World: Burma: a dead and twenty disappeared after a landslide in a mine

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  Birmanie: un mort et une vingtaine de disparus après un glissement de terrain dans une mine © STR / AFP

L ES relief were activated Wednesday in northern Burma after a landslide that made at least one Death and twenty missing in a jade mine, a very lucrative but little regulated industry where working conditions are very dangerous.

Rescutors first estimated 70 to 100 people the number of missing "in a landslide that occurred around 4 o'clock in the morning" in a hpakant jade mine, in Kachin State, Review then revised downwards around 20 people.

"We sent 25 wounded to the hospital as we found a dead man," said Ko Nyi, one of the rescuers, AFP.

About 200 people participate in research, some on board boats, to try to cope with bodies on a lake, he added.

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Operations will continue until 17:00 (09:30 GMT) stated Ko Jack from the organization of Burmese rescuers.

According to a local activist, hundreds of illegal miners returned to hpakant during the rainy season to prospect in the dangerous open pit mines, despite the banning banned by the junta until March 2022.

"they dig The night and in the morning, they pour the earth and the rock "on the side of the hill, said the activist, adding that it was probably the extra weight thus accumulated which was at the origin of the accident.

The increased pressure has slid the ground to the lake, also declared Ko Nyi.

The photos published by the Burmese fire services show dozens of people aligned with the shores of the lake and rescuers coming out of the water an unidentified object.

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Fire Services, who reported that HPakant firefighters and the neighboring city of Lone Khin participated in rescue operations, were not reachable for a comment.

Access to mines located in the isolated north of the country is strongly limited by the army and access to the Internet is unstable.

According to the local Kachin News newspaper, more than 20 minors had been killed in the landslide.

In Burma, dozens of minors die each year by working in hazardous conditions in jade careers, an opaque and unregulated industry.

The landslides are common in this poor and difficult region of access, at the lunar landscape, as it has been altered by large mining groups, contempt for the environment.

Following a moratorium in 2016, many large mines have closed and are no longer monitored, allowing the return of many independent miners. From disadvantaged ethnic communities, they operate almost clandestinely in sites left abandoned by the excavators.

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strong monsoon rains caused the worst disaster of this nature, with 300 embedded minors after a landslide in the hpakant massif, the heart of this industry near the Chinese border.

opaque and unregulated

Jade trade generates more than $ 30 billion a year, nearly half of the country's gross domestic product.

A very small part of this financial manne ends up in the Burmese State crates, most of the quality jade being smuggled into China where demand for this stone, supposed to symbolize prosperity, seem insatiable.

This trade drains the fortunes for the military who have been controlling access to the HPakant region since the early 1990s and hold many mining concessions.

Another key player: The Independence Army Kachin (KIA), a rebel faction for decades with the military controls for the control of the mines and revenues they generate.

Everyone receives bribes and jade funds many conflicts between military and ethnic groups in the region and even beyond.

The February coup destroyed any chance of achieving a reform of the sector initiated under Aung San Suu Kyi, the Global Witness Monitoring Organization in a report published in 2021.

"The disaster of today Is a haunting reminder that lives go too often after the profit in HPakant's Jade Mines, "AFP Hanna Hindstrom, Burma Campaign Manager at Global Witness. "Once again, the miners pay the ultimate price."

22/12/2021 11:09:10 - Rangoun (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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