The Prime Minister of Guinea is giving his support to the construction of his rail link between his country and Liberia for the lifting of iron ore to the world market.
Jean Marie’ Dore’ told a New Dawn interview in Conakry recently that a debate is on-going in Guinea for the construction of a rail links between Mount Nimba in the northeast and Conakry in south and that of the same area and Yekepa in Liberia.
Prime Minister Dore’ said on the basis of nationalism, some Guineans prefer a rail link with Conakry to Yekepa, harboring the fear that Liberia may one day strangulate Guinea in this venture, something he rejected as “stupid and foolish” considering the financial benefits to be accrued during iron ore mining in Guinea.
The Prime Minister has made it publicly and emphatically clear to Guineans that it would less costly to construct a 15-kilometer rail link with Yekepa to export Guinean ores through the Port of Buchanan, as compare to the more than 1000-kilometer rail link with Conakry.
“The people here want by nationalism that I don’t understand well, that we abandon the construction of the 15 kilometer train track to build a track of one thousand kilometers to reach Conakry. Why can’t we have the vision of African integration?
“People tell me well; tomorrow Liberia can strangulate us by refusing the evacuation of our iron ores, I say but, except Liberia is populated with only crazy people because they will be associated financially, “
“We can’t use the train track Yekepa-Buchanan free, we will pay. I can’t see Liberia refusing US$30-40 every year. So if we are linked by the stomach that way, it is better than the ordinary states’ relations,” the Guinean Prime Minister explained to the New Dawn.
According to him, BSP Biliton will be exploiting the Guinean part of Mount Nimba. Prime Minister Dore’ further described the relations between Liberia and Guinea as one of compulsory complementary because Guinean territory encircles Liberia from the north-east to the South, and more importantly the ethnic groups in Liberia are flown in Guinea.
He noted, “on the Guinean side you have the Kissis, even if they are not many; they represent 4% of our population. The Lormas are called here Tomas and they make 8% of our population, you have the Kpelleh who are 22% of the Liberian population and are here in large number, then you’ve Manos, Gios and other assimilated populations, they are 36% of the population, 36% plus 22% gives 58% of the population, this has an immediate impact on the economy, the politic, and a great factor of compulsory complementarily and corporation of the two countries.”
“If you take Mount Nimba which culminates in Guinea at an altitude of 1752 meters and extends to Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire that contains iron ores already exploited first by LAMCO and now Mittal Steel in Liberia, and BSP Biliton in Guinea will soon start exploiting the Guinean side, so Liberia and Guinea are linked by a powerful umbilical cord that is human and economical, this induces the culture because the Liberian mentality has always retired in its human dimension in Guinea on the four ethnic groups that I named,” Prime Minister Dore’ continued.
He intimated that geographical situation of Guinea vis-à-vis Sierra Leone and Liberia, induces Ivory Coast because of the presence in the western part of Ivory Coast, of Gios, Manos and Krahns in a very large number. This, he said, was the reason why it was decided in 2001, that Ivory Coast joins the Mano River Union.