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24 Aug 2015

Melike Ann Yetken, U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Complaint before US Govt. alleging intimidation by SGSOC/Herakles Farms in land transfers in Cameroon resolved in accord between company, NGOs

"U.S. NCP Final Statement CED/RELUFA on the Specific Instance between the Center for Environment and Development (CED) with Network to Fight against Hunger (RELUFA) and Herakles Farms' affiliate SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC) in Cameroon", 28 July 2015

...[The] U.S. NCP [National Contact Point under the OECD Guidelines] offered mediation to assist the parties... The offer...was accepted by all parties...The mediation successfully concluded with a mutually agreed upon resolution signed by all parties. This concludes the first mediation conducted by the office of the U.S. NCP that reached a mutually agreed resolution...

...[In 2013], CED and RELUFA...submitted a Specific Instance to the...U.S. NCP... alleging conduct inconsistent with the...OECD Guidelines in connection with SGSOCs’ operations in Cameroon. SGSOC is an affiliate of Herakles [Capital]... The Specific Instance points out various reports alleging intimidation and bribery of community leaders, government officials, and local citizens by SGSOC officials to gain land for their operations...

SGSOC agreed to receive a written request from CED/RELUFA within one month of the signing of the agreement regarding the investigation of any past cases of alleged corruption, and to investigate credible cases. SGSOC will give a written response back to CED/RELUFA within three months of receipt of the written request. SGSOC will act with the intention of showing their good faith in opposing and taking action against any acts of corruption... 

One year after publication of this statement, the U.S. NCP requests each party submit a follow-up report to the NCP identifying the status of the agreement and any impacts.

Part of the following timelines

Nasako Besingi, Director of a leading environmental NGO, heavily sentenced for fighting the injustice of land-grabs in the South West of Cameroon

Cameroun: Le défenseur de l'environnement et des droits de l'homme Nasako Besingi lourdement condamné par la justice à cause de sa lutte contre l'accaparement des terres