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DR Congo signs nuclear proliferation deal with US

by Staff Writers
Kinshasa (AFP) Dec 21, 2010
The United States and Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday signed an agreement to prevent trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials, the US embassy said.

The deal comes after a November UN report revealed that a group of Rwandan rebels in the east of the country attempted to sell six containers of uranium which dated back to the days of Belgian colonial rule.

The agreement highlights Washington's commitment to helping DR Congo effectively deal with proliferation of nuclear materials, the US embassy said in a statement.

The United States has signed similar deals with Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, the statement said.

The uranium discovered by UN experts came from the country's only uranium mine in Shinkolobwe, Katanga province, which closed in 1960.

Uranium from Shinkolobwe was sold to the United States by Belgium in 1943 and used in the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

DR Congo and French nuclear giant Areva agreed a deal to develop uranium mining in March last year.

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