Friday, April 24, 2009

DRC: A Comprehensive Approach to Conflict Minerals

By the Enough Project Team with the Grassroots Reconciliation Group
April 24, 2009

The Enough Project is sounding the alarm. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, scene of the deadliest conflict since World War II, remains the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman or a girl-in significant part because of the international demand for electronic products that requires minerals found in the eastern Congo. While eastern Congo is a complex crisis-fuelled by tensions over land, rights, identity, regional power struggles and the fundamental weaknesses of Congo as a state-the trade in conflict minerals remains one of the key drivers of the conflict.

Enough's latest strategy paper analyzes the political economy of the crisis in eastern Congo and lays out a four part strategy to curb illegal profiteering from the trade in conflict minerals. "It is no accident that the majority of the violence in eastern Congo has been carried out in areas rich with minerals. Conflict minerals remain a key source of financing for some of the most reprehensible armed groups in the world," said John Norris, Enough's executive director. "Bringing transparency to the consumer electronics supply chain is an essential first step if we want to transform Congo's mineral resources from a curse into an engine of growth for millions of people who remain trapped by both violence and poverty."

"As consumers and global citizens, we have a critical role to play in demanding that companies and governments exercise leverage over the supply chain," says Enough Co-founder John Prendergast. "At the same time," adds Enough Research Associate David Sullivan, "a more comprehensive approach will be necessary-one that embraces a significant, sustained, and long-term investment in Congo's security, governance, and livelihoods."

READ the full strategy paper

SIGN the Congo Minerals Pledge

EMAIL the 21 largest electronics companies

Notes:
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 www.enoughproject.org.

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