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Kamakwie Chief Denounces MIACCO

Kamakwie Chief Denounces MIACCO

The Chief of Kamakwie Section – Pa Alimamay Soko Turay has denounced one of the cooperative groups called MIACCO for abysmal lawlessness in Sella Limba Chiefdom.  (Photo: Chief Soko Turay says AMR Gold is the legally recognized company in Sella Limba Chiefdom)

Chief Soko Turay made this disclosure yesterday to a cross section of investigative journalists from Freetown who went on a fact finding mission in Kamakwie town and its environs.

“We did not recognize MIACCO as a legal mining company operating in our Chiefdom,” he affirmed, adding “MIACCO is a cooperative registered for agricultural and building construction purposes.

According to him, MIACCO was established by some landowners to only carry out agricultural activities for food security.  He stressed that the cooperative group later metamorphosed itself into mining after Fintain Roche came in as the Country Director to finance their reportedly illicit activities. He said that they (Stakeholders) were later dissatisfied with the “Irish illegal miner’s involvement into MIACCO’s activities, as he puts:  “it misdirected the true purpose for which landowners established MIACCO. ’’

“In fact we are the brains behind the establishment of MIACCO so that we can help support agricultural productivity in our Chiefdom,” he noted.

He said the current involvement of MIACCO workers into artisanal mining and their blatant refusal to recognize AMR Gold as the legitimate company with exclusive mining right is the cause for the constant impasse in Sella Limba Chiefdom.

He went on to state that: “We have never been influenced but we are hugely supporting AMR Gold because officials of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the National Minerals Agency(NMA), led by the Director of Mines,  have publicly disclosed to us that AMR Gold has been granted three exploration licenses with exclusive mineral right. And by law, we are compelled to embrace AMR Gold to support government’s commitment in providing an enabling environment for genuine investors.’’

The Kamakwie Chief noted that they are not pleased with the constant attacks to obstruct AMR Gold’s operations. He added that the situation deteriorated to an extent that innocent locals were targeted for no justifiable reason. He admonished that those who want to engage into mining activities should follow the due process in order to gain legitimacy either in Sella Limba or any other part of the country.

He reiterated that lawlessness undermines peace and security and further debar development in any healthy society.

Regarding the recent violence, Chief Turay said personnel of the Sierra Leone Police were vigilant in repelling the attackers and some were arrested and detained for interrogation. He said the Irish foreign national-Fintain Roche and others were locked up in police cell and later taken to the Makeni Police Station where they were released.

“We have charted the way forward for a peaceful resolution of the unabated mining impasse in Sella Limba instead of allowing the police to handle the matter,” said Chief Soko, stressing that they are to have stakeholders meeting on 19 January, 2016 to address the problem.

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