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Belgium hub of Congolese ore

Published on 27/07/2007

27 July 2007

Belgium is by far the largest importer of tin ore from the war-ridden region of East Congo. The revenues from this trade end up in the pockets of the warlords who are responsible for severe violations of human rights and deploying child soldiers. This is contained in the final report on the Congo drawn up by UN experts and to be published shortly.

The Belgian import figures for tin ore are a cause of concern. Of the 2,904 tonnes exported from the city of Goma in 2006, at least 2,296 tonnes or almost 80 percent were exported to Belgium. With 429 tonnes Rwanda ranks second and Malaysia comes third with 73.8 tonnes. The UN report does not cite names of Belgian companies.

The UN experts claim that those responsible for the export of ore from East Congo operate outside the law and ‘use the revenues for the financing of armed groups’. ‘The exploitation, trade and transport of natural resources remain the most profitable sources of income for armed groups’.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news