Liberia, March 22 -- Editor's Note: This story is the first of a two-part series on growing tension between Equatorial Palm Oil and villagers in Grand Bassa County over land rights.

JOGBAHN CLAN, Grand Bassa - October 6, 2016 was a happy day for Morris Beah and other townspeople of Gmenee, Wesseh Village, Paye Town, Morb Town and Kampala, which roughly translates "transit" in the Bassa language. They gathered in an old palm oil mill at Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO) to receive compensation for their crops. The predominant rubber farmers accepted the money from the Malaysian company to expand its plantation on their land in the District No. 4.

By James Harding Giahyue, with New Narratives

Beah had been negotiating with the company for the paym...