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Congo defends Chinese mining companies

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June 22, 2013 08:58 PM EST | AP

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GOMA, Congo — Congo's information minister described a recently published Amnesty International report on working conditions in the country's mines as "unfairly targeting" Chinese companies.

In a media briefing Saturday, Minister Lambert Mende said the government had taken note of the serious accusations in the report and was concerned about conditions for miners, but he questioned why Chinese firms had been singled out for criticism.

He said: "Mining companies in Katanga (the Congo's copper belt province) are of 30 different nationalities, and none of them offer their employees and clients different conditions to the Chinese companies."

The Amnesty report details three case studies including two directly involving Chinese companies. The latter cases involved the forced eviction of 300 families and a confrontation with police in which a protestor was shot dead.