This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Mayila News. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
In Mbila, in the district of Komono (Lékoumou department), over 400km southeast of Congo Brazzaville, local communities and Indigenous populations (CLPA) are struggling to come to terms with logging and agro-industrial companies. These communities are victims of non-compliance with land-use clauses in development projects.
"The first company to come to our village was Lexus, but unfortunately they didn't contact the landowners. They came without our consent, entering the forest without informing the local landowners, as if we were back in the days of one-party rule. When we tried to approach the company's hierarchy, they claimed that they were paying their rights to the Congolese state…" says an incensed Joseph Mbou, a landowner from the village of Mbila.
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In this village in the Komono district with a population of around 621, many of the landowners like Joseph, belonging to one of three clans, are victims of violations of land-related clauses agreed with certain logging and agro-industrial companies in their village. Today, these local communities and indigenous populations (CLPA) are being dispossessed of their land, thus impacting their subsistence activities and, above all, the management of their forest and ancestral land.