Guinea town’s unrest a cautionary tale for African mining – by Tim Cocks (Reuters U.S. – May 12, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

BOKE, GUINEA – When the frustration of youths in this Guinean mining town finally erupted, they looted shops, pillaged government buildings and smashed up dozens of vehicles, dispersing only when police opened fire.

“It was an immense crowd,” said Lieutenant Souare Abdoul, a fireman who had to shelter in a council building in Boke while young men tore out furniture, emptied a safe, stole computers and scattered hundreds of files across the floor.

“You could see they were angry and they wanted to destroy this place,” he added, walking on a carpet of papers and shattered glass. Only after gendarmes opened fire were the council staff able to escape.

Security forces shot dead one protester and wounded several. The riots at the end of April paralyzed Boke, a bauxite-mining hub in Africa’s top producer and home to Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG), which each export around 15 million tonnes of aluminum ore annually.

They were the latest symptom of the “resource curse”, the paradox that nations with plentiful mineral resources, especially in Africa, are often poorer, more unequal, less stable and less democratic than others.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-guinea-mines-idUSKBN1881BH

Comments are closed.