Monday, December 6, 2021

Kidnapping: China cautions citizens to avoid Nigeria, other parts of Africa

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing has warned Chinese citizens and firms working in the African continent against travelling to some risky areas amid the kidnappings of Chinese citizens in Africa.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, on Monday confirmed the abduction of five Chinese nationals in the Democratic Republic of Congo,

He urged those in dangerous places to leave as soon as possible.

Mr Zhao said the abductions took place during an attack on a gold mine in the village of Mukera in eastern Congo, adding that in another recent incident in Nigeria, three Chinese employees were also kidnapped.

The spokesperson stressed that there were “great security risks’’ in Nigeria and Congo, and these incidents were not the first of their kind either.

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“China’s Foreign Ministry, embassies and consulates had previously advised nationals not to go to high-risk areas.’’

China has significantly increased its investments in the mining industry in Africa in recent years.

This has led to growing local resentment towards wealthy Chinese employees working in countries such as the resource-rich Congo, where living standards are extremely low.

In 2008, Congo’s former president Joseph Kabila signed a highly controversial nine-billion-dollar agreement guaranteeing China mining rights in the country in return for funding for much-needed infrastructure projects.

A few weeks ago, Kabila’s successor, Felix Tshisekedi, called for a review of the agreement and for what he termed “fairer deals”.

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dpa/NAN

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