The Liberian government’s refusal to recognize and respect rural people’s customary land rights is marginalizing and destabilizing local communities. The state has handed out millions of hectares to investors in recent years. Now emotions are flaring into full-scale conflict.
The recent violence by community members against the Malaysian oil palm company, Golden Veroleum, in the presence of state officials inButaw, Sinoe County, has once again thrown the spotlight on the violence between communities and concessionaires. One interesting take-away from the incident is that tensions between communities on the one hand and government and concessionaires on the other hand are growing, creating what has the potential to become a ticking time bomb.
Since 2010, serious incidents of community-investor land-related violence necessitating armed state security force’s involvement have erupted in many concession areas.
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