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Police caution over illegal mining as landslides claim two

Police in Rulindo District rescued three illegal miners, who had been trapped in a concession after a weak cliff caved in.

Two other illegal miners, however, died, police confirmed.

The incident occurred on Sunday in Ntarabana Sector where five people were mining cassiterite in a closed concession.

“Unfortunately, two of them five people covered by landslides and died on spot, but three others sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Rutongo Hospital,” Inspector of Police (IP) Innocent Gasasira, police spokesperson for the Northern region, said.

“The incident occurred past midday. The victims had entered the concession, they tampered with the weak cliff causing landslides.”

“It is unfortunate that people don’t heed to our calls to desist from such illegal conduct. Some of the victims are minors. These are children who should be in school not in such child labour activities,” he warned.

“We appeal to the public to desist from such unlawful and dangerous acts. Owners of mining concessions should also ensure that they are guarded at all times to prevent such activities and ensure safety of the concessions,” he said.

“Minerals are valuable natural resources which must be protected against any illegality that jeopardizes professional trade. Closed concessions are also dangerous, and no one should enter them,” IP Gasasira said.

“Engaging in this business requires everyone to first seek for authorization from concerned authorities, have protective gears and some basic skills,” he added.

He also said that it is illegal to do unauthorized mining according to article 438.

The article stipulates that “Any person, who undertakes illegal research or illegally carries out commercial activities in valuable minerals, shall be liable to imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of Rwf3 million to Rwf10 million or one of these penalties.”

“These laws are meant to ensure safety of people, but also to make sure that the activity is well regulated.”


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