Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Mines behind Congo's wars

From StrategyPage: An article on how every war lord and militia group get their pay from their leaders who "own" their own mines.

. At the moment 70 to 80 percent of the working mines are controlled by militias. Some of the militias are bandit groups. Some are tribal war parties masquerading as a political party. Some are nominally Congolese Army units. Controlling a mine is a source of revenue for the militia, tribe, or army unit. There is a gray area here that receives little attention in the international media. Many legitimate Congolese Army units gripe that their pay is stolen or is in arrears. A commander controlling a mine can pay his troops.

But of course, these groups only get money from the mines: someone else owns and exports what is mined there.

so NGO's are pressuring the UN to devise a "blood mineral" designation to discourage the buying of such minerals...the problem is that the rich guys will just bribe the inspectors...and then there is the China problem. China will buy what they want and need from anyone, ignoring the human rights problems...

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