ROLE OF MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES AND NETWORKS
FDLR, CDNP and even FADRC have been involved in trans- port of timber, minerals and charcoal from illegal exploitation (UNSC, 2008). FDLR controls many mines in North and South Kivu and are involved in trafficking minerals by roads and trucks from Walikale and controls the vast majority of territory in the mineral-rich Kahuzi Biega National Park.
There are several comptoirs involved in selling the minerals on to companies such as Groupe Olive, Etablissement Muyeye, MDM, World Mining Company (WMC) and Panju, that are the main recipients of and top exporters of cassiterite, coltan and wolframite – with government export licences (UNSC, 2008). Etablissement Namukaya is also involved in pre-financing gold purchases from FDLR territory (UNSC, 2008). CNDP for ex- ample, also make revenues from taxing of the minerals, such as 0.20 USD per kilogram of minerals at checkpoints set up near or around mines (UNSC, 2008). As the mineral produc- tion in the region is at least 15,000 tons a year, the incomes to the militias from these “road” taxes are thus also here millions of dollars annually.
It is also likely that the actual exports are much higher even than this. As many of the companies or their subsidiaries – unlike the multinational buyers – are also fronts for some of the militias, it is clear that the incomes from the exploitation of resources in the region and the taxes are central in the con- tinuation of the conflict. It also appears that that much of the low-profile “taxing” in villages etc is done to finance some of the troops on a daily basis, whereas as the really large sums never reach the low-level troops, who are frequently left to ob- tain their needs through direct plundering.
The official exports in 2007 from DRC were 14,694 tons of cassiterite valued at 45 million USD, 1,193 tons of wolframite
valued at 4.27 million USD, and 393 tons of coltan valued at 5.42 million USD (UNSC, 2008). These numbers are around 61–70% of what the official production estimates are listed as (UNSC, 2008). Furthermore, one – out of many – company, Traxys, alone officially exported 226 tons of coltan in 2007 – or near 57% of the entire official coltan export from the DRC ac- cording to the Groups of experts (UNSC, 2008). Receipts and records of the five major comptoirs buying minerals, including coltan and cassiterite, traded minerals for an average of 9.77 USD/kg per day in May 2008 (UNSC, 2008). Summarizing the purchases across a total accumulated period of 66 days, the companies M.G.M, ETS Panju, MDM, Muyeye and Amur pur- chased an average of 29.45 tons per day of an average cost of 65,127 USD (records archived at UN, New York; UNSC, 2008).
It is entirely impossible to verify the extent of the illegal exploi- tation in exact numbers. However, the taxing alone of 0.2 USD per kg around the road systems of minerals estimated to be at least 2–10 times higher than official exports which for coltan, cassiterite and wolframite combined then becomes around 32,000–150,000 tons of minerals annually, suggesting an in- come of near 6–30 million USD alone on road taxes on miner- als to the militias, around 4 million USD on charcoal, and most likely similar for other goods combined. In addition gold and diamonds are also involved. With taxes also on trucks, other goods like cement, timber and charcoal, charcoal reported to be at least 0.7 million USD alone at some border crossings in ad- dition, not including the transport inside the DRC, suggest that the militias are making an income of anywhere between 14–50 million USD annually on taxes alone, most likely much more. In addition, the militias are heavily involved also in the fronts and in many of the actual local companies or fronts based in among other Kampala and Nairobi (UNSC, 2008). It is there- fore clear that the militias and subsidiary companies involved
Figure 3: Companies originating in the EU, and companies based in Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Hong Kong (China), India, Malaysia, Thailand, Rwanda, South Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The Russian Federation, The United Arab Emirates, and the UK and Northern Ireland are involved in exporting minerals and timber from conflict regions in the DRC (UNSC, 2008). Principle export points are Mombasa and Dar Es Salaam.