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And Now, Blood Minerals

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s got, as valuable minerals like coltan and cassiterite have not enriched the poor country but instead have led to a mafia-like battle for control of extraction operations, prompting the Congo’s president to indefinitely suspend mining.

Rebel groups have fought for control of the minerals, used in cell phone and computer production. The government says the proceeds from illegal mining prop up the rebel groups and perpetuate violence, bloodshed and ethnic conflict in the country’s eastern region. –JCL

The Guardian:

Mining in three provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been banned on the orders of the President Joseph Kabila.

President Kabila ordered the indefinite suspension during a visit to the mining hub town of Walikale.

The president said he wanted to weed out what he called a “kind of mafia” involved in the mining industry.

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