Concessions, and the leadership of the Project Affected Communities have agreed to meet next week Tuesday November 6, 2018 to agree and signed details of the roles and responsibilities of each party in honoring the memorandum of agreement signed between the two parties.

The Citizens in closing thanked the Government through the Ministry of Internal affairs for advocating on their behalf.