Sierra Leone activists convicted of destroying palm oil trees

    by Reuters
    Monday, 8 February 2016 10:01 GMT

In this 2011 file photo, a workman stands in front of an excavator that is clearing land for a palm oil plantation in Malen chiefdom in the Pujehun district in southern Sierra Leone. REUTERS/Simon Akam

A Sierra Leone court has convicted six people opposed to a palm oil project of destroying trees and inciting the local population to protest over land rights. The case highlights how a growing number of African land lease deals for mining and agribusiness have provoked tensions for allegedly depriving often poor countries of the means to feed their own populations.

In a ruling on Thursday, the court found that the defendants, who include a former lawmaker and are members of a local landowners association, destroyed 40 palm oil trees belonging to Socfin in the Pujehun District.

Read in full
Sign up for our weekly newsletter