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UN condemns exploitation of Congo's resources

Security Council condemns exploitation of natural resources in DR of Congo

The United Nations Security Council today condemned the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In a statement read out by this month's President, Ambassador Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins of Angola, the Council emphasized the connection between the ongoing conflict in the DRC, the illegal trafficking of arms in the region and the exploitation of natural resources.

The statement follows the delivery on 30 October of the final report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the DRC. The Panel found that illegal exploitation was one of the main sources of funding for armed groups that want to perpetuate conflict in the DRC.

The DRC has reserves of gems, gold, cobalt, copper, timber, uranium and coltan, a component for electronic chips in laptop computers and cell phones.

In today's statement, the Council urged all States to stop the exploitation of raw materials and resources, and said it would consider setting up a possible mechanism to monitor the flow of weapons into the DRC.

The statement also called for the prompt resumption of State authority throughout the DRC so that there was competent administration to protect and control all activities involving the exploitation of natural resources.

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