The Congolese army (FARDC) has warned its troops deployed in the east of the country from smuggling minerals and ordered them to concentrate solely on tracking down the negative forces.
The warning was issued by Major-General Kahumbu Isidore at a ceremony to assume office from General Ilunga Edmond’s gun in Goma as the new commander of the 34th military region.
“We will, by that time, put an end to all the armed groups that destabilize North Kivu,” said Major-General Kahumbu Isidore.
“The heart of a man is always on the side of his fortune. The military must not engage in the marketing of minerals such as coltan and cassiterite. They will turn away from their mission sovereign, that of safeguarding the integrity of the national territory as well as the protection of civilians and their property “.
He added that “We are not soldiers of a political camp or of this or that other hill; we are a national and republican army “.
He said that there are reports from international human rights organizations citing some military officers getting involved in the illegal ore trade in south Kivu.
His remarks followed after UN truck overturned in Congo on Monday carrying sacks of stolen minerals, ivory and other precious minerals near the border with Rwanda.
A UN staff was also found with 1,200kgs of cassiterite [a reddish, brownish, or yellowish mineral-main ore of tin] at the Rwandan border.