Killing of Chinese in CAR threatens diplomatic ties


Seen here at an open-pit gold mine in Djoubissi, north of Bambari, Central African Republic are workers at a China mine. File photo by Reuters

from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
CAR Bureau
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – NO sooner had the Chinese Embassy warned its nationals in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) than militants killed nine Chinese following an attack on a gold mine in the troubled African country.

Two other individuals were injured in a horrific incident that highlights the breakdown of law and order in the volatile country where armed groups still wreak havoc despite peace deals with the government, aimed at ending the militancy.

The murder of the Chinese in the region of Bambari, some 300 kilometres from the capital Bangui, is a huge dent on the almost 60-year-old bilateral relations between Asia’s global powerhouse and the landlocked Africa country of slightly over 5 million people.

Only a few days ago, on the 10th of this month (10th March 2023), President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, sent a congratulatory note to Xi Jinping following his emergence as the President of China at the First Session of the 14th National People’s

“Your re-election is not only the expectation of the entire Chinese people, but also the expectation of me and the Chinese and African people, and the expectation of all the people in the world who are committed to the noble cause of peace and development,” Touadéra stated.

“I believe that under your strong and powerful leadership, the Chinese people will surely win one great victory after another in the new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way and promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with Chinese-style modernisation,” Touadéra said.

The mood was somber this week though following the killing of the Chinese in CAR on Sunday.

Jinping has called on the Touadéra administration to, in a timely manner, punish the perpetrators “severely” in accordance with the law, and ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in the restive country.

In recent weeks, the Chinese Embassy in CAR has reported security incidents targeting workers in foreign mining companies, resulting in casualties.

Through safety reminders, the embassy has been warning that the security risk level of the Central African country, except the capital Bangui, was “red”, which means extremely high risk.

Chinese citizens and companies in high-risk areas have been urged to evacuate as soon as possible to maintain their safety, in the wake of local militants kidnapping foreign citizens.

At the time of going to press, no arrests had been made.

Anarchy reigns in CAR, where radical groups, especially the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), are bent on destabilizing the country.

In February, the rebel group took hostage some 20 soldiers of the national army, in a gruesome show of defiance.

– CAJ News










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