Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
World News

Congolese gold stolen by the UN? No, this video shows a business transaction in 2020

A video uploaded on May 22, 2023 on Facebook and Twitter claims to prove that gold was allegedly stolen by the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These images show four safes filled with gold nuggets, surrounded by men, in a room where the United Nations logo can be seen. However, they have nothing to do with the UN and were filmed in 2020 during a business transaction in a mining cooperative, two protagonists of the video explained to the Observers.

Verification in a nutshell

  • A post posted on Facebook and Twitter shows a short scene of five men in a room near four safes filled with gold nuggets.
  • On this video, an inscription claims that it is Congolese gold stolen by the UN, present since 1999 in DR Congo.
  • However, these images were filmed in 2020 during a commercial transaction in a mining cooperative, several witnesses present on the video assured us.

The details of the check

In this 52-second video, a man in a burgundy suit plunges his hands into a pile of gold nuggets, arranged in four safes.

“All the products are here, here”, he declares at the 17th second in front of at least five men, three of whom are wearing a sanitary mask and one a flocked bucket hat with the inscription “police”.

“Congolese gold stolen by the UN so-called maintenance of order” (sic), can we read, in white letters affixed to the images.

Screenshots taken from Facebook (left) and Twitter (right) on May 24, 2023 © The Observers

This video with the TikTok logo has been shared more than 1 200 times on Twitter since May 22, 2023, accompanied by the following caption : “This is why the UN refuses to leave Africa”.

AT origin of this post: Maimouna Camaraa figure of pan-African influence followed by more than 540 000 people on Facebook. On his account Facebook, she also published the same publication, shared more than 300 times in three days.

The dissemination of these images is part of a context of persistent distrust of the MONUSCOthere United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congowhich operates a mandate in this territory for the purpose “to support the Government of the DRC in its efforts to stabilize and consolidate peace”, is it written on its site.

Moreover, the Congolese subsoil is indeed full ofgold as well as other strategic minerals, which fuels trafficking and smuggling to neighboring countries.

A video taken in a mining cooperative, in 2020

The editorial staff of France 24 Observers found another occurrence of the video on TikTok, by searching for the name of the account displayed in the images, “laissenousavantr3”.

On May 22, 2023, this account first posted a first version video without skin, then a second version, featuring the inscription “Congolese gold stolen by the so-called UN law enforcement” (sic). This one has been seen more than 230 000 times.

However, no occurrence of this video could be identified from an earlier date.

In order to collect more information on the context of these images, we sought to get in touch with the protagonists of the video, who introduce themselves in turn orally.

With the help of the Congolese coordinator of theNGO Max Impact Safanto Lukedo Bulongo – working in the field in the governance sector related to natural resources -, we were able to certify what the man who appears at the 40th second says : “PCA Comimat SARL”.

AT Following a search by keywords on social networks, these terms refer to the LinkedIn profile of Delphin Maliba, who describes himself as the “founder of the Maendeleo T mining cooperative”, based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Screenshot taken on LinkedIn on May 24, 2023
Screenshot taken on LinkedIn on May 24, 2023 © The Observers

On Twitterit also presents itself as the “President of the Maendeleo Télé (COMIMAT) mining cooperative”.

We contacted him by phone on May 24, 2023. He confirmed that he appeared well in the video and assured that this “was taken in 2020” on the premises of his cooperative.

“We had masks because there was the Covid-19. The subject of the video was simple, the gentleman with the red jacket was representing the buyers who were going to buy the production of our gold mine. He asked that we make a video for the buyer to see the product. We were with the counselor of our cooperative, and with the security guard company that we employ. We hadn’t signed a contract with the company yet, we were just in talks.

The United Nations has never stolen a gram of gold in front of my eyes for me to testify. I don’t want my face to be used to discredit the UN.”

AT At the time, the cooperative’s head office was based in Butembo, in North Kivu. Due to security risks in this province, the company temporarily stopped its activities and mobilized part of its teams further north in the country, in Biakutu.

This was confirmed to us by the lawyer of the cooperative, Master lawyer Joseph Kandolo Assani, who also appears on the video according to Delphin Maliba.

Through the latter, we contacted the lawyer by telephone on May 25, 2023. He also assured that “this video is three years old” and that it was filmed when a man “came to see the products of the cooperative to present them to its buyers and asked that they be filmed.”

As for the presence of the United Nations logo affixed to a trunk, in the background of the video, our two interlocutors indicate that it is a box of equipment distributed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the main international development assistance agency of the United Nations.

Screenshot taken on Facebook on May 25, 2023 / Red box added by France 24 Observers
Screenshot taken on Facebook on May 25, 2023 / Red box added by France 24 Observers © The Observers

“These are local boxes in which there was equipment”, specifies Delphin Maliba.

“The UNDP often distributes notebooks, school supplies, etc. to artisanal gold miners and their families,” adds Joseph Kandolo Assani.

A persistent feeling of hostility towards Monusco

The messages that accompany the video try to make believe in a “theft of Congolese gold” by the UN at a time when the The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo faces a feeling of rejection from many Congolese.

“There is a real lack of love for Monusco”, explains Guillaume de Brier, researcher specializing in the analysis of conflicts and natural resources in Africa at theInternational Peace Information Service (IPIS) contacted on May 25, 2023 by the France 24 Observers.

“Even though most peacekeepers are Pakistani and Bangladeshi, the UN is seen as the West. It is perceived as being an interference or even a colonial presence”, adds the researcher. “This video was probably broadcast to discredit the UN and Monusco, which is extremely unloved. It has been present in the territory for years and the Congolese say that it does not act, that there are still armed groups, that it does nothing against the M23 [groupe armé qui a pris de nombreux territoires au Nord-Kivu depuis le printemps 2022, NDLR]”.

The DR Congo is the scene of fierce fighting between the army and a multitude of rebel groups, mainly in the east of the country.

France 24-Trans

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button