The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been characterized by the behavior of her natives, especially in the eastern part, being engaged into selling some of her valuable minerals such as gemstones and gold to other countries via the black markets mostly located at the country’s borders. The stakeholders in this business include the Senegalese, Indian and Chinese clients. Though the smugglers participating in this kind of illegal business are small part-time group of actors, they earn themselves millions of dollars, part of which is hidden in the country’s distressed backwoods.
This income has been used to finance the country’s armed groups (Manson, 1). As a result, it has not been so smooth and easy to get to the bottom of the conflict that has over years existed over the Congo’s minerals. Even some of the smugglers testify that because of the sufferings that they have undergone for quite a long period of time, they resolved to this dirty business since they had nothing else they could do. Arguments from lobby groups in the U. K.
reported that in order to attain peace in Congo and resettle the millions of displaced citizens, mineral-related conflicts ought to be contained first. However, it has been very challenging to resolves these conflicts because certain hindrances. To begin with, the smuggling routes are untraceable. Despite these pathways being rocky, twisted and on the green hills, there are armed men who demand for cash taxes and other levies such as their imposed in-kind levies. Moreover the mining sites are all through guided majorly by the PARECO, a former militia group (Global Witness, 1).
Manufacturers of mobile phones have also been accused for having helped finance these conflicts since these companies have been using metals such as tantalum and tin which are obtained from the processing of the minerals from this country. As a result, these mobile phone companies have been called upon to review their supply chains with the aim of making certain that their tin and tantalum supplies are not from militia-controlled or military units-controlled mines.
Thailand based Thailand Smelting and Refining Company (Thaisarco) has been accused for being a manufacturer of the mobile phones that buys ore from a Hutu Militia group, FDLR (Katrina, 1). Thaisarco is owned by Amalgamated Metal Corporation (AMC), a British company In the resolutions by the U. N. , it was highlighted that a measure to freeze the assets and ban the travels for those involved in financing the illegal Congolese armed groups should be taken on worldwide.
In order to help hold back the catastrophes associated with the corrupt and illegal exploitation of the Congo’s mineral resources, the international trade system stakeholders have been urged to mend any loopholes so as to end not only this impunity but also avoid environmental abuses, bring to a halt mineral-linked conflicts and more importantly refrain from infringing the Congolese human rights. Furthermore, guideline to enable the tracing of the sources of the minerals should be put forth.
Media analysis has helped me understand clearly the causes of the conflicts that are in Congo that are closely linked with the illegal exploitation of the minerals within the country, the contributors of these conflicts and also the prescriptions, from various public views, on how resolutions may be arrived at. This is because the analysis enhances the understanding of raw data from the various view points.
It has played a crucial role in helping relate the events that were occurring in DRC. However, media analysis proves to be limiting is some ways. For instance, the information provided is most a times summarized, missing some first hand information. As a result, one is made to believe on the information at hand. Works Cited Global Witness. Metals in Mobile Phones Help Finance Congo Atrocities. February 16, 2009, Viewed August 2, 2010 from <http://www. globalwitness.
org/media_library_detail. php/718/en/metals_in_mobile_phones_help_finance_congo_atrocities> Katrina, M. Groups Says Suing UK Over Congo Conflict Minerals. Times Live, July 26, 2010. Viewd August 2, 2010 from < http://www. timeslive. co. za/africa/article570920. ece/Group-says-suing-UK-over-Congo-conflict-minerals > Manson, K. Uphill Task to Solve Congo’s Conflict Minerals. Reuters Jul 30, 2010, viewed August 2 2010 from <http://uk. reuters. com/article/idUKTRE66T1LR20100730>