The indigenes of Kribi, Littoral Region, Cameroon have contested the agreement signed between the Cameroon government and the Chinese company (SINOSTEELCAM) for the exploitation of the Lobé Iron ore.
The agreement was reportedly signed on May 6, 2022, in the presence of some government officials and some representatives of the Chinese company.
This agreement has been viciously challenged by the indigenes who state that they were not consulted and their views were not taken into account when the contract was signed:
“Were they waiting for comments on social media before coming down and meeting the population for a frank talk? were they to start exploiting without talking to the people concerned? The Cameroon government and the Chinese company are the ones signing the convention, but yet the government representatives are not here to talk with the people” an indigene indicated.
According to the indigenes, the exploitation will neither profit the Cameroon government nor the local population in any way.
It is reported that the exploiters made use of the media to sensitize and convince the indigenes of the importance of the exploitation to them.
This, according to them, is not convincing as they have been ignored in all the processes leading to the signing of the contract.
Frank Lucien, communication adviser at SINOSTEELCAM reiterated that “With today’s clarification, SINOSTEELCAM is anxiously waiting for the final signing which will permit us to start the project.”
However, the indigenes believe their desires and rights will be violated if the agreement between both parties is maintained.
By Amina Hilda
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