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14 Nov 2016

Rafael Marques de Morais, Maka Angola (Angola)

Angola: Maka Angola alleges Sociedade Mineira do Cuango & govt violently destroyed crops to expand mining operations without adequate compensation; it includes company comments

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“Diamond barons destroy food crops”, 20 September, 2016

...The Angolan diamond mining conglomerate, Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (SMC) is accused of ordering the systematic destruction of hundreds of food crop plantations in the Cafunfo area (Cuango...), with the local MPLA administration ordering the compulsory removal of the villagers and destruction of their homes, cash crops and vegetable gardens. Villagers complain that compensation for their destroyed harvests is wholly inadequate...and some empty water barrels...“The destruction orders come from Mike Weir, the SMC Operations Director, but he is merely complying with orders from the SMC board of directors in Luanda,” a local official revealed...“People can’t argue with João Eugénio because he is always accompanied by heavily-armed police, who threaten them if they protest.”...The...village chief says “it was José Eduardo dos Santos’s government who told people around here that everyone should dedicate themselves to growing crops to put an end to famine in the region...”...Maka Angola contacted...SMC director of Mining Operations to convey these complaints but was unable to obtain any response...A telephone conversation with a subordinate of deputy director Firmino Valeriano, resulted in a blanket refusal to respond to questions, even...in writing...