Congolese authorities are investigating United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo officials over trying to illegally export minerals.
The U.N. mission in the DR.Congo says it is cooperating with authorities and launching its own internal investigation.
Officials in Congo say they stopped the driver as he tried to cross the border into Rwanda with over 1,200 kilograms of suspected minerals hidden in a U.N. jeep who sped off but fortunately lost control and overturned.
Congolese prosecutors say they opened preliminary investigations in the provincial capital, Goma, on Monday.
Meanwhile, UN officials have since noted that the driver did not have a valid explanation for having a U.N. vehicle in his possession at that hour of the night.
UN officials allege that U.N. mission works to prevent trafficking in the DRC and will not tolerate this kind of activity.
The UN further stated that they are cooperating with Congolese authorities but have also opened an internal investigation of what appears to be a breach of U.N. ethics and regulations.
Meanwhile, we’ve learnt that however much the driver was held accountable, formal charges have not been filed.
Local reports further note that U.N. vehicles are not routinely inspected at border crossings which have put UN on spot for smuggling Congolese minerals out of the country.
Eastern Congo is rich in copper, cobalt, cassiterite and other important minerals. The government and various rebel and militia groups have fought for control of the mines and the money they produce since the mid-1990s.
The conflict has brought much misery to the local population, which is often caught up in the violence. Locals have complained in the past that the U.N. mission does not do enough to protect them.
We shall keep you posted!