Enough released a new strategy paper today examining the central role that mineral wealth continues to play in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s conflict dynamics. Despite the upsurge in displacement and atrocities during 2009, multinational companies continue to purchase minerals from the war zone, providing crucial fuel for the violence.
"Digging In: Recent Developments on Conflict Minerals" details these continuing links between the minerals trade and ongoing violence in eastern Congo. "Finally breaking the cycle of mineral-fueled violence in eastern Congo will require a coalition of private and public actors ranging from the largest of multinational electronics and jewelry companies all the way to the most knowledgeable and dedicated Congolese civil society voices," says research associate David Sullivan, the paper’s co-author, who recently returned from a trip to Congo.
"The pursuit of mineral resources by armed groups on all sides of the conflict accelerated during 2009," argues co-author Noel Atama, Enough’s Congo-based field researcher. "But unprecedented levels of international attention, including legislation pending in the United States, has also upped the pressure to clean up the trade, spurring action from the Congolese government and the private sector.”
Click here to learn more about conflict minerals.
Photo: A man pans for gold in eastern Congo (Grassroots Reconcilation Group/Sasha Lezhnev)