French version

DRC must protect South Kivu communities impacted by Chinese mining and logging

Chinese mining and logging companies are linked to serious human rights impacts in the DRC province of South Kivu. The DRC must comply with its international human rights obligations and establish legal frameworks to protect the communities’ human and land rights.

Four Congolese civil society groups submitted a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) parallel report to the UN Human Rights Council today highlighting human rights abuses linked to mining and illegal logging by Oriental Resources Congo, Congo Blueant Minéral, BM Global Business, Yellow Water Ressources, New Oriental Mineral and Regal Mining.

The Chinese companies’ activities are fueling land grabbing, pollution and the forced eviction of communities in the Wamuzimu chiefdom in Mwenga territory, South Kivu – a region long affected by protracted armed conflict. The communities have been subjected to multiple human rights abuses affecting their right to food and nutrition, right to land, right to health and right to work, to name a few.

Congolese civil society groups – including Front Commun pour la Protection de l’Environnement et des Espaces Protégés, Association des Mamans Tonde-Tonde, Association des Femmes et Écologie and Société Civile Environnementale du Congo – denounce the weak response and corrupt practices of DRC authorities which have allowed the Chinese companies to plunder the country, at the expense of local communities.

“The companies must compensate families whose land they have plundered in complicity with customary chiefs and provincial and national authorities,” said one community member, who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons.

“They should build wells in all the areas where they have polluted river water so that households can have high-quality water … and protect children from water-borne diseases.”

Many in the affected communities have lost their livelihoods and call on the DRC government to address the human rights abuses caused by the Chinese companies. These have occurred in complicity with Congolese authorities at all levels who have failed to comply with their human rights obligations.

“The Congolese government must ensure that the rights of those affected by the six Chinese companies are restored. It must also ensure that the companies are regulated and hold accountable those involved in human rights violations and abuses,” says Valentin Hategekimana, Africa Coordinator at FIAN International.

The actions of these companies compound an existing emergency in the DRC, which has the highest number of people in the world facing acute food insecurity in hunger hotspots, according the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Read the full UPR parallel report on the DRC in French here.

For more information, please contact Tom Sullivan or Clara Roig Medina


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