UN calls for 'sustained efforts' against DRC natural resource trafficking

accreditation
The UN Security Council.
The UN Security Council.
Getty Images
  • The UN Security Council has called for "sustained efforts" in preventing the illegal trade of natural resources from the DRC
  • The Council also renewed UN sanctions on the country for the period of a year
  • The volume of gold smuggled from the country was said to be significantly higher than the amount legally traded


The UN Security Council called on Thursday for "sustained efforts" in preventing the illegal trade of natural resources from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as gold in particular fuels conflict between armed groups in the region.

The Council's 15 member states also renewed UN sanctions on the country for the period of a year, allowing for both individuals and groups to be targeted.

In a statement following a videoconference, the Council expressed concern over "continued illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources" while calling for "sustained efforts to prevent" such practices.

The UN experts who monitor implementation of the sanctions detailed multiple cases of trafficking in a recent report, stating that gold from the country was flowing into Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

The document specified that the United Arab Emirates promised to tighten controls on the source of gold arriving in the country.

"The group traced Congolese gold to regional refineries and other international destinations and found that some refineries acted as brokers, used cash payments, undertook refiner-to-refiner trading and used corporate networks to obscure ownership, thereby inhibiting supply chain accountability," the report said.

"Gold traders also avoided the use of formal banking networks," it noted.

The experts added that "in terms of natural resources, the Congolese gold sector remained vulnerable to exploitation by armed groups and criminal networks and to unregulated trading."

The volume of gold smuggled from the country was significantly higher than the amount legally traded, they noted.

DRC sits on top of large reserves of cobalt, copper, gold and other valuable minerals, but is nonetheless one of the world's poorest countries, with average per capita revenue of $490, according to World Bank data.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research. Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
32% - 1885 votes
No, I have deleted it
38% - 2219 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 1751 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.51
+1.7%
Rand - Pound
19.88
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.83
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.77
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,767.60
0.0%
Silver
23.31
0.0%
Palladium
2,075.53
0.0%
Platinum
1,059.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
84.86
+1.0%
Top 40
60,494
+0.2%
All Share
67,029
+0.3%
Resource 10
64,347
-0.1%
Industrial 25
84,819
+0.7%
Financial 15
13,961
-0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE