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Guinea Opposition Calls China Deal Illegal

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  • Bashir Bah, one of the leading members of Guinea’s opposition coalition spoke with Clottey

The opposition coalition in Guinea has denounced a mining and oil deal signed between the military junta and China. 

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The military junta hailed the deal, describing it as strategic that would help develop the mining sector. 

But the opposition rejected the deal estimated to be over seven billion dollars as illegal, immoral, and an affront to democracy.

Some political analysts are skeptical after the Chinese embassy in Guinea denied having any knowledge of the oil and mineral pact. 

But the opposition says it will continue fighting to prevent the junta from selling the country's "birthright." 

Bashir Bah, one of the leading members of Guinea's opposition coalition said that the junta should be forced out of power.

"First of all, it is immoral, and second of all, it is illegal for many reasons, the least of them being the massacre that occurred two weeks ago. And the other one is that this junta has not been recognized by any country," Bah pointed out.

He said the junta is acting contrary to the wishes of Guineans.

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"It is an illegitimate and illegal government (and) all the deals they are making will be subject to revision," he said.

Bah said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is displeased with the junta's power grab.

"The deal in Abuja states clearly that the junta should leave power so there is no wiggle room for them at all," Bah said.

He also expressed dissatisfaction with the Chinese government over the deal.

"It is amazing that the Chinese government… that has set foot into Africa to be dealing with rogue regimes like those ones. They are setting precedents, and they are working against their own interest," he said.

Bah denied the oil and mining deal would be good for the country.

"It won't benefit Guinea. First of all, it is really a virtual deal… It has no bearing on the people. It has no meaning… The shoddy deal should be dealt with in the open from now on," Bah said.

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He said there are indications that senior Chinese officials are unaware of the deal.

"Four people are arguing that even China's top level may not be aware of those deals because I have seen a lot of deals in Guinea, billions of dollars that never materialize, and some people are taking some advantage just to get some commissions out of those shoddy deals," he said.

Bah urged the international community to put more pressure on the junta, including targeted sanctions.                                 

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