Raise Hope for the Congo

Map of the Democratic Republic of the CongoOur colleagues in the Office of Public Witness have focused the Summer 2012 issue of Advocacy as Discipleship on ways to respond to the minerals that fund conflict (conflict minerals) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here’s an introduction:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered from regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources for more than a century. Congo’s natural resources and the world’s voracious appetite for them have been the principal force behind atrocities and conflict throughout Congo’s violent and tortured history. In fact, the mineral wealth in eastern Congo today is financing multiple armed groups who use mass rape and other forms of violence as a calculated strategy to frighten, coerce, and control local populations. In this way the groups secure control of mines, trading routes, and other strategic areas.
The militias in the DR Congo make millions of dollars yearly by trading four minerals: the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. The armed groups then use this money to purchase large numbers of weapons for use in their campaign of vicious brutality against civilians. Most of these minerals ultimately end up in electronic devices such as cell phones, portable music players, and computers. Because there is no transparency in the minerals supply chain, consumers have no way to guarantee that their purchases are not funding the militias that repeatedly carry out atrocities against civilians, including mass rape.

Download the Summer 2012 issue of Advocacy as Discipleship.

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