LAC Accused of H’Rights Violations - Citizens Vow Mass Action

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted January 19, 2006


Residents of Districts #3 & 4 of Grand Bassa County have accused the Management of the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) of committing worse human rights violations.

Addressing journalists recently in a press conference hosted by six human rights organizations in Monrovia, three representatives from the areas – Junior Davids, Fred D. Tukou and their colleague said LAC security have arrested seven persons from their districts and are presently in detention at the Buchanan prison.

They accused the management of using its militia forces to arrest the local people at will for their refusal to leave their ancestral land LAC is said to be encroaching upon for its plantation extension.

According to Junior Davids, he was jailed in the container by LAC security for five hours without charge thus rendering him to intense suffocation before he was released.

To corroborate this information or claim made by the residents, the representatives of Green Advocate, Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Center for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE), Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (FOHRD), Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) and Liberia Democracy Watch (LDW) said in their assessment in the area they saw the burning down and destruction of villages where cash crops have been destroyed without prior informed consent and compensation.

They told journalists with the help of video clip that since 2001, LAC has been engaged in the expansion of rubber plantation across Zloh Creek in Zeewein Clan in District #3 as a result of this project, “The villages of Gbaiafein, Zeowon, Flojoe, Gbor and Nahn have been burned down by order of the management.”

They said the drinking water of these villages has also been poisoned through the application of chemicals and fertilizers by the LAC management.

Meanwhile, the citizens said if the LAC management continues to encroach on their land they will use every available means to resist it and called on the Liberian government to revisit the contract agreement, saying, “We are not squatters; this land belongs to us, adding, “war may come again if LAC continues with its forceful eviction.”

When the management of LAC was contacted via cell phone, there was no comment as its phone rang for some times before going off.

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