A joint report by the Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project examines the Abbala militias' recent power play to gain control over lucrative gold mines in North Darfur and makes the case that these actions are a continuation of state-sponsored atrocity and plunder.
This morning the Wall Street Journal published an exposé on the conflict gold trade from eastern Congo, which is worth an estimated $285-400 million per year. The article details the lucrative trade in conflict gold as it is transported from mines in eastern Congo to smugglers in Uganda and Burundi and then to jewelers and dealers in Dubai and India. As the piece highlights, conflict gold is an increasingly important issue for jewelers and the gold industry, as there now exists a “shadowy chain of smuggled gold that stretches from the conflict zones of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the markets of Dubai and jewelry shops around the world.” Read More »
Eastern Congo’s Kivu provinces are making slow but steady progress to establish certified minerals trading routes. A total of 20 mining sites qualified and validated as “green” (conflict-free) in North and South Kivu by a multi-stakeholder body made up of the Congolese government, minerals dealers, and local NGOs. The Enough Project joined more than two dozen delegates from Philips, Motorola Solutions, Fair Phone, ITRI, other industry partners, governments, civil society groups, journalists, and the Netherlands special envoy on a four-day trip to see first-hand the Kivus’ first conflict-free minerals supply chain in the works. Read More »
Early one eastern Congolese morning six months ago, Josephine was sleeping in her hut, dreaming about selling her crops. She heard people singing victory songs, thinking it was part of her dream, but gunshots jolted her awake. Read More »
Current efforts to end the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, including the deployment of U.S. military advisors to East and Central Africa, are unlikely to succeed if they are not accompanied by substantial diplomatic, military, logistical, and intelligence support. This series of LRA issue briefs describes the main obstacles to success and explains what steps the United States and its partners should take in their efforts to end the LRA threat.
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.
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.
“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.
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.