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Sierra Leone: Report on land conflict between Socfin and local communities finds a number of illegalities

The investigative phase of the conflict resolution process concerning the land conflict between the multinational palm oil company SOCFIN and communities in the Malen Chiefdom of Sierra Leone confirms was concluded and confirms a number of allegations raised by the communities amongst them that the land lease agreements are unlawful; that payments of lease rent and other land charges were or inadequate or paid to the wrong persons; that buffer zones between communities and SOCFIN plantations have not been respected and that this has negatively impinged upon the communities' capacity to live in dignity; that SOCFIN's development projects in the communities were inadequate; and that there are serious pollution concerns linked to the company's activities.  International coalition of civil society welcomed the report but noted that there are several key elements pertaining to the land conflict that are either absent from the report or, insufficiently addressed. Further says the report lack a human rights approach and reference to the relevant legal framework as well as  the working conditions on SOCFIN's plantations