DRC Congo: Coltan, the new blood diamonds

Congo has 24 trillion dollars worth of untapped raw mineral deposits, holds 30% of the worlds Diamond reserves, 80% world’s Coltan.

Published: April 16, 2012 – Inform Africa

Since 1998, fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been prolonged as a consequence of the country’s vast mineral reserves, which includes diamonds, gold, tungsten, tin and Coltan.

Fighting has thought to have killed an estimated 5.4 million people, despite the continued presence of the world’s largest United Nations peacekeeping operation. (McHaney, S (2009) [Accessed16 June])

In 2008, there were 18,422 personnel at an annual cost of 1.2 billion. It has been widely documented that the production of coltan is ‘fuelling’ the war in Congo. (Vesperini, H (2001) [Accessed 16 June]) Due to this immense wealth of natural resources, various foreign powers, as well as internal, have fought for an advantage.

This is a conflict, which has largely gone unnoticed, and the desire for minerals has far outweighed the concern for life. As one Congolese male stated, it is almost as if the civilian population is an ‘inconvenience’ to the people who possess the mines and its resources. (The Independent, (2006) [Accessed 16 June]) It is these people who therefore are willing to kill, promote violence and prolong instability to keep control of this.

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