Conflict minerals have fueled and continue to help sustain armed violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, linking them to the deadliest conflict globally since World War II. The four conflict minerals (gold, along with the 3Ts – tin, tantalum, and tungsten) are not the only sources of income to armed groups, but they are some of the most lucrative. The illegal exploitation of natural resources today is a manifestation of the grand corruption linked to violence that has marked successive governments in Kinshasa and the broader region since colonial times.
Section 1502 on conflict minerals of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a transparency measure, one part of a comprehensive approach to Congo’s challenges. Consistent with its objective, Dodd-Frank 1502 along with related reforms has led to significant improvements in the transparency of corporate supply chains and to a major reduction in the number of 3T conflict mines in eastern Congo.
The law must be fully implemented, not abandoned, and strengthened with livelihood projects and other support to mining communities. As often occurs in places where black markets are disrupted by reform, Congo’s 3T mining sector is being affected by the transition to a conflict-free economy, and many miners have experienced livelihood challenges. However, despite these challenges, many Congolese communities and leaders—including Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Sakharov Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege, community activist Justine Masika Bihamba,and Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, South Kivu—support Dodd-Frank 1502 because they have seen direct positive impacts, because they believe in transparency and the rule of law, or both.
Read more in our Progress and Challenges on Conflict Minerals Resource Page >