Eastern Congo

Chanting 'Yole' ("All Together") And Making It Real In Congo

The combination of years of conflict, natural disasters, and resource-rich land that is at once a boon and a driver of violence might lead one to believe that this region of Congo is cursed.

Companies Pledge to Avoid ‘Dirty’ Gold - The New York Times

Date: 
Dec 1, 2009
Author: 
SINDYA BHANOO

Several major jewelry retailers, including Sears, Kmart and Blue Nile made a pledge last week to sell gold that has been mined and produced through humane, eco-friendly methods.
The companies all signed the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules for sourcing gold, organized by Earthworks, a nonprofit organization.

Unlike in the diamond industry, no formal certification process exists to ensure conflict-free gold. Earthworks hopes that the No Dirty Gold coalition will help fuel the creation of such a system that “assures consumers and retailers that the gold they are buying has been produced in ways that minimize harm to people or the environment.”

On average, the production of one gold ring results in 20 tons of mine waste, according to Earthworks. Mining has also been directly linked to human rights violations, forest destruction and toxic pollution.

Continue reading here.

U.N. Renews Congo Sanctions Despite Misgivings - The Wall Street Journal

Date: 
Dec 1, 2009
Author: 
JOE LAURIA

 

UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council on Monday renewed sanctions against rebel groups in eastern Congo, despite a U.N. report that said the measures had so far failed to stop exports of gold and other minerals that have financed a decadelong war there in which millions of civilians have been killed.

Monday's resolution asks U.N. member nations to "ensure importers, processing industries and consumers of Congolese mineral products under their jurisdiction exercise due diligence on their suppliers and on the origin of the minerals they purchase."

The resolution doesn't mention any companies or countries, but the U.N. experts' report, which is to be released in the next few weeks, does. The report, which was reviewed by news organizations including The Wall Street Journal, blames Uganda, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates for running a trading network of smuggled gold and other minerals.

Continue reading here.

 

UN Sanctions On Congo Renewed: Will They Be Applied?

Yesterday the U.N. Security Council renewed the arms embargo and associated sanctions for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and further expanded the remit of the Group of Experts. This is all well and good, but is hardly the sort of strong action that ought to follow from the damning evidence provided to the Security Council in the latest U.N. Experts report, as well as its many predecessors.  Read More »

"Congo Gold" airing on CBS's 60 Minutes - Examiner

Date: 
Nov 25, 2009
Author: 
Thomas Armstrong

On Sunday, November 29th, CBS will air a feature entitled "Congo Gold" on it's 60 Minutes program. Congo Gold will follow renowned human rights advocate John Prendergast to the Democratic Republic of Congo and document the link between gold mining and the war atrocities that have taken the lives of over four million people.

Prendergast wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe on August 1, detailing part of his journey:

"Being held at gunpoint by 30 drunk and angry militia in the middle of the night on a deserted road in one of the most dangerous war zones in the world was not our plan when we started out the day. But my traveling companions and I were digging into the links between the illicit mining of Congo's "conflict minerals'' and a deadly war, and we didn't expect a walk in the park. We had visited a gold mine contested by some particularly vengeful armed groups, and this militia had lost out in controlling the mine and wasn't happy about the result. After hours of negotiations, guns poked into ribs, and death threats, we emerged relatively unscathed and $1,000 poorer. Congolese civilians, however, are rarely so fortunate."

Continue reading here.

"Congo Gold" airing on CBS's 60 Minutes - Examiner

Date: 
Nov 25, 2009
Author: 
Thomas Armstrong

On Sunday, November 29th, CBS will air a feature entitled "Congo Gold" on it's 60 Minutes program. Congo Gold will follow renowned human rights advocate John Prendergast to the Democratic Republic of Congo and document the link between gold mining and the war atrocities that have taken the lives of over four million people.

Prendergast wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe on August 1, detailing part of his journey:

"Being held at gunpoint by 30 drunk and angry militia in the middle of the night on a deserted road in one of the most dangerous war zones in the world was not our plan when we started out the day. But my traveling companions and I were digging into the links between the illicit mining of Congo's "conflict minerals'' and a deadly war, and we didn't expect a walk in the park. We had visited a gold mine contested by some particularly vengeful armed groups, and this militia had lost out in controlling the mine and wasn't happy about the result. After hours of negotiations, guns poked into ribs, and death threats, we emerged relatively unscathed and $1,000 poorer. Congolese civilians, however, are rarely so fortunate."

Continue reading here.

Congo Army Helps Rebels Get Arms, U.N. Finds - The New York Times

Date: 
Nov 25, 2009
Author: 
Jeffrey Gettleman

KHARTOUM, Sudan — A new United Nations report says that the Congolese Army continues to funnel weapons to rebel groups that are smuggling millions of dollars in gold and other minerals out of Congo, helping sustain one of Africa’s bloodiest and most complicated wars.

The lengthy report, which has not been made public but was provided to The New York Times, details a vast, rebel-driven criminal network in eastern Congo with tentacles touching Spanish charities, Ukrainian arms dealers, corrupt African officials and even secretive North Korean weapons shipments.

None of this is especially shocking. For years, eastern Congo has been a steaming cauldron of ethnic tensions, competing commercial interests, land disputes and regional politics playing out at gunpoint.

Continue reading here.

Looted wealth fuels Congo’s conflict - Financial Times

Date: 
Nov 30, 2009
Author: 
William Wallis

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is no neutral observer when it comes to the Democratic Republic of Congo. His attempts to mould events there have often exacerbated a conflict now in its 14th year.

Occasionally, though, Mr Kagame has a way of stating the obvious about his giant neighbour that shows up the failure of other would-be meddlers. There are two prerequisites, he remarked to me late last year, if peace is to be restored to the territory over which the Kinshasa government theoretically presides.

“If they could have a strong army, that would help them. But they should also have a political system that works. They need to have both ideally, but at least they should have one. To lack both is terrible!”

Despite hosting the most expensive United Nations mission ever undertaken in Africa, Congo is no closer today to having either.

Continue reading here.

U.N. Renews Congo Sanctions Despite Misgivings - The Wall Street Journal

Date: 
Dec 1, 2009
Author: 
Joe Lauria

UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council on Monday renewed sanctions against rebel groups in eastern Congo, despite a U.N. report that said the measures had so far failed to stop exports of gold and other minerals that have financed a decadelong war there in which millions of civilians have been killed.

Monday's resolution asks U.N. member nations to "ensure importers, processing industries and consumers of Congolese mineral products under their jurisdiction exercise due diligence on their suppliers and on the origin of the minerals they purchase."

The resolution doesn't mention any companies or countries, but the U.N. experts' report, which is to be released in the next few weeks, does. The report, which was reviewed by news organizations including The Wall Street Journal, blames Uganda, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates for running a trading network of smuggled gold and other minerals.

Continue reading here.

Companies Pledge to Avoid ‘Dirty’ Gold - The New York Times

Date: 
Dec 1, 2009
Author: 
Sindya N. Bhanoo

Several major jewelry retailers, including Sears, Kmart and Blue Nile made a pledge last week to sell gold that has been mined and produced through humane, eco-friendly methods.

The companies all signed the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules for sourcing gold, organized by Earthworks, a nonprofit organization.

Unlike in the diamond industry, no formal certification process exists to ensure conflict-free gold. Earthworks hopes that the No Dirty Gold coalition will help fuel the creation of such a system that “assures consumers and retailers that the gold they are buying has been produced in ways that minimize harm to people or the environment.”

Continue reading here.

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