Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The looting of Katanga

According to Pambazuka News, Global Witness has issued a report on the massive looting that has taken place recently in Katanga, the southeastern province of the DR Congo.

According to the NGO, whose purpose is to monitor corruption and human rights abuses linked to resource exploitation, some $1 billion left Katanga during the year 2005. Bear in mind that's just for one single province of the country.

That amounts to about $18 for every single person in the entire country. That might not sound like a lot but the average Congolese's income is $100 per year.

And if that much money is being looted from a single province, albeit the most mineral rich one, imagine how much is being lost in the rest of the country.

If the theme sounds familiar, it should.


At 9:55 AM, Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Got the report several days ago. It's a blistering read, names names and points fingers, the works. Compliments the U.K.'s Channel 4 News award-winning report produced together with Global Witness researchers June or July 2005 about the illegal mining and slave labor operations in the Eastern DRC.

We should all be reminded that Katanga province is the only province in the DRC that has remained under control of the sitting transitional government president, Joseph Kabila and his political cronies. Anybody having success at tracing the missing loot?

Jeff Koinange of CNN did a video report from Lubumbasha (Katanga) on the state-owned Gecamines complex and it's new investors and owners (European, Canadian, PR Chinese). The report aired here in Europe as part of the ongoing CNNI special Eye on Africa this week and will hopefully be available online at CNN's Video News archives.


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