Action urged to expose connections between mining, violence in Congo
By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service
The regulations require that companies using natural resources such as tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten in popular electronic devices have two years to begin reporting on material obtained from Congo and neighbouring countries and the route followed to the consumer market, said Richard Coll, foreign policy adviser on Latin America and global trade at the USCCB.
Congo has experienced 16 years of fighting among various rebel groups competing
for strategic and mineral-rich portions of the country.
However, the rules, introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission Aug. 22, are being challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington by two business groups that claim they are ineffective, burdensome and too costly to implement.
A lawsuit filed Oct. 19 by the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asks the U.S. Court of Appeals to rescind or modify the rules.
Ed Kiely, CRS regional representative for Central and West Africa, said that Congo has seen a surge in violence since the April defection of high-ranking officers from the Congolese army formed a rebel group. Calling itself M23, the rebels have undertaken an offensive to gain control of key mining areas.
The recent fighting has displaced 260,000 Congolese while another 42,000
refugees have fled to Uganda and 20,000 to Rwanda, Kiely said.
Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops