Mine collapse in Central African Republic
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[August 22, 2014]
BANGUI (Reuters) - At least 25
people have died in a collapse at a gold mine 60 km (40 miles) north of
the Central African Republic town of Bambari, Ahmat Negat, spokesman for
the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, said on Friday.
The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop north
of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari. It is owned by
Canada's Axmin but was overrun by rebels more than year ago and now
forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in the
At least 27 artisanal miners were buried in the collapse of the mine
on Thursday and 25 bodies have been retrieved, Negat said.
"Nobody from our service is on the ground to regulate the miners so
they dig without any rules. Lower than 3 metres it gets dangerous
and with rain there can be collapses," Georges Yacinth-Oubaouba, a
senior official in the Ministry of Mines, told Reuters. He confirmed
At Ndassima, labourers toil beneath the gaze of Seleka gunmen to
produce some 15 kilos of gold a month - worth roughly $350,000 on
the local market, or double that in international trade.
Thousands of people have died and more than a million fled their
homes in Central African Republic amid the violence between the
Seleka rebels and Christian militia.
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Some 2,000 French and 6,000 Africa Union peacekeepers have been
deployed to Central African Republic, but they have struggled to
help the weak transitional government stamp its authority on the
(Reporting by Crispin Dembassa-Kette; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg;
Editing by Toby Chopra)
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