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Anvil Mining lawsuit (re complicity in Dem. Rep. of Congo, filed with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights)

Status: CLOSED

Incident date
Nov. 1, 2010
Date accuracy
Year and Month Correct
Location of Filing: Gambia
Location of Incident: Congo (the Democratic Republic of the)
Type of Litigation: International body
Company: Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals)
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: Australia


Snapshot: A 2004 armed attack resulted in several lawsuits and investigations occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, and Canada against Anvil Mining for alleged complicity in human rights abuses. All cases were dismissed in favor of Anvil Mining, except for a complaint before the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, which ordered the Democratic Republic of Congo to "prosecute and punish" Anvil Mining. This case profile looks at proceedings before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Pour la version en français, cliquez ici.

In October 2004, the town of Kilwa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was the site of fighting between the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and a small group of rebels.  The armed forces launched an attack to take control of the town following a short occupation by the rebels,  committing serious human rights abuses against civilians, including summary executions, arbitrary arrest, rape, and torture. Witnesses alleged that Anvil Mining, who operated the Dikulushi copper mine nearby, provided transportation (planes and vehicles) to the Congolese Armed Forces during this event. Anvil Mining denied allegations.

Complaint before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

In November 2010, three NGOs brought a complaint to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on behalf of eight of the victims.  In June 2017, the Commission found the DRC Government responsible for the Kilwa massacre and demanded that victims be awarded $2.5 million as compensation.  It also called on the government to "prosecute and punish" Anvil Mining staff who helped the army.

Case Timeline