GOMA, Congo (AP) - An environmental watchdog group says armed groups and high-ranking officers in the Congolese army are continuing to benefit from the illegal mineral trade in eastern Congo, despite international efforts to clean up the supply chain. The report published Tuesday by Global Witness says that although there are signs of improvement in Congo's tin and tantalum sectors, the "progress remains localized."
The gold trade in particular remains a problem. The report said tons of gold mined in eastern Congo is smuggled to neighboring Burundi every year because it is easily smuggled across borders and proper checks are not carried out by local buyers in Africa's Great Lakes region or by international traders. Laundered through the Burundian local trade, the gold is exported to Dubai where it is bought by international traders.