The Enough Project has created this presentation to assist students in educating their campus about the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and scourge of conflict minerals fueling the violence there.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, is the third largest country in Africa. This is about a quarter of the size of the US. For 13 years, the people of eastern Congo have been ensnared in a tangled web of armed groups—from foreign rebels to the Congo’s own army—who prey on Congolese civilians and strip the country of its immense natural wealth. Since the late 19th century, Congo’s vast natural resources have continually attracted violent intervention from abroad and stoked internal conflicts. Congo’s government has never effectively represented or protected its people, and has all too often simply served as a source of unchecked power and personal enrichment for individuals. The ongoing crisis in eastern Congo is rooted both in this history of predation and corruption, and the continuing aftermath of the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Today, Congo continues to struggle with an explosive combination of conflicts at the local, regional and national levels, the locus of which is the Kivus in eastern Congo… The Kivus are an area the size of Oregon.
In the 1880s, Belgian King Leopold II took personal control of the Congo territory . King Leopold’s exploitation of the Congo’s vast natural resources (mostly rubber) for his own private wealth gave way to the larger pillaging of Congolese resources still occurring today. Reports from the Congo during Leopold’s reign alleged widespread human rights abuses and outright genocide of the native population. Historians estimate that 8-10 million persons perished from the violence, forced labor, and starvation caused by Leopold's lust for power and profits. An international human rights movement raised awareness of Leopold’s reign of terror and pressured him to hand Congo over to the Belgian government in 1908. 2. The Congo was granted independence from Belgium, with Joseph Kasavabu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister Within two weeks of independence, Congo’s government faced a nationwide army mutiny, as well as secessionist threats in the Katanga and Kasai provinces Cold War tensions led to a hostile face-off between the charismatic Lumumba and Kasavabu Supported by Belgium and the U.S., Kasavabu dismissed Lumumba, who was later arrested and finally assassinated in 1961 3. Supported by the U.S. and Belgium, Colonel Joseph Desire Mobutu took power in a coup Mobutu Sese Seko’s dictatorial presidency, which lasted 32 years, sowed the seeds of tension for the explosive conflict that erupted after he eventually left power in the late 1990s. Through “kleptocracy,” Mobutu systematically used Congo’s mineral wealth to enrich himself and his allies “ Kleptocracy” or ‘rule by thieves’ is a term used to describe governments where corruption and theft of public resources for private gain is pervasive. Mobutu is conservatively estimated to have stolen at least $5 billion from his country
1. Following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Mobutu sided with the remnants of the Hutu power regime that killed 800,000 people Mobutu provided shelter and protection not only to the two million Rwandan Hutu refugees who had fled to eastern Congo, but also provided a safe haven for the Rwandan Hutu army and militias that had directed the genocide Mobutu allowed the perpetrators of the genocide launch attacks from Congo back into Rwanda, provoking Rwanda and Uganda to invade Congo in July 1996 in pursuit of these Hutu military forces The ailing Mobutu was finally ousted from Kinshasa in May 1997 and the Rwandan and Ugandan backed Congolese rebel leader, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, took over the country. 2. In 1998, Kabila breaks with Rwanda and Uganda. They reinvade Congo. Zimbabwe, Angola, and Namibia intervene to support Kabila Africa’s “First World War” – the deadliest in the world since World War II Between 1996 and 2002, the two massive wars fought in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were arguably the world's deadliest since World War II. (International Rescue Committee)
2002 Peace agreement led to the withdrawal of most foreign troops, but war continues in eastern Congo Following a landmark peace agreement and a tumultuous political transition backed by the world’s largest United Nations peacekeeping operation, the Democratic Republic of the Congo held largely successful elections in 2006. Joseph Kabila became the Congo’s first democratically-elected president since independence 40 years earlier. Even though the war is “officially” over… 1. The humanitarian crisis has deepened in the Kivus. Although a ceasefire signed by President Kabila and rebel groups in January 2008 was hailed as a diplomatic success, there has been little follow-through, conflict has continued and civilians continue to suffer. Since January 2009, 900,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, and thousands of women and girls have been raped. Conflict in eastern Congo has morphed into a localized battle for control of natural resources. Although mineral wealth did not cause the war in Congo, it sustains armed combatants and fuels ongoing atrocities. 2. In the northeastern Orientale Province the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army continues brutal attacks on civilians… … in the aftermath of a failed Ugandan-led offensive. 3. Every day, 1,500 more Congolese—half of them children—die from hunger, preventable disease, and other consequences of violence and displacement . “ Mortality rates remain catastrophically high.” Then read second bullet point, 1,500 deaths/day (45,000/month). The International Rescue Committee reports that since the end of the first war in the Congo in 1998, 5.4 million people have died (more than 8 percent of the Congo’s population of 66 million)
A wide and confusing array of armed groups operate in eastern Congo, a region where government as we know it has largely collapsed. Here are the key players : 1. National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) The CNDP is an armed group established by Congolese dissident general, Laurent Nkunda, in 2006. Nkunda justified his rebellion as necessary to protect his ethnic Tutsi community, but his forces are responsible for crimes against humanity against civilians. Approximately 3,000 CNDP fighters are based in North Kivu. The CNDP split in January 2009, and its troops were integrated into the Congolese army. The CNDP has previously threatened to overthrow the national government and ‘liberate’ the Congolese people As nearly all rebel groups do, the CNDP has been profiting from the illegal exploitation of Congo’s minerals, and increasingly so in recent months as it conquers more territory. 2. Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) Is a Rwandan militia led by some of the architects of the 1994 genocide and has been frequently backed by the Congolese government to counter Rwandan influence. Approximately 7,000 FDLR rebels are based in North and South Kivu. Over the past decade, the FDLR have terrorized the local populations, and more recently have carried out reprisal attacks against civilians in the aftermath of recent military operations against them. 3. Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Is an armed group that formed in 1987 under the leadership of Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet. The LRA is not confined to state boundaries and has committed widespread human rights abuses in northern Uganda, Sudan, and the DRC. 4. Mai-Mai Mai-Mai are community-based militias. The term does not refer to a cohesive unit, but rather a diverse body of armed groups. They were formed to defend their local territory against other armed groups, but some have formed to exploit the war for their own advantage. 5. Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) The FARDC is the state military and is being rebuilt as part of the peace process which ended the Second Congo War in 2003. The FARDC is rarely paid, poorly equipped, ill-trained, and is one of the worst human rights abusers in Congo. Nearly 20,000 FARDC troops are based in North Kivu. 6. Mission of the United Nations Organization in DRC (MONUC) MONUC is a UN peacekeeping force in the DRC which was established in 1999. Approximately 17,000 military personnel and 3,000 civilians work for MONUC. This is the largest UN peacekeeping force currently in operation.
In 2008, Rwanda and Congo struck an agreement that led to the arrest of Laurent Nkunda The agreement also led to a time-bound Rwandan army incursion into North Kivu; the stated purpose of the joint Rwandan-Congolese army was to target the FDLR. The military impact was limited and the FDLR were displaced from some of the mines in North Kivu but the FDLR chain of command was left intact. The political impact was greater. Relations improved between Kinshasa and Kigali. 2. Rwanda and DRC reached an agreement in March 2009, between the Congolese government and the CNDP Under the agreement CNDP fighters joined the Congolese army for a secondary offensive against the FDLR. The haphazard “integration” of thousands of fighters destabilized Congolese army reform. 3. Several war criminals have been integrated into the government army command Bosco Ntagana, the new de facto military leader of the CNDP, was indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
1. Whole units are deserting and abuses by Congolese forces are increasing The haphazard integration of CNDP into the Congolese army is breaking down in some areas due to lack of payments and inadequate follow-up to address related organizational issues. Many Congolese soldiers travel to the front lines with their dependents and then turn to looting and illegal commerce to provide for their families. 2. Many intact CNDP elements take advantage of new mining, taxation, and smuggling opportunities The CNDP and Rwanda have expanded their role in mineral smuggling in the Kivus. Even though the “integrated” CNDP wear Congolese uniforms, many of their command and control processes were left intact and so they continue to pursue their own agenda.
Kimia means “calm” in Kiswahili, but the operations have been anything but. The offensive operations against the FDLR are designed to push them away from strategic areas, like mines. “Integrated” Congolese brigades with logistical support from MONUC launched attacks on FDLR positions. The U.N. peacekeeping mission is known by its French acronym—MONUC—and is composed of 17,000 troops. MONUC is the largest UN peacekeeping force currently in operation, but is a small force relative to the huge size of the Congo.
Government units actively collaborate in commercial dealing with FDLR They share mines and taxation and smuggling opportunities. According to MONUC sources, the FDLR still procure arms and ammunition from Congolese army units. FDLR units are allegedly being tipped off in advance of government army attacks in some locations. Some of the Congolese Mai-Mai militia fighters that had integrated into the government army are defecting and now fighting alongside the FDLR. 2. Terrain size and type The dense rainforest terrain is exceptionally demanding for military operations. Poorly planned and executed attacks on FDLR positions that push the FDLR into a familiar operating environment. The mountainous area is 90,000 miles and the FDLR have lived there for nearly 15 years. 3. FDLR’s reprisal attacks on civilians Like the Lord’s Resistance Army, the FDLR uses asymmetrical warfare, focusing its military attacks largely on civilian populations. Since January 2009, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed and nearly 900,000 people have fled their homes.
The United Nations calls Congo the Rape Capitol of the World, with estimates that over 200,000 women and girls have been raped since the beginning of the conflict. There were approximately 3,500 reported incidents of rape in North and South Kivu in the first six months of 2009. Doctors Without Borders has stated that 75% of all the rape cases it deals with worldwide are in eastern Congo. Human Rights Watch reports that, in nine conflict zones visited since January 2009, rape cases had doubled or tripled compared within the last year. 2. Systematic rape is used as a weapon of war by armed groups to subjugate and humiliate populations they seek to control. Advocates from the region have told stories of unthinkable atrocities that are taking place, including cannibalism, chopping off body parts, rape with tools and weapons, and sexual assault of minors as young as 10 months and elders as old as 87 years. Many members of the female population within the region have endured sexual slavery, kidnapping, unlawful detention, recruitment of young girls into armed forces, and forced prostitution. 3. The main perpetrators are the government army as well as the FDLR. In one of the areas of highest concern regarding sexual violence, Shabunda territory, United Nations officials say there are roughly 100 MONUC personnel for an area the size of Rwanda.
(Photos from top to bottom: gold, tin, tungsten, tantalum) Tin 53% of tin worldwide is used as a solder, the vast majority of which goes into electronics. Armed groups earn approximately $85 million per year from trading in tin. Tantalum 65-80% of the world's tantalum is used in electronic products. Armed groups earn an estimated $8 million per year from trading in tantalum. Tungsten Tungsten is a growing source of income for armed groups in Congo, with armed groups currently earning approximately $2 million annually. Gold Extremely valuable and easy to smuggle, armed groups are earning between $44-88 million per year from gold.
1. Gold first discovered in 1903 Gold was first discovered in the Agola River in northeastern Congo in 1903 by two Australian prospectors. Illegal gold mining by armed groups in eastern Congo enables them to buy weapons and to continue their brutal activities. While this has been most noted in Ituri province, the FDLR control many lucrative gold mines in the Kivus. 4. Most of the gold exported from Uganda comes from Congo The gold mining and trading activities are controlled by the armed groups and their business allies. They funnel this gold out of the Congo to Uganda via a network of traders who operate outside of legal channels. In 2002, for example, Ugandan domestic gold production was valued at $24,817 while gold exports for the same year were listed as just under $60 million. (Source: Annual Report 2002, Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral)
No public map of mine locations Who controls the mines? It is difficult to challenge traders who claim their minerals are conflict free. 2. No proper list of who trades in the minerals Only an estimated 1 out of every 10 negociants , or traders who take the minerals from mines to the major cities, have an official license. 3. Little transparency around trade regulation Mining inspectors admitted to us that they knew which sacks of minerals came from FDLR-held mines, but had not been paid for months, so had no incentive to stop this trade. 4. Opaque pricing The comptoirs , or mineral exporters, form an oligopoly to control prices, leaving the rich few to gouge profits from the thousands of miners and smaller traders. Everyone wins except the Congolese people The FDLR attacks civilian populations, the same privatized extractive mining operation continues—albeit without the FDLR in some locations—the government army remains predatory, and the people continue to be looted, raped, and exploited. Congo’s chronic conflict and the constant threat of violence ensures a pliable labor force, a malleable state, and international aid agencies that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of food and medicine each year to sustain the population.
Trace: Companies must determine the precise sources of their minerals. We should support efforts to develop rigorous means of ensuring that the origin and production volume of minerals are transparent. Audit: Companies should conduct detailed examinations of their mineral supply chains to ensure that taxes are legally and transparently paid to the Congolese government and guard against bribery and fraudulent payments. Credible third parties should conduct or verify these audits. Certify: For you to be able to purchase conflict-free electronics made with Congolese minerals, a certification scheme that builds upon the lessons of the Kimberley Process will be required. Donor governments and industry should provide financial and technical assistance to galvanize this process.
Commit to purchase conflict-free phones, laptops, and other electronics. Help increase demand for conflict-free electronics. Email the electronics industry leaders and urge them to make their products conflict free. The message is clear: “If you take conflict out of your cell phone, I will buy it.” Urge your school, or other institution to go conflict-free. Join the conflict-free listserv! Get your school to publicly call on electronics companies to make conflict-free computers and printers for your campus. To share stories and ideas with other students, send an e-mail (to firstname.lastname@example.org) to join the &quot;Conflict-Free Campus&quot; listserv. E-mail, call, or visit your Senators and urge them to support the Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009. This bipartisan bill is the strongest effort in Congress to date that addresses the scourge of conflict minerals in Congo. Publicly call for support of conflict minerals legislation by writing a letter to the editor. There are tips for writing editorials on our website, www.raisehopeforcongo.org-->Take Action. Print out the media toolkit for your students. Encourage them to reach out to their local newspaper and/or media outlet, and write a blog post or op-ed on conflict minerals. Grow the movement! Ask your friends to join you in coming clean for Congo.
Suggest for students to host a house screening or book club with the films and books listed. Refer students to RAISE Awareness page (http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/awareness) on the RAISE Hope for Congo website. They can find toolkits on how to host house screenings, and book clubs.
Congo On Campus Teach In Ckedits
CONGO ON CAMPUS Cell Phones, Conflict Minerals and You An educational tool brought to you by:
<ul><li>If you have a cell phone in your pocket or a computer on your desk, you are directly linked to the deadliest war in the world. </li></ul>
Background: A Brief History <ul><li>Belgian King Leopold II took personal control of the Congo territory, exploiting its vast natural resources </li></ul>1880s 1960 1965 <ul><li>The Congo was granted independence from Belgium, with Joseph Kasavabu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by the U.S. and Belgium, Colonel Joseph Desire Mobutu took power in a coup </li></ul>
Background: A Brief History <ul><li>Following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Mobutu sided with the remnants of the Hutu power regime that killed 800,000 people </li></ul>1994 <ul><li>In 1998, Kabila breaks with Rwanda and Uganda. They reinvade Congo </li></ul>1998
Eastern Congo Aflame <ul><li>The humanitarian crisis has deepened dramatically in the Kivus </li></ul><ul><li>In the northeastern Orientale Province the Ugandan LRA continues brutal attacks on civilians </li></ul><ul><li>Every day, 1,500 more Congolese—half of them children—die from hunger, preventable disease, and other consequences of violence and displacement </li></ul>
Key Players: Who Is Involved? <ul><li>National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) </li></ul><ul><li>Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) </li></ul><ul><li>Mai-Mai </li></ul><ul><li>Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) </li></ul><ul><li>Mission of the United Nations Organization in DRC (MONUC) </li></ul>
Congo and Rwanda: A Delicate Détente <ul><li>In 2008, Rwanda and Congo struck an agreement that led to the arrest of Laurent Nkunda </li></ul><ul><li>Rwanda and DRC reached an agreement in March 2009, between the Congolese government and the CNDP </li></ul><ul><li>Several war criminals have been integrated into the government army command </li></ul>
Congo and Rwanda: A Delicate Détente <ul><li>Whole units are deserting and abuses by Congolese forces are increasing </li></ul><ul><li>Many intact CNDP elements take advantage of new mining, taxation, and smuggling opportunities </li></ul>
Kimia II: The Congolese-U.N. Offensive Against the FDLR <ul><li>Kimia II is the ongoing UN-backed operation against the FDLR </li></ul><ul><li>Started in June 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>The three phases are 1) deployment of Congolese forces 2) securing civilian areas 3) offensive operations against the FDLR </li></ul>
Kimia II: The Congolese-U.N. Offensive Against the FDLR <ul><li>Problems: </li></ul><ul><li>Government units actively collaborate in commercial dealings with FDLR </li></ul><ul><li>Terrain size and type </li></ul><ul><li>FDLR’s reprisal attacks on civilians </li></ul>
The Creeping Toll of Sexual Violence <ul><li>The United Nations estimates that over 200,000 women and girls have been raped since the beginning of the conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic rape is used as a weapon of war by armed groups to subjugate and humiliate populations they seek to control </li></ul><ul><li>The main perpetrators are the government army as well as the FDLR </li></ul>
Conflict Minerals: Fuel for Unending War <ul><li>Armed groups fight for control of the mines that produce the 3 T’s—tin, tungsten, and tantalum—and gold </li></ul><ul><li>The 3T’s are used to make our electronic products </li></ul><ul><li>Armed groups sustain themselves and buy weapons with the profits from mines, estimated at $180 million a year </li></ul>
<ul><li>Tin used inside cell phones and all electronic products as a solder on circuit boards </li></ul><ul><li>Tantalum (often called coltan) used to store electricity in capacitors in iPods, digital cameras, and cell phones </li></ul><ul><li>Tungsten used to make your cell phone or Blackberry vibrate </li></ul><ul><li>Gold used mainly in jewelry, gold is also a component in cell phones and other electronics </li></ul>Conflict Minerals: Fuel for Unending War
Conflict Minerals: Fuel for Unending War <ul><li>Gold first discovered in DRC in 1903 </li></ul><ul><li>While gold is used in jewelry, it is also the most valuable metal inside cell phones and laptop computers </li></ul><ul><li>According to leading electronics companies, gold accounts for over two-thirds of the metal value inside both cell phones and laptops </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the gold exported from Uganda comes from Congo </li></ul>
Conflict Minerals: Fuel for Unending War <ul><li>Mineral wealth did not cause the war in Congo, but it sustains armed combatants and fuels ongoing atrocities </li></ul><ul><li>Grievances surrounding land and identity helpe organize the factions, but greed ensures the conflicts remain violent and unsettled </li></ul><ul><li>Having access to mines provides resources for self-defense or offensive actions to ensure their security </li></ul>
Conflict Minerals: Fuel for Unending War <ul><li>The conflict minerals chain lacks transparency. Major problems are: </li></ul><ul><li>No public map of mine locations </li></ul><ul><li>No proper list of who trades in the minerals </li></ul><ul><li>Little transparency around trade regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Opaque pricing </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone wins except the Congolese people </li></ul>
Taking the Conflict out of your Cell Phone <ul><li>A comprehensive policy to end the trade in conflict minerals must incorporate: </li></ul><ul><li>corporate responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>security measures </li></ul><ul><li>governance reforms </li></ul><ul><li>livelihoods initiatives </li></ul>Photo credit: Mark Craemer
Taking the Conflict out of your Cell Phone <ul><li>Consumers and companies have a critical role to play, by demanding three steps to enable Congo’s minerals to benefit its people rather than the armed groups that prey upon them: </li></ul><ul><li>Trace </li></ul><ul><li>Audit </li></ul><ul><li>Certify </li></ul>Photo credit: Mark Craemer
Take Action Now! <ul><li>Commit to purchase conflict-free phones, laptops, and other electronics. </li></ul><ul><li>Urge your school, or other institution to go conflict-free. Join the conflict-free listserv ! </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail , call , or visit your Senators and urge them to support the Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 . </li></ul><ul><li>Grow the movement! Ask your friends to join you in coming clean for Congo. </li></ul>
Learn More <ul><li>Books: </li></ul><ul><li>King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild </li></ul><ul><li>All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo by Bryan Mealer </li></ul><ul><li>In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Documentaries: </li></ul><ul><li>Lumo : A documentary on one woman’s struggles and triumphs in Congo </li></ul><ul><li>The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo by Lisa F. Jackson </li></ul><ul><li>Other: </li></ul><ul><li>The Enough Project : Read strategy papers on the conflict </li></ul><ul><li>RAISE Hope for Congo : Download educational resources and toolkits </li></ul><ul><li>Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale </li></ul>