The logging sector in the DRC continues to make shocking headlines with its use of violence and human rights abuses to quell villagers who simply demanded that they receive what is rightfully theirs. Danzer has again been involved in a retaliation mission by security forces against a forest community, by transporting and paying the ‘commando’.
On 2 May 2011, members of the forest community of Yalisika, living in the village of Bosanga in the territory of Bumba (Equateur Province), were victims of harsh violence by a group of police and military personnel. Several women and girls were raped, several people were badly beaten, the property of many villagers was destroyed, 16 people were arrested, and one victim died on the night of 2 May. Not only did the villagers suffer at the hands of military and police but Danzer’s own employee destroyed personal property, driving company equipment over villagers’ meager belongings. Later, en route from the village to the prison, the Danzer vehicle made a stopover at Danzer’s worksite, where the company manager was seen paying the security forces. This is not the first time that military intervention has followed protests by villagers against the Danzer logging company in the DRC, when forests communities try to hold the company to account for its unfulfilled promises to provide social basic infrastructure to the communities in exchange to their forests exploitation.