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 died in the accident, which happened on Sunday in Ntarabana Sector when the five were mining cassiterite in a closed concession.
“Unfortunately, two of the five people covered in the landslide died on spot, while three others were taken to Rutongo Hospital with serious injuries,” 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,” he warned.
“Owners of mining concessions should also ensure that they are guarded at all times to prevent such activities and ensure safety of the concessions,” Gasasira added. “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.”
Unauthorized mining is illegal according to article 438 of the penal code, which stipulates: “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 Rwf 3 million to Rwf 10 million or one of these penalties.”