Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Mobile Phone Industry Accused of Financing Congo Conflict

Previous article | Next
VOA News - February 15, 2010
Enough Project ranks compagnies on conflict minerals

An international watchdog is calling for the mobile phone industry to do more to halt the use of rare metals that are mined in conflict zones.  Speaking on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress, Global Witness says metals found in everyday electronic objects are fueling conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Daniel Balint-Kurti, from London-based Global Witness, says components used in mobile phones are sourced from eastern Congo.

"What we know is that some of the metals that are being produced in eastern Congo are vital to the mobile phone market," said Daniel Balint-Kurti. "For example, there is a metal wolframite, which is the ore for tungsten, and tungsten has specific use in mobile phones in that it is used for the vibrating function of mobile phones."

The Mobile World Congress is the mobile phone industry's biggest event with tens of thousands of people flooding Spain's capital Barcelona to unveil plans for the industry's future.  But Global Witness says the industry is not paying attention to the affect it has on the conflict in DRC.

"Most of the armed groups there [in Congo] raise money for arms by selling metals on the international market which are used extensively in the electronic industry," he said.

According to Global Witness, the main warring parties including the Congo army, control much of the trade in minerals that produce tin, tantalum and tungsten.

Balint-Kurti says without the cash-flow from the electronics industry, armed groups would not have the same resources to buy weapons.

"If there was no ready outlet for these minerals on the international market, the capacity for armed groups to carry on their brutal warfare would be hugely reduced," said Balint-Kurti.

A U.N. report published in December called for U.N. member states to take steps to prevent companies from supporting armed groups by the trade in natural resources.  The conflict in DRC is often described as the deadliest conflict since World War II and, according to the International Rescue Committee, has killed around 5 million people since 1998.


Related articles


  1. DR Congo Scores High on Growth, Lags in Poverty Reduction: IMF (October 13, 2015)
  2. Congo Improves Natural Resources Accounting (July 4, 2014)
  3. Regional Leaders Sign DR Congo Peace Deal (February 24, 2013)
  4. Widespread abuse of logging permits opens up Congo's forests to more destruction (October 25, 2012)
  5. U.S. SEC requires company disclosures on use of DR Congo minerals (August 23, 2012)
  6. U.S. and U.K. Must Tell Rwanda to Stop Supporting Rebels in DR Congo, Global Witness Says (June 29, 2012)
  7. DR Congo, IMF to Co-Host Conference on the Management of Natural Resources (March 13, 2012)
  8. $70 Million in Congo Mining Revenue Untraceable, Investigators Say (March 5, 2012)
  9. 32 Million Congolese Voters Set to Elect Their Leaders (November 27, 2011)
  10. Rwanda gives DR Congo back tonnes of smuggled minerals (November 3, 2011)
  11. UN advises prudent use of abundant resources to spur development (October 10, 2011)
  12. DR Congo growth above 7 percent in 2010 - IMF (September 3, 2011)
  13. Case of UN Employee Caught Smuggling Minerals Not Unique (August 25, 2011)
  14. UN Employee Arrested for Trying to Smuggle Tin Ore (August 22, 2011)
  15. Controversy over "conflict minerals" law (August 2, 2011)
  16. Global Witness welcomes DR Congo's decision to publish resource contracts (June 3, 2011)
  17. Opportunity for change in eastern Congo's mines must be seized (May 18, 2011)
  18. Gold smugglers charged in Kenyan court (May 12, 2011)
  19. New Law Aims to Halt Sale of Conflict Minerals (April 18, 2011)
  20. New rules for miners (March 17, 2011)
  21. Plight of the Congo Is Focus of U.S. Congress Hearing (March 8, 2011)
  22. Kabila, Kibaki meet over smuggled gold from eastern Congo (March 6, 2011)
  23. Mining ban fails to end armed control of trade, says Global Witness (March 4, 2011)
  24. Foreign 'gold smugglers' arrested in eastern Congo (February 7, 2011)
  25. Great Lakes Regional Summit to Focus on Congo Resource Exploitation (December 15, 2010)
  26. Companies Struggle in Conflict Mineral Index (December 14, 2010)
  27. WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in London (December 7, 2010)
  28. List of facilities 'vital to US security' leaked (December 5, 2010)
  29. UN Report: CNDP, Congolese Soldiers Involved in Illegal Mining Operations (November 30, 2010)
  30. Rusesabagina Welcomes Congo Report, Warns of Another Genocide in Rwanda (October 6, 2010)


Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play



Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© 2018 CongoPlanet.com. All rights reserved.