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DRC case studies - Bitale

Part of three case studies highlighting multistakeholder solutions found by the Voluntary Principles Working Group based in South Kivu between 2019 and 2020 in:

- Bitale - Insecurity was increased in Bitale after mining cooperatives hired elements of the FARDC to defend their claims, forcing public authorities to suspend mining operations. The provincial court in Bukavu was unable to settle the dispute. The Working Group was however able to facilitate a resolution by conducting a fact-finding mission and obtaining an independent understanding of the situation. It followed up with the commanding General and advocated for the withdrawal of the troops illegally stationing on the mining site and adjacent town. The WG monitored the subsequent withdrawal and mediated a mutually acceptable agreement between the two cooperatives.

The WG intervention led to the withdrawal of the elements from the military. The negotiated agreement between mining actors prevented further human rights violations and allowed artisanal and small-scale extraction to resume.

Image: @Della Valle 2020