The inhabitants of Faléa won a milestone victory. The falling prices of uranium and their resistance have led to the abandonment of the projected uranium mine. Is it only temporary?
Alas! The struggle in many ways will continue. A struggle for local democracy and an equitable, ecologic and economic sustainable development.
Even if the worst is pushed away, there are dozens of other exploration and mining concessions granted by the malian government that may destroy the land of the Municipality of Faléa and pollute the groundwater. This can lead in the future even to pollute the watershed of the Senegal River.
The successful experience of Faléa citizen initiative (ARACF) can be useful to all the surrounding communities, ARACF counts on YOU.
Faléa needs your vigilance and your help ……
CALL TO SIGN !
No mining without respect for the environment, human rights and democracy: Appeal from the Falea community and the Kenieba region of MALI to halt uranium mining plans.
The current worldwide race for raw materials and agricultural land has been especially damaging to the African continent: environmental protection, social justice and basic democratic principles have been sidelined to satisfy global investors’ thirst for profit.
Political authorities and local populations only have limited knowledge about the industrial exploitation ofthese raw materials. Governmental institutions lack resources and technical competence. Legal frameworks unfamiliar to affected populations favour investors and the interests of mining companies.These are the bitter truths that the inhabitants of Falea, a small community in the Kenieba region of south-west Mali (close to the Senegalese and Guinean borders), have had to accept. Since 2010 the municipal administration, the association of former inhabitants and friends of Falea (ARACF) and the elected representatives of the Kenieba region have been resisting plans for uranium mining project in Falea 1). With the aid of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and municipalities like the city of Geneva (Switzerland) the inhabitants have successfully carried out a baseline radiation study, organised training sessions, built up a satellite link for the local telephone booth and established a local radio station that has been broadcasting information about mining processes, legal frameworks and legal rights since July 2011. In March 2012, ARACF, in cooperation with IPPNW 2) and the uraniumnetwork, organised an international conference in Bamako on uranium and its effects on health and the environment.
A uranium mine in Falea would intoxicate the village, its farming lands, holy places, cultural heritage, its exceptionally rich fauna and flora and the ground water – the source of all life.
Under Malian mining law a prior environmental and social compatibility study (EIES) is a requirementand the inhabitants of Falea have not missed any opportunity to express their opposition to the mine and enforce their rights related to this study. Now they want to organise a referendum which would give a vote to every resident of the 21 villages that make up the municipality.
But since January 2012 Mali has been experiencing a deep political and institutional crisis. The country’s sovereignty, its ability to carry out democratic processes and respect for civil rights are all under threat.
For this reason, Falea and the Kenieba region are calling on municipalities and city councils, NGOs and individuals to sign this appeal. A large number of signatories can help guarantee the referendum organised by the Falea local administration and the ARACF and that the result of this vote will be respected.
The European Union3) has finalised a “strategic partnership” with the African continent. According to the European Commission, “the EU-Africa-Partnership is the only strategic partnership established by the EU with another continent”. Amongst other objectives it aims to “promote governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights in their political and economic dimensions on all levels” 3).
Therefore, this appeal is also directed at EU decision makers and calls on them to prove they are ready to promote democracy, human rights and environmental protection by supporting the people of Falea’s struggle. Only in doing so can they avoid reducing the European initiative on raw materials to being nothing more than the robbery of African underground resources.1) March 2011 : Eva JOLY (F) and Michele RIVASI (f) members of European Parliament visited Falea to support the population of Falea in their struggle. 2) International of Physicians to Prevent Nuclear War : www.IPPNW.org Nobel Price 1985 3) http://ec.europa.eu COMM_COM_2010_634_RELATIONS_UE_AFRIQUE_EN
NO MINING without respect for environment, human rights and democracy.
FALEA CALLRead the petition
For further information:
Professor Many CAMARA, ARACF, responsible for international relations: manycamara[at]yahoo.fr
or Hannes LAMMLER, St. Johanns Vorstadt 13 CH – 4001 Basel, mail : lammler[at]forumcivique.org
European Civic Forum: http://www.forumcivique.org