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CAR suspends Chinese mining firm over suspected ties with militia

By Newsroom
June 11, 2024

The government of Central African Republic (CAR) has suspended the operations of Daqing SARL, a Chinese mining company, over accusations of collaborating with armed militias.

Accusations against Daqing SARL

The CAR Ministry of Mines cited several reasons for the suspension of Daqing SARL, a company involved in gold and diamond mining. These accusations include engaging in intelligence activities with armed groups, illegal mining operations, unauthorized introduction of foreign nationals into mining areas, tax evasion, and failure to submit activity reports.

Daqing SARL has been operating in Mingala, a town in the southern region of the country. This area has experienced significant conflict between government forces and the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an anti-government rebel group.

Conflict and mining

The Central African Republic has been embroiled in conflict since 2013, when predominantly Muslim rebels seized power and ousted President Francois Bozize. In response, mostly Christian militias took up arms. Although a peace deal was reached in 2019, fighting has continued, with six out of the 14 signatory armed groups later withdrawing from the agreement. The CPC was established in 2020 following this partial collapse of the peace deal.

Despite its rich mineral resources, including gold and diamonds, the CAR remains one of the world’s poorest countries. Rebel groups have hampered foreign mining operations, operating with impunity across the country. Many mining companies currently operating in the country are Chinese-owned and have faced significant security threats.

In recent incidents, four workers were killed at a Chinese-run gold mine last month in an attack attributed to the CPC. Similarly, last year, nine Chinese nationals were killed at another gold mine in the country, with the government again blaming the CPC. In 2020, two Chinese nationals died during a local uprising against a Chinese-operated mine in the south.

By Newsroom Last Updated:  Jun 11, 2024 3:58 PM