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‘Baseless allegations’ — China denies funding terrorists to access Nigerian mineral reserves

The Chinese government has denied funding terrorist groups in parts of Nigeria to secure access to mineral reserves. 

In a recent report, the Times, a British newspaper, claimed that through bribes and illegal transactions, “Beijing could be indirectly funding terror in Africa’s largest economy”.

The report alleged that some Chinese nationals who have worked informally as miners in Zamfara serve as runners for some militant groups in the state and other parts of the north-west zone.

Reacting in a statement on Monday, the Chinese embassy in Nigeria said the report was based on “unproven information”, adding that the allegations “were totally irresponsible and unethical”.

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The embassy said China remains committed to addressing development and security-related issues in Nigeria

“The Chinese government, as well as the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, have always encouraged and urged the Chinese companies and nationals in Nigeria to abide by the laws and regulations of Nigeria, and to implement the local rules and guidance on labour, environment, health and safety, etc, and would continue their efforts in this regard,” the statement reads.

“The Chinese government was and would never be involved in any form of funding terrorism. The allegations contained in the report were totally irresponsible and unethical, and the intention of the report is seriously questioned.

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“For the past decades, the bilateral cooperation between China and Nigeria has brought tangible benefits to our bilateral ties and well-being of the two peoples. We will continue to work with the Nigerian government to promote development and address security issues.”

The Chinese embassy added that it rejects “any intention or action that would smear our cooperation”.

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