tirsdag 16. mai 2023

Mysterious Killing of Chinese Gold Miners Puts New Pressure on Beijing

The Chinese embassy in the Central African Republic had a stark warning for its compatriots in the landlocked nation: Do not leave the capital city of Bangui. Kidnappings of foreigners were on the rise, and any Chinese person outside of Bangui was to leave those areas immediately. Less than a week later, on March 19, a group of gunmen stormed a remote gold mine far away from Bangui and killed nine Chinese workers.

The Central African government has said that it investigated the massacre and concluded that a leading rebel group had orchestrated it. The rebels have denied the allegation and blamed a third party that operates in the country — Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which has in turn accused the rebels. None of the sides has presented evidence for its claims.

The investigation has left a trail of unanswered questions about the motives and methods of the attackers. More than a dozen Central African soldiers were supposed to be protecting the site, according to a diplomat briefed on the investigation, but on the day of the attack, only four of them were there and all survived.