Cellphone Justice

Metals found in such everyday electronic items as mobile phones and computers, mined illegally in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, are helping to fund a conflict that has caused millions of deaths, says Global Witness, a nongovernmental organization that focuses on natural resources and international trade. “The main warring parties in eastern Congo...control much of the lucrative trade in minerals that produce tin, tantalum and Metals found in such everyday electronic items as mobile phones and computers, mined illegally in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, are helping to fund a conflict that has caused millions of deaths, says Global Witness, a nongovernmental organization that focuses on natural resources and international trade. “The main warring parties in eastern Congo...control much of the lucrative trade in minerals that produce tin, tantalum and tungsten, as well as gold,” according to a G.W. statement. “These groups regularly commit horrific abuses against the civilian population, including mass murder, rape, torture and forced recruitment.” The group challenged leading electronics companies to come clean about where they obtain their materials during the Feb. 15 opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. “It is time for electronics companies to show they are serious about eliminating conflict minerals from their supply chains,” said a Global Witness campaigner, Daniel Balint-Kurti. Global Witness is urging the U.N. Security Council to use targeted sanctions against companies that support armed groups in eastern Congo by the illicit mineral trade.

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