APA – Kigali (Rwanda) – Local communities impacted by the operations of Belgium’s SIAT Group are rising up in unity against land and human rights abuses in West Africa, according to a petition seen by APA Thursday.
From Ghana to Nigeria and Ivory Coast, these communities seek an end to a decade-long conflict tied to SIAT’s extensive plantations, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a panafrican NGO seeking to influence policies and to promote African solutions for food sovereignty said in a statement
The SIAT Group, with its vast cultivation of over 76,000 hectares across five countries in Africa and Asia, specializes in rubber and palm oil production. Notable multinationals including Unilever (UK), Nestlé (Switzerland), Michelin (France), and Goodyear (US) source raw materials from SIAT, it said.
However, activists note that local communities level severe accusations against the company: land grabbing, deforestation and violations of human rights and threats to food security.
Affected communities in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria have joined forces with others within the Informal Alliance Against Industrial Plantations in West and Central Africa to demand that justice be done, it said.