Democratic Republic of Congo security forces ‘fire on protesting miners’

Activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo say security forces have fired on miners who were protesting against being evicted from a copper and cobalt mine run by the British-Swiss multinational Glencore.

Activists say shots were fired at the miners after they marched to the governor’s office and pillaged shops in the southern town of Kolwezi.

It is unclear whether live rounds or rubber bullets were used.

The illegal miners were forcibly evicted from the Glencore mine after they missed a deadline set by the government for them to leave.

The decision to evict the men came after more than 40 miners were killed in a landslide last month.

Glencore estimates that about 2,000 illegal miners enter the mine every day. In a statement it said that it hoped that security forces would “exercise restraint and operate in accordance with… international human rights standards”.

Activists say evicting them will do nothing to alleviate the poverty that forces people into illegal mining.

The DR Congo produces more than half the world’s cobalt, a key component in batteries for mobile phones and other devices.

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