In the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, protesters stormed the Government Palace on December 5. For the second day, citizens take to the streets because of a scandal with officials who are suspected of stealing $12.9 billion worth of coal, RTVI writes citing local media.
According to the Central Asia portal, large-scale rallies began on December 4.
Local media reported that the amount of coal exported from Mongolia was different from what China received. Against this backdrop, protests erupted. Beijing, according to unconfirmed reports, executed officials from its side, and also sent the Prime Minister of Mongolia Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrein a list of Mongolian officials involved in the plot.
After that, citizens took to the streets and demanded to publicly name the “coal thieves” and “reveal the corruption of the authorities.”
On December 5, the Gogo portal reported that the protesters went to Sukhbaatar Square (in the center of Ulaanbaatar) and by the evening surrounded the Government Palace, trying to break into it. The police are urging everyone to disperse.
According to law enforcement agencies, one of the protesters burned the city Christmas tree, four people received minor injuries. In addition, glass coverings near the entrance to the Government Palace were broken.
The protesters asked for a meeting with the prime minister and the president. Ayuushin Ariunzaya, chief adviser to the Prime Minister, granted this request. By order of the Prime Minister, a working group will be created, the representative of which will discuss their demands with the protesters.
The US Embassy in Mongolia urged Americans to avoid demonstrations and large crowds.
In November, the Asia Russia portal reported that coal exports from Mongolia in 2022 increased by 71% compared to 2021. In total, 24.3 million tons were mined this year.
In addition, 1.2 million tons of copper concentrate (1.5% more than in 2021) and 4 million tons of iron ore and concentrate (40% less than last year) were exported.