South Kivu : Mining Explosion Reveals 147 Illegal Chinese Companies, Governor Jean-Jacques Purusi Expresses Frustration

In South Kivu province, a troubling revelation has been made by the new governor, Jean-Jacques Purusi, regarding the illicit presence of no fewer than 147 Chinese mining companies. These entities are operating clandestinely in the territories of Fizi, Mwenga, and Shabunda, exploiting mineral resources without adhering to national laws or required permits.

During his inaugural address to provincial lawmakers last week, Jean-Jacques Purusi shed light on this critical situation, stating that most of these companies hold expired licenses dating back several years, some as far back as 2013. Despite this, they continue to produce significant quantities of minerals, primarily gold, without any oversight or traceability.

The consequences of these illegal operations are devastating. Not only do they deprive the Congolese state of crucial revenues, but they also contribute to the economic and social instability of the province. Governor Purusi highlighted that some of these companies had been temporarily shut down by provincial authorities in the past, only to mysteriously resume operations.

In response to this situation, the Chinese government has been called upon, but responses thus far have been inadequate. Jean-Jacques Purusi expressed frustration at the lack of cooperation from the Chinese embassy in Kinshasa, noting that many of these companies are not even recognized by their own national authorities. He also recounted the unsuccessful efforts of previous legislatures to investigate this issue, underscoring a lack of concrete results.

In addressing this crisis, the governor announced a rigorous audit of all mining companies in the province, aimed at establishing accountability and recovering misappropriated resources. He called for increased support from the local population and national authorities to halt this illegal exploitation, which undermines the economic potential of South Kivu.

In a direct appeal to Kinshasa authorities, Jean-Jacques Purusi urged immediate and decisive action to resolve this critical situation, which threatens the stability and development of the region. He emphasized the urgency of acting before the economic and social damages become irreparable, stating that only swift and coordinated intervention could restore order and legality to South Kivu’s mining sector.

The local population, already affected by decades of conflict and unrest, hopes that the measures announced by the governor will lead to tangible results, ensuring a more stable and prosperous future for the region.

By Franck Zongwe Lukama

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