Tragedy Strikes Zimbabwean Gold Mine as Miners Lose Lives in Shaft Collapse

A devastating incident unfolded in a Zimbabwean gold mine as a shaft collapse claimed the lives of at least nine miners, as reported by an engineer at the site and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation. Henrietta Rushwaya, President of the Federation, revealed that four bodies have been recovered thus far, while five others remain trapped under the rubble. Hussein Phiri, a mine engineer, confirmed the discovery of the bodies, stating that they are convinced all of them have perished. However, rescue efforts are hindered by ongoing collapses within the mine, posing a threat to the safety of the rescue team.

The tragic accident occurred in Chegutu, located approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of the capital city, Harare, at the Bay Horse Mine. Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines, Soda Zhemu, who was present at the site to oversee the rescue operation, confirmed that 21 miners managed to escape the mine. Zhemu stated that immediately after the collapse on Friday, 13 individuals emerged from the mine unharmed, followed by the rescue of eight others during the night.

The minister and the engineer also expressed concern for three additional miners who are believed to be missing, though their whereabouts remain unknown. As the hours passed, local residents anxiously observed the rescue efforts, filled with anguish as they awaited news of their loved ones trapped beneath the rubble. Heartbroken women wept, hoping for the safe recovery of their husbands and sons.

Johannes Nyautete, a 33-year-old miner who managed to escape, recounted the harrowing experience. “The mine started collapsing as soon as I entered the underground tunnel, which begins about 250 meters from the ground. It was around 10 am on Friday,” he recalled. “We then witnessed some of our colleagues rushing out of the tunnel, and we escaped together. It was a traumatising experience.” According to Nyautete, the collapse occurred due to the absence of safety pillars within the mine.

Initial reports from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation had suggested that as many as 18 individuals could be trapped underground. However, Rushwaya clarified that at the time of the collapse, 13 people were able to escape, and another eight were successfully rescued. The nation of Zimbabwe holds significant reserves of platinum, diamonds, gold, coal, and copper, but the struggling economy has led to a rise in illegal mining, often performed under hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, accidents of this nature are not uncommon. In February 2019, 24 miners lost their lives in a flooded abandoned pit caused by torrential rains in central Zimbabwe.

South Sudan President Kiir and Russia’s President Putin Discuss Enhanced Cooperation, Including Oil Sector

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on Thursday, affirming their commitment to strengthening their bilateral relationship in various sectors, with a particular focus on energy and trade, including the crucial oil industry.

During their meeting, President Putin and President Kiir discussed political and security matters in South Sudan, which is making preparations for its inaugural presidential election in December 2024. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and President Kiir has been at the helm of the country since then.

In a video of their public statements shared by the Kremlin, President Putin expressed his belief that the development of oil refineries in South Sudan, with the involvement of Russian companies, would serve to bolster the ties between the two nations. He emphasized that this was just the beginning and that there were numerous opportunities for collaboration, particularly in the energy sector.

Presently, Russia’s Safinat Group is already involved in the construction of an oil refinery in South Sudan’s Unity state.

Russia’s invitation to President Kiir to visit Moscow coincides with a time when global powers are seeking support from African nations regarding Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

South Sudan is facing pressure from the United States and other allies to accelerate the implementation of a peace agreement signed in 2018, which aimed to end a five-year civil war and pave the way for the upcoming election.

On its part, South Sudan desires the removal of arms embargoes. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia has the potential to assist in this regard.

President Kiir underscored the importance of having strong allies, stating that “the world dictates that no one can survive or succeed alone.” He expressed gratitude to President Putin, declaring that South Sudan needed “strong friends,” with Russia being one of them.

In addition to energy and trade, the leaders also discussed peace and security in Africa, as well as international affairs. The conflict in Sudan, South Sudan’s neighboring country, has resulted in a significant influx of refugees into South Sudan, further straining its already limited humanitarian and other resources.

This marks President Kiir’s second visit to Russia, with his first visit taking place during the inaugural Russia-Africa summit in 2019.

President Putin assured President Kiir of Russia’s commitment to support South Sudan in managing its domestic political situation and ensuring security. He pledged that Russia would do everything possible to assist in these areas.

As South Sudan continues its journey toward stability and development, its deepening ties with Russia offer potential avenues for collaboration and support across various sectors, with the energy industry playing a vital role in the bilateral relationship.


Source: AP

South African Archbishop Set to Join Pope Francis’ List of New Advisors

New advisors to Pope Francis will be officially “created” or appointed on Saturday (Sep. 30) during a ceremony inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

During the event known as a consistory, selected clergymen will receive the cardinal’s red three-cornered biretta hat from the Pope.

Three of the 21 new cardinals named last July serve in Africa. Among them is the Archbishop of Cape Town, who spoke on Thursday (Sep. 28) ahead of the consistory.

“I think the church in Africa is young, it’s vibrant, it’s alive, and I think we can bring that sense of joy and that sense of hope to people because Africa is a continent of hope. It is quite true that we suffer from many difficulties and many problems, many challenges, but our people are people of great hope.”

“Coming particularly from South Africa where we have come through the Apartheid era and where I personally expected in those years that the country would just descend into a civil war, we were able to achieve a democratic country and a peaceful settlement. And I think that was a miracle that was given to us, and I think that in itself is a sign of hope as well.”

The co-adjutor archbishop of Tabora in Tanzania and the archbishop of Juba, South Sudan, will also be appointed on Saturday.

Cardinals serve as advisers to the pontiff on matters of teaching and administration.

Most importantly, they participate in the election of the next Pope.


Source: Africa News

Suspected Jihadist Attack Claims Lives of Seven Soldiers in Western Niger

In a tragic incident on Thursday, suspected jihadists launched an attack in western Niger, resulting in the deaths of seven soldiers. Additionally, five soldiers lost their lives in a traffic accident that occurred during an intervention in response to the attack. The attack took place in the Tillabéri region, where an anti-jihadist unit was on a security mission in Kandadji. The Defense Minister and General Salifou Mody, appointed by the military regime that emerged from a coup, confirmed the casualties in a statement.

According to General Mody, the unit was violently attacked by several hundred terrorists. The seven soldiers died in combat, and the subsequent intervention led to the traffic accident, claiming the lives of five more soldiers. Seven individuals sustained injuries and were evacuated to a hospital for treatment.

The attackers’ motorcycles and weapons were destroyed in the Tijiane area, located 20 kilometers northeast of Ayorou in the same region. The defense forces have launched a combing operation to track down the enemy and ensure the safety of the area.

Niger has been grappling with jihadist violence from groups such as Boko Haram and its splinter group, Iswap (Islamic State in West Africa), particularly in the southeastern part of the country. In the western region, which includes the Tillabéri region, Niger faces similar violence in the “three borders” zone shared with Burkina Faso and Mali. This area has become a stronghold for Sahelian jihadists affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Since the coup on July 26, which saw the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum, the security situation in Niger has deteriorated. Mid-August witnessed one of the deadliest attacks since the coup, with suspected jihadists killing at least 17 Nigerien soldiers and injuring 20 near the Niger-Burkina Faso border.

In response to the escalating security situation, Niger’s military regime has called for the departure of approximately 1,500 French soldiers who have been assisting in the fight against jihadism. French President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the French troops would be withdrawn by the end of the year, leading to a negotiation between the two countries. Niger’s military regime emphasized the need for a negotiated framework for the withdrawal of French forces.

The United States, which has 1,100 troops deployed in Niger, is also evaluating its options regarding a possible withdrawal.

In light of these developments, Niger’s military regime, along with neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, both led by soldiers who came to power through coups, have established the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) to enhance defense cooperation and seek additional allies in their fight against jihadist groups.


Source: France24