Middle East

UN experts: Rebels, criminals, some army exploit Congo gold

Experts monitoring sanctions against Congo say some army officers, rebel groups and criminal networks are still illegally exploiting the country's gold and mineral riches despite government and military bans.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council, the panel of experts says gold remains by far the mineral most used to finance rebel and criminal groups. It names several senior officers implicated in gold exploitation and trade, "on occasion in collaboration with private companies."

The report circulated Monday says a gold-tracing program has not yet become operational and efforts for the government to control its natural resources are impeded by "the impunity enjoyed by wrongdoers," corruption by a wide range of parties, and loopholes in implementing bans and monitoring.

It documents violations of human rights and an arms embargo.