Chinese mining companies suspended in Eastern DRC

The activities of half a dozen mining companies have been suspended by the authorities of South Kivu, in the East of the DRC, anxious to “restore order” in a territory which has been the scene of recurrent tensions between local populations and Chinese gold miners.
A provincial source announced on Saturday that the measure, taken by the provincial governor, Theo Ngwabidje Kasi, concerns the territory of Mwenga, about 100 km southwest of Bukavu, where many artisanal “diggers” and mining companies operate.
“The provincial authority has listened to the cries of the population of Mwenga, where minerals are being exploited without respect for the mining code and regulations,” said Christian Wanduma, lawyer for the community (“chiefdom”) of Wamuzimu, which is particularly concerned.
According to him, this decision is “salutary” but must be accompanied by other measures so that the “humiliated” community, deprived of its fields and whose “mineral resources have been plundered” can “regain their rights”. Some lands have been so “razed” that “we can no longer plant even peanuts”, he added, calling for “legal proceedings”.
In his decree issued on Friday, the governor considers it “necessary to restore order to semi-industrial mining” in the territory of Mwenga, in order to preserve “the interests of the local population, the environment and respect for human rights”, but also to allow “the traceability of the production” of the exploited sites.
In early August, a member of parliament from the territory deplored the “total anarchy caused by the gold rush” and supported village chiefs who had opposed the “new Chinese masters.

About Geraldine Boechat 2715 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia