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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid