The eastern DRC is notoriously unstable with rival militia scrambling over mineral resources but the arrest last week of rebel General Laurent Nkunda suddenly enhanced the prospects of Kinshasa finally exerting military and administrative control over the lawless region.

Also actively claiming rights in the region is Irish explorer Tullow Oil, which over the last few months has been fighting to recover rights to the Albertine Graben after its deal was called into question by senior factions within the Kinshasa bureaucracy wishing to replace the company.