DRC says Rwandan mineral smuggling costs it almost $1bn a year – by Tom Wilson and Andres Schipani (Financial Times – March 21, 2023)


Kinshasa has long accused Kigali of plundering its resources by supporting insurgent M23 group

The Democratic Republic of Congo said it was losing almost $1bn a year in minerals that were being illegally smuggled into Rwanda, as it restated its call for international sanctions to be placed on the Kigali government.

Nicolas Kazadi, the DRC’s finance minister, said that Rwanda last year exported close to $1bn in gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten, even though the country has few mineral deposits of its own. “It’s all coming from DRC — that’s obvious,” he told the FT’s Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne. “It’s not only allegations, it’s evidence.”

Kinshasa has long accused Rwanda of plundering its natural resources by supporting M23, an armed group that resumed fighting in late 2021. DRC president Félix Tshisekedi recently urged visiting French leader Emmanuel Macron to take economic measures against Rwanda for its alleged backing of M23, which has waged a brutal insurgency across eastern DRC.

“We’re still waiting for those sanctions,” Kazadi said, adding that M23’s main objective was to take DRC minerals and siphon them over the border. “We’re very surprised to see there‘s no sanction [for Rwanda], not even the beginning of sanctions.”

For the rest of this article: https://www.ft.com/content/ecf89818-949b-4de7-9e8a-89f119c23a69