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Group Five Says Congo Projects Not at Risk From Rebellion

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Group Five Ltd., a South African construction company, said a rebellion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would not jeopardize its building projects in the mineral-rich African nation.

Renegade fighters captured the DRC border city of Goma on Nov. 20 after ending an unofficial three-month ceasefire. The group is made up of soldiers who mutinied in April and is headed by General Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

“We have operated in dangerous places before,” Group Five Chief Executive Officer Mike Upton said at a media briefing in Johannesburg today. “We have no issues from the DRC at the moment.”

Group Five, based in Johannesburg, is building copper, cobalt and gold mines near the DRC southern city of Lubumbashi and in the northeast on behalf of mining companies, Upton said. The company’s closest projects to Goma are 400 kilometers (248 miles) to 500 kilometers away.

The projects are not at risk from rebels, according to Guy Mottram, the company’s risk officer. Group Five has refreshed its emergency and evacuation plans in the Congo in the event the situation worsens, Mottram said.

The DRC’s rebels, known as M23, said today they’re preparing to withdraw from Goma as the U.S. pressed Rwanda’s government to help end the crisis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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