Democratic Republic of Congo – Law firm ENS warns that a new law signed into effect by President Joseph Kabila on March 2, 2015, which increases the number of provinces in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 11 to 26 provinces, may raise taxation and civil-war risks in the mining province of Katanga, best known for its rich copper deposits.

This territorial ‘découpage’, or cut up, was agreed in the 2006 constitution as part of a decentralisation drive.

Only the provinces of Kinshasa, Bas-Congo (now renamed Kongo-Central), North Kivu, South Kivu, and Maniema remain unchanged, while Kasai, Kasai-Occidental, Bandundu, Orientale, Equateur, and Katanga have been split up.

The measure is facing resistance in Katanga, where the découpage will greatly reduce tax revenues from mining to local elites.

The implementation, without any earmarked budget, has been described by local newspaper La Tempête des Tropiques as an attempt by Kabila to curb the power of Katangan elites.

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