Goma (IP)- Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi denounces the attitude of the European Union after the signing of an agreement on strategic minerals with Rwanda.

Iran PressAfrica: The Congolese head of state Félix Tshisekedi stated that the minerals exported by Rwanda are the products of resources stolen from the DRC for several decades.

This is yet another reason to vilify, to condemn this attitude of the European Union which signed an MoU with a fence. Because it is products stolen from the Democratic Republic of Congo that it will sell to the European Union. I wonder how they are going to do that, declared the Congolese head of state.

Economically, the signing and implementation of the agreement would be to the disadvantage of the Democratic Republic, considered a loser, estimates Patrick Bambo, an economist, during an interview with Iran Press. The economist thinks that the European Union should come to its senses and not seek to impose its policy in Africa at great risk.

“We believe that with other Africans, that these Westerners come to their senses, and if they come to their senses, we will favor science and solutions will be found in many things without it being possible through this imposition."

"This imposition is not about the economy, it is a problem of supply and demand, it is a problem of the well-being of all stakeholders and all Westerners can take this into account, because, if they do not take this into account, they will be stirring up conflicts among African countries. We need healthy mechanisms and healthy formulas that can prevent us from all these wars."

The signing of this protocol between Paul Kagame's Rwanda and the European Union on sustainable value chains for critical and strategic raw materials, in any case, arouses reactions in the DRC. By signing this memorandum of understanding, the European Union and Rwanda intend to strengthen their cooperation in the Rwandan mining sector, in particular traceability and the fight against illicit mineral trafficking.  

This last point is not trivial since Rwanda is accused by the Democratic Republic of Congo, its neighbor, of plundering its mineral resources in the east of its territory, in particular its mines. In the country, several Congolese interviewed by Iran Press are not tender about this agreement.  They are indignant to see the European Union lining up behind Rwanda.Moïse Hangi, a young Congolese interviewed by Iran Press, calls on the Congolese government to break diplomatic relations with the European Union and to establish relations with other organizations supposed to be “serious”.

“It is time for the Congolese government to be able to establish relationships with other organizations and other serious partners. for example, Russia, Iran, and seeing what the new situation will be, because we see that France, the UK, Germany, and other countries are not going to help us anything.  We believe that it is time to be able to ensure ourselves as such, by creating relationships with states that are serious."

Georges Kabuyaya, a university professor and economic researcher in eastern DRC, interviewed by Iran Press, asks Brussels to urgently suspend this agreement so as not to fuel conflicts in the region.

"On a global scale, when it comes to ecological mapping and tradeable products, we have not even identified a single piece of gold or minerals in Rwanda. So why sign an agreement with a country that has absolutely nothing? The European Union is well aware that it may face challenges in pursuing this matter, as the DRC will not stand for it. We have even aligned ourselves with the Congolese president, who has expressed his intention to intervene. I view this agreement as a provocation," he stated.

On the DRC side, concerns are raised about the deepening cooperation between the European Union and Rwanda. Jenny Ntwali, a cooperation expert interviewed by Iran Press, criticized the European Union for signing agreements with Rwanda, accusing them of plundering minerals from the DRC. She emphasized that endorsing such actions is tantamount to supporting theft at the expense of Congolese lives. Ntwali warned that failure to address these concerns seriously could lead to a diplomatic conflict between the DRC and the European Union, potentially resulting in severed diplomatic ties.

The recent burning of European Union flags in Goma, DRC, further underscores the discontent among Congolese citizens regarding Western states' silence on Rwanda's actions in the region. David Yusufu, a young Congolese interviewed by Iran Press, called for the expulsion of the European Union ambassador from Kinshasa, condemning their support for an aggressor against the DRC.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is abundant in natural resources like wood, oil, gas, gold, diamonds, cobalt, and copper, crucial for the energy transition. However, historical resource extraction practices have not benefitted local communities, contributing to governance challenges, insecurity, poverty, and cycles of violence in the country. The DRC holds significant cobalt reserves essential for electrification and decarbonization efforts globally, attracting foreign investment opportunities but also fueling conflicts due to resource exploitation financing armed groups as documented by UN experts and other studies.


Read more:

Thousands of Congolese rush to take Refuge in Goma

UN sets December deadline for peacekeepers to leave Congo