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10 illegal miners die after mine collapse in Mozambique

Written by Maritime First

…As S.Sudan readies migration policy to protect borders***

Not fewer than 10 illegal miners have reportedly died, after the mine they were in collapsed in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, an official said on Tuesday.

The collapse occurred on Monday near a concession in Montepuez owned by British mining firm Gemfields.

Fifteen people are believed to have been in the mine when it collapsed, said Ramiro Guizare, the provincial Director of Mineral Resources and Energy.

Guizare added that two people have been rescued. Rescue efforts are still under way, he said.

Mozambique has many illegal miners, known as “garimpeiros,” and Montepuez is rich in rubies.

Gemfields in January agreed to pay 5.8 million pounds (7.7 million dollars) to settle claims brought against the company by 273 Mozambicans.

The families of the deceased said that they were the victims of human rights abuses at one of the company’s ruby mines.

Meanwhile, South Sudan has stepped up efforts to finalise a migration policy that it hopes will enhance the country’s capacity to manage its borders and also protecting the rights of migrants, a government official said on Tuesday.

The Deputy Minister for Interior, Riaw Chuol, said according to a statement issued by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) following a meeting in Juba.

The government said it’s collaborating with IOM and other international partners to develop the country’s first ever such policy.

“The government is committed to adopting this policy as it guides South Sudan in creating a conducive environment for foreign investments and ensuring migrants adhere to the laws of the country for their protection,” Chuol said.

According to IOM, the draft of the new migration policy was presented by IOM-supported consultants to a stake-holders panel comprised of state and non-state actors during a two-day meeting in Juba.

In 2017, South Sudan was believed to be hosting some 845,000 migrants, the majority were from the East and Horn of Africa, according to the UN International Migration Report.

The UN agency said the process of developing a comprehensive migration policy began in October 2018 when it held a consultative forum where key stake-holders led by the government set priorities to be addressed by the policy.

In the months that followed, consultants with global expertise in developing migration policies set about working on the draft while in continuous contact with IOM and the National Coordination Mechanism, a governmental inter-agency committee set up to coordinate migration issues.

According to the UN migration agency, once the document is finalised, it will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for deliberation and endorsement. 

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