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.
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.
The president's list followed last month's naming of a former opposition leader as his prime minister. The move seems at variance with his commitment to hold elections before year-end.
Former South Sudanese militants took 13 staff members hostage at a UN camp in eastern Congo, later releasing them without injury. Kinshasa has tried repeatedly to move them, but no other nation will take them in.
Two UN officials on a peacekeeping mission have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The victims, a US national and a Swede, had been probing clashes in the devastated Kasai Central province.
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