Minister Brown Assures Justice Awaits Yekepa Vandals

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YEKEPA, July 6 (LINA) - Information Minister Lewis Brown has assured the Management of ArcelorMittal mining company that government will spare no effort in bringing to justice those who vandalized the company’s property and took hostage some of its senior staff.

Minister Brown said those involved as well as the masterminds of this unlawful act will be made to answer before a court of law, stressing that there will be no compromise.

He made the statement Saturday at a roundtable discussion with the Management of ArcelorMittal on the recent act of vandalism that took place at the company’s mining plant in which major property of the company were severely damaged.

According to the Information Ministry boss, the government will ensure that not only will those who are responsible answer for the crimes they have committed, but that there will be no recurrence of such either at AccelorMittal or anywhere else in the country.

He noted that the act carried out is “a very serious threat” to those doing business in Liberia and that government will ensure that it breaks such threats by bringing the perpetrators to justice and putting into place additional security measures.

“It is the responsibility of the government to protect those who abide by the law and punish those who violate the law,” Brown pointed out.

He said what transpired in Yekepa “is not just a Nimba County thing, rather, it is about the entire country” and as such, it will be treated as a national issue, adding “the government, including the Nimba County Legislative Caucus, are united about this, and we will succeed.”

He assured the company that the government and people of Liberia cherish the relationship with the company and will ensure that the relationship is maintained, noting “the operation of ArcelorMittal has brought opportunities and life to Nimba in particular and Liberia in general, something we cannot compromise.”

Two days ago, some residents of the company’s concession area armed with single barrel riffles, stormed the Mining Plant, where they vandalized, burned and looted properties belonging to the company.

They also held hostage some senior members of the company for two days, but they were later released by officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police that intervened to restore order.

By Prince S. Nagbe