Writing in today’s Guardian, Enough’s Executive Director John Norris connected the dots between the global demand for electronics, the world’s deadliest conflict, rampant sexual violence and other atrocities, and the illicit mineral trade in eastern Congo. Here’s a clip:
Millions of people have died in eastern Congo, in what is the world’s deadliest conflict since the second world war. Ending the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s multiple conflicts is the single most important task in improving the lives of Congolese, making more lasting development possible and giving people a say in their own affairs. Trying to talk about economic development in eastern Congo without acknowledging this elephant in the room just doesn’t make sense.
It is indisputable that the illicit minerals trade in eastern Congo (minerals that ultimately end up in many of our personal electronics devices such as mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras) remains one of the important factors fuelling the violence. Not only do an array of armed groups continue to clash to control respective mines, their stranglehold over minerals and the imposition of "taxes" on local populations and traders allows these militias to finance more weapons purchases, more violence and more corruption.
Severing the link between the minerals trade and the armed groups committing atrocities in eastern Congo is one of the most critical steps toward changing the logic of war in Congo.
To read the full article, click here. And to learn more about Enough’s ongoing work on Congo’s ‘conflict minerals’ and about how you can join the movement to bring an end to this deadly trade, check out our special page.