Renegade Congolese general Ntaganda made fortune from mining: report

Bosco Ntaganda, a fugitive UN war crimes suspect who recently defected from the army and is believed to be behind Democratic Republic of Congo’s most recent rebellion, is apparently bankrolling the operation with war money he made while controlling the country’s lucrative mines, publishes Global Witness.

In its report, the international watchdog group links Congo’s illicit mining trade with its history of conflict, adding that Ntaganda used his position inside the military to control mines producing cassiterite and tin in eastern Congo, building “a business empire.”

“Global Witness believes it is highly likely that proceeds from the general’s racketeering are being used to finance the current fighting,” reads the release.

“This latest upheaval may put a dent in the confidence of international buyers considering sourcing ores” from eastern Congo, Global Witness adds. “This, needless to say, would have negative implications for the nascent efforts to establish a trade in conflict-free minerals.”

Ntaganda has been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006. He is accused of recruiting child soldiers, which he denied. He has also refused claims that connect him to last month's army mutiny in eastern DR Congo and said he had no fighters with him.

According to United Nations reports from 2010 and 2011, Ntaganda has controlled many of the area’s smuggling networks in recent years.