Members of the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) meeting in Rubavu are contemplating issuing mineral exploitation certificates in Zone 10 member states as a way of controlling the illegal exploitation of minerals.
Zone10 is made up of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
“People believe minerals have been to some extent fuelled conflicts; that’s why the Heads of States agreed that ICGLR should look into ways of controlling the flow of minerals,” Joseph Kabakeza, the coordinator of the national ICGLR mechanism.
The development follows reports that some individuals within the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, MONUC, were implicated in shady mineral deals with some insurgent groups operating in the country.
“We can’t say that MONUC is involved in the illegal exploitation, but some individuals in MONUC and rebel movements are among those exploiting the minerals illegally,” he said, calling for a need for proper regulation.
“The DRC is fully supportive of the idea of regulation,” Kabakeza added.
Trans-border security and joint patrols, capacity building among youth on the issues of human rights and AIDS, installing One-Border crossing point and establishing a centre for fighting sexual violence, are among the projects to be prioritised this year.