Siguiri: a mining scandal leads to the dismissal of the Prefect, Fodé Soumah

The Prefect of Siguiri, Colonel Fodé Soumah, was dismissed this Tuesday, November 29, 2022, by a decree of the President of the Transition, Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya. According to the decree read on national television, Colonel Soumah was dismissed for "gross misconduct". But behind this dismissal lies a mining and environmental scandal.

Being a rich gold mining area, Siguiri is coveted by industrial operators but also and especially by artisanal operators. Several localities in this prefecture are home to sites where gold is mined by companies not listed by the Ministry of Mines and Geology. According to our information, the now former prefect of Siguiri is the one who authorized the activities of some of these companies whereas he has neither the right nor the competency to do so.

These companies, which practiced illegal gold mining, were installed in several villages of Siguiri, exploiting gold using toxic products such as cyanide, causing damage to the environment and drying up several rivers. After noticing this illegal gold mining, the Ministry of Mines and Geology proceeded to suspend the operations of these companies and even individuals involved in these illegal mining activities. In the same vein, the prefectural directors of mines in Siguiri and Mandiana were dismissed for the same reasons.

Legal proceedings

A few hours after his dismissal, Colonel Fodé Soumah was summoned, interviewed and placed under a committal order at the Siguiri prison. According to the public prosecutor at the Siguiri court of first instance, the case of the former prefect is under investigation.

"On the night of Wednesday 29 to Thursday 30 November 2022, we received notes to arrest the former prefect. Thus, he was placed under arrest. We are currently examining his case,'' explained the public prosecutor, Amadou Kindy Baldé to Infomineguinee.

Towards the dismissal of several territorial administrators

According to information we have from reliable sources, several territorial administrators are likely to lose their positions in the coming hours. Namely, the sub-prefects of the localities where these "illegal companies" were installed are the most targetted by the authorities in Conakry.

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