(Business in Cameroon) - During an operation carried out by Cameroonian defense forces, on May 18, 2021, over 50 clandestine gold miners were arrested in the Benoue National Park, a game reserve whose subsoil is reputed for its mineral resources
“The park has become a hideout for criminals who survive there thanks to supplies provided by the gold miners. Some gold miners are also armed criminals. We think that without the gold miners, criminals can not survive there,” a security source told regional tri-weekly L’œil du Sahel.
The sources explain that besides their mining operations, the gold miners that operate inside the protected space also supply hostage-takers and poachers with food and other amenities. Sometimes, the miners hide those criminals, therefore becoming accomplices, if not culprits, of the insecurity situation in Northern Cameroon, we learn.
Local sources add that it is prohibited to carry out mineral exploration inside the park but numerous miners (most of whom come from Chad, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria) ignore that prohibition and invade the protected space.