The mineral richness of the DRC is no longer to be proven, especially in the provinces of North and South Kivu, where there are large deposits of cassiterite, coltan and gold.
Coltan and cassiterite are particularly sought after in the electronics industry because they are necessary for the manufacture of mobile phones, computers and printed circuits.
Recently, there has been a growing attention from the international community and the civil society for the exploitation of natural resources as vectors of violence, especially in eastern DRC.
With the agreement signed between Kinshasa and the CNDP, the main security problem in eastern DRC remains the presence of the FDLR (Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda). Despite the joint initiative between the DRC and Rwanda ("Umoja wetu") and the current operation Kimia II aiming to disarm and fight the FDLR in the Kivu provinces, the movement remains active and still terrorizes local populations.
Understanding the main motivations of the FDLR could give way to some potential solutions to neutralize the FDLR and then reduce much of the insecurity and violence prevailing in the Kivu provinces.
Through the analysis of their political claims, combat strategies and locations as well as their economic activities, this report will try to determine the extent to which the exploitation of natural resources is the real motivation of the FDLR in eastern DRC. This report will try to explain how the FDLR take advantage of these resources and the potential role played directly or indirectly by foreign companies involved in that trade which contributes to the perpetuation of violence in this region.