5 March 2018

Rwanda: Weekend Mining Accident Claims Two

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has called upon the general public and those in mineral mining business in particular to take precaution to prevent disasters, following a mining accident in which two people were killed in Nyamasheke District.

The force also warned against illegal mining activities, which are said to be major causes of disasters in mining concessions.

The accident happened last Friday when two people who were mining illegally in a concession located in Busheki Sector, were killed by a cliff.

Police spokesperson for the Western region, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Innocent Gasasira identified the deceased as Claver Nizeyimana, 37, and Augustin Uzabiriza, both residents of Buvungi Cell.

The closed site was previously used by General Mining Company in its gold prospecting in Rwanda.

"Investigations indicate that the victims entered into the mining cave at about 4pm, looking for gold, leaving their four colleagues behind. They tempered with the weak part that was holding the cliff, which caused landslides," CIP Gasasira said.

"This is an unfortunate case, but avoidable. Mining should be carried out by only professionals and at the right time. Conducting any business related to minerals or mining without authorisation is unlawful and punishable by the law, but also risky and deadly when you enter the cave at night or when you don't know its status."

"We are now in the rainy season, the soils are weak and any slight mistake you are likely to cause landslides and the consequences are severe. We urge owners of concessions to take security precautions of their sites, but also warned the general public against such malpractices to prevent loss of lives," the spokesperson said.

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