Will Guineans Ever Benefit From Their Country’s Mineral Wealth?

Will Guineans Ever Benefit From Their Country’s Mineral Wealth?
Guineans ride on the back of a bus during a political rally, Conakry, Guinea, Oct. 7, 2015 (AP photo by Youssouf Bah).

Late last month, residents of Guinea’s northeast Siguiri region filed a complaint describing how they were thrown off their land to make room for an open-pit oxide gold mine controlled by AngloGold Ashanti, a Johannesburg-based mining company.

The evictions were violent, according to the complainants and an organization advocating on their behalf. “Hundreds of families were forced off their land by the country’s most feared military unit,” says David Pred, managing director of Inclusive Development International. “They were not allowed to say no or to negotiate. Those who resisted were imprisoned and shot. Their homes were burned and their businesses looted.”

On top of that, they were relocated to an area where they have little means of supporting themselves. “The company took everything from us,” Balla Camara, a community representative, said in a statement. “We’ve been left with nothing: no trees, no water, no work because they did not even recruit us.”

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