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Robin Wright and Fidel Bafilemba Talk Congo on Al Jazeera’s “The Stream”

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Robin Wright and Fidel Bafilemba Talk Congo on Al Jazeera’s “The Stream”

Posted by Carine Umuhumuza on September 19, 2011

Last week, actress and Enough activist Robin Wright and Enough Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba were featured guests on “The Stream,” an interactive show on Al Jazeera English. They spoke with host Imran Garda to spotlight the issues in Congo, specifically discussing the issue of conflict minerals and the realities of the situation on the ground.

During the interview, Wright shared video from her recent trip to eastern Congo with the Enough Project. “I went because I wanted to finally put a face to the conflict I’ve been hearing about,” she explained. She discussed the realities on the ground, and how it has affected the local Congolese population.

Bafilemba, who is also a Congolese civil society advocate, reinforced why the certification of conflict minerals in the Congo is critical. “While we have a lot of issues back in the Congo, corruption, unaccountable government…The key driver to this conflict has been conflict minerals,” he said. The trade has resulted in the use of rape as a weapon of war, the deterioration of family structures, and the loss of livelihood for the Congolese people.

Throughout the live show, viewers participated in the conversation via Twitter:

@ashleyincontigo:#AJStream Wars in Africa and violence against women have never been top priorities for the media.
@PeterProHST: #AJStream What can foreign civilians, NGOs, or politicians do to help the DRC and the region move forward?

At the end of the show, Wright was asked to pinpoint one priority that U.S. political elites could focus on in regards to Congo. She responded:

We need to put the pressure on Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State. She is the only person that can convene these parties, the regional governments, so that these regulations can be put in place.

A longtime Congo advocate inspired by her recent trip, Wright has taken a passionate interest in the conflict minerals issue, and spent this week raising awareness about the issue in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this week, she spoke to legislators and key policy makers on Capitol Hill, as well as student activists. On Wednesday, she also helped deliver a petition of 27,255 signatures to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to lead the way on certification in the Congo.

To learn more about Robin Wright’s previous involvement with the Enough Project, check out her Celebrity Upstanders page.