Up to 20 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo depend on the illegal mining minerals as their sole source of income, according to intelligence agencies.
80 percent of the minerals in the DR Congo are smuggled out of the country into Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Diamonds, gold an tantalum are smuggled out and eventually ends up on the international market.
Security experts state that the black market income from these minerals are used to purchase firearms and weapons.
Source: Mark Klusener, “Illicit mineral smuggling costs DRC millions of dollars,” eNCA, October 25, 2013.