WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE CONGO?
At least 5.5 million people have been tortured and murdered within the Congo since 1998. The Congo is the most dangerous place to be a woman or girl in the World. Men and boys are also targeted and terrorized. Nobody goes untouched. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is thought of as the richest country in the world. yet is one of the poorest and most dangerous on our planet. So why has this potential paradise become a living hell?
Enough (not associated with this campaign) have created a short introduction to the issues surrounding the DRC.
This is equivalent to the annual wealth of Europe and USA combined and due to it’s untapped natural resources, which include a vast amount of raw minerals/metals.
However, there are over 21 different armed groups occupying the congo, all trying to control and profit from these resources. Congo is the size of western europe. It has no protected borders, making it easy to illegally trade these conflict minerals. These minerals end up in electronics that we use everyday including our Mobile phones and Computers and DVD’s players.
In order to gain access with ease to these minerals, militias terrorize local communities. The most effective tactics used are rape and murder. Using rape as tactic of war is not only physically terrorizing, it is physiologically so damaging that the communities break apart into a form of social chaos, leaving no one to resist or challenge these armed groups.
This method of war is recognized by the UN as a strategic tactic, Amnesty International has stated that rape is cheaper and more effective than bullets
Armed groups Ransack villages for men and boys forcing them to kill their mothers and rape their sisters, so they have no one to returned home to. Many of the armed groups are controlled by fear and are occupied by men who have been forced to enlist. The men within these armed groups are unpaid and are often starving – essentially they are armed slaves. in order to survive they loot villages for money and food.
Our electronic companies are fueling this war by not taking responsibility of where their sourcing their materials from. doing business direct or indirectly with brutal armed war lords is Criminal and gives silent approval to these gross acts against humanity.
It might look hopeless but things are changing fast in the congo – 80% of the population believe the conflict can end within a year, lets help make it happen.
- Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba is arrested in brussels for crimes of war and sexual violence.
- Congolese president Kabila issues statement for zero tolerance tolerance for perpetrators of sexual violence in the military
- Mobile courts are initiated by the open society justice initiate and given jurisdiction over the military and civil justice in response to war crimes and military induced sexual violence across the congo
- within in 6 months of initiation of the mobile courts they tried 115 military gender and sexual violence cases, 68 people tried, 51 were convicted
- the first case before international criminal court (icc) to be focused almost on solely on sex crimes jean-pierre bemba on trial for crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes for the instruction of rape and murder.
- the Dodd – Frank act passed in the USA declare that american companies reveal conflict minerals in their supply chain
- Conflict smelter program launched – to voluntarily enlist companies to ensure raw materials are conflict free.
- Congolese prosecuted soldiers and a commanding officer who sentence to 20 years in jail, sending a loud message across the congo to armies stating their behavior will be held into account.
- Apple and Intel pledge to stop purchasing conflict minerals to the congo by signing up to the conflict -free smelter program
- In the USA, Pittsburgh becomes the first city in the world to become conflict-free by passing a resolution regarding the use of Congo’s conflict minerals in consumer electronics,
- California has introduced a bill prohibiting the state from working with companies that don’t comply with regulations on conflict minerals has passed the state Senate committee.
- Unwatchable campaign is launched – share this
Congo images copyright Robin Hammond