The killing of nine Chinese in a mine embarrasses the Central African Republic and Russia

The monument of Russian instructors in Bangui, during a march in support of the presence of Russia and China in the Central African Republic, March 22, 2023.

The demonstration had the merit of defining the intentions of its organizers, known for their proximity to the Central African power. About two hundred people, the enthusiasm encouraged by the distribution of a few banknotes, gathered on Wednesday March 22 in Bangui to salute the memory of the nine Chinese people killed three days earlier on a mining site in the interior of the country and, above all, to affirm the friendship of the Central African Republic for China and Russia. The banners unfurled on this occasion proclaimed, in particular, a clear “Support for the People’s Republic of China”or expressed this profession of faith: “Russia is Wagner, we love Russia and we love Wagner. »

The reason for this demonstration of friendship towards the two countries is to be found in the discovery, on Sunday March 19, of the murder of nine Chinese nationals working on a mining project of the Chinese company Gold Coast Group in Chingbolo, 25 kilometers of Bambari, in the center of the country. This is where an attack took place the same day, during which two Chinese nationals were also seriously injured.

The photo of the bodies of the victims, aligned face against the ground, blood beading at least for one by an ear, accredits the hypothesis of an assassination.

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The identity of the perpetrators of the assassination of the employees of Gold Coast Group, a company whose activities had officially launched on this site five days earlier, is still unknown. The Central African government set up a commission of inquiry on Tuesday, chaired by the attorney general at the Bangui Court of Appeal, whose report must be submitted within twenty-one days. However, the accusations did not wait to be expressed.

Hands down on maximum wealth

A few hours after the tragedy, the government spokesman, Serge Ghislain Djorie, condemned “with the utmost firmness this heinous act of the CPC nebula [Coalition des patriotes pour le changement]the objective of which is to discourage investors wishing to support the efforts undertaken by (…) Professor Faustin-Archange Touadera [le président centrafricain] »while promising that “This terrorist act will not go unpunished”. For its part, the rebel group, led by the former president in exile, François Bozizé, immediately rejected these accusations, denouncing “a scheme orchestrated by these mercenary thugs [du groupe russe Wagner] with the complicity of the President of the Republic”. According to the CPC, the crime was perpetrated by “Black Russians”a group formed by the Minister of Livestock and Animal Health, Hassan Bouba, a former member of the rebellion active in this region, who has since become one of Russia’s best relays in Bangui, with the aim of “to discredit” his former associates.

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