greenrdc-Forest-related conflict in Tshopo: Greenpeace Africa expresses alarm!
Tensions have been rising for over a month now between forest communities in the Tsopo region and Canadian-owned Plantations et Huileries du Congo SA (PHC), a subsidiary of Feronia Inc.
The conflict was sparked by claims made by local communities, including the Yalifombo and Mwingi, that land belonging to the indigenous people is being illegally occupied by the Canadian company’s Lokutu plantations.
The fierce battle for control of forest land has already left one dead and led to four arrests including that of the traditional chief of the Mwingi community who was tortured before managing to escape. The whereabouts of the other three hostages remain unknown according to Greenpeace.
DRC: Greenpeace Africa expresses alarm over human rights violations in forest-related conflict in Tshopo province
Greenpeace Africa has sounded the alarm over human rights violations in a forest-related conflict between the Yalifombo community and Plantations et Huileries du Congo SA (PHC) owned by Canadian corporation Feronia Inc in Tshopo province.
According to Greenpeace Africa, several members of the Yalifombo community were arrested by Congolese police driving a Feronia PHC jeep and accompanied by Feronia PHC security officers. The traditional chief of the neighboring Mwingi community was abducted and tortured by police officers before managing to escape. The whereabouts of the other three villagers who are reportedly detained, remain unknown according to the same source. The events occurred from 12 to 15 September.
Greenpeace urges the Congolese government and Feronia’s international donors which include British, French, German, Belgian and other development banks to look into the matter to ensure that justice is served.
“The atrocities reported by the Yalifombo and Mwingi communities must be met with firm action. Instead of violent displacements, arrests and torture, the forest communities deserve justice” said Irene Wabiwa Betoko, Forest campaign manager for Greenpeace in a press release on 25 September.