Zacharie Bulakali has worked for the last eight years as a mining researcher for the Bureau d’Etudes Scientifiques et Technique (the Office for Scientific and Technical Research). He now works as a researcher for IPIS in South Kivu. This interview was recorded in September 2012, and is reproduced here for the first time in English. While the interview remains relevant in today’s context, much has changed since it took place. Official production of conflict-free minerals has begun at Nyabibwe, although a recent report by Global Witness has raised concerns over whether or not the minerals can and should be considered conflict-free, given the area’s continued connections to the military. Continue Reading
These are a few photos that we took in February of this year, when director Seth Chase carried out a pre-production site visit to the mines in Nyabibwe, the pilot area in South Kivu for the traceability and certification schemes being implemented to provide ‘conflict free’ minerals to the international market. Continue Reading
Kivu Mining was initially set up around a year ago as a space to bring local research on mining in the Kivu region of the DRC to a wider audience. Recently however it has morphed into Obama’s Law, which may have left some of you wondering what’s going on. Continue Reading
David Aronson grew up in Ibadan, Abidjan, and Montreal. He has lived and worked on and off in the Kivus since the late 1980s. Bilingual in English and French and fluent in Swahili, he has published articles and op-eds on Congo in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The New Republic, Dissent, and elsewhere. David spent seven weeks in the summer of 2011 studying the impact of conflict mineral legislation on communities in South Kivu, and discovered that not only had the impact been catastrophic, but that almost everyone involved in the sector saw it coming.
Yesterday, my RSS feed fed me the following headline from an article published by Green Left Weekly (an Australian independent news source founded by Jon Pilger et al., that until now I’ve valued and trusted highly!):
Corporate coltan rush fuels Congolese violence
Hmmm. On reading the article, it didn’t get any better. In fact, it only got worse. So I wrote a response which – to Green Left Weekly’s credit – was published verbatim.
By Mélanie Gouby, a freelance journalist based in Goma (repost from RNW).
Last month’s tragedy at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa has drawn international attention on the deplorable working conditions of miners in that country. But was there any media coverage of the sixty people who died one month ago in a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)? Barely.
Want to read something on the Congo that’s devoid of sentimentality, tired clichés and/or questionable use of imagery and metaphor, and full on fact and understanding? Then this could be just the book for you. Continue Reading