Report: Why Gold Threatens Ivory Coast's Peace

Nestled among the cocoa plantations of western Ivory Coast is a gold mine that does not feature on any official maps. It is not run by an industrial mining company, nor does it pay taxes to the central government. The unlicensed mine is a key part of a lucrative business empire headed by the deputy commander of the West African nation's elite Republican Guard, United Nations investigators allege. He is one of the principal players in a network of senior officers – former rebel commanders who have integrated into the Ivorian army – that has seized control of mines that generate tens of millions of dollars a year, and that engages in illegal taxation, smuggling and racketeering.



wochit_news