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Congo Tin Monitoring Could Aid Conflict Minerals (Globe Witness)

By on December 14, 2010

National army units have largely ignored the Congolese government ban on mining in three eastern restive provinces in September and even tightened their grip on tin mines in the region, Global Witness said in a report.The recently agreed tin trade traceability scheme for minerals from Eastern Congo risks rubber-stamùping conflict minerals coming from mines controlled by official military units if the Congolese army’s alleged role in conflict minerals continues to be ignored, the U.K.-based corruption watchdog, Global Witness said Tuesday. 
  “The Congolese government and military authorities should launch an immediate investigation into allegations of involvement of senior army officials in the minerals trade,” Global Witness said.
  The most recent data indicate that early this year, Congolese military units and officials were getting between $14 million and $29 million a year from the Bisie Tin Mine, Congos largest tin mine, the watchdog said.
  It estimated that Congolese military units were getting at least 250 metric tons of tin ores a month from Bisie, the military also collects illegal taxes on porters at Bisie as well as diggers outside the Mine.
  A Congolese military spokesman could not be reached for an immediate comment.
  Julian Paluku, the governor of North Kivu province, the country’s largest tin producing province said that government had already started disciplinary measures against errant officers in the region.

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