International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Activists: If Rio Tinto is still in Serbia by February 20, we’ll force them out

February 7, 2022
Aleksandar Jovanovic, one of the most prominent environmentalist activists in Serbia, called on Monday on his colleagues and people from the western village of Gornje Nedeljice, the centre of Rio Tinto's planned lithium mine, to physically force the company employees and their equipment out if they did not leave the country through February 20.
„What is Rio Tinto doing in Gornje Nedeljice after everything? If the Government annulled its decree and disbanded its working group to implement Rio Tinto’s ‘Jadar Project,’ why it still buys land from the villagers? Why do its jeeps still patrol the village? Rio Tinto doesn’t have anything more to do in Gornje Nedeljice,“ Jovanovic told nova.rs website.
He added he called on „all people from Gornje Nedeljice, Serbia’s Association of Environmentalist Organisations (SEOS) and citizens to give Rio Tinto the February 20 deadline to leave the village. If not, to physically force the staff and their equipment out and set up guards at the village’s entrance.“
Last week, Savo Manojlovic' the director of the 'Go-Change' Campaign, said that if the Parliament did not adopt the ban on mining lithium and boron in Serbia, his organisation would stage a new protest, the Gornje Nedelljice villagers would camp outside the Government seat and the activists would obstruct the forthcoming elections process.
Environmentalists in Serbia have been protesting for months against the RioTinto plans to mine lithium in western Serbia. The Government said it annulled all contracts with the Anglo-Australian company, but the activists and villagers said Rio Tinto continued its activities and accused the regime of a pre-election manoeuvre.
They want a permanent ban on lithium and boron exploration in the country to Rio Tinto and all other companies doing or planning to do that. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said there was no time for such a decision since the Parliament has to be dissolved on February 15, due to the elections scheduled for April 3.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/activists-if-rio-tinto-is-still-in-serbia-by-february-20-well-force-them-out/

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