In the last twenty years over 6 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Our initial reaction would be to believe this was as a result of famine which we have witnessed over many years in nations such as Ethiopia. However the reason here is far darker and more sinister. It was to enable the Western world to benefit and profit from Congo’s vast mineral wealth and resources. It has extensive resources including gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, tin, uranium and coltan.
Congo has 64% of the world’s coltan and is used primarily in the production of tantalum capacitors, used in many electronic devices. It is often cited as being of primary importance in the production of mobile phones, but this is an over-simplification, as tantalum capacitors are used in almost every kind of electronic device used on our planet.
In 1946 the strategic minerals stockpiling act was passed with the aim of obtaining and stockpiling cobalt. Congo had the misfortune to be the holder of the largest reserves of cobalt on the planet and was targeted. The west saw cobalt as a strategic and critical mineral essential for aerospace, military and defence industries.
The UK and US provided financial and military aid and assistance to Uganda and Rwanda which are neighbouring countries to Congo. They plundered Congo’s resources with devastating consequences for the people of this nation. The UN implicated multiple national companies in sourcing coltan from Congo and serve as the engine for the conflict in the DRC.
As the world benefits from Congo’s vast resources, Congolese women, children and men continue to be raped, tortured, starved, displaced and killed. A leaked UN report suggested crimes of genocide may have been committed by Rwandan troops.
Unsurprisingly there is little or no media coverage in the West about Congo and when they do they talk about rebel groups in the Congo committing mass atrocities .What the media does not cover is the arming, training and financing of these groups by foreign governments. There is no mention of the western backed coups, wars, assassinations or the involvement of foreign corporations in the looting of Congo.
The statistics are horrifying, millions displaced, and millions dead with 50%, children under the age of 5. What is happening in Congo is a silent genocide so western nations can profit from resources which belong to the people of DRC. It is time to put an end to such madness in Congo and many other places in the world.