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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Lost and frightened

Is there blood on your mobile phone?
Congo harbors the biggest world reserves. The coltan, a mix of niobite and tantalite, is also found in 6 other African countries. Children work in the coltan mines (only they can reach the narrowest galleries) and also Hutu prisoners and adults. They all must face semi-slavery conditions. On the ground, women cook and prostitute. The benefits from the coltran smuggling are directed to financing armies and guerilla forces of the confronting countries.

Congo also harbors 70 % of the world's cobalt reserves, 30 % of diamonds, and 10 % of copper.

Seven foreign armies were attracted in the civil war by the treasures of a country as big as Western Europe, the third in Africa. On one side, there is the Republic of Congo, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe; on the other side Rwanda, Uganda and the Congolese rebels, in a conflict qualified by some as "the First African World War".

Want to do something? Support Amnesty International's actions for the Congo.

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