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Minister Brown refutes Global Witness report

Joseph T. Koon
Minister Lewis Brown
Minister Lewis Brown

(elbcradio.com/July 31, 2015)-Liberia’s Information Minister, Lewis Brown, has refuted a report attributed to Global Witness’ allegedly linking the Liberian Government of confiscating private lands for use by concessionaires.

The Liberia News Agency (LINA) quotes Minister Brown as making specific reference to a palm company,  Golden Veroleum Liberia, of being aided by Government to terrorize the citizens in signing away their lands.

It is the biggest palm company operating in Southeastern Liberia.

The Information Minister described the report as inaccurate and contrary to government’s vision of ensuring and guaranteeing land ownership and the rights of land tenures for Liberians.

According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), Minister Brown made the clarification Thursday, July 30, 2015 at the regular press briefing of the Ministry in Monrovia.

He noted: “The Government strongly rejects any notion that there exists anyone, anywhere who cares for its people more than the government itself.”

“We are not just caring for the people, but we act upon our care. In every concession agreement, Government has maintained at the highest level that concessionaires must go back and negotiate with the people,” Minister Brown stressed.

The Global Witness report also alleged that Liberians lack the mechanism, the will power or the capacity to express their grievances, either through their representatives or local leaderships to the Government.

“We reject such claim; ours is not just a safer and freer environment, but we have deliberately worked on the structure of our governance model to be responsive and tolerant,” he said.

Global Witness is an advocacy group committed to the promotion of the rule of law and human rights issues, among others the world over.

 


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