A man was killed on Monday in Bugesera District when an abandoned mine caved in. Another person sustained minor injuries, while a third escaped unscathed.
Fabien Urimubenshi, 68, who was laid to rest yesterday in Nemba Cell, Rweru Sector, and two others, were carrying out illegal mining in a mine that used to be ran by Natural Resources Development (NRD) firm that ceased operations.
The Eastern Region Police Spokesperson, IP Emmanuel Kayigi, said NRD stopped operations in the place two months ago.
Evode Imena, the Minister of State in charge of Mining, confirmed that NRD was banned from all mining concessions it formerly operated because it failed to meet the requirements for the extension of the operational license.
“The Nemba mine is currently vacant and we are in the procurement process to find a competent contractor. I urge local authorities and security forces to prevent people from stealing minerals in vacant mines,” he said.
“We warn people against unauthorised mineral extraction and we urge the general public to inform the Police and local leaders whenever they see people in illegal activities,” Imena added.
Jean Christophe Rwabuhihi, the executive secretary of Rweru Sector, said local authorities in partnership with the community had been preventing people from entering the mine since NRD stopped operations.
He said a similar accident occurred there two years ago killing one person who was then working for NRD, an American firm that had been extracting tin, tungsten and tantalum ores from the area since 2007.