Wed, 29 Sep 2021

Kinshasa [Congo], July 26 (ANI): Two Chinese men in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be facing military prosecution for ordering two Congolese soldiers to inflict "degrading and humiliating treatment" on illegal miners on Saturday, the army said.

Army spokesman Leon-Richard Kasonga said in a statement, "Two Chinese used two soldiers of the FARDC (DR Congo's armed forces) to beat up and mistreat Congolese artisanal miners in the mine," reported The Straits Times.

Condemning the incident on Tuesday, "the army proceeded to the arrest and then the transfer of these two soldiers and their Chinese accomplices", reported The Straits Times, citing French news agency.

He said the Chinese nationals would face prosecution for "inciting soldiers to commit crimes, acts contrary to their duties".

The army reminded soldiers of their mission to protect people and their property, warning that "any soldier who allowed themselves to embark on a similar adventure will face the full force of the law".

A Chinese company is officially authorised to operate the mine where the incident took place.

"However, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands by using soldiers," said local deputy Gaston Mushid.

The footage shared on social networks shows two Congolese soldiers beating two men pinned to the ground.

Social media has gone berserk over the incidents and lashed out at China for treating illegal miners with such disdain.

Africa should understand that China is today's colonial power like Europe was in past... they will exploit Africa and Africans will not get anything, said a Twitter user.

After some time, Pakistanis too will get the same treatment from the Chinese, said another user while warning Pakistan that has been engulfed in 'debt diplomacy' of China.

Meanwhile, another video has come to light, posted by Twitter on July 15 shows a Chinese executive harassing and humiliating one of his Congolese collaborators in an office of Chinese mining company Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM).

In the video, a kneeling woman is seen repeatedly being touched by a man, apparently her supervisor, dressed in a blue uniform. The latter, amused by his gestures, does not seem to consider the opposition of the young woman.

The sound of this inaudible video was covered with a sound effect, from a Chinese video editing application called "Kuaiyin" suggesting that the video was circulating on Chinese social networks, reported France 24.

Relayed on Twitter on July 15, the scene caused a lot of reactions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to verifications carried out by the editorial staff of France 24 Observers, the scene took place at the premises of Congo Dongfang Mining (CDM), a Chinese cobalt and copper processing company based in Lubumbashi, in the province. Haut-Katanga, in the south-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The images have sparked a lot of reactions in a context where scenes of violence between Chinese and Congolese workers are regular in the cobalt or copper mines, revealing social tensions between the two communities. (ANI)

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