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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 18:58 GMT
DR Congo sacks diamond mine heads
Diamond dealers in DR Congo
Diamonds are a thriving industry in DR Congo

President Joseph Kabila has dismissed the management committee of the Democratic Republic of Congo's state diamond mining company, Miba.

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila
The Congolese Government has denied the UN allegations
The head of Miba, Jean-Charles Okoto, and the other members of the board were sacked on Saturday, state television announced.

The decree comes two weeks after the publication of a United Nations report which accused senior Congolese officials of plundering the country's mineral wealth during its four-year war.

The report alleged the board and senior members of the Congolese Government funnelled billions of dollars of state assets into the hands of private companies.

It also alleged that these companies are owned by a network of Congolese officials, foreign businessmen and senior members of Zimbabwe's Government and army.

Allegations denied

Furthermore, the report claimed that the managers of Miba's largest diamond mine, and the Zimbabwean soldiers guarding it, had organised the theft of up to $25m in gems a year.

Zimbabwe has sent thousands of troops to DR Congo to support the government there during its four-year war against Rwandan and Ugandan backed rebels.

However, it said it pulled the last of its troops out of the country on Thursday.

The Congolese Government and Miba have denied all allegations made in the UN report and spokesman Kikaya Bin Karubi said the dismissal of the board had nothing to do with its publication.


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