Smartphones are a part of modern life. China produces over two billion of them every year. And each one contains a minute trace of metals that come from coltan ore. The war torn Democratic Republic of Congo is a major source of the rare mineral.
As gold continues to fuel the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN report says Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba with a history of serious human rights abuses is illegally running a gold mining operation.
Whether in cars, laptops or smartphones, cobalt is in nearly all batteries. The biggest supplier is the Democratic Republic of Congo, where human rights are often violated in the mines.
June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labour. The UN estimates that 168 million children are being put to work globally. Many of them are in Africa, particularly in the Congo, where cobalt mining by children is rampant.
For months now, Africa's rough diamonds have been increasing in value but the sale proceeds do not reach the people. Instead, they benefit metropolitan elites and the mine companies, which are usually foreign-owned.
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