I believe the NGOs would not have brought it to my attention if they thought there was any danger to the lady in question. The broader point is that it is our societies’ demands for natural resources which is fuelling the conflict in these lands. In these countries, as well as that demand on the land, we are looking at corruption, organised crime, political instability and militarised police forces. On the one hand, there are the indigenous people, the poorest of the poor, while on the other, we have wealth and power. It is the rights of the poor which are constantly eroded.
The Minister referred to strategic development goals, SDGs, earlier. How can there be any success or movement on the SDGs when those kinds of human rights violations continue? There is an issue for the World Bank and the IMF which are funding these large companies. We already have had an example of Dutch and Finnish banks which have withdrawn their funding for some of these projects. We need more to do so.
I accept we were part of the election monitoring but there are concerns over it. There is no doubt there were abuses of the system. The EU's report was rather late in coming out and challenging what happened. We know people who lost their lives because they were objecting to the unfairness of the election and the corrupt way in which it was carried out.