For Immediate Release
Congo's Ban on Mining an Incomplete Solution to Conflict Minerals, says Enough Project
WASHINGTON - In order to decrease violence fueled by the global trade in conflict
minerals, Congo's recent ban on mineral exports must be accompanied by
long-term efforts to reform the trade, including a certification
process, says the Enough Project. Last week, President Joseph Kabila
announced a mineral export ban on the conflict-ridden and mineral-rich
Walikale territory in North Kivu, which was then followed by a full
export ban on all minerals mined in the eastern Congolese provinces of
North Kivu, South Kivu, and Maniema.
“President Kabila has opened the policy window to
reform on conflict minerals,” said Enough Policy Manager David Sullivan.
“However, the ban will not promote an end to the ongoing conflict
unless it is accompanied by concrete plans to deliver army reform,
certification of mineral exports, and opportunities for peaceful
“Certification is the critical next step to altering the dynamics of
minerals being traded for guns in Congo,” said Enough Project Consultant
Sasha Lezhnev. “The Obama administration should work with the
governments of the region to implement a certification process for these
minerals. The certification process should build on lessons learned
from the Kimberley Process for conflict diamonds, including independent
The trade in conflict minerals is a critical driver of the war in
eastern Congo, the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II. Armed
groups, including units of the Congolese army, earn hundreds of millions
of dollars per year trading in the mineral ores for tin, tantalum,
tungsten, and gold, which are essential to consumer electronics,
jewelry, and other industries. Measures in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed by President Obama in July,
require companies registered in the United States to report on steps
taken to ensure they are not financing armed groups and military units
in eastern Congo.
“This ban should in no way relieve companies of their responsibility to
ensure that their supply chains are not contributing to violence in
Congo,” said Enough Policy Analyst Aaron Hall. “Export bans are
difficult to enforce, could increase smuggling, and could hurt the
livelihoods of Congolese miners. The Congolese government and the
international community should work together on a comprehensive
follow-up plan, which must include security sector reform and a focused
strategy for dealing with the FDLR.”
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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.