Renegotiation of DRC Mining Contract Sparks Call for Justice

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read
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In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), negotiations dating back to 2008 during the presidency of Joseph Kabila resulted in a significant mining contract between the DRC and Chinese companies, granting access to copper and cobalt mines, dubbed the “contract of the century.”

Last month, after concluded negotiations, this contract was renegotiated, marking a significant milestone. On Tuesday, February 20, civil society called upon the judiciary to take action against individuals implicated in the mismanagement of this contract in the past.

Congolese authorities are celebrating a windfall of nearly $6 billion from the Chinese side following the renegotiation of the mining contract. While civil society acknowledges this progress, it has urged, on Tuesday, February 20, for the judiciary to hold accountable those involved in the previous mismanagement of this contract, accused of enriching themselves at the expense of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jean-Claude Katende, President of the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (Asadho), emphasized the necessity of holding accountable those who profited from the contract to the detriment of the country. Speaking to RFI, he stated, “If the first part of the dispute is resolved, namely between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the consortium of Chinese companies, the second part of the dispute involves all Congolese individuals implicated in the management of this contract who must be held accountable to the Republic. Unfortunately, we observe that the Congolese judiciary is inactive.”

Katende continued, advocating for the interrogation of these individuals and the establishment of a process of accountability. He urged the Congolese judiciary to awaken and fulfill its duty. He highlighted instances of overpriced projects and emphasized the launch of a campaign against impunity concerning natural resources.

It is worth noting that the renegotiation of the mining contract in the DRC signifies a step forward, yet the call for justice and accountability remains paramount. Civil society’s demand for action against those responsible for past mismanagement underscores the importance of transparency and responsibility in managing the country’s valuable natural resources.

Soukaina Sghir

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