Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Shots fired as Liberia police quell ArcelorMittal mine protest

Source: Reuters - Fri, 4 Jul 2014 22:58 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-nat
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

MONROVIA, July 4 (Reuters) - Liberia's security forces fired shots in the air to break up a protest at an ArcelorMittal SA iron ore plant northeast of the capital on Friday, authorities and witnesses said.

The protestors, who also fired shots, blocked entries to the mine, the company's railroad and offices. The company said in a statement they also entered the mines and looted equipment and building materials near the mine entrance, causing significant damage.

One demonstrator, who declined to be named, said ArcelorMittal had not fulfilled the terms of its concession agreement with the Liberian governmenOt. The person added that the company had not compensated local people for crops, nor had it paid wages or renovated houses.

The Indian steel and mining conglomerate operates the plant in Nimba County under a 25-year deal with the government.

"Ringleaders, including those who shot at the police, have been arrested and are being brought to Monrovia for further investigation and prosecution," the presidency said in a statement.

The statement assured investors that the government would protect their lives and property. It said police had restored calm to the city of Yekepa where the mine is situated, following the protest, which began on Thursday.

The West African state is recovering after a long civil war that ended in 2003. ArcelorMittal, BHP and other companies have moved into the country to tap iron ore reserves. (Reporting by Alphonso Toweh and Clair MacDougall; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Jan Paschal)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus