Current status
No resolution


The residents of Kawama village on the outskirts of Lubumbashi in the DRC, close to the Luiswishi mine operated by the Compagnie minière du Sud Katanga (CMSK), were seeking compensation after their homes were unlawfully demolished by the CMSK in November 2009. CMSK is a joint venture between the Entreprise Générale Malta Forrest (EGMF) and the state-owned mining company, La Générale des carrières et des mines (Gecamines). EGMF, a subsidiary of George Forrest International (GFI), has a 60% shareholding in the Luiswishi mine. In September 2012 the Forrest Group announced that it had sold its shares in CMSK.

The complaint to the Belgian NCP alleged that the demolitions, which had been undertaken ostensibly to prevent artisanal miners from stealing CMSK minerals, negatively affected long-term residents. CMSK and the Congolese authorities failed to conduct a full inquiry into the incident and did not engage in negotiations with representatives of the affected community in order to reach a settlement. In April 2012, given the stalemate, the NGOs filed a complaint with the Belgian NCP. They asked the NCP to examine GFIs alleged responsibility for the human rights violations and to use its good offices to bring a satisfactory and fair resolution to the long-running dispute. Despite the fact that the company’s employees and bulldozers were involved in the demolitions, GFI denied all responsibility and stated that this was a standard government operation.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


Despite rejecting the case, the Belgian NCP undertook mediation. However, there were no agreed terms of reference and the Belgian NCP, far from being neutral, took unilateral decisions about the scope of the discussions and the nature of the remedial action that might be considered. The NCP in its final statement expressed its inability to make a judgment on the legal liability of the company for the demolitions and related human rights abuses when all that was expected and required under the Procedural Guidance was for it to determine whether the company had complied with the Guidelines.

The formal outcome whereby the company offered “as a goodwill gesture” to make some improvements to the water provision in Kawama and refurbished a mother and baby clinic did not address the key issue. But as the complainants (and the villagers they represented) noted this gesture not provide a remedy for those who had been left homeless as a result of the demolitions. Informal arrangements were later made to get a victim who had been shot by mine police operated on two years after the case closed. A bullet lodged near his spine was successfully removed. Those who lost their homes have still not been compensated.

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