Mongolian protesters reportedly attempted to storm their capitol building Tuesday, demanding the resignation of government officials they say are involved in the alleged theft of billions of dollars in coal.
The protesters reportedly tried to break into the State Palace in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, ostensibly upset about the 385,000 tons of coal allegedly stolen from Mongolia’s border with China. The protesters, mostly college students and some in their 20s and 30s, sang, chanted and picketed outside the building, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
“If you don’t love your country, why be a citizen?” one protester’s sign read, according to the outlet. “If the citizens rise up, the feast is over!” another protester reportedly wrote.
“China is a friendly neighbor of Mongolia, and we believe the Mongolian government will properly handle and investigate the matter. The competent Chinese authority will provide necessary assistance as requested by the Mongolian side in accordance with laws and regulations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Buddhist Monks Leave Temple Empty After Each One Tests Positive For Meth)
Protestors are attempting to breach the Government Palace in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
People demand government resignation over $12 billion worth of stolen coal. pic.twitter.com/jJHzLgwKB0
— Clash Report (@clashreport) December 5, 2022
The reported protests erupted after a whistleblower alleged several legislators connected to the coal industry embezzled billions of dollars worth of the product, according to the NY Post. Most resources that come out of the land-locked country, such as coal, cashmere and livestock, are bound for China when exported, the outlet reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar sent out a notice prior to Tuesday’s protests at the State Palace, saying several hundred protesters had assembled in the city’s Sukhbaatar Square and started to march toward the presidential residence, AP reported.