Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RRA Impounds Smuggled Minerals from DRC

Rwanda Revenue Authority this Tuesday impounded over 2 tonnes of cassiterite mineral that was being smuggled into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo days after Global Witness, a British organization alleged that Rwanda continues to be a key conduit for Congolese minerals.
Rwanda recently started tagging all minerals in the country to curb trade in conflict minerals from the region after a UN experts report on Congo in 2009 accused Rwanda of trading in Congolese minerals that fuel armed conflicts in DRC.
Although Global Witness said recent initiatives by Rwanda to tag and trace minerals was promising, it said they are not sufficient and urged Rwanda to impose full due diligence requirements for all companies trading and processing minerals.
Mugabe Robert is the head of Revenue Protection Department (RPD) at Rwanda Revenue Authority. He said this is not the first time they are impounding minerals from Congo adding that Rwanda is not a transit route for conflict minerals from DRC.

Rwanda has an emerging cassiterite mining industry but fighting over cassiterite deposits particularly in Walikale region of eastern DRC between armed militias has also been a major cause of conflict there.

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