Calls are made for the suspension of gold mining along DRC river

July 1, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Darell Maurice

Civil Society in the Congolese province of South Kivu called for the suspension of artisanal and semi industrial gold mining along the Ulindi River, in the Shabunda territory.

Call for the suspension was made two months after the Prime Minister sent a letter to the Minister of Mines asking him to immediately suspend mining activities in this particular area of South Kivu.

According to organisations, “mining along the Ulindi River fuelled local armed groups in the region including the Raia Mutomboki faction who subsequently commit various abuses against civilians.”

The provincial president of the civil society in South Kivu, Descartes Mponge, protests against the fact that the government is censoring the Prime Minister’s decision:

“We denounce the fact that since March, the Prime Minister gave an instruction to apply this measure without delay, but today we are at the end of May, the provincial government wanting to censor the decision of the Prime Minister.”

Mponge is convinced that there will be no return of peace in the Shabunda territory with the continuation of mining along the Ulindi River, stating that ” it does not benefit the local communities but rather the individuals.”

In 2014, the Congolese government indicated that samples from the river contained traces of Thorium and Uranium, beyond the threshold set by the World Health Organisation.

For his part, the provincial Minister of Mines of South Kivu claims to be concerned about this issue.

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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