Residents, Sime Darby Management Seek Peace Path

Residents with Sime Darby Liberia manager David Parker, shortly after they smoked the 'peace pipe.'

One of the masterminds of the recent demonstration by residents of the Project Affected Community (PAC) in the Sime Darby Liberia operational area in Grand Cape Mount County has apologized and, together with other residents, is now seeking a peace solution to their issue.

It can be recalled that some PAC youth recently staged a protest against Sime Darby’s management in demand of school buses to transport students.

The protest, which lasted for several hours, brought normal working activities at the company’ head office to a standstill. It was eventually brought under control by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).

During a ground-breaking ceremony for the first modern PAC office in the county and the gowning of general manager David Parker, the residents, through their various speakers, openly expressed remorse for their children’s action that disrupted normal activities at the company.

On behalf of the residents, Bendu Zarzar said that it was not the elders’ intention for their children to stage a protest against the company, adding that certain persons among them led the children to do what they did.

“Mr. Parker, we want to say here on behalf of our children that we are very sorry for the incident, but it was some people who took the children into what they did against Sime Darby. So we say again, we are very sorry,” she said on behalf of the residents.

For his part, the youth leader of the PAC, H. Mohammed Kaiwu, said he was happy that the company decided to build the office in the community, adding that the PAC had been “operating from their bags.”

Kaiwu termed the project as a new beginning for the 17 affected communities, stating that the office construction project also presents new opportunities for the residents.

“I am very happy today because I see this day as a new beginning in the lives of the people of the affected communities. For the past years, we have been working with Sime Darby from our field offices, but our offices are just in our bags passing around,” Kaiwu admitted.

Proffering a solution to the reason for the youth led protest action, Kaiwu appealed to the management to make available a school bus to enable students to get to campus on time, stressing that school going age kids walk long distances to acquire education.

Meanwhile, Parker put the cost of erecting the structure at US$25,000, adding that the work is expected to get underway anytime this week.


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