A Swedish hunter who heads a safari company in the Central African Republic has been formally charged with the murders of 13 miners, who had been beaten to death with machetes and pieces of wood. As previously reported, the 13 people had been panning for gold. The grisly scene was uncovered in the northeast of the country, but the wife of Erik Mararv, head of the big-game Central African Wildlife Adventures company, insists he was merely involved in reporting the incident to police.
“In the southern part of our hunting grounds there is a place where they pan for gold in a stream,” she told Expressen in mid-April. “We were building roads in that area and we had some employees from central Africa working with us. They went down to the stream to fetch water and found dead people. They called my husband and asked him what to do.”
He called an Englishman who was close to the site to ask him to go there and check what had happened, after which the authorities were contacted. Soon afterwards, both the Swede – a professional hunter and director of the company Central African Wildlife Adventures – and the Englishman were arrested. The company’s 10 employees, several of them foreigners, have also been charged with murder. All those charged remain in custody in Bangui's central N'garagba prison.
The organization Human Rights Watch has documented the murders and suspects the perpetrators to be the notorious Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army.