Members of the RAID team visited the North Mara gold mine on 30 and 31 January 2023 to meet with Barrick Gold. We welcomed the opportunity to engage with Barrick’s team. The site visit permitted us to discuss the security and human rights situation at the mine, and gave us an opportunity to see some of Barrick’s community projects in the surrounding area. We hope the important dialogue with Barrick on human rights and security challenges will continue.
During the visit, RAID further detailed its research findings, its methodology and its engagement with those who have been harmed in security operations by police assigned to the mine. RAID shared information about 32 such human rights related incidents that we had documented since Barrick took operational control in September 2019, and agreed to consider providing additional information to Barrick about these abuses pending assurances on safeguarding.
As part of the visit, Barrick arranged for RAID to observe its meeting at the mine with village leaders and the local member of parliament. In RAID’s view, this meeting, in which at least seven Barrick staff participated, was not an appropriate forum for local leaders to express human rights concerns relating to the mine. A number of the views articulated during the meeting contradicted previous concerns and criticisms expressed by local leaders to RAID during confidential interviews, and were at odds with views voiced in forums not convened by Barrick.
RAID also participated in tri-partite meetings with Barrick and government authorities, including the police. RAID was concerned at the lack of assurances it received about investigations into conduct by police assigned to the mine. RAID will continue to follow-up directly with Tanzanian government to press for appropriate investigations into police misconduct, and urges Barrick to use its leverage with the government in line with its human rights commitments to further press for accountability.
RAID remains concerned about the security-related human rights violations at the North Mara mine and believes the best way forward is a credible, transparent and independent investigation at arms-length from the company’s management, into the killings, torture and other abuses involving police assigned to the mine. This should provide a clearer picture on the security-related human rights issues and help guide Barrick’s next steps, including provision of remedy to those harmed.
RAID will be following up directly with Barrick and the Tanzanian government regarding further recommendations on the human rights issues. We look forward to continued engagement with Barrick on these matters.
For more information about our work on the North Mara gold mine, click here.