The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private-sector arm, has referred a complaint lodged by communities in Guinea to mediation. This is a big step forward for residents of 13 villages in the Boké region of Lower Guinea seeking redress for the loss of ancestral lands and livelihoods to a massive bauxite mining operation.
In February 2019, Inclusive Development International assisted 540 complainants from the affected villages to file a complaint against the IFC for financing the expansion of Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG)’s bauxite mining operation that grabbed their land and damaged the environment. The CAO found their complaint eligible for assessment in March 2019, and conducted a field visit to Guinea in April 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. The affected communities and CBG both agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process. The first mediation meeting is scheduled for November 2019.