Open Letter on Conflict Minerals

 

In this Open Letter, 31 experts, former ambassadors, and Congolese civil society leaders provide an update on the efforts to end the conflict minerals trade funding armed groups in eastern Congo, take note of remaining challenges, and suggest strategies for achieving solutions toward lasting peace.

In this Open Letter, 31 experts, former ambassadors, and Congolese civil society leaders provide an update on the efforts to end the conflict minerals trade funding armed groups in eastern Congo, take note of remaining challenges, and suggest strategies for achieving solutions toward lasting peace.

It is time for another broader push for reform on conflict minerals and natural resource governance in order to complement the Dodd-Frank legislation and deepen related minerals reforms. Dodd-Frank has been the primary driver of corporate and regional policy change on conflict minerals, creating a market incentive for reform of the exploitative patterns of mining in Congo. However, by itself it is incomplete, and it must be built upon with deeper reforms to speed up the development of a responsible minerals trade that improves the livelihoods of eastern Congo’s population. The reform agenda should include more robust regional and corporate reforms, as well as alternative livelihood programs and full implementation of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework in close consultation with Congolese and regional stakeholders. The September 9 Open Letter on conflict minerals is a thoughtful piece that offers many helpful recommendations that should be fully considered. However, the letter also lacks important context and supportive evidence for several of its core assertions...

Read the entire letter here.

Signed,
 
Abbey Bahala Jean Bosco 
Former General Rapporteur of Goma Peace Process (Kinshasa, DRC)

Dominique Bikaba 
Executive Director, Strong Roots Congo (Bukavu, DRC)

Amb. Bill Garvelink 
Former US Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (USA)

Bahati Jaques 
Policy Analyst and Human Rights Defender, Africa Faith and Justice Network (USA)

Paul Freedman
Independent Filmmaker (USA)

Bennett Freeman 
Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments, Inc. (USA)

Michael Jeser 
Executive Director, Jewish World Watch (USA)

Patricia Jurewicz 
Director, Responsible Sourcing Network (USA)

Jeredy Malonga 
Vice-Chairman, Research Center on Environment, Democracy and Human Rights (CREDDHO) (Goma, DRC)

Justine Masika 
Chairwoman, Women's Synergy for Sexual Violence Victims (SFVS) (Goma, DRC)

Noé Kabano 
Vice-Chairman, SOS Africa (Goma, DRC)

Caleb Kabanda 
Independent Journalist (Goma, DRC)

Lawyer Omar Kavota 
National Vice-Chairman of the Research Center for Peace et Human Rights (CEPADHO) (Beni, DRC)

Fidel Bafilemba, Holly Dranginis, Sasha Lezhnev, John Prendergast 
Enough Project (Goma, DRC and USA)

Christian Kilundu 
Independent Journalist (Goma, DRC)

Wynnette LaBrosse 
President and Director, Open Square Charitable Gift Fund (USA)

Dan McCabe 
Filmmaker (USA)

Mireille Muhigwa 
Executive Director, Strong Women DRC (Bukavu, DRC)

Janvier Murairi 
Coordinator, Development Group of Peasant Initiatives (ASSODIP) (Goma, DRC)

Chrispin Mvano (Coordinator, Africa Justice Peace & Development (AJPD) (Goma, DRC)

Jean-Robert Mweze (Research Geologist, Centre de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (CRGM DRC) (Bukavu, DRC)

Neema Namadamu 
Founder, Maman Shujaa of Congo (Bukavu, DRC)

Georges Nzabanita 
Founder, Peacebuilding Initiative for a Sustainable Development in Eastern Congo (PISDEC) (Rutshuru, DRC)

Mike Ramsdell 
Independent Filmmaker (USA)

Horeb Shindano 
Freelance Reporter (Goma, DRC)

Charlotte Simon 
Coordinator, Mothers of Congo (UK)

Karen Stauss 
Director of Programs, Free the Slaves (USA)

Toby Whitney 
Former Congressional Legislative Director (USA