See our series: VOIX DU CONGO
Located in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the province of Ituri has experienced almost two decades of activism by the armed group Force de Résistance Patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI). The failure of a demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) programme launched in 2020 has led FRPI fighters to informally return to public life, finding work in agriculture and fishing but also in the artisanal mining sector. Focusing on artisanal gold mining in the Bavi region, the study investigates how the involvement of former FPRI fighters in mining activities has affected local communities, their reintegration, and the gold-sector in Ituri as such.
Although the presence of armed groups on mining sites is prohibited, the search for peace and the pending DDR process have led local and civil society leaders as well as local authorities to put the presence of FRPI elements on mining sites into perspective.
Collecting data through interviews and focus groups with local stakeholders, the Congolese CSO RHA has found that despite the “relative stability” of the status quo, the presence of non-demobilised FRPI elements in gold mines has security and socio-economic repercussions. Former FRPI fighters bypass taxation and their involvement in the gold mining sector stymies formalisation efforts.
Recommendations underline the need to revitalise the underfunded DDR process, taking into account all the issues at stake and the previous agreements signed with the FRPI group to avoid the resurgence of instability and ensure durable peace.
The Réseau Haki Na Amani (RHA) is a Congolese non-profit organization. RHA strives for the achievement of peace and reconciliation, as well as for sustainable development, in which all men and women are key stakeholders.
The ‘Voix du Congo‘ series:
IPIS supports non-governmental organisations in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and provides the support and platform to disseminate their research results, within the framework of the project “Voix du Congo”. The opinions and facts reported in these reports do not, in any way, reflect IPIS or IPIS’ researchers’ positions but give an insight into the way Congolese civil society organisations work and analyse the problems and realities they face. Other publications of this series are available here: “Voix du Congo”.
This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD). The contents of this document can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Belgian Development Cooperation.