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Exclusive – Dan Gertler: ‘Everyone was afraid of the Congo, but not me’

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This article is part of the dossier:

Dan Gertler: God, the Congo, and him

By Romain Gras, Mathieu Olivier, Special correspondent in Tel-Aviv

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Posted on August 23, 2022 13:31

When did the Israeli businessman set his sights on the DRC? How did he meet Joseph Kabila? What role did he play in the country’s political development? With the help of unpublished documents and an exclusive interview, we delve deep into the mystery of this copper, cobalt and diamond magnate.

This is part 1 of a 4-part series

It all started with a cup of coffee on a Parisian terrace. One of those allongés that you order to prolong the pleasures of discussion. The conversation was not about Dan Gertler. Our interlocutor, a jack-of-all-trades in African affairs, had invited us to discuss another project. The name of the Israeli billionaire did not come up until an hour later. At the beginning of 2020, Gertler was placed under sanctions for two years by the US. Reportedly close to Joseph Kabila, he has recently had to deal with Félix Tshisekedi’s government.

The man only speaks to the press once a decade. His confidants are told to keep quiet, and he prefers the company of rabbis to that of socialites, the atmosphere of synagogues to that of press rooms. Therefore, when our interlocutor mentioned the possibility of meeting the mysterious Israeli, we nodded enthusiastically.

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