Monday, July 26, 2010

In Congo, U.S. rule targets 'quarrel minerals'

The Democratic Republic of Congo is wealthy in resources, counting cobalt, gold, copper and tantalum.

A few U.S. companies pay money for minerals used in jewelry, computers and cell phones from the war-ravaged eastern part of the country, where government services have been battling rebels for years. Rights groups say profits from the minerals help fund the militants.

The bill does not mention the fine for using divergence minerals, but says companies will have to certify where their minerals come from and what events were taken to make certain they did not initiate from conflict areas.

Consequences and disclosures would then be posted on the companies ' websites, according to the bill.

"This is a step in the accurate path," said Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, a senior research beneficiary at Makerere University in neighboring Uganda, who habitually visits Congo. "It protects the interests of the Congolese a lot of minerals are going to be certified, and the law will do away with fly by night businesses and initiate bona fide companies that don't infringe on the rights of the the people."

Golooba Mutebi supposed the United States would have to effort with Congolese authorities for the law to be effective.The war and its aftermath, including hunger and diseases, have killed at least 5 million people and displaced scores. Rebels have used sexual violence as a weapon of war, and raped hundreds of thousands of women and girls.

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