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The Bumbuna/African Minerals impasse

The Bumbuna/African Minerals impasse

Freetown, 18 April 2012 – President Ernest Bai Koroma this morning convened a meeting of senior government ministers and members of the security services to review the on-going Bumbuna stand-off by the workers of the mining company, African Minerals Limited (AML).

President Koroma has expressed grave concern about the development in Bumbuna and has instructed the police and members of government to work with all stakeholders in an effort to bring back the situation in Bumbuna to a state of normalcy.

It should be recalled that the workers of African Minerals Limited commenced a protest action on Monday 16th April 2012 when they complained about poor conditions of service – a development which ignited a state of chaos but was later normalized by the police. The situation however deteriorated last night bringing all activities of AML to a halt with allegations that firing took place.

Consequently, the President has appointed a committee of government ministers and security personnel to thoroughly investigate the Bumbuna incident to help the government take decisions to resolve the impasse. Simultaneously, Government appeals to members of the public, especially the workers at Bumbuna, to remain calm as it will leave no stone unturned to address the issue. All and sundry are assured that any death that may have occurred in the process will be treated seriously, will be thoroughly investigated, and Government will allow the law to take its course accordingly.

The President has dispatched the following government officials to Bumbuna to convene meetings with all stakeholders, including the workers, in an effort to resolve the impasse: the Minister of Mineral Resources, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Information, the Minister of Political Affairs, the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Local Government (who officially leads the delegation), the Resident Minister North, a representative of the Sierra Leone Police, a representative of the Office of National Security, the Member of Parliament of the area, and the Paramount Chief of Kalasongoya Chiefdom, Tonkolili District. Government has also asked African Minerals Limited to make itself available so that it can be part of the peace-making efforts in resolving the impasse.

The public will be updated on the outcome of the fact-finding meeting in Bumbuna. Meanwhile, the government reiterates that all parties, including the workers and employers of AML and the local authorities, should work towards a state of peace and tranquility within the Bumbuna and Ferengbeya areas.

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