Conflict Minerals

Open Letter to the President: Critical Steps for Obama's Second-Term

President Obama speaks at an event.

As President Obama sets off on his new four-year term, the Enough Project delivered an open letter to the president outlining critical steps that the U.S. government should take to address the conflicts in the Sudans, between Sudan and South Sudan, in eastern Congo, and in areas impacted by the Lord's Resistance Army.  Read More »

Apple Makes New Pledges on Conflict Minerals, Should Begin Clean Congo Sourcing Program

Tech giant Apple has come a long way on conflict minerals. In 2010, they were one of the worst consumer electronics companies in their response to this serious problem, and Enough Project, Campus Progress, and A Thousand Sisters protested the opening of their store in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. But Apple has started to turn the corner on conflict minerals with some substantial steps.  Read More »

Coordinated International Leverage: The Missing Element from Congo's Peace Process

Editor's note: This paper is the final installment in the Enough Project's three-part series on the process, substance, and leverage necessary to create a path toward a viable peace in eastern Congo and the wider region.

President Joseph Kabila of DRC

Activist Brief: Conflict Gold 101

Gold has emerged as the most lucrative conflict mineral for armed groups in Congo because it is easy to smuggle small quantities for large profits. This activist brief maps out the conflict-gold trade in Congo and outlines steps forward to bring an end to the deadly trade. 

Gold pieces in a miner's hand in Congo.

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Conflict Gold 101

Today the Raise Hope for Congo campaign released a new campaign video, “Conflict Gold 101.” The video outlines the details of Congo’s conflict gold trade and puts the spotlight on jewelry companies who can play a role in reforming this deadly trade.  Read More »

New Valentine’s Day Campaign Asks Jewelers to Help End Conflict Gold Trade

Date: 
Feb 8, 2013

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL: Friday, February 8, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1-202-459-1219

GOMA, DR CONGO and WASHINGTON, DC – This Valentine’s Day, the Enough Project is launching a new campaign and video report documenting the trade in conflict gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Jewelry companies, the world’s largest consumers of gold, have an opportunity to help stop the deadly trade through supply chain action.

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, who is featured in the video, said:

“Gold has emerged as the most lucrative conflict mineral, because it is easy to smuggle small quantities for large profits. Approximately $600 million in gold is smuggled out of Congo each year. Jewelry companies have a golden opportunity to be part of the solution to curb this growing trade by sourcing conflict-free gold from Congo, just as electronics companies have done for other minerals in Congo.”

Growing consumer demand for conflict-free products and the Dodd-Frank legislation on conflict minerals have helped reduce armed groups’ profits in the conflict minerals of tin, tungsten, and tantalum by approximately 65 percent. To fill this gap, some armed groups in eastern Congo have turned to the fourth conflict mineral—gold. The armed groups use poorly paid gold miners, nearly 40 percent of whom are children, working under harsh and dangerous conditions.

The Enough Project video, “Conflict Gold 101,” maps out the supply chain of conflict gold from eastern Congo mines controlled by armed groups to the gold bars and jewelry bought and sold at banks and retailers around the world.

The six main steps of the conflict gold trade laid out in the video and an accompanying infographic are:

1. Mines operated by warlords in eastern Congo;

2. Smugglers in Congo working with armed groups; 

3. Regional smugglers in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania; 

4. Refiners in Dubai; 

5. Banks in Switzerland and other banking centers; and

6. Jewelers in the U.S., India, and China. 

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

“Consumers need to know what’s going on with gold— it is funding warlords such as one known as ‘The Terminator’ in eastern Congo. Jewelers have started to work on this issue, but it’s time for them to step up and establish mine-to-market projects from Congo like the Motorola Solutions for Hope initiative. Combined with government action, this would have a substantial positive impact for people on the ground in Congo.”  

The video stresses that consumer demand and investment from the jewelry industry is one part of a multi-faceted solution. Other key steps by governments should include sanctions on gold smugglers and aid to help formalize Congo’s gold trade.

View and embed the video: “Conflict Gold 101

View or download infographic mapping out conflict gold’s six-step process: http://enoughproject.org/files/conflict-gold-infographic.png

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.  

Attention Delaware: Senator Coons to Convene Opportunity Africa Conference

Next Monday, February 11, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs and outspoken advocate for Africa, will convene his 2nd annual “Opportunity: Africa Conference” at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware.  Read More »

Financial Net Closes Around M23: U.S. Further Bans Business With Congo Rebels

The U.S. Department of Treasury recently announced the addition of two high-level M23 leaders, Eric Badege and Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero, to its list of specially designated nationals, or SDN, already sanctioned by the U.S. government for their involvement in the rebellion rocking eastern Congo.  Read More »

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