HLRN has joined over 40 civil society organizations to express deep concern over the impact of a monoculture agricultural project that involves the dispossession of the people living in Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District in Sierra Leone.
The project is the subject of an investment by SOCFIN Agricultural Company Sierra Leone Ltd. (SOCFIN), a subsidiary of the Belgo-Luxembourgeois company SOCFIN. The transnational corporation is also a subsidiary of the French international investment and development group Bolloré, which claims to follow the ethical business principles of the Global Compact).
This SOCFIN project, which operates large-scale industrial palm oil plantations in Malen Chiefdom, has deprived the communities living in the area from their access to farmland and related natural resources. This has had serious adverse impacts on their livelihoods and enjoyment of their human rights, especially their right to food and nutrition. The affected communities affirm that the land acquisition was not transparent, and that neither proper community consultation nor participation in the decision-making process was ensured.
The concerned coalition and local observers have witnessed an increasing criminalization of community leaders and land rights activists who oppose this land grab.
The signatories of the letter of concern addressed to President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma are members of the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles in West Africa, the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, the European Alliance “Hands on the Land for Food Sovereignty” and other international social movements and civil society organizations.
See the joint letter.
See further background on the related human rights violations in Malen Chiefdom.
Support this case with your own letter through HLRN’s Urgent Action system.
Photo on front page: The disputed land, subject to confrontations between land owners in the Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District in southern Sierra Leone and the SOCFIN Agricultural. Source: World Rainforest Movement. Photo on this page: Meeting of Sahn Malen farmers confronted by land grab. Source: My Development Diary blog.