LIBERIA: ARCELOR MITTAL’S TRAIN AGAIN

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Another train of Arcelor Mittal Liberia on Wednesday went off the rail between Sanniquilie and Ganta while on its way to the port of Buchanan.

Several wagons carrying iron ore were seen spilled in the bushes, completely detached from the head as result of the chock.

“I was hunting in the area when I heard the heavy sound on the track, I decided to get closer and noticed that it was another accident of the train.” Arthur DOLO, 45, told LDW.

According to the population living in the proximity of the rail road, the ballasts of the more than 200 km rail road from Yekepa to Buchanan are completely rotten.

“This railroad is meant to be the property of the Republic of Liberia. There are thousands of citizens living in the proximity of the railroad that is exclusively used by Arcelor Mittal. I wonder sometimes why the government can’t prevail on AML to make sure of putting this rail in good condition before using it. This endless derailment may affect a nearby town one day and have tens of people victimized, and that’s the time you will see everyone expressing concern when the damage is already done.” Arthur DOLO said.

Arcelor Mittal has been bent on preventing other companies to invest in the mining sector of Liberia by claiming that the use of the rail is the exclusive right of AML.

Several companies that could help to improve the rail road were thus discouraged by the claim that AML could be the regulator of the rail.

The most recent victim of this is Solway Mining. The Swiss group’s license was nagged away and illegally given to AML with the help of some crooks of the Weah’s government and a local “business man”, Boimah MORGAN, who claimed the ownership of the company to enable the nagging get on track.

If the Boakai’s administration is serious about bringing investors in Liberia, it is paramount that existing mining concessions are seriously scrutinized.

In the case of Solway, every Liberian knows the example of Boimah MORGAN and the story of how investors were swindled out of their investment.

“The Boakai’s administration must hold these scammers accountable, enough of seeing a few getting rich at the detriment of the vast majority of Liberian who desperately ask for competition and job opportunities.” Mohamed Kamara, a law student living in Nimba county, said.

How many more derailment and deadly accidents do we need to endure before legal action is taken to save this patrimony?

Mittal is claiming that they are open for multi-users access on the rail as long as they are the operators. But what is it they are offering? We are seeing derailment on several occasions each year, which serious mining company will come and invest in Liberia if the export of their ore and goods cannot be serviced properly?

The US Government has been a strong advocate for a multiuser railway with an independent operator to ensure a safe and efficient commercial operation which will give confidence to foreign investors.

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