Tanzania: Victims sue Barrick Gold subsidiary for alleged abuses by security forces & local police employed at North Mara gold mine
Seven Tanzanians have launched a legal claim at the British High Court against subsidiaries of Canada-based Barrick Gold alleging serious abuses by security forces, including local police, employed at Barrick’s North Mara gold mine. They accuse the company of complicity in unlawful deaths and use of excessive force by security forces.
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"Tanzanian Victims Commence Legal Action in UK against Barrick "
A group of seven Tanzanian human rights victims launched a legal claim at the British High Court against subsidiaries of Canada-based Barrick Gold, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, alleging serious abuses by security forces, including local police, employed at Barrick’s North Mara gold mine. The claim was issued against Barrick Tz Limited, formerly known as Acacia Mining, of which Barrick was the majority shareholder. Majority owned subsidiaries of Barrick have operated the troubled Tanzanian gold mine from 2010 until 2019. In 2019 Barrick bought out the minority shareholders of Acacia, delisted the company from the London and Dar es Salaam Stock Exchanges and took it back under its control...
The group of victims was assisted by RAID, a UK based corporate watchdog, and MiningWatch Canada, which have both documented human rights abuses at the North Mara mine through repeated research visits beginning in 2014. The claimants are represented by British law firm Hugh James .“This group of victims represents just a fraction of those who have suffered abuse at the North Mara mine, but the filing of their legal claims in a British court brings hope of justice,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, the Executive Director at RAID. “Barrick Gold should use this as a wake-up call to address the human rights situation at the mine, rein in the security forces and ensure that those who have suffered obtain remedy.”
"When Will Bristow Address the Human Rights Issues at Tanzanian Gold Mine?"
Mark Bristow, CEO of the world’s largest gold miner, Canadian company Barrick Gold, has finally secured one of the mines he has long coveted. Bristow has been lauded for orchestrating Barrick’s takeover last month of London-listed Acacia Mining plc, which ensures direct control over Acacia’s prized North Mara gold mine. Yet Bristow’s challenges in Tanzania are only just beginning. How he will resolve the toxic combination of serious human rights abuses and deep discord with North Mara’s local communities will be the real test of his leadership...
Barrick is heralding “a new era of productive partnership” with Tanzania and its people. This fresh start at North Mara will require repairing relations with local communities and stopping any further human rights abuses. Two essential first steps are needed. First, Barrick should suspend the deeply problematic grievance mechanism at the North Mara mine pending an independent review. While waiting for the review to be completed, the company should provide humanitarian assistance to those harmed by its activities. Secondly, Barrick should urgently reconsider the mine’s employment of the Tanzanian police to provide security.
In February 2019 Bristow committed to meeting the human rights challenge, saying that the relationship with communities at North Mara will “definitely change” under his leadership. Now that Barrick is rebuilding operations at North Mara, Bristow has the opportunity to do just that. He needs to show that new management at North Mara represents a change in more than just name.
- Related stories: seven Tanzanian's sue Barrick Gold in UK for human rights abuses allegedly committed by its Tanzanian subsidiary, including complicity in use of excessive force by govt. agents
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