EURAC and Fatal Transactions call for the EU to step up engagement on conflict mineral

In July 2010 the US Congress passed the Dodd Frank Act, containing amendments on ‘conflict minerals’ from the Great Lakes region. The legislation came over a decade after the UN Security Council first expressed its concerns over the links between mineral exploitation and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This dynamic, which extends beyond the DRC’s borders, complicates efforts towards peace-building and security sector reform in the east of the country.

The EU response must be both strong and carefully developed. European companies cannot continue to indiscriminately import minerals whose extraction and trade contribute to or benefit from conflict, instability and insecurity. At the same time however, artisanal mining currently provides a livelihood for millions of Congolese and - if efforts to formalise the sector are successful - offers an important opportunity for the economic development of the region. The goal of EU policy must not be an embargo on Congolese minerals, but to create incentives for trade that is legal, formalised and under the control of civilian authorities.

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