Rwanda Returns More Than 90 Tons of Smuggled Minerals to Congo

Rwanda has returned more than 90 metric tons of minerals this year smuggled from Democratic Republic of Congo, said Paul Yenga Mabolia, head of Promines, a World Bank program assisting Congo’s mining industry.

Electronics-industry auditing rules resulting from a U.S. law to prevent the mineral trade from supporting armed groups in Congo are spurring companies and nations in the region into implementing tracing programs and technology to monitor their mineral exports.

The rules have “changed the spirit and mentality of people,” Mabolia said today in an interview in Kinshasa, Congo’s capital. “They know they have to go through the system and have their minerals traced and tagged.”

Conflict in eastern Congo began in the mid-1990s and continues to this day, with armed groups and some members of the national army benefiting from the sale of natural resources. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules, which are expected before the end of the year, will apply to U.S. companies involved in the trade in tin ore, tantalum, tungsten and gold shipped from Congo and nine neighboring countries.

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