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Tanzanian Police Shoot Dead Intruder at Barrick Gold Mine

by Sarah McGregorBloomberg
January 23rd, 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: What the Bloomberg article fails to mention is that it was the killing of a local young man that sparked the uprising against the Barrick mine in December. For background and the immediate context of that uprising, see: "Civilian Uprising Against Barrick Gold in Tanzania" by Sakura Saunders.

Also, yesterday, Tanzanian Human Rights Lawyer Tundu Lissu wrote a letter (below) explaining the immediate context of this most recent killing.

From Bloomberg: Tanzanian police shot dead an intruder at Barrick Gold Corp.'s North Mara mine yesterday after a group of people broke into the mine site, the company said.

Production wasn't affected, company spokesman Teweli K. Teweli said in a phone interview today from the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam. Operations at the open-pit mine were suspended temporarily in December after hundreds of people invaded the area and fought with security personnel, leaving one person dead and $7 million in damage.

Barrick is the world's largest gold producer.

From Tundu Lissu:

January, 22, 2009


Once again I've the painful task of having to report yet another unnecessary death in Tanzania's goldfields. Once again it's that notorious Canadian multinational, Barrick Gold; and once again it's from that company's North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime District of Northern Tanzania. Yesterday morning the paramilitary police units that were brought by the hundreds after last month's uprising by the local communities met a group of youth in an area where villagers' homes come right into the mine fence. Apparently, the paramilitaries started to chase the youth and in the process opened fire, killing Muhono Marwa Gibare and wounding Nyakebayi Chacha Nyakebayi and Maswi Bokobora. Muhono Marwa was shot in the back while running away from the police. He died instantly. This latest killing brings to two villagers who have died violently in that mine since last month and eight since Barrick apparently adopted their shoot-to-kill strategy in July of 2005. As with all previous killings, we'd expect no action from the authorities to bring the culprits to justice. After last month's uprising, hundreds of riot police were deployed to the mine in a massive show of force. Dozens of villagers - especially the youth - were arrested and charged with a variety of offenses. Many remain in custody to date. We ask our friends and people of goodwill to condemn this latest attack on a community that has seen so much pain and violence since their lands and mineral resources were forcibly taken away from them and given to, initially Australian and later Canadian, multinationals. Those arrested need legal representation and we ask people of goodwill to contribute towards creating a legal defense fund for the affected communities. We ask, especially, our Canadian friends to see to it that public attention is drawn to these abuses and pressure is brought to bear on the authorities to take action against Barrick. We'll keep you all informed of developments as we get them from Tarime.

Thank you all for your continued support and solidarity.


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