Over 100 Miners Dead in Chad After Violence Breaks Out
According to the Chad government, over 100 miners died and 40 were injured after violence broke out in the Kouri Bougoudi district of Chad. Kouri Bougoudi is located approximately 620 miles from N’Djamena, Chad’s capital city.
It is alleged that the violent conflict took place on Monday, May 23rd, and Tuesday 24th. The district in which the conflict arose, which is close to the Libyan border, is infamous for illegal gold mining operations.
Chad’s Minister of Defense, Daoud Yaya Brahim, confirmed on Monday, May 30th that after an investigation, the state of affairs had been confirmed to be true. The defense minister claimed that the violence had broken out at night but it was unclear what sparked the conflict.
Malloumi Moustapha, the Minister of Communication had previously said the conflict took place between Arabs that had crossed into Chad from Libya, against the Tama community of eastern Chad.
Some reports claim the conflict began because of an argument between two people, which then escalated to a full-on, multi-person, violent conflict. It is alleged that the government sent armed forces to the area after news of the violence broke out.
While it is being claimed the armed forces restored calm to the area, it is also being reported that they fired upon the miners and other people present in the area. The head of Chad’s National Human Rights Commission Mahamat Nour Ibedou, as well as an opposition leader, claimed that at least 200 people were dead with nearly 500 people injured, a claim the government denies.
The district of Kouri Bougoudi is located close to the Chadian border with Libya. It is a mountainous area, with a climate described as being similar to a desert. While the area is infamous for illegal gold mining and occupied by the miners, all operations in the area have been put to a halt by the government following the violent incident.
According to reports, the miners in the area are typically from other parts of Chad as well as from its neighboring countries such as Libya, Niger, and Sudan. Some government officials have mentioned that some of the people in the area could be from Mauritania, citing that conflicts often arise between people from Mauritania and Libya.
There have been strong allegations from government officials that a number of the people in the Kouri Bougoudi district are terrorists from Libya. The Chadian government has made attempts to put an end to the illegal gold mining in the district, with this being the fourth time operations have been halted.
Chad is a central African nation that is a former French colony. The country is currently led by Interim President Mohamat Idriss Daby, the son of former President Idriss Daby.
Chad is currently led by an interim government assembled by a military junta that took over after the unexpected death of the former president. The current government has faced resistance from rebels and terrorist elements. Some of these rebels seek to topple the interim government to claim power for themselves.