RealNews

Congo Militia Resume Plunder from Foreign Forces

A U.N. report on the plunder of gems and minerals in the Congo proposes the break up of large state-owned mining firms, transparent accounting and a “name and shame” list of arms buyers and traffickers. The report, obtained by Reuters on Friday, said however there was some reduction in the volume of illegally exploited minerals after Uganda and Rwanda reduced their forces and left pillaging to militia they helped create in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Overall, this transition of control from foreign forces to the armed groups has led to a temporary reduction in the volume of illegally exploited resources,” said the independent panel, headed by Mahmoud Kassem, a former Egyptian ambassador to several African nations. And the report said the activities of the giant diamond mining firm, De Beers, needed more investigation on possible human rights abuses. The panel, whose mandate expires this month at the insistence of the United States, also issued a still-embargoed report on arms flows, which proposed a “monitoring mechanism” on who bought and sold weapons to fuel the Central African country’s five year-old civil war that is subsiding. Full Story

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