Africa’s Great Lakes region has, for decades, been affected by conflict and political instability. Evidence confirms that the illicit exploitation and trade of natural resources remain one of the main causes of this instability.
Poaching and other widlife-related crimes geenerate financing for conflicts in countries like DRC
Countries in the Great Lakes region has agreed on measure
to curb the illicit trade and exploitation in the region’s natural resources.
two-day high level meeting in Khartoum Sudan said negatives forces are using financing
from wildlife trafficking and illicit exploitation of resources to fuel
The workshop hosted by the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations
Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region had participants from 12countries
Other countries included Angola, Burundi, Central African
Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda,
South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia.
workshop themed “Taking Collective Actions to Achieve Peace and Development
Integration in Africa’s Great Lakes region”
There is growing concern within the
region about illicit financial flows related to wildlife and natural resources
like timber and minerals.
Great Lakes region has, for decades, been affected by conflict and political
Evidence confirms that the illicit
exploitation and trade of natural resources remain one of the main causes of
illegal mining and smuggling of high-value minerals known as the 3Ts, i.e.,
tantalum ore (coltan), tin ore (cassiterite), and tungsten ore (wolframite), as
well as gold, contribute to financing armed groups and sustaining criminal
networks, thus fueling conflict, and exacerbating tension among States.
Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, João
Samuel Caholo said the governments had demonstrated political leadership by
adopting the Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural
Resources in 2010 in Lusaka, Zambia.
initiative was intended to break the link between mineral resources and
financing of negative forces.
said there is a need to cascade this political goodwill to expedite the
implementation of the Regional Initiative.
a region, we need to take stock of the progress and challenges in the
implementation of the Regional Initiative on Natural Resources and seek
sustainable regional solutions for the advancement of the Pact for Security,
Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region,” he added.
Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Huang Xia said
the region should seize the recent
momentum towards enhanced cooperation to accelerate the successful
implementation of the ICGLR Regional Initiative against the Illicit
Exploitation of Natural Resources.
To achieve this, a holistic approach is required that involves all stakeholders
along the value chain – upstream and downstream - with the common objective of
strengthening compliance with regional and international standards.” Said Xia
the Great Lakes region has witnessed an increase in high-level diplomacy and efforts
to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation.
at the Khartoum workshop on Thursday called for strengthening the
implementation of the ICGLR Regional Initiative against the Illegal
Exploitation of Natural Resources.
proposed that the ICGLR Executive Secretariat and the Office of the Special
Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region undertake high-level
political advocacy with a view to enhancing ownership of the Regional
Initiative on Natural Resources (RINR) and to raise awareness among transit and
destination countries of their contribution to these ongoing efforts.
was also placed on strengthening the fight against impunity of natural