A week of calm in Taolagnaro after the tensions that began on June 26th. But there is still no agreement between the company and the demonstrators.
QMM resumes service against a background of tension. A week after the scuffles between the demonstrators and the police, calm seems to be returning. The three hundred employees of the mining company stranded since June 26 returned to their families on July 3. The company resumed operations last Wednesday according to a source with QMM. “Still, there is no tangible progress in the search for lasting solutions to the problem,” she says. The demonstrators were indeed scattered after the tear gas canisters launched by the police after the latter received stone throwing from those dissatisfied with the project. The barricades erected at the entrance to the Mandena mining site have been dismantled. The next day, the strikers asking the company for favors did not return to the scene. There are no new dams so far. And no staff member is taken hostage at their place of work.
“Tensions are on hold. The antagonists still have their say, but each side on both sides seems to be waiting for a new bomb to explode”, says a local colleague. “The demonstrators are very heartbroken, but the company also finds itself in difficulty every time,” he adds. The Lutte pour le Sud association is asking for more socio-economic impacts of the project. She asks, among other things, the consideration of local human resources so that they can integrate the company. The market issues opened by the company lack transparency and local companies are hardly taken into account, according to testimonies. The straw that broke the camel’s back recently, officially will have been the harmful effects of the exploitation on the water consumed by the residents of the site. Financial compensation for households negatively affected by the mining project has also come back to the table, although agreements were reached a year ago on the eligibility criteria for financial compensation. The renewal of the provisions of the establishment agreement is not to the taste of the members of the association. Nobody asked their opinion, according to them. The underlying blackmail policies that have existed since the company was set up cannot be ruled out.