In Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), border villages have once again been caught in the crossfire between foreign rebel groups and government forces. 90,000 Congolese citizens have been forced to flee their
MSNBC reports that a new U.S. law will require certification of products, verifying they do not contain "conflict minerals", minerals sourced from Eastern Congo and which advocacy groups blame for fueling the violence.
Security has been dicey in the region despite the end of the previous Congolese conflicts, due to Ugandan and Rwanda rebel groups frequently operating across the porous border region. The head of UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency Antonio Gueterres was quoted on MSNBC as describing the situation in Eastern Congo as "a dramatic humanitarian situation."
Congolese troops are consist of former rebels, government troops, and militia that have been widely accused of atrocities, as have competing rebel groups. Militia in the region, as described on an ENOUGH Project Youtube video posted here, vie for control over Eastern Congolese ore mines containing gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum.
Another ENOUGH Project Youtube video, seen here, has had over half a million viewings and describes the conflict in terms of the famous Mac vs. PC ads. But as MSNBC reports, academics and activists are deeply divided over the degree to which the new U.S. law or any law regulating the sourcing of conflict. Academics argue that the minerals aren't a large enough portion of the global market to be significant, and that attempts to stop illegal mineral ore trafficking and taxation by the militias will quash purchases from legitimate, non-militia mines, putting thousands out of jobs.
Tyranny, Genocide and Civil WarKabila's rule of the country wasn't much better than Mobutu. He had no plans on how to reconcile the country. In 2001 Kabila was assassinated rumored to be by one of his body guards. After his death his soon took over
In 2003 Congo's power-sharing government finally came into office. Unfortunately, for the people of the Congo it did not stop the violence. Over four million people died as a result of the war either from starvation, violence or disease. In 2005 it was stated by the Crisis Group that 1,000 people died a day as a direct result of war. Even though the Congo has the largest UN Peace keeping mission it is still not enough to help the citizens.
Pearson Education, Inc "Congo, Democratic Republic of the"
BBC News, "Country profile: Democratic Republic of Congo"