Clashes Between Artisanal Gold Miners in Chad Leaves 100 Dead

More than 100 people have been reported killed in clashes between artisanal gold miners in northern Chad.

The violence broke out on May 23 and 24 at an informal gold mining site in the mountainous Kouri Bougoudi district, some 1,000 kilometers northeast of the capital N’Djamena and near the border with Libya.

Defense Minister, Daoud Yaya Brahim said roughly 100 people died and at least 40 people were wounded in the fighting.

The clashes were not triggered by inter-community issues but an argument between two individuals that degenerated into fierce violence, he said, adding 20 suspects have been arrested.

The minister also suggested that “terrorists” from Libya fueled the fighting.

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Meanwhile, the government announced the suspension of the operation of the mining site, affecting local miners and those from other countries.

Communications Minister Abderaman Koulamallah said calm has since been restored in the area and “the situation is under control.”

Koulamallah first announced the incident last Wednesday, saying there had been “loss of human life and several wounded,” without giving the details.

Local media reports indicated that this is the fourth time the Chadian government is trying to dislodge the miners from the gold panning locality.

The majority of mines in the area are reportedly illegally operated.

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