Since early October, Beni territory in eastern Congo has suffered a series of horrific attacks, allegedly perpetrated by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The violence, often targeting women and children, has resulted in the deaths of more that 250 civilians. As the attacks continued unabated, tensions between the local postulations and UN and Congolese forces have increased. Read More »
The armed conflict in eastern Congo that has killed over 5.4 million people is financed largely by trading minerals used in an array of common consumer products around the world, from electronics to jewelry. Recent critiques by the Cato Institute and in the Washington Post have questioned whether current local and international initiatives to combat the problem are causing more harm than good. Last month, the Enough Project’s U.S. and Congo-based teams visited mining communities in eastern Congo to get an updated assessment on conflict minerals. To help you better understand what's at stake, we've provided 9 things you need to know about conflict minerals on ThinkProgress. Read More »
In an op-ed featured on The Daily Beast, John Prendergast is raising the challenge to stop the flow of conflict minerals – and making the case that doing so is fundamental to stopping the decades-long conflict in Eastern Congo. Joining voices with activists from Super Bowl winner Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers to Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital, Prendergast says “reforming this trade is part of a comprehensive strategy, including regional governance reforms, to help end the war.” Read More »
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“Congo”), gold is a major financial lifeline for armed actors. Fortunately, jewelry retailers and consumers can play important roles to help end the conflict gold trade and the suffering it causes, together with the actions of governments. The Enough Project has engaged with the largest jewelry retailers in an effort to encourage companies to use their power and resources in more robust, effective ways to support responsible sourcing in Congo and the Great Lakes Region. Two companies in particular—Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewelers—have demonstrated clear leadership in beginning to address the conflict gold issue by taking proactive steps to set up supply chain controls, contribute to solutions on the ground in Congo, and support the communities affected by mining and violence in Congo.
In a new report, “How to Dismantle a Deadly Militia” the Enough Project sets out seven key non-military approaches to help ending the FDLR’s ability to continue to threaten peace and security in eastern Congo and the region. Read More »
On May 20th, 2014, the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) Academic Senate passed a conflict minerals resolution, making Cal Poly the 17th school to go conflict-free. The official statement, recently published on the University's Office of Contracts, Procurement, and Risk Management website, acknowledges the problem of conflict minerals, resolves to take into account whether companies are working to address the problem when making purchasing decisions for the University, calls upon the entire California State University system to adopt similar practices. Read More »
The plight of women and children in eastern Congo has not received the urgent response it needs, which has facilitated widespread impunity. This culture of impunity allows perpetrators to continue their violations against vulnerable civilians. Sanctions on such perpetrators help combat the culture of impunity by holding the guilty accountable, allowing the survivors and their communities the opportunity to move forward and sending a clear message that violence against women and children will not be tolerated. Read More »
This resource page is designed to provide an update on the efforts to end the conflict minerals trade that finances numerous brutal armed groups in eastern Congo, note remaining challenges, and suggest strategies for encouraging lasting peace. Read More »
Cooperative efforts by student activists like Roxanne Rahnama and socially-conscious companies like Intel indicate a sustained and growing interest in the conflict-free movement and exemplify its cross-cutting nature. Read More »
Roxanne Rahnama is the Strategic Oversight and Resolutions Coordinator for the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. This video shares her story about joining the conflict-free movement and highlights the importance of collaboration between activists and companies like Intel who are working to source clean minerals from Congo.
Pressure from consumers, students, and activists has spurred action within the electronics industry to clean up their supply chains. Companies like Intel are leading the way to ensure that their products do not contain minerals that originated in conflict areas in Congo. While much progress has been made in recent years, further action is needed in order for a truly conflict-free minerals trade to take root.
Roxanne Rahnama is the Strategic Oversight and Resolutions Coordinator for the Enough Project's Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. Roxanne is a senior at UC Berkeley, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Economics, a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy, and minoring in Global Poverty and Practice. At Berkeley, she founded and facilitates an undergraduate-run course on Natural Resource Conflicts and Corporate Social Responsibility. She first became involved in the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative after serving as a Raise Hope for Congo intern at the Enough Project in the summer of 2012.