‘We want our land back’: Liberian communities speak out about big palm oil

le 18/08/2015

Some communities are eager to participate Liberia’s expanding palm oil industry, while others say their land was taken from them without their permission.

  • Palm oil plantations are expanding in Liberia.
  • Some communities allege their land was used to grow oil palm without their consent.
  • Property ownership in Liberia is a tricky issue; reforms are underway to clarify and strengthen land rights.

Sleeping families in Grand Bassa County, in the heart of central Liberia, awoke one night in September 2013 to the sound of security forces storming through their villages, blaring sirens and flashing lights. These rural villages, consisting of mud homes with thatched roofs, are not used to outside visitors at night. They had not had nighttime visits from security vehicles since the war ended a decade ago. For those who lived through the 14-year war, the fear of security forces remains raw. For many, this unannounced nocturnal visit brought back memories of the nightmarish lawlessness of the war, when the sight of armed men could signal rape, murder and the abduction of children to enlist as child soldiers. That night, many from the community fled into the forest in fear and spent the night in hiding

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Source : farmlandgrab