Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Conflict mining

Both government and rebel troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have continued to mine the region's rich minerals, extracting gold and ores worth 1.3 billion dollars annually, a report said . Mineral ores that produce tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold all came from eastern Congo and are all vital commodities for the production of electronic devices. Those profits have fueled the conflict and perpetuated impunity in the region.

Feeding on the mineral exploitation are units of the Congolese army FARDC, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and Mai Mai Cheka militia operating in the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema. Kinshasa's ban on mining in the region has been ineffective. The mineral trade is run by a mafia-like network of military, political, rebel and business interests. Quoting a UN study, it said that the trade is overseen mostly by Congolese Army officers, most of them former members of a Rwandan-backed rebel group known as CNDP.

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