DR Congo bans mining for mobile phone minerals

BY NANGAY GUYSON IN KAMPALA UGANDA – President Joseph Kabila of  Democratic Republic of Congo has issued a ban on  Mining in three provinces of eastern  Congo saying is  controlled by mafias.

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila

The ban comes after his recent visit to the mining hub town of Walikale and  said he wanted to weed out what he called a “kind of mafia” involved in the mining industry.

Control over mining minerals like coltan and cassiterite has fuelled conflict between rebel groups.

The minerals are used in mobile phones and computers.

The ban covers the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema.

There has been a prolonged conflict there, last month at least 150 women were reportedly raped by militia members near the town of Walikale.

The conflict is also fuelled by ethnic hatred, a hang-over from the 1994 slaughter of Tutsis in neighbouring Rwanda and Congo’s subsequent civil wars.

The BBC’s Thomas Hubert in eastern DR Congo says the ban may be difficult to enforce.

UN peacekeepers recently said they had control of the airstrip in Walikale, which is the easiest way out, but people might find other routes to export minerals.