|Africa News Digest
Embattled Guinea Seeks Help from China
Oct. 13 (EIRNS)China is negotiating oil and minerals deals with the West African nation of Guinea which could be worth $7 billion, according to Guinea Mining Minister Mahmoud Thiam. The collaboration would provide Guinea a way out of the enforced backwardness imposed by the British imperial monetary system, and give it instead a way to use its mineral wealth to develop its infrastructure, a necessary precondition to developing its economy and population.
The significance of this "uppity" move has not been lost on the British establishment. The City of London's Financial Times focused attention on the China-Guinea developments in an Oct. 11 article and an Oct. 12 editorial.
The Guinea government came to power last December, after the death of military head of state Lansana Conté, who was President from April 1984 until his death. The new government initially cleaned house by arresting high-level officials, including the previous President's son, who were involved in drug running. This signaled that this government would be operating for the interests of the nation, and immediately earned them the enmity of the British and their lackey George Soros.
Under the Guinean plan, according to the Financial Times, a Chinese fund would provide most of the financing, about $7 billion, to establish a joint venture, the Guinea Development Corporation. Projects to be undertaken include power generation, creation of an airline, transport, infrastructure, water, and mining. Angola is being brought into another joint venture to prospect for offshore oil. Later reports indicate that the deal could involve as much as $9 billion.
One of the organizers of the internal opposition, Sidya Touré, a former prime minister who led recent anti-government demonstrations, opposes the proposed Chinese-funded projects: "I do not understand how you can believe that we can inject this kind of money into the economy of Guinea where the total GDP is only $3 billion. You are talking of thousands of km of highway and road without seeing that our economy cannot maintain such infrastructure. Where are the cars that will be driving on these highways? Where are the trains? We must be serious. All this is illusion," he said.
Because of these developments, Guinea is being destabilized, and sanctions are being threatened against it for attacks on anti-government demonstrators. Head of State Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara said after a Sept. 28 incident in which opposition members were killed, that he did not control all the members of the Army, an indication that military supporters of Cont@aee, are seeking to undermine the new government.
Sanctions are also being threatened if Camara decides to run for President in the January 2010 elections. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has called for international intervention against Guinea. The China-Guinea joint ventures being negotiated could allow Guinea to ignore these moves to destabilize the government.