DR Congo to Recover $2billion from Israeli Group

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo is set to recover $2 billion in mining and oil assets from Dan Gertler, an Israeli investor with interests in that country. Minutes of a cabinet meeting headed by DRC President Felix Tshisekedi over the weekend said a commission set up to negotiate recovery of Congo’s assets had reached an agreement with the Gertler owned Fleurette Group. This was made by the DR Congo minister of post and telecommunications, Augustin Kibassa, who read it on a nationwide broadcast. The $2billion are part of royalties due to the country through the Kamoto Copper Company which was previously ceded to the group.

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Gartler was an unpopular figure in DR Congo as a result of his relationship with former president Joseph Kabila. Since his arrival in the country to deal in diamonds during the late 1990s, he had built a friendship with the younger Kabila whose father was head of state from 1997 until his assassination in 2001. Gertler has been accused by DRC’s government and NGO’s such as Congo is Not for Sale who say the country would continue losing billions of dollars in illegally converted assets by Gertler and his companies and hails this development as the first step in recovering all of the monies due to DR Congo.

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In 2017, the United States placed sanctions on Gertler and thirty of his businesses, accusing him of securing the deals through corrupt means in collusion with Kabila. During Kabila’s presidency, Gertler’s business interests included copper, iron, and diamond. President Tshisekedi has vowed to recover all DRC’s assets from Gertler’s group, including two oil blocks on the Uganda-DRC border. In addition to his own companies, Gertler also has partnerships with Glencore Plc and Eurasian Resources Group Sarl for copper and cobalt projects in the country.

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