By Crispin Dembassa-Kette BANGUI (Reuters) - At least 25 people died when a gold mine collapsed near the Central African Republic town of Bambari, a spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels which run the mine said on Friday. The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop about 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari. It is owned by Canada's Axmin but was overrun by rebels more than a year ago and now forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in the country. At least 27 artisanal miners were buried in the collapse of the mine on Thursday and 25 bodies have been retrieved, Ahmat Negat, the rebel group's spokesman, said. The mine collapse is the latest setback for the country, which has been beset by sectarian violence between the Seleka and Christian militia for over a year. Newly installed interim Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun named a government with five Seleka cabinet members on Friday in a bid to help stabilize the mineral-rich country. A senior official at the Ministry of Mines confirmed the mine collapse and casualties. He said the mine did not follow regulations and miners were working in dangerous conditions. "Nobody from our service is on the ground to regulate the miners so they dig without any rules. Lower than three metres it gets dangerous and with rain there can be collapses," the official, Georges Yacinth-Oubaouba, told Reuters. At Ndassima, labourers toil under the gaze of Seleka gunmen to produce some 15 kilos of gold a month. This is worth roughly $350,000 on the local market, or double that in international trade. Axmin suspended activity at the mine in late 2012 after rebels occupied its camp. The company has said since then that it was monitoring the situation at the mine. There was no immediate comment from the company. NEW GOVERNMENT The Seleka, a coalition that includes some fighters from neighbouring Chad and Sudan, seized power in March 2013, triggering sectarian violence with Christian militia in which thousands have died and more than a million people have had to flee their homes. Some 2,000 French and 6,000 African Union peacekeepers have been deployed to Central African Republic but they have struggled to help the weak transitional government stamp its authority on the country. Interim President Catherine Samba Panza took over after Seleka's leader, hardliner Michel Djotodia, resigned the presidency in January. The Seleka initially rejected Panza's decision to appoint Kamoun, a senior advisor to Djotodia, as interim prime minister earlier this month, saying they were not consulted on his appointment and would not join any government he formed. [ID:nL5N0QQ4RO] On Friday, however, Samba Panza pushed Kamoun to immediately form a government. His inclusion of five Seleka members in his 30-strong cabinet surprised some analysts. "The positive thing is that the top military leaders of Seleka, those known to the international community ... as criminals or associated with crimes against the civilian population, are not part of this government," said Marcel Diki Kidiri, one of the country's leading intellectuals. "As for the civilians who are now in government, we'll have to wait to see whether the actions they take in the coming months contribute to the country's stabilization," he told Reuters. A 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force is due to start deploying next month, with much of its staff coming from the existing mission in the country. Most Muslims have fled the south of the country in the face of violence, creating a de facto partition, and some members of the Seleka leadership have pushed for this to be formalised. (Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Susan Fenton)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Will Smith reveals that he and Jada Pinkett Smith decided at one point in their marriage that they would no longer be monogamous: 'Marriage for us can't be a prison'
Will Smith "delicately explained" in a new GQ interview that Jada Pinkett Smith wasn't "the only one engaging in other sexual relationships."
- Good Housekeeping
'Jeopardy!' legend James Holzhauer tweeted a message about current 'Jeopardy!' champion Matt Amodio and fans of the beloved ABC game show had mixed feelings about the exchange.
Here's where Jamie Lynn stands in Britney's legal battle with their father.
The North Port Police Department responded to a 911 call from Laundrie's family on Saturday reporting that the reality TV star was on their property.
Dua brought the vibe into 2021 with a visible thong/bra combo that gave—well, everything I needed it to give on this Monday.
Former first lady Melania Trump of the infamous “I don’t really care do u?” jacket has been dogged with rumors that she never enjoyed the White House life since before she even moved her bags to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave — in fact, her failure to pack up and move herself and son Barron Trump to […]
I mean...fair enough TBH!
- The Daily Beast
via Instagram/Orange County Sheriff's OfficeLocal authorities in Orlando, Florida, said Monday that a maintenance worker they had identified as a person of interest in the disappearance of 19-year-old Miya Marcano—who has been missing since Friday—was found dead in an apparent suicide.Orange County Sheriff John Mina said that Armando Manuel Caballero, 27, a maintenance employee where Miya Marcano lived and worked, had repeatedly expressed “romantic interest” in the Valencia College sophomore—and
- NBC Sports BayArea
Rumors swirled about their relationship throughout the week, and their brief postgame meeting at midfield didn't help matters.
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
Check out what some European writers had to say about the weekend at Whistling Straits.
He's received millions of dollars from his ex-wife over the years.
The Pitch Perfect star has lost more than 60 lbs. after revamping her diet and exercise habits
- The Weather Network
A major pattern change is set to sweep much of the country, with some very sharp reversals of fortune in some cases.
- Washington Examiner
Self-proclaimed shaman accused of starting California fire said she was trying to boil bear urine: Police
A California woman professing to be a shaman who was arrested and charged with igniting the wildfire that has thousands of homes under threat claimed the fire was started inadvertently while she was attempting to boil bear urine, authorities said.
- Roll Tide Wire
Lane Kiffin takes a jab at ESPN over Week 5 College GameDay destination!
Chuba Hubbard is the top waiver wire target in fantasy football this week, but if you can't snag him, there are plenty of other solid options.
- The Wrap
‘SNL’ Season 47: Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt Exit; Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong All Return
Plus, meet the show's three new featured players
- The Weather Network
Hurricane Sam is maintaining status quo as a Category 4 hurricane and will experience some fluctuations in strength in the next day or so before some weakening occurs.
- Saints Wire
Watch: Jameis Winston meets unamused Sean Payton after bizarre TD pass
- The Telegraph
A totally dominant American team hammered Europe to win the Ryder Cup in a record winning margin on Sunday. Padraig Harrington was at the helm of Europe's crushing loss - and Telegraph Sport looks at seven key areas where the Irishman could have done better.