9 Chinese Miners killed, as President Xi reacts

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Nine Chinese mine workers were killed in an attack near Bambari in the Central African Republic on Monday, prompting a rare call for justice from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The attack, carried out by unidentified “armed men” at around 5:00 am, left nine dead and two wounded.

The victims were working for the Gold Coast Group at a site located 25 kilometres from Bambari.

Chinese authorities confirmed the death toll, and President Xi urged the Central African Republic to severely punish those responsible for the attack. A statement from a foreign ministry spokesperson revealed that President Xi had ordered the government to “treat the wounded, handle the aftermath in a timely manner, severely punish perpetrators in accordance with the law, and ensure the safety of Chinese citizens.”

Details about the attack are still limited, and local authorities have not yet identified those responsible. The victims’ bodies were transferred to a hospital in the capital, Bangui, where Chinese ambassador Li Qinfeng and CAR Foreign Minister Sylvie Baipo Temon attended.

The Central African Republic has been plagued by civil conflict since 2013, with Muslim-dominated armed groups removing then-president Francois Bozize from power. President Faustin Archange Touadera, who succeeded Bozize, has faced multiple challenges from rebel groups, including the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an alliance of rebel groups created in December 2020.

images 1 14 9 Chinese Miners killed, as President Xi reacts

However, the CPC denied involvement in the attack and instead blamed the Russian Wagner mercenary group.

President Touadera had called on Moscow for support in 2020 after armed groups took control of two-thirds of the country, leading to the deployment of hundreds of Russian paramilitaries, including members of the Wagner group. Wagner has been involved in other conflicts, including Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the meantime, President Xi is currently visiting Russia as Beijing seeks to play a peace-making role in the Ukrainian conflict, although Western countries have expressed concerns about Beijing potentially providing arms to Moscow.

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