“Bush Masters” in Nimba Demand ArcellorMittal Apologize to Boima Morgan

NIMBA COUNTY – Following their demonstration to force ArcelloMittal Liberia (AML) to fulfill the terms of the MDA that exists between AML, the communities in the mining-affected areas, and the Government of Liberia, the “Bush Masters” from Nimba County are requesting an apology from AML to Mr. Boima Morgan, the CEO of Solway Mining Inc., for misrepresenting to the public that he was the one who organized the protest in the AML concession holdings in Nimba.

The Nimba indigenous people are opposing ArcelorMittal’s proposed expansion, according to a source who is not authorized to speak on their behalf. This is because the corporation has not complied with its MDA requirements. On May 6, 2024, some Nimbaians residing in the concession catchment areas of Zor, Sehyi, Yarmie, and Gboa, under the leadership of their traditional masked agent known as the “Country Devil,” staged a protest that interfered with operations at Mt. Nimba and Mt. Torkade due to their alleged failure to meet with the MDA. Additionally, the demonstrating residents petitioned their legislators to oppose the MDA’s requested extension.

According to our Bush Masters source, the company chose to disregard the complaints of the public, but it charged Boima Morgan of Solway Mining, Inc. with orchestrating the demonstration.
ArcellorMittal set up this smoke screen, accusing Mr. Morgan of starting the demonstration and characterizing it as a decoy used by AML to divert attention away from the fact that it was breaking the main terms of the MDA.

In response to this regrettable development, Solway’s CEO, Boima Morgan, denied the accusation, stating that “he has remained a peaceful and law-abiding citizen at all relevant times in his relationship with ArcelorMittal and the people of Nimba County.”
Mr. Morgan emphasized in a Monrovia statement that his intention is never to take part in activities that are detrimental to Liberia’s prosperous and peaceful economic environment.

Although there is a disagreement between ArcelorMittal, the Government of Liberia, and Solway, this disagreement does not concern the whole ArcelorMittal Concession area.
According to the statement, the current disagreement is restricted to a 56-kilometer radius around Mount Blei and Mount Detton in Nimba County, which Solway previously explored while operating under a license given to it by the Liberian government.

Mr. Morgan went on to say that in order to settle this dispute, the three parties to the MDA entered into a Release and Settlement Agreement. According to this agreement, Solway consented to give up its Exploration License and any rightful claims to the Exploration Area as well as turn over all of its Exploration Data and assets, including buildings, facilities, and improvements thereon, in exchange for being paid a specific amount of money within a predetermined time frame.

He said that when Solway fulfilled all of its commitments under the Release and Settlement Agreement, the government sent over all of the material that Solway had disclosed to ArcelorMittal.
Nevertheless, despite repeated requests, the Government and ArcelorMittal have up till now disregarded, denied, and broken their end of the Settlement Agreement by failing to pay the payment they agreed to give Solway Mining Inc.

In response to this development, Solway Mining Inc. filed a petition for the cancellation of the release and settlement agreement and asked the court to restore the status quo ante with the help of Mr. Boima Morgan, a law-abiding and peaceful person. The status of this petition in the Commercial Court is currently unknown.

In addition to filing the Petition for Cancellation, Mr. Morgan also requested a Writ of Preliminary Injunction backed by an indemnity bond. The Court granted this request, and as a result, ArcelorMittal was issued a Temporary Restraining order that forbade the company from entering the disputed area or carrying out any activities there until the Cancellation proceedings were resolved.
According to our Bush Master sources, it is irrational and unthinkable to accuse Mr. Boima Morgan of directing the traditional societies of Nimba in the demonstrations over ArcelorMittal mining sites, particularly since Mr. Morgan has not claimed the ArcelorMittal mining sites where the demonstrations are occurring.

An action that the “Bush Masters” have deemed incorrect, and as a result, they are requesting that the AML issue an apology to Mr. Morgan and fulfill the terms of the MDA.
“Arcelor Mittal’s attempt to avoid accountability is not a wise course of action to address the issues that are occurring in the impacted regions of the indigenous people’s land.

It is well known that traditional people have campaigned for the protection of their rights to their land and resources in a variety of locations and on a variety of occasions in Liberia’s counties where concessions are in operation.
These kinds of disputes have always been settled by talks. Instead of using Mr. Morgan as a scapegoat, perhaps it is time for AML to reevaluate how it has treated, interacted with, and related to the Nimba traditional people.

According to Nimba’s traditional sources, Mr. Morgan is still dedicated to upholding the law and has taken his complaints to a court with the necessary authority in order to receive justice in accordance with Liberian law.
Traditional sources stated, “The claim by ArcelorMittal without any supporting evidence that Mr. Morgan orchestrated us to demonstrate in ArcelorMittal Mining sites is reckless and intended only to damage the reputation and good name of Mr. Morgan.”
In the meantime, Mr. Morgan has provided notice that he retains the right to use any legal remedies that may be available, according to the Monrovia statement.

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