Government of Rwanda has dismissed fresh allegations raised by a UN panel that minerals from DR Congo continue to be smuggled through its territory.
The UN Group of Experts on DR Congo in latest report released last week claimed that cross-border smuggling of untagged tantalum and tin into Rwanda continued like it had been highlighted in previous periodic reports.
However, when the specific cases were put to Rwanda, government responded that “no cases of mineral smuggling related to the Democratic Republic of the Congo had been detected between November 2020 and April 2021.”
Like all DRC’s neighbours, the UN team said they had been informed by three owners of improvised depots on the outskirts in Goma, Minova and Kalungu that their main coltan and cassiterite buyers were Goma-based dealers who sold in Rwanda.
The reported said: “Two North Kivu mining officials and one justice official described how cross-border smugglers used false compartments on trucks, which were intercepted at the Goma-Rubavu border. A March 2021 case of a truck loaded with 24 sacks of coltan is illustrative. Lake Kivu continued to be used as a smuggling route to Rwanda…, as described by three individuals smuggling tin, tantalum and tungsten from Kalehe territory to Rwanda…”
Going by the explanation of the Rwandan government, there was no cases of Congolese minerals smuggled into Rwanda for a period of six months.