Gold rush in Guinea triggers bloodshed

Artisanal miners from Guinean villages often invade company pits when their own workings get flooded in the rainy season. (Reuters)
Updated 23 July 2018

Gold rush in Guinea triggers bloodshed

  • State hospital sources in Siguiri said that at least 23 people had been killed since the start of the year
  • Mining-Technology.com has reported numerous clashes between the miner AngloGold Ashanti and some groups of artisanal miners

CONAKRY: At least 23 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a gold rush in northern Guinea that has led to hundreds of shooting incidents, according to hospital and security sources.
“Our services recorded 313 shootings from January 1 to June 30, in which about 20 people died and dozens of others were wounded,” a senior state official said.
State hospital sources in Siguiri, a town on the Niger river near the border with Mali, said on Friday that at least 23 people had been killed since the start of the year.
“The number of casualties may be higher because some of the wounded are being treated in private clinics and there are also corpses which are still lying on the ground,” the head of emergency services at the regional hospital, Balla Moussa Keita, told AFP.
“The Siguiri region has abundant deposits of gold — it is the most dangerous part of the country,” the state official told AFP.
The violence is due “not only to the riches beneath the soil, which attract gangsters, but also due to repeated clashes between villagers over land rights, as well as the influx of clandestine diggers from every neighboring country,” he added.
“The villagers are armed, the clandestine arrivals are armed and the mining zones are over-crowded,” he warned.
Guinea has gold, diamonds, bauxite and prodigious reserves of iron ore.
In Kouremale, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Siguiri, clashes erupted during a wedding procession by Malians in Guinean territory, leaving one person dead and numerous injured, according to the Guinean authorities.
A violent dispute between gold diggers in November last year at the mining site of Niaouleni, another border area, left at least six dead.
Neighbouring Mali has recently been affected by armed extremist activity, while Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south both endured long civil wars that lasted into the early years of the 21st century and left the region awash with weapons.
Specialist website Mining-Technology.com has reported “numerous clashes between the miner AngloGold Ashanti and some groups of artisanal miners who have been found operating beyond the traditional orpaillage (gold washing) system and therefore agreed areas.”
Artisanal miners from local villages have invaded company pits in large numbers when their own workings get flooded in the rainy season, the report added.


US and China seeking to revive trade talks: Trump adviser Sum Obist lique

In this file photo taken on August 6, 2019 White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to the media on the driveway of the White House in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 19 August 2019

US and China seeking to revive trade talks: Trump adviser Sum Obist lique

  • The US-China negotiations began in earnest in January and seemed at first to make substantial progress, raising hopes that a trade deal could be rapidly reached

BUENOS AIRES: Washington and Beijing are working actively to revive negotiations aimed at ending the trade war that has rattled world markets, Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser said Sunday.
If teleconferences between both sides’ deputies pan out in the next 10 days “and we can have a substantive renewal of negotiations,” Larry Kudlow said on Fox News Sunday, “then we are planning to have China come to the US and meet with our principals to continue the negotiations.”
That left it uncertain, however, whether a Chinese delegation would be coming to Washington next month, as a White House spokesperson predicted after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left a round of trade talks in Shanghai in July.
But Kudlow emphasized that phone conversations held last week to follow up on the Shanghai talks — involving Lighthizer, Mnuchin and two senior Chinese negotiators, Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Secretary Zhong Shan — were “a lot more positive than has been reported in the media.”
World financial markets have been on edge amid a series of signs pointing to a serious slowing of the global economy — notably because of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies — and have been reacting strongly to even the slightest new indicator.
The US-China negotiations began in earnest in January and seemed at first to make substantial progress, raising hopes that a trade deal could be rapidly reached.
But during the spring, the US president abruptly called off the talks, saying the Chinese had reneged on earlier commitments.
The discussions resumed again in June at the highest levels in the margins of the G-20 summit meeting in Osaka, Japan between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
But markets were hit with a fresh surprise when Trump suddenly announced that as of Sept. 1 he was imposing punitive 10-percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods that had so far been spared.
And then came the announcement from the White House that Trump — already campaigning for re-election in 2020 — had decided to delay imposing the tariffs until Dec. 15 so as not to cast a shadow on the Christmas shopping plans of Americans.