Latest Global Witness Report on the traffic of minerals in the Congo

Global Witness has reported lately that “former rebels from the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) have established mafia-style extortion rackets covering some of the most lucrative tin and tantalum mining areas in the eastern Congo.” Several issues need to be addressed here such as the failing commitment of the international community to end the trade in conflict minerals, the passiveness/lethargy of Congo authorities or the hypocrisy of Rwanda’s leaders.

But for us, the most urgent issue that calls for a closer attention is the different human rights abuses that these CNDP soldiers are perpetrating in total impunity. Global Witness reports that “at the Muhinga cassiterite mine in South Kivu, diggers are forced to pay $10 each to the military for permission to spend a night working in the mineshafts. Diggers, many of whom are children, also have to pay the army to use dynamite and are forced to hand over an entire day’s production each Thursday. These workers are whipped and robbed by soldiers if they fail to pay up.”

It’s time for Congo authorities to wake up and protect their people. The first step consists in demilitarizing the mining areas by removing all the soldiers. Next, the perpetrators of abuses should be held accountable for their actions. Their names are known, their locations are no secret, their actions are publicized, let them go to a justice court…


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