Human Rights Watch says armed groups in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo have committed massive rights abuses against civilians in their pursuit of gold.
In a new report issued Wednesday, it says militia groups use the profits from gold to buy weapons and to fund their activities.
According to the report, violence between armed groups for control of the northeastern gold mining town of Mongbwalu left at least 2,000 civilians dead between 2002 and 2004.
Human Rights Watch also accuses an international mining company, AngloGold Ashanti, of providing financial and logistical support to one armed group in the region.
The report says the company admitted paying the group, but said only one payment was made under what it called "protest and duress."