MRDC settles Angore LOs, ExxonMobil tensions
The Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) successfully facilitated a peace and reconciliation ceremony between Angore PDL 8 landowners and ExxonMobil in Hela Province last Thursday, bringing to an end the long standing tensions and issues affecting the operations of ExxonMobil in the area.
Tensions have been high at ExxonMobil’s Angore PDL 8 project area since the destruction and vandalism of machinery and property damaged in June 2018 after landowners protested over a non-payment of K35 million for “project security”.
Last Thursday’s ceremony, witnessed by ExxonMobil, government representatives and state agencies, MRDC, KPHL, DPE, OSL and landowner leaders marked the end of the friction and a show of reconciliation between the Angore landowners and ExxonMobil.
On behalf of the 59 ILG chairmans of Angore, Malex Au, a young landowner leader and chairman of the ATALA apologised for the destruction and damage to properties and ongoing issues which have been interrupting the company’s operations in Angore.
“This is our way of taking back PNG, we are starting in Angore by bringing peace to our area,” said Mr Au. “I take this time to say sorry to ExxonMobil.
I take full responsibility for my people’s actions and today I personally say sorry.” He called on ExxonMobil to resume operations in Angore and gave his word on behalf of the people that issues would be addressed in a round table rather than fights in the area which will affect the company’s operations.
Meanwhile, MRDC’s general manager for social service Imbi Tagune called on the people to remember this day and keep the peace in the area.
He told them that Hela is looking after PNG’s garden which is the PNG LNG Project. “God has blessed Hela and there must be peace here so you can enjoy the blessings. We at MRDC recognise the importance of peace.
We proved this when we went into Beneria No go zone to open bank accounts and we also brought peace there,” Mr Tagune said. “Angore must keep peace because with peace comes services and developments.” The leaders presented 15 pigs to ExxonMobil as a symbol of reconciliation.
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