Exporters in the North and South Kivu provinces of the DR Congo plan to halt sales of minerals including tin concentrate from the start of January, according to Bloomberg. The action is in response to accusations from NGOs and international organizations that revenue from mineral sales funds armed groups in the region.
Metal traders in South Kivu province, which produces about a quarter of Congo’s tin, will stop exports on December 31, according to Edouard Kitambala, a spokesman for the Congolese Federation of Companies in South Kivu province, and one of the region’s biggest tin and columbo-tantalite, or coltan, traders. “The accusations, which are becoming more and more frequent, are not true,” Kitambala said. “We decided to close to show everyone the war still goes on without us.”
The move is likely to be backed by exporters in North Kivu, the biggest source of tin ore from the DRC. North Kivu’s mineral traders are all working legally, though the government is not living up to its responsibility to ensure mining zones are free of armed groups, John Kanyoni, president of the Association of Mineral Exporters of North Kivu told Bloomberg. “We are only part of the chain,” Kanyoni said. “We’ll never be able to control everything 100 percent, but we’ll try our best.”