Target: Gibril Bangura, Executive Chairman, African Minerals Limited Sierra Leone
Goal: Demonstrate to African Minerals Limited that exploitative practices will not be tolerated by the international community
African Minerals Limited, in conjunction with the government of Sierra Leone, has relocated hundreds of families from the site of the new Tonkolili mine to an arid, desolate zone near a quarry. Although promised housing, land, jobs, and infrastructural assets, the villagers now have less than the “modest subsistence” they enjoyed prior to their relocation. The parcel of farmland the company is attempting to secure for the displaced villagers is several kilometers away from their new homes, requiring arduous transit on foot to cultivate the land just to survive. Fresh water is scarce in the new area, rendering amenities such as flushing toilets useless and propagating illness.
The rapid expansion of mining operations throughout Sierra Leone allows the mistreatment of citizens like this to spread if unchecked. The villagers displaced from the Tonkolili area are frustrated and powerless in the face of the disruption of their lives, and feel that their move “was a trap.” Although the relocation was ostensibly carried out with their permission, villagers felt they had little say in the face of corporate and government pressure.
More conscientious relocation practices would benefit the interests of mining corporations like African Minerals Limited and the citizens of Sierra Leone. Callous practices like the Tonkolili resettlement cannot continue in a manner that excludes the poorest citizens of the country from enjoying the benefits of industrialization.
Sign this petition to urge the Executive Chairman of African Minerals Limited in Sierra Leone to deal with locals more fairly, and to abide by protocols of corporate policy and international law to ensure the well-being of evicted citizens.
Dear Mr. Bangura,
The failure of African Mining Limited to live up to its promises to the Sierra Leone citizens evicted from the area of the Tonkolili mine is a violation of both international law and corporate policy. Hundreds of villagers were promised employment, modern amenities, and economic opportunities if relocated. Instead, they are living worse than before.
Some upheaval is a natural consequence of industrial development, but the villagers of the Tonkolili area were lied to, and are now suffering the consequences of corporate dishonesty. Rather than enjoying the economic prosperity brought by the mine, they are struggling to eat, drink fresh water, and afford the most rudimentary education for their children.
I urge you to do everything in your power to see that the resettled villagers receive the benefits they were promised, and to ensure that similar injustices are not perpetrated in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Lindsay Stark via Wikimedia