The Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Zambia, the main export route for the country’s copper, re-opened this morning after a 24-hour shutdown prompted by clashes between residents and security forces.
“Trucks have started to cross the border again this morning,” Eric Monga, a
spokesman for the Chamber of Mines in the southeastern Haut Katanga
province, said by phone on Saturday.
The border was closed all day Friday after riots in the Congolese border
town of Kasumbalesa left at least three dead. The violence, in which
vehicles and government buildings were burned, started after a money
changer was killed by criminals late Thursday, according to government
spokesman Lambert Mende. Local residents clashed with security forces,
protesting what they said was “a failure of the police to protect the
population,” Mende said by phone from the capital, Kinshasa, on Friday.
Congo is Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of
cobalt, almost all of which is exported via the Kasumbalesa border post.
The Central African nation produced 489,207 metric tons of copper and
29,152 tons of cobalt in the first six months of this year.