During the early hours of 19 March 2023, gunmen opened fire on workers at the Chinese-operated Chimbolo gold mine – located approximately 280 km (175 mi) northeast of the capital Bangui. The attack killed nine Chinese nationals and injured two others. The motive for the attack remains unknown. While government officials suspect that members of the rebel group Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) may have carried out the assault, a spokesperson for the group alleges that Russia’s Wagner Group is responsible. Various armed groups have targeted Chinese business ventures and expatriates in the Central African Republic in recent years.