Our Work in the DRC


When Conflict Minerals Campaign started in 2020, we decided that the first thing we should do was to visit the mining areas to see for ourselves what the problems were, and Joel Amani organised this for us, visiting the sites with others, and producing reports on each visit. This work was funded by a grant of £1,000 from Manchester & Warrington Area Quaker Meeting and individual donations. Joel visited three gold mining sites in South Kivu – Luhwindja, Kamituga and Walungu, and five researchers visited a tin mining site in North Kivu. The reports showed that, as well as international companies, there were artisanal miners generally organised into co-operatives, with little equipment and low safety standards, but providing employment for local people, and thus benefiting the local community more than the international companies. There were many conflicts – between companies and artisanal miners, between companies granted mining rights and local people driven off their land to make way for mining; violence caused by various armed militia; conflict between different ethnic groups; between local people and those who moved into the area to work in the mines; Congolese and Rwandans. Regulations were not effectively enforced, which meant that proper tracking of minerals did not happen, and smuggling was rife. There were children working on the mining sites. At Kamituga a collapsed mine had caused the death of 50 artisanal miners.


Joel Amani and George Bani designed a programme of meetings and workshops to develop our work further, and we received funding of £5,000 from a charitable trust which, together with significant amounts of personal donations, funded this work. This started with a launch meeting in March 2022 in Bukavu, the capital city of South Kivu, attended by 30 people representing state services responsible for mines, companies and co-operatives involved in mining, the media, civil society, and international organisations involved in the field. The aim was to arrive at a professional and objective analysis of the problems, and to look for appropriate solution. A detailed report was produced, listing what needs to be done by national and local government, the mining companies and co-operatives, international organisations and the local community. A workshop was held in Ruzizi, Uvira, which identified the need for workshops to increase awareness of mining law, and the need to establish local committees. Meetings were held in mining areas, where people whose voices had not been heard before were pleased to be listened to. Concerns about security, fraud, poverty, lack of equipment, people being driven from their homes to make way for mining were expressed.


George Bani is a Quaker, and publicises CMC in Quaker and other circles. Joel Amani attends meetings of Groupe Thematique Mines, a network of groups interested in mining, of which CMC is a member. He has attended meetings in Kinshasa and Burundi related to mining, and increases our profile by getting to know people such as the Minister responsible for mining in South Kivu. Visits, meetings and networking continue on an ongoing basis

Radio broadcast in the DRC.


George Bani is a Quaker based in Uvira, DRC. He is a very active member of Conflict Minerals Campaign, and one of his activities is to have a half-hour radio programme in Swahili every Sunday to talk about how the people of DRC might benefit from their mineral wealth. In a recent broadcast, George talked about how people and communities can benefit from mineral wealth. He said they need to ensure that mining co-ops and companies respect the mining codes, which involves signing a “Cahier de Charge” with the local people, agreeing to do things to benefit the community, for example by building schools, roads, markets, hospitals etc, and repairing damage caused by mining exploitation.

A scene of flooding in the DRC


Towards the end of 2023, Joel Amani, a human rights lawyer based in Bukavu who is a very active member of CMC, spent time in the mountainous gold-mining area of Luhwindja, to visit mining areas to observe and to interview people involved in or affected by mining; hold a three-day meeting of different parties involved in or affected by mining; and to set up local groups to continue the work and keep us informed. The three day meeting brought together 45 people representing all the stakeholders in the mining sector in Luhwindja: Artisanal mining operators, residents of Luhwindja, civil society (village councils), extractive company (Twangiza Mining) and members of the Chiefdom.

Joel and his colleague were welcomed everywhere, and people were very interested in the work of CMC, particularly as we have an ongoing relationship, while other NGOs come once and then disappear. We gave a mobile phone to one of the new groups, and they are in contact with Joel regularly. He plans to visit again to develop relationships and thinking further.