UK companies' use of coltan fueling human rights nightmare in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Coltan is a mineral used in electronics, including all of our computers and mobile phones. 80% of the world's coltan is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and their proxy militias are the primary exploiters of coltan in the Congo, which is bought by multinational corporations, whom the UN has described as "the engine of the conflict in the DRC." The war in the Congo has claimed an estimated three million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. More than 8,300 women were raped during fighting in 2009, and the DRC has been in the news recently due to systematic raping on a massive scale.
I want to put pressure on companies such as companies such as
Nokia, Motorola, Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Ericsson and Sony to ensure they are not buying coltan or other minerals from regions of the Congo where the fighting is taking place, and to audit their supplies.
Lizzie Thomas commented
It is 10 years since the very beginnings of what became the Kimberly Process preventing conflict diamonds from entering the market.
In 2013 The G8 is being chaired by the UK, a big enough campaign would have the power to force international debate at the highest level and prevent the continuing exploitation of Congolese mineral and Human resources.
Save the Congo are campagining to bring this idea to the table I urge 38 degrees members to act, this conflict has been ignored too long.
For more information please visit
Please be aware the third video in the stream is 'Unwatchable' the campaign video and features graphic scenes of sexual violence. The 18 certificate at the beginning should be adhered to, please be aware of who is around you when you choose to watch it.
If anyone has any links or info, lets add it here: http://www.crowdvoice.org/conflict-minerals-in-our-mobiles.
Anna Bartholomew commented
Sue Johnston commented
Radio Four "Four Thought" this morning was a wake-up.
Marie Papavassiliou commented
"Companies Named in UN Report [for highest casualties since WWII in Congo]
1. AFRICAN TRADING CORPORATION Sarl, SOUTH AFRICA
2. AFRIMEX, United Kingdom
3. AHMAD DIAMOND CORPORATION, BELGIUM
4. A.H. PONG & Sons, SOUTH AFRICA
5. A. KNIGHT INTERNATIONAL Ltd, United Kingdom
6. A & M MINERALS and METALS Ltd, United Kingdom
7. ALEX STEWART Ltd (Assayers), United Kingdom
8. AMALGAMATED METAL CORPORATION Plc, United Kingdom
9. AMERICA MINERAL FIELDS (AMFI), USA
10. ANGLO AMERICAN Plc, United Kingdom
11. ANGLOVAAL MINING Ltd, SOUTH AFRICA
12. ARCTIC INVESTMENT, United Kingdom
13. ASA DIAM, BELGIUM
14. ASA INTERNATIONAL, BELGIUM
15. ASHANTI GOLDFIELDS, GHANA
16. AVIENT AIR, ZIMBABWE
17. BANRO CORPORATION, SOUTH AFRICA
18. BARCLAYS BANK, United Kingdom
19. BAYER A.G., GERMANY
20. B.B.L. Banking, BELGIUM
21. BELGOLAISE, BELGIUM
22. CABOT CORPORATION, USA
23. CARSON PRODUCTS, SOUTH AFRICA
24. CHEMIE PHARMACIE NETHERLANDS, HOLLAND
25. COGECOM, BELGIUM
26. C. STEINWEG NV, BELGIUM
27. DARA FOREST, THAILAND
28. DAS AIR, United Kingdom
29. DE BEERS, United Kingdom
30. DIAGEM BVBA, BELGIUM
31. EAGLE WINGS RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL, USA
32. ECHOGEM, BELGIUM
33. EGIMEX, BELGIUM
34. ENTREPRISE GENERALE MALTA FORREST, DRC
35. EUROMET, UK
36. FINCONCORD SA, SWITZERLAND
37. FINMINING, SAINT KITTS
38. FIRST QUANTUM MINERALS, CANADA
39. FLASHES OF COLOR, USA
40. FORTIS, BELGIUM
41. GEORGE FORREST INTERNATIONAL AFRIQUE, DRC
42. HARAMBEE MINING CORPORATION, CANADA
43. H.C. STARCK GmbH & Co KG, GERMANY
44. IBRYV AND ASSOCIATES LLC, SWITZERLAND
45. INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA RESOURCES Corp, Canada
46. ISCOR, South Africa
47. JEWEL IMPEX Bvba, Belgium
48. KABABANKOLA MINING COMPANY, Zimbabwe
49. KEMET ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, USA
50. KHA International AG, Germany
51. KINROSS GOLD CORPORATION, USA
52. K & N, Belgium
53. KOMAL GEMS NV, Belgium
54. LUNDIN GROUP, Bermuda
55. MALAYSIAN SMELTING CORPORATION, Malaysia
56. MASINGIRO GmbH, Germany
57. MELKIOR RESOURCES Inc, Canada
58. MERCANTILLE CC, South Africa
59. MINERAL AFRIKA Limited, United Kingdom
60. NAC KAZATOMPROM, Kazakhstan
61. NAMI GEMS, Belgium
62. NINGXIA NON-FERROUS METALS SMELTER, China
63. OM GROUP Inc, USA
64. OPERATION SOVEREIGN LEGITIMACY (OSLEG) Pvt Ltd, Zimbabwe
65. ORION MINING Inc., South Africa
66. PACIFIC ORES METALS AND CHEMICALS Ltd, Hong Kong
67. RAREMET Ltd, Saint Kitts
68. SARACEN, South Africa
69, SDV TRANSINTRA, France
70. SIERRA GEM DIAMONDS, Belgium
71. SLC GERMANY GmbH, Germany
72. SOGEM, Belgium
73. SPECIALITY METALS COMPANY SA, Belgium
74. STANDARD CHARTERED BANK, U.A.E.
75. SWANEPOEL, South Africa
76. TENKE MINING CORPORATION, Canada
77. THORNTREE INDUSTRIES (Pvt) Ltd, Zimbabwe
78. TRACK STAR TRADING 151 (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
79. TRADEMET SA, Belgium
80. TREMALT Ltd, Belgium
81. TRINITECH INTERNATIONAL Inc, USA
82. TRIPLE A DIAMONDS, Belgium
83. UMICORE, Belgium
84. VISHAY SPRAGUE, USA and Israel
85. ZINCOR, South Africa
View video of American Corporate (Freeport McMoRan) exploitation of Congo! - http://blip.tv/file/1850129/ "
Source - http://conflictminerals.org/us-canadian-companies-involved-in-congo/
www.friendsofthecongo.org - Working to 'break the silence' globally.
My letter to 38 degrees:
Are you aware of the corporate fight for control of Coltan, driving the war in the Congo? I read Johan Haris article yesterday (below), and this matter was news to me, and struck me as something that would capture the hearts and minds of people across the world. If Johan Hari is correct, and the State Department need simply, draw up some kind of punishment for transgressors who are, buying coltan and other conflict minerals from the mass murderers, and so driving the war then surely this can be pressed for, by applying public pressure. It strikes me as a terrible injustice that could be easily righted with popular pressure. In other words, an issue perfect for a 38 degrees petition.
Johan Hari -
The war in the Congois the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe. When I reported on it, I saw the worst things I could have ever conceived of: armies of drugged and mutilated children, women who had been gang-raped and shot in the vagina. Over five million people have been killed so far and the trail of blood runs directly to your mobile phone and mine.
The major UN investigation into the war explained how it happened. They said bluntly and factually that "armies of business" had invaded Congo to pillage its resources and sell them to the knowing West. The most valuable loot is coltan, which is used to make the metal in our mobile phones and games consoles and laptops. The "armies of business" fought and killed to control the mines and send it to us. The UN listed some of the major Western corporations fuelling this trade, and said if they were stopped, it would largely end the war.
Last year, after a decade, the US finally passed legislation that was in theory, at least supposed to deal with this. As I explain in the forthcoming BBC Radio 4 programme 4Thought, it outlined an entirely voluntary system to trace who was buying coltan and other conflict minerals from the mass murderers, and so driving the war. (There are plenty of other places we can get coltan from, although it's slightly more expensive.) The State Department was asked to draw up some kind of punishment for transgressors, and given 140 days to do it.
Now the deadline has passed. What's the punishment? It turns out the State Department didn't have the time or inclination to draft anything. Maybe it was too busy preparing to bomb Libya, because obviously it can't tolerate the killing of innocent people. (Britain and other European countries have been exactly the same.) Here was a chance to stop the worst violence against civilians in the world that didn't require any bombs, or violence of our own. If the rhetoric about Libya was sincere, this was a no-brainer. It would only cost a few corporations some money and they refuse to do it. So the worst war since 1945 goes on.
Marcia Simpson-James commented
Sarah Haynes commented
If people knew about this in the first place there would be more votes for it - even more reason to have a 38 degrees campaign!
The UK government falling behind in legislation which could greatly impact the lives of so many in Congo
Marie Papavassiliou commented
The fact that this is still going on with NO media coverage is an atrocity and shows the value of black life and death in comparison to white life and death; if these were white people it would not be happening and it would be all over the news. Don't forget Apple, Acer, 3 and British-owned Amalgamated Metal Corporation (AMC), which through its subsidiary THAISARCO sources and processes metals from one of the main comptoirs, known to have direct links with the FDLR – a predominantly Rwandan Hutu armed group, some of whose leaders are alleged to have participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.