The Intermediaries: Traders who Threaten the Democratic Republic of Congo's Efforts for Conflict-free Gold

This report examines the illicit gold trade in the DRC and some of the drivers preventing traceability and due diligence systems from being sustainable and scalable. The report focuses on logistical and financial mechanisms, as well as patterns of the illicit gold trade in the eastern DRC provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu. It also explores the conditions that enable illicit trade to continue. The United Nations Group of Experts on the DRC (UN Group of Experts) has said that most of the country’s gold is being smuggled out. The Group estimates that in 2013, as much as 98 percent of the country’s gold left the country undeclared. Reports have also extensively documented how DRC-based armed groups and criminal networks profit from the mineral.3 The international and regional community have stepped up to support efforts to sever links between gold, human rights violations, and conflict.