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'Conflict minerals' funding deadly violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo as EU plans laws to clean up trade

Author: Sarah Morrison, Global Witness, in Independent (UK), Published on: 16 May 2015

Armed groups have preyed on eastern DRC's mineral sector for more than fifteen years. They have taxed and traded minerals...to help fund brutal violence. Millions of people have been displaced within the country due to armed conflict in the east...The European Parliament is set to vote on its first conflict minerals regulation aimed at cleaning up the trade this coming week. The European Union accounted for more than 15 per cent of global imports in tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold in 2013...Yet it currently has no legislation compelling companies to check if their mineral purchases fund conflict or human rights abuses overseas...[The new] regulation has to avoid the risks of disengagement from conflict areas...Strong conflict minerals legislation in Europe will not end conflict in DRC...But stopping the minerals trade from benefitting parties in a conflict could reduce their access to funding...

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