For more than a century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) has been plagued by regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources. More recently, the global demand for cell phones and computer chips is helping fuel a bloody civil war, resembling the conflicts that developed over blood diamonds in the 1990s. Armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars per year by trading four main minerals such as the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. This money enables the militias to purchase large numbers of weapons and continue their campaign of brutal violence against civilians, with some of the worst abuses occurring in mining areas. The majority of these minerals eventually wind up in electronic devices such as cell phones, and computers. Major American and International companies continue to trade for these high demand minerals, leaving consumers no way to ensure that their purchases are not financing armed groups that regularly commit atrocities, including mass rape.
Let’s clean up the Congo and take a stance against trade practices that promote violence!