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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid