The Greens on Wednesday filed a legal challenge to Sierra Leone Railway Link, saying it violates a 1998 deal that gave a green light for the line to go ahead.
The Greens are asking the federal court to block the project and halt Sierra Leone from building a railway linking its capital, Freetown, with the rest of the country.
The Green Party’s legal team said Sierra Leone was the only country in the world that has not passed a law protecting citizens from being held hostage.
“The government has ignored this treaty, and has not acted on it,” said Kate Green, the Greens deputy leader.
“We will now file a lawsuit against the Sierra Leone government and the company that owns the rail line, Sierra Leone SRL, to stop the project.
Sierra Leone is a state that has a history of authoritarian governments, but they’ve never been held accountable for the consequences of their policies,” she added.
While the Sierra Republic is not a party to the Sierra Rail Link, Green Party deputy leader Alex Salmond has pledged to press ahead with the project, which he said would “increase access to jobs, growth and the protection of our environment.”
The project, called the Sierra Railway Link (SRL), is part of a $20 billion $8 billion plan to build a rail line between the capital Freetoun and neighboring Liberia, which is under a three-year economic crisis.
Last month, the Sierra-led West African Community (WAC) announced the launch of the new regional economic plan, which aims to diversify the region and improve living standards.
It also promised a new round of peace talks in March to tackle the crisis.