Authorities enforce court order on ownership of wolfram mines

BURERA-Authorities have intervened to enforce a court ruling which ordered Serge Stinglhamber to retain a wolfram mining site in Bugarama, Burera District.

BURERA-Authorities have intervened to enforce a court ruling which ordered Serge Stinglhamber to retain a wolfram mining site in Bugarama, Burera District.

A dispute between Stinglhamber and one Celestin Safari had raged for 5 years over the ownership of the mining site.

However, an arbitrary court in Belgium, recently ruled in favor of Stinglhamber and the ruling was upheld by the Rwandan High Court.  

Last Wednesday, the Governor of the Northern Province, Aime Bosenibamwe and security personnel met residents following reports of fresh tension over the ownership of the mine.  

The officials warned that local residents and miners who want to perpetrate violence over the mining site would be immediately apprehended.

Stinglhamber had been granted mining rights for a period of 50 years since 1971, but disputes emerged after he reportedly leased the site to Safari for two years in 2002.  

Local authorities say when a row erupted over its ownership this sucked in residents including miners. Consequently, mining was halted at the site.

Police had to be deployed to calm residents who were divided into two antagonistic groups with each supporting one of the contending parties.

Safari’s lawyers, however, say they have appealed against the court’s verdict and the ruling on the case is scheduled for September 25.  

Bugarama Wolfram mines is said to produce high quality and the largest quantity of wolfram in Rwanda. It  employs over 200 workers.

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