During the period under review, the security and humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo did not improve. The Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo noted two major factors of concern: peacekeepers across the country faced serious attacks and armed actors continuously used the delay in the electoral process to promote acts of violence.
Armed groups continued to pose a threat to peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nduma défense du Congo-Rénové (NDC-R), led by sanctioned individual Shimiray Mwissa Guidon, increased its area of influence, recruited child soldiers and had some forms of collaboration with elements of the Forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the national army. Foreign and local armed groups, such as the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda and Nyatura, continued to be interconnected in North Kivu Province.
With regard to natural resources and finance, armed groups and criminal networks, including national security officers, continued to use gold and taxation as sources of illegal revenue. The Group noted that, in Bunia and Bukavu, gold sourced in high-risk and conflict areas was exported illegally to Uganda and Rwanda. Smuggling activities in the tin, tantalum and tungsten sector continued to represent an obstacle to the successful implementation of due diligence measures.
In Beni and Djugu territories, civilians faced serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law involving killings and internal displacement. The Group was not able to determine the main perpetrators of these violations.
Several countries failed to notify the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo regarding deliveries of arms and materiel in 2017 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Group noted that FARDC stocks continued to represent the main source of supply of weapons and ammunition for armed groups.