Congo mines no longer controlled by warlords and militia —report

Congo mines no longer controlled by warlords and militia —report

Children as young as 11, used to work at Congo’s illegal mines. Courtesy of ENOUGH Project. 

Latest research by the ENOUGH Project, an anti-genocide campaign group, shows that Congolese warlords have lost their grip on most of the country’s mines, almost putting an end to a long-era of major abuses in the African country and surrounding areas.

According to the report, an US law that came into force last week demanding companies to disclose whether their products contain so-called “conflict minerals,” and efforts by technology firms, have helped limit exports from Africa for consumer electronics.

Tin, tantalum and tungsten, used to make computers, smart phones, and tablets, used to generate $185m a year for armed groups. Now, about two-thirds of mines formerly controlled by warlords “are part of peaceful supply chains,” says ENOUGH Project.

“Our research found that electronics companies are expanding their responsible minerals sourcing from Congo, and Congolese miners are now able to earn 40% more from those mines,” says senior policy analyst, Sasha Lezhnev.

Artisanal mining of gold, however, is believed to continue funding army commanders, it adds.

The ENOUGH Project’s report said the results exposed in the study were the result of five months of field research.