Illegal Chinese mining and timber companies are running rampant in the DRC’s eastern province of South Kivu, fueling corruption that empowers ruling elites and impoverished local communities.
So says a scathing new report by two researchers at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in Paris.
The problems in South Kivu gained notoriety last summer when Governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi ordered six Chinese companies to halt operations in response to growing tensions with the local community.
Residents in the area complained bitterly that these six companies along with other Chinese firms operating there destroy the local environment and pay off authorities to cover up their illegal activities.
But the governor’s efforts, according to the IFRI report, have done little to stem the activities of the Chinese mining companies largely due to corruption within the government and the military which is so widespread, it’s now out of control.
Not even a stiff warning that Chinese authorities would crackdown on illegal activities by their nationals in South Kivu did much to bring the situation under control.