The reason behind North Korea’s foray into central Africa
Since gaining independence from Belgium, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been chronically unstable and has been rocked by numerous coups and civil wars. DRC has always been a strategic country and as a result foreign powers have backed various actors throughout the years. However, according to a recent report, North Korea has joined the fray and provided the DRC government with arms and training for their troops. This, however, is illegal as the UN Security Council has placed an arms embargo that bans the export and import of weapons and military services to and from North Korea. This seemingly random and rather unusual scenario deserves an explanation.
DRC has been a strategic country since colonial times and has been valued by foreign powers for its abundant natural resources. DRC is abundant in resources like timber, diamonds, and tin. In recent years, DRC has also gained attention for its coltan resources. Coltan is a metal that is valued for its ability to old an electrical charge. As a result, this metal is used in almost all consumer electronics like smartphones, laptops, and videogame systems. This has made coltan a strategic resource in today’s economy. This resource is scarce and as a result, demand for this metal has caused its price to spike.