…To Return; Commence Suspended Project

Monrovia-April-17-2024-TNR:Several young people in Genwoli, Gogoima, Grand Cape Mount County are appealing to Bea Mountain Mining Company-BMMC to return and commence the project which was suspended sometimes last month.

Seated on several tables in an empty market place, the citizens mostly the young people in the county condemned the wave of continuous protests saying that protest is not bad, but when it becomes violent and bloody like the recent one, it affects investment.

Stanley V.C. Selma Vlah, Advisor to the Youth Chairman of Genewoli disclosed that following the departure of Bea Mountain Company, their daily activities have been stalled.  They said as a result of BMMC’s departure, most   of the projects they were working on have become inactive, leaving them to be idle in the communities.

In late early February 2024, some citizens and other residents from various places staged a violent protest which led to the death of at least three persons, as reported by the Liberia National Police. The protest also led to the burring and complete destruction of several earth moving machines belonging to Bea Mountain.

The protestors requested the Country Manager to leave and be replaced with a citizen from the county, Sando Whyen, though Mr. Debar Allen is himself a Liberian as stated in the Mineral Development Agreement.  Mr. Whyne who once worked for the company was asked due to some administrative matters. While working for the company, the workers union asked the CEO of BMMC to dismiss him because he was not in the interest of them.

“I feel very sad because the community is very quiet. I am not feeling fine because when the company is functioning well, the community will be peaceful and job will go on well,” one of the youths said.

Another person, Mr. Mark Garjay Quito, expressed regret over the violent protest saying, “But we are appealing to the company to return and commence project. Next time, when there are issues, we can sit down and discuss it rather than going on strike,”

I feel very sad because the community is quiet. I am not feeling fine. There are rules and regulations in everything,” he added.

He continues, “We need the company back and we need the right things to be done because when the company is functioning well, the community will be peaceful and the job will go on peacefully.”

“We the young people, have difficult times because we will not go in the bush to do any hard work. But since the company left, we are managing until the company can come back. There is no job and we have gone back to our old days,” Quito added.

He furthered, “We try to appeal to the Management of Bea Mountain to come return so that we can do the work. We do not want for the company to stay out, because if they stay out the right thing will not be done.”

For his part, Abraham Massalay, a youth activist frowned on the protesters. He added, “If there are issues, we need to sit down so we can talk it, but not to damage investors’ properties. When other people see it, they will not like to come and invest in our county.”

“See, the market is poor. Things are very difficult here since BMMC left. Some of the youths we are controlling here said they want for BMMC to open vocational schools so that when the company leaves, the young people can live on what they have learned.”

They are also appealing for the establishment of a vocational school in their communities. They said, if established, the school will enable them learn series of trades to help them in the future.

“Our priority is to have vocational school here. This will help usbut to do protest, do it the rightful way. To take it through the right channel.  But to protest in a violent way is not fine. We regret the action. I am against it.  Dialogue is the way out,” he concluded.

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