News / Africa

CAR Gold Mine Collapse Kills 25

Miners ply the Ndassima gold mine at Ndassima, north of Seleka's military headquarters in the northern town of Bambari in Central African Republic, May 22, 2014.
Miners ply the Ndassima gold mine at Ndassima, north of Seleka's military headquarters in the northern town of Bambari in Central African Republic, May 22, 2014.
Reuters

At least 25 people died when a gold mine collapsed near the Central African Republic town of Bambari, a spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels which run the mine said on Friday.

The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop about 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari. It is owned by Canada's Axmin  but was overrun by rebels more than a year ago and now forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in the country.

At least 27 artisanal miners were buried in the collapse of the mine on Thursday and 25 bodies have been retrieved, Ahmat Negat, the rebel group's spokesman, said.

The mine collapse is the latest setback for the country, which has been beset by sectarian violence between the Seleka rebels and Christian militia for over a year. Interim President Catherine Samba Panza on Friday stepped up plans to form a new government in a bid to help stabilize the mineral-rich country.

A senior official at the Ministry of Mines confirmed the mine collapse and casualties. He said the mine did not follow regulations and miners were working in dangerous conditions.

“Nobody from our service is on the ground to regulate the miners so they dig without any rules. Lower than three meters it gets dangerous and with rain there can be collapses,” the official, Georges Yacinth-Oubaouba, told Reuters.

At Ndassima, laborers toil under the gaze of Seleka gunmen to produce some 15 kilos of gold a month. This is worth roughly $350,000 on the local market, or double that in international trade.

Axmin suspended activity at the mine in late 2012 after rebels occupied its camp. The firm has said since then that it was monitoring the situation at the mine.

The Seleka, a coalition of mostly Muslim rebels and some fighters from neighboring Chad and Sudan, seized power in March 2013, triggering sectarian violence with Christian militia in which thousands have died and more than a million people have had to flee their homes.

Some 2,000 French and 6,000 African Union peacekeepers have been deployed to Central African Republic, but they have struggled to help the weak transitional government stamp its authority on the country.

Interim President Catherine Samba Panza took over after Seleka's leader resigned the presidency in January.

The Seleka has rejected the nomination of a new Muslim prime minister, Mahamat Kamoun, a senior advisor to hardline former President Michel Djotodia. They say they were not consulted on his appointment.

The president of the transitional parliament, Alexandre Ferdinand N'Guedet, called on Tuesday for a delay in the formation of the government, saying that there had not been enough consultation on Kamoun's appointment.

However, Samba Panza said on Friday she would ask Kamoun to form a government.

“I've decided to take the step of asking Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun to form his government and make it public today,” Panza told a news conference on Friday.

A 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force is due to start deploying next month, with much of its staff coming from the existing mission in the country.

Most Muslims have fled the south of the country in the face of violence, creating a de facto partition, and some members of the Seleka leadership have pushed for this to be formalized.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid