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10 people die in clash at a gold mine in Chad

Reference image of artisanal miners in the DRC. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A clash between locals and outsiders searching for gold in the Tibesti Mountains ended up with 10 people dead and rising tensions.

The fight started when residents of the central Sahara mountain region felt disturbed by the artisanal miners who had flocked the area from other parts of Chad and Sudan and asked them to leave.

According to AFP, the demand prompted the outsiders to kill three locals. In response, the locals ambushed the foreigners, killed seven of them and forced the rest to flee.

This type of clash is not uncommon in Tibesti since gold deposits were discovered back in 2012. Talking about this to Radio France Internationale last year, Jerome Tubiana, a researcher with the NGO Small Arms Survey, said that the main issue is that the community feels threatened by the miners because they dig pastures for livestock, use scarce water resources, occupy wells and use polluting products like mercury.