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Socfin Agricultural Company PRESS STATEMENT FROM SOCFIN

The management of Socfin Agricultural Company Sierra Leone wishes to inform the public on the events which took place over the last few weeks on the Socfin plantation and surrounding areas in the Malen Chiefdom in Pujehun District.

On Wednesday 16th January 2019 the Company’s Agricultural Department closed down just after the arrival of the Member of Parliament for constituency 104 due to no workers turning up for work. Workers informed management that they would not come to work due to the intimidation from gangs of youths, many fueled with drugs and which many were not from this Chiefdom. These gangs were planning to invoke the secret society in various parts of Malen without the authorization of the Paramount Chief. Havoc and chaos pursued over the following days and during all this period mass organized fruit theft continued and many areas of the plantation were no go zones even for the police.

On Sunday 20th January the Resident Minister came to Sahn Malen to look into the elevated issue of a dispute on a plot of land in Sahn town, which the Member of Parliament wanted to build a constituency building on his private land. The Minister’s visit was a result of the tension that had escalated to such a high level and required his intervention. The Resident Minister also met with the General Manager of Socfin on the same day to inform him of the situation around the secret society gatherings and dispute on this plot of land and informed him that additional protection will be provided due to the situation.

The Resident Minister then went to the community radio two times and made an address to the public on these issues. That night information came in that the secret society was coming out illegally and panic around the town and chiefdom started with many people fleeing and later that night military and police were deployed; including to

areas of strategic importance to Socfin. On Monday 21st January chaos ensued over the illegal and misuse of the secret society which has revealed after investigations that a large number of illegal processing mills are placed within the secret society bushes.