Thursday, April 2, 2009

Can You Hear Congo Now? Cell Phones, Conflict Minerals, and the Worst Sexual Violence in the World

By John Prendergast

Enough Co-Founder

Our demand for cell phones, laptops, and other consumer electronics are helping fuel the deadliest conflict in the world, and most of us don't even know it. The deadly nexus in the Democratic Republic of Congo between conflict, sexual violence, and resource exploitation is undeniable. Militias and armies responsible for the scourge of sexual violence in eastern Congo battle for control over "conflict minerals"-the ores that produce the tin, tungsten, and tantalum found in electronic products that we use every day-and finance themselves through illegal taxation and illicit trade.

Enough's latest strategy paper explains the connection between consumer appetites and violence against Congolese women and girls and lays out practical steps that policymakers, electronics companies, and ordinary Americans can take to help break this vicious cycle. "Because we are all unconsciously part of the problem in Congo, all of us can consciously become part of the solution," says the report's author and Enough Co-Founder John Prendergast. "Collectively, American consumers have enormous leverage over the companies from which we purchase our electronics. We can marshal that power to press them to play a positive role to protect and empower Congo's women."

READ the full strategy paper

SIGN the Congo Minerals Pledge

EMAIL the 21 largest electronics companies

JOIN the movement

Enough Project 1225 Eye Street NW, Suite 307 Washington, D.C. 20005
Enough is a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity.
For more information, go to
Related Materials:
Congo: still struggling for independence: Imperialist looting threatened by Chinese aid
China and the Congo Wars: AFRICOM. America's New Military Command
U.S./U.K. Allies Grab Congo Riches and Millions Die
Coltan and the war in Congo


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