A complex situation has developed in the last months in the communities of Datalnay & Dlumay and several others in the area.
Unfortunately, a local military battalion has apparently interpreted the recent empowerment of the communities – starting alphabetization classes, installing technical equipment for electricity, working with regional and national non-profits to improve their living conditions – as a signal that the communities are sympathizers of the armed rebel groups active in the island. At various times since November 2010, soldiers in full battle gear have harassed, detained, and interrogated men, women, and children, including a group of 30 school children doing outdoor activities and tree-planting on part of the micro-hydro system.
Since mid March, to ensure their safety and on the advice of the community leaders and even of the parents, all of the remaining local non-profit staff had to evacuate the area. The teachers heartbreakingly padlocked the school and declared a temporary suspension of classes with the promise to the community of working out their return.
Even usual farming activities have been disrupted.
Complaints have been filed by the local non-profits, who are working with local authorities to normalize the situation.
Needless to say, the final work on the electrification and agricultural processing facilities, and the inauguration ceremony, have been put on hold until the situation improves.