How ‘blood mineral’ traders in Rwanda are helping fund Congo rebels – and undermining global supply chains

New evidence from a United Nations report and a high-profileinvestor arbitration case is casting a spotlight on Rwanda’s role in sophisticated smuggling networks that extract gold and coltan from Congolese conflict zones and funnel the strategically important minerals illicitly into the global supply chain for consumer products such as cellphones, computers and jewellery.

Continue reading “How ‘blood mineral’ traders in Rwanda are helping fund Congo rebels – and undermining global supply chains”

‘Conflict minerals’ funding deadly violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo as EU plans laws to clean up trade

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Brutal militias are preying on miners to fund fighting in the country

Frederic Gautier has been thinking a lot about death recently. The miner, from South Kivu, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), thought about it as he cowered under his bed to escape a deadly ambush at his mine. The thought returned when he was subsequently captured by armed men and forced to carry stolen minerals on his back through the forest.

Continue reading “‘Conflict minerals’ funding deadly violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo as EU plans laws to clean up trade”

RD Congo : Le massacre d’un peuple pour le “bonheur” du monde

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Par Boniface Musavuli

« Le monde est dangereux à vivre, non pas tant à cause de ceux qui font le mal, mais à cause de ceux qui regardent et laissent faire » disait Albert Einstein. La phrase résonne comme une prophétie ayant trouvé sa réalisation dans le destin d’un peuple, d’un pays : la République démocratique du Congo. Ici des souffrances indicibles sont infligées à des millions d’innocents depuis deux décennies dans un silence assourdissant des grands médias et des principaux décideurs politiques du monde. Un silence qui en rappelle un autre, il y a un peu plus d’un siècle. Entre 1885 et 1907, les Congolais furent l’objet d’un effroyable massacre à grande échelle, à l’instigation du roi des Belges de l’époque, Léopold II. L’enjeu, c’était le caoutchouc, indispensable à la fabrication des pneus. Aujourd’hui, l’enjeu s’appelle « coltan », « minerai de sang », indispensable à la fabrication de nos téléphones portables. Ainsi, sur une période d’un peu plus d’un siècle, un même peuple, les Congolais, aura subi, dans le silence de la communauté internationale, deux massacres à grande échelle (plusieurs millions de morts chacun), assimilables au crime de génocide. Dès lors, le peu d’espoir, pour Continue reading “RD Congo : Le massacre d’un peuple pour le “bonheur” du monde”

‘Everyone has a little bit of Congo in their pocket’

Carolyn Duran, the leader of Intel’s drive for conflict-free chips, tells Matthew Sparkes how slavery and rape is commonplace in the Congolese mines producing raw ingredients for your gadgets

Carolyn Duran
Carolyn Duran, the conflict minerals program manager and supply chain director at Intel

A tiny portion of the price you paid for your smartphone, tablet or laptop could have been funneled to warlords in the Congo, lengthening a war that has already cost six million deaths – the deadliest conflict since WWII. It could also have led to slavery and systematic rape.

The central African nation’s population of 75m has endured decades of fighting. Officially, the Second Congo War is over, but conflict rages to this day – and control of mineral wealth is at its very centre.

Continue reading “‘Everyone has a little bit of Congo in their pocket’”

Apple plans to cease using conflict minerals

Supplies of cobalt, tin and gold will follow tantalum in being sourced only from conflict-free smelters

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Apple plans to cease using conflict minerals, the company has announced in its annual supplier responsibility report.

As of the end of January, Apple’s entire supply of tantalum, a rare metal used extensively in the production of capacitors, is provided by smelters verified as conflict-free. The move was announced in Apple’s supplier responsibility report, the eighth edition of which was Continue reading “Apple plans to cease using conflict minerals”

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