Liberia

The marginalization of indigenous communities during concession negotiations and project implementation has resulted in high tensions around a number of foreign direct investment projects in Liberia, says this report from Columbia University's Centre for Conflict Resolution that looks at the social impact of FDI. 'This tension has occasionally led to violence and other forms of social unrest, which could feasibly lead to conditions that might threaten peace in the country.'

Pa Sando, the town chief of Konja, in Grand Cape Mount county in Liberia, looks out across the farmland. 'I used to pick cocoa on this farm for more than 30 years. My grandfather planted it for us,' he says. 'All this area here was mine, and now it's all gone.' The land has been leased by Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc, owned by the Malaysian-based multinational Sime Darby, to grow trees for palm oil. Sando said he was never asked whether he wanted to give up his land – only that he saw ...read more

Liberia’s former football star-turned politician, George Weah, has been reinstalled as the leader of Liberia’s main opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) following the expulsion of presidential candidate Winston Tubman. The party has been in crisis since the ruling Unity Party of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf defeated it during the presidential elections last year, making it the second defeat in a row. A statement by the party aid Mr Tubman was relieved of the position as a result of...read more

On a recent hot Saturday afternoon, tempers flared outside a school building in the village of Madina as organizers tried to work out who could and could not attend the meeting inside between the visiting government delegation and community representatives. The meeting's agenda was clear: the activities of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDLP) and their impact on the surrounding land and its inhabitants. One of the most prominent in a club of new, high-profile investors committed to long-term ...read more

Former Liberian first lady Jewel Howard Taylor has introduced a bill making homosexuality liable to a death sentence. Jewel is a senator and former president Charles Taylor’s ex-wife. Uganda re-tabled a similar controversial anti-gay bill recently. Homosexuality is outlawed in 38 African countries and it can be punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria. This Global Voices post summarises the reactions from the blogosphere.

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