BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Gunmen killed a policeman and kidnapped 5 Chinese nationals close to a mine in southeast Democratic Republic of Congo in a single day, an area official and a military spokesman mentioned on Sunday.
It was not clear who carried out the assault close to the village of Mukera in South Kivu province. Relations are already strained between Chinese mining corporations and native authorities, who say some companies are working illegally with out licenses.
“An armed group exchanged hearth with police. Five Chinese nationals had been kidnapped,” Major Dieudonne Kasereka, the military spokesman in the area, mentioned.
A spokesperson on the Chinese embassy in Congo didn’t reply to a request for remark. The identify of the mine website was not given.
In August, the governor of South Kivu, Theo Kasi, suspended the operations of six small Chinese corporations, ordering all native and overseas employees to go away the websites. Protests erupted in some areas after corporations didn’t shut instantly, native media reported.
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Separately, President Felix Tshisekedi is reviewing a $6 billion “infrastructure-for-minerals” take care of Chinese traders signed beneath earlier president Joseph Kabila.
He mentioned beforehand that some mining contracts could possibly be reviewed due to issues they don’t seem to be sufficiently benefiting Congo, which is the world’s largest producer of cobalt and Africa’s main miner of copper.
Even with out disputes over contracts, restive jap Congo is a troublesome place to function. Various militias combat to manage land and pure assets. In latest weeks, the military has clashed with the M23 insurgent group a couple of hundred miles north of this weekend’s assault, close to the border with Uganda, forcing 1000’s to flee.
On Saturday gunmen killed a ranger of Virunga National Park, the park mentioned. M23 was more likely to be accountable, it mentioned.
(Reporting By Crispin Kyala; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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