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Kinshasa Says Kigali is Plundering its Resources

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.” The DRC has some of the world’s most abundant natural resources. The rich seam of minerals that runs along the DRC’s border with Uganda and Rwanda holds vast amounts of gold and some of the world’s largest deposits of tantalum, also known as coltan, which is mined by hand and used in the manufacture of electronic devices. DRC exported 2,220 tonnes of coltan last year, up 54 per cent from 2021. Official gold exports fell 11 per cent to just over 28 tonnes, although the true gold exports are thought to be much higher.