A Congolese driver of the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was arrested while travelling to Rwanda: the UN car was filled with more than one tonne of ore. Services committed at the DRC-Rwanda border, at the barrier in the town of Goma, have arrested a MONUSCO jeep registered 1727, says a press release by Naasson Ndoole Kubu, Provincial Minister of Mines in North Kivu, a region which is the capital of Goma.

The vehicle was driven by Julien Mukala, carrying 1,200 kg of illegal cassiterite and intending to cross the border. This information was confirmed by MONUSCO. An investigation has been opened by the tribunal in Goma to establish the facts and determine responsibility. The interest of the security services was stirred when they realized that the Jeep appeared heavily laden as it drove away. Once stopped, the driver tried to bribe police officers by granting half of the batch of minerals.

Endemic Problem

On 03 August, a spokesman for the Congolese army announced the arrest of Colonel Balumisa Chuma, commander of sector Walikale: he was dispatching ten tonnes of cassiterite mined in neighboring South Kivu, escorted by twelve soldiers. Rebel groups, local militias and the military are regularly accused of exploiting minerals that fill North / South Kivu and Maniema in the east.

These provinces, rich in gold deposits, are also major sources of cassiterite and coltan, both widely used in electronics.

A US Senate report in 2009 indicated that 80% of exports of minerals in these three provinces are out of the control of the Congolese government.

This article has been translated from the French original, originally found at Jeuneafrique. To read the full piece, click here.

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