Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Public Money Into Private Pockets - The Congo

European and US development finance is bankrolling a new round of colonialism in the Congo

The CDC Group Plc, the French Agency for Development (AFD) and several other development finance institutions (DFIs) are funding Feronia, a Canadian agribusiness company accused of land grabbing and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Communities living within the more than 100,000 hectares covered by Feronia Inc's Lokutu and Boteka oil palm concession areas say the land was taken from them illegally and that they never gave their consent for Feronia to operate there.

DFIs together own more than 80 percent of Feronia's shares, even though the company is flagrantly violating policies that should prevent DFIs' public money from being invested in companies that grab land, violate labour rights or engage in corrupt practices.

A new report from GRAIN and RIAO-RDC exposes Feronia's involvement in a massive land grab as well as operating a brutal system of labour exploitation and community harassment and making corrupt payouts to politically-connected individuals in the DRC.

"Community leaders from the areas where Feronia has its plantations have had enough of this company," says Jean-François Mombia Atuku of RIAO-RDC. "They want Feronia to give them back the lands, so that they can once again benefit from the use of their forests and farms."

Read more: grain.org/e/5220

No comments: