Congo Smuggling: U.N. Blames Uganda, Rwanda and UAE

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The Wall Street Journal reported today that while yesterday's Security Council resolution renewing sanctions didn't mention countries or companies by name, the U.N. report "blames Uganda, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates for running a trading network of smuggled gold and other minerals."

[Global: United Nations]

A new United Nations report says Uganda, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates are behind a gold smuggling operation that fuels violence in war-torn Congo.

The Security Council separately on Monday renewed sanctions against the rebel groups operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Wall Street Journal reported today that while yesterday's Security Council resolution renewing sanctions didn't mention countries or companies by name, the U.N. report "blames Uganda, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates for running a trading network of smuggled gold and other minerals."

"A Ugandan diplomat protested the report in a closed-door Security Council meeting last week, saying it was based on assumptions, according to a diplomat present at the meeting," The Wall Street Journal reported today.

The Journal said the U.N. report lists Malaysia Smelting Corp. and Thailand Smelting & Refining Co., a unit of Amalgamated Metal Corp. of the United Kingdom as participants in the operation. What's more the CBS Television national program "60 Minutes" reported Sunday that while Uganda produced only $500 worth of gold in 2007 its exports amounted to $75 million of the commodity that year. "Almost all of that is coming from the war zone," in Congo, "60 Minutes" reported.

Without elaboration, Susan Rice, United States ambassador to the United Nations told The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. would work with the U.N. to "prevent the continued illegal exploitation of Congo's minerals, including its gold, which is funding the rebels and the fighting in Congo."



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