DRC: Kabila urges illegal mineral action

2010-12-15 16:10

Lusaka - Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila on Wednesday said a co-ordinated regional response was needed to curb an illicit trade in diamonds, oil and gold, which has fuelled African conflicts.

Kabila told leaders from the continent's Great Lakes nations that they "need to adopt an action plan to stop the illegal exploitation of minerals that goes on in these countries."

He also said a mining ban recently imposed in three areas of the eastern DRC would "eliminate" groups who have profited from the trade.

"There needs to be commitment from the leaders," he told 200 delegates including several fellow presidents attending the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in the Zambian capital.

"Illegal exploitation contributed to funding illegal groups and that is why in the Democratic Republic of Congo we have suspended mining in Nord and Sud Kivu," he said.

Kabila's mining minister announced the suspension, which also included Maniema province, on September 11, admitting at the time that civilian and military officials had been complicit in the trade.

A UN expert two weeks later warned a precious metals conference in Berlin that rebels in the eastern DRC were being financed by illegal mining of gold and other minerals that are exported worldwide.

Illegal exploitation

"The measure aims to eliminate groups whose activities are not supported by the government," Kabila said in Lusaka.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda, chair of the ICGLR bloc of 11 countries which includes Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, also called for joint action.

"We need to find a lasting solution to this problem of illegal exploitation of natural resources which is a cause for conflict in many countries," he said.

Other heads of state in attendance in the Zambian capital included Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is subject to arrest under warrants issued by the International Criminal Court related to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, was invited to the ICGLR but he declined.

Under the ICC statutes Bashir, who instead sent a delegation to Lusaka, is subject to arrest in any member country, of which Zambia is one.

The Sudan president had already this year been to Kenya and Chad, both signatory countries which refused to detain him.

The Great Lakes region has been a theatre of repeated violence since the 1990s, with a civil war in Burundi in 1993, the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and rebellions and wars in the DRC from 1996 to 1997 and 1998 to 2003.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of some...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.