News / Africa

Great Lakes Regional Summit to Focus on Congo Resource Exploitation

Zambian information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha says the summit will consider the problem of illicit trade in minerals from DRC

Refugees in DRC
Refugees in DRC

Multimedia

Audio
  • Zambian information minister Shikapwasha spoke with Butty

James Butty

Eleven heads of state and government are to meet Wednesday in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, at a Great Lakes regional summit to look at the problem of illegal exploitation of natural resources in eastern Congo and the negative consequences they say this has had for the region.

Zambian Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha told VOA the region had long been concerned about illegal mining.

“Specifically, all the Great Lakes region countries are discussing the amount of the illegal mining of minerals in Congo and that’s (the) main subject of this meeting,” he said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the largest countries in Africa, shares borders with nine other countries, including Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

A report earlier this year by Global Witness, a U.K.-based advocacy group, charged that Great Lakes regional governments were not doing enough to stop the trade in illegally-exploited minerals, which human rights groups say is fueling the conflict in eastern Congo.

DRC refugees
DRC refugees

Shikapwasha said the summit is expected to consider a number of suggestions to control the trade in illegal minerals, including a regional certification process.

“The agreement that will come out of the meeting will definitely help to move the process of peace in Congo and the neighboring countries (forward). This will help because there is need for a yardstick by which to monitor the Great Lakes countries in order to ensure that Congo remains peaceful,” Shikapwasha said.

Pre-summit news was dominated by Zambia’s decision to invite Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Shikapwasha said Mr. Bashir has decided not to attend the Lusaka meeting.

The Zambian government said last week it would not arrest and surrender President Bashir to the ICC if he came to the meeting.

Shikapwasha said the Zambian government will abide by the decision of the African Union not to arrest the Sudanese leader.

“The State House made a statement that was very categorically clear on the position of Zambia, in that regard. On our part, as Zambians, we consult with everybody else in order to ensure that the position of the African Union, as well as the international community, is agreed upon in order for us to move ahead with agenda. But, we do not see that President Bashir is coming,” Shikapwasha said

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs