Memorial for dead banned at Canadian [Barrick] gold mine in Africa – by Jocelyn Edwards (Toronto Star – May 24, 2011)

The Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada, has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published May 24, 2011.

TARIME, TANZANIA—Families of the five men killed by security forces of a Canadian mine are furious after that were denied permission to hold a memorial service Tuesday at African Barrick’s gold mine in North Mara.

“When you have lost your loved ones and you are in a grieving period, for someone to do this to you, it is not right. It would be better if they would take you too,” said Magige Gati, whose 27-year-old son Emmanuel Magige was among the dead.

Five men were killed, and at least a dozen injured, when about 800 locals clashed with security on May 16 at a mine in the area owned by African Barrick, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation.

The clash is the latest episode in an ongoing conflict between residents of North Mara, who come to the mine to scavenge for gold and Barrick, which took over the mine in 2006.

Police cited security concerns as well as “a series of criminal acts,” including villagers’ invasion of the North Mara mine and an attack on the motorcade of the local MP by residents upset at what they say is the government’s role in the killings, as reasons for denying permission for the memorial.

Families of the deceased said they were at the mortuary in the small northern town of Tarime to guard the bodies of their loved ones, due to be buried Tuesday, in shifts.

“We fear that the police will take the bodies and bury them. So we are staying to stand guard,” said Gasaya Matikua, uncle of one of the victims, 19-year-old Chacha Ngoka Chacha.

African Barrick employs police as well as private security guards to protect the mine.

Organizers of the memorial said that they would go ahead with the event.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/995742–memorial-for-dead-banned-at-canadian-gold-mine-in-africa?bn=1

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