This report aims to fill an information gap by identifying the principal mining sites and analysing the trade networks of the ‘eastern hinterland’ of DRC, located in Maniema, North Katanga and Orientale province, and the transport networks from these territories to the regional hubs of Bukavu, Goma, Butembo and Bunia. Following constant reports of insecurity and human rights violations related to mining activity in the Kivu provinces and Ituri over the past years, the mining sector in these areas has been the subject of several publications. In these texts, the conflict-ridden Kivu provinces are generally depicted as a region beyond the control of the state where shadow economies thrive (an analysis with which Congolese President Joseph Kabila seemed to agree when he suspended all mining activities in North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema on 11 September 2010). However, whether these shadow economies extend into other important mining areas bordering the Kivus and Ituri is unclear since little documentation exists on production circuits in the hinterland west of the Kivus. It was therefore felt that investigating the specific problems and opportunities of the mining sector in these less-known areas would be worthwhile.
- Author(s):Steven Spittaels
- Date:November 2010