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In October 2002, a United Nations Panel of Experts accused 85 OECD-based companies of violating the Guidelines for their direct or indirect roles in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Panel alleged that “elite networks” of political and military elites and businesspersons fueled the conflict in order to retain their control over the country’s vast natural resources. The Panel accused Alex Stewart (Assayers) Ltd. of acting as an assayer for Eagle Wings Resources International, a company that according to the Panel was trading in coltan from Rwanda-controlled eastern DRC. The Panel stated that EWRI received privileged access to coltan sites and captive labour, because of its close ties to the Rwandan military (see: FoE US & RAID vs. Trinitech).
The cases against Alex Stewart (Assayers) Ltd was blocked by the UK NCP. The UK NCP claimed that the case was resolved by the UN Panel and could not be reopened. Due to the NCP’s inaction, RAID withdrew the complaint.
OECD Watch case story page: http://oecdwatch.org/cases/Case_43