Supporting the War Economy in the DRC: European Companies and the Coltan Trade

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Since the outbreak of the second Congolese war in August 1998, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been caught up in a fight over their country’s vast natural resources. Six neighbouring states and several rebel groups compete to extract maximum commercial and material benefits at an exorbitant human cost for millions of Congolese. The private sector plays a vital role in the continuation of the war by facilitating the exploitation, transport and marketing of Congo s natural resources. This report lays out the results of an investigation conducted by IPIS into the dealings of European companies involved in the coltan trade and named in the report of the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources of the DRC.

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