President Xi reacts; Nine Chinese Nationals Killed In Central African Republic

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Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China

About Nine Chinese mine workers were killed in an attack in the Central African Republic, sparking a rare call today(Monday) from China’s President Xi Jinping for the perpetrators to be “severely” punished.

The attack by “armed men” happened at about 5:00 am near Bambari, said the central town’s mayor Abel Matchipata.


Matchipata told journalists that “nine bodies and two wounded” had been counted, adding that the victims were Chinese workers at a site run by the Gold Coast Group, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from his town.


China’s foreign ministry confirmed the toll, and Xi called on authorities in the Central African Republic to “severely punish” those behind the killings.


According to an unnamed China foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement that the president had ordered “an all-out effort to treat the wounded, handle the aftermath in a timely manner, severely punish perpetrators in accordance with the law, and ensure the safety of Chinese citizens”.


Local authorities did not release further details of the attack, nor was there any claim of responsibility.


The victims’ bodies were transferred to a hospital in the capital Bangui, where Chinese ambassador Li Qinfeng and CAR Foreign Minister Sylvie Baipo Temon attended.


Civil conflict has hit the Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, since 2013, when Muslim-dominated armed groups ousted president Francois Bozize.


In a statement on Sunday, the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an alliance of rebel groups created in December 2020 to overthrow President Faustin Archange Touadera, denied any involvement in the attack.


The group denounced the “despicable and barbaric” act, accusing the Russian Wagner mercenary group of being behind the killings.


In 2020, President Touadera called on Moscow to come to the aid of his debilitated army, after armed groups took control of two-thirds of the country and began an assault on Bangui.

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