Although Rwanda is mining its own land, the amount of minerals they’re selling on the international market, is five times higher.
General Shujaat, commander of the bluehelmets in South-Kivu has mentioned the mechanism of the conflict, which is mainly fueled by the mineralsmuggling:
"...it is not in the interest of Rwanda also to solve the issue. If FDLR goes back, what legitimate reason Rwanda will have to interfere in this country politically or militarily. So their presence is giving them a big excuse. If these people go back, the minerals are controlled by the Congolese and it becomes a legal buisness. You see this [minerals-smuggling] going over the lake, where ships are operating, going to Rwanda, carrying coltan and all those things."
The report of the UN-Panel on Experts , confirms the view of the bluehelmet General Shujaat to whom we spoke in Bukavu/East-Congo:
68. A 30-year-old Interahamwe combatant living in the area of Bukavu described the situation in a taped interview with a United Nations officer in early 2002.« We haven’t fought much with the RPA in the last two years. We think they are tired of this war, like we are. In any case, they aren’t here in the Congo to chase us, like they pretend.I have seen the gold and coltan mining they do here, we see how they rob the population. These are the reasons for their being here. The RPA come and shoot in the air and raid the villagers’ houses but they don’t attack us any more.If you are lucky, and you have a big brother in the RPA, he might be able to get you some food and ammunition. »
69. On the basis of its analysis of considerable documentation and oral testimony, the Panel holds the view that the rationale for Rwanda’s presence is toincrease the numbers of Rwandans in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and to encourage those settled there to act in unison to support itsexercise of economic control. The recent departure of troops should not be interpreted as a sign of Rwanda’s willingness to reduce its considerable involvement in the evacuation of valuable resources, to reduce thelevel of armed conflict or to diminish the humanitarian crisis in the region. Economic exploitation in its various forms will continue, relying on a less conspicuous armed force and alternative strategies for carrying out the exploitative activities.
Rwandan statistics on production and exports are probably the best estimates of regional figures, in particular the Rwandan Commercial Bank’s export numbers and the Rwandan mines directorate’s production numbers.(...)
Figures since 1995 (see diagram) show that Rwandan exports far exceed national production. (...) Numbers show that Rwanda is a strategic exporter of between 3/4 and 4/5 of the Kivu’s production. Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi are the hinge where Central Africa meets East Africa. Rwanda is the middle state par excellence, giving it advantages in the context of economic development based on regional trade.