Burkina Faso protest over arrested gold miners

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Two people have been confirmed dead in Houndé, western Burkina Faso following clashes between police and angry gold miners during protest.

According to government’s spokesperson, the clash was a result of 12 of their comrades (gold miners who had taken part in the sacking of a major gold mine last week.

“Yesterday, Tuesday (May 24), there was a movement of gold miners demanding the release of their comrades who had been arrested following the demonstration that caused the destruction of equipment and injuries at the Houndé mine,” said the spokesman, Lionel Bilgo, at the end of the council of ministers.

He added that one of the deaths resulted from a stampede whiles the other through gunfire.

An investigation was underway “to determine the origin of these bullets and establish who was responsible”.

On 17th May, seven people were injured and dozens of vehicles were set on fire when opponents of the expulsion of local gold miners ransacked the Houndé gold mine.

“Following the demonstrations which caused considerable damage to the mine, twelve people were arrested,” which led to Tuesday’s clashes with the police, Bilgo said.

He called for calm, saying a crisis committee had been set up to “find a solution”.