Mineral Wealth: The Cry from the DRC

By Carlson, Anthony | Harvard International Review, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

Mineral Wealth: The Cry from the DRC


Carlson, Anthony, Harvard International Review


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the site of the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, with over three million dead since fighting began in 1998. Though substantial progress has been made in the past few years, large regions of the country remain outside government control. The violence is ostensibly political in nature, but the true conflict is over the DRC's substantial mineral resources. The fight for lucrative minerals, found in abundance in the DRC, will continue to plague the country until the international community steps in and imposes stricter international transfer protocols.

The DRC adopted a new constitution in May 2005, marking the end of the transitional period between former President Joseph Kabila's rule and the 2002 Global and All-Inclusive Agreement that gave former rebel groups a stake in government in exchange for their promise to disarm. However, violence continues to destroy the country. Local government and UN forces have come under constant attack from the various Congolese militias collectively known as the Mai-Mai. Loosely affiliated with the major rebel groups during the war, the militias were largely excluded from the power-sharing agreement that terminated hostilities between die main warring factions.

The Mai-Mai consist of splinter factions of the main rebel groups, remnants of the Interahamwe militia driven out of Rwanda after participation in the 1994 genocide, and more recently, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a millenarian cult-army bent on creating its own dominion that terrorizes the Great Lakes region and southern Sudan. Since the 2002 agreement, these groups have engaged in violence against the central government, UN forces, and civilians.

The greatest motive for violence is not the thirst for political power so much as the thirst for the immense potential profit from the DRC's ample mineral wealth. One of the most important minerals, columbite-tantalite, or coltan, is a tar-like substance instrumental in producing capacitors, a key component of virtually all modern electronic equipment.

The DRC is home to 80 percent of the world's coltan, and illegal sales of this important mineral are funding the continuing conflict in the country. The United Nations estimates that before 2002, rebels and the armies of Rwanda and Uganda occupying the eastern DRC were making over US$150 million per year from coltan sales. These groups laundered coltan through other Great Lakes countries, including Burundi, which have small reserves of their own. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mineral Wealth: The Cry from the DRC
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.