"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)



All these initiatives have, however, to face a basic problem. The values which motivate the various national or international lobbyists, such as the inalienability of human rights (the civilian victims attributed to armed groups, the enslavement of miners and their inhuman working conditions, the impunity, and the absence of social dividends), the political climate (the management of natural resources, taking into account also the environmental as well as the social impact), and lastly the economic liberalization (the market, rather than the armed groups, regulating the trade), can hardly succeed in raising the level of responsibility of a Congolese state that is no longer seen to exist in much of the public sector and in many areas of the country(10). The question that arises is: Without a Congolese state capable of playing its role in controlling and running affairs, how can the minerals of Kivu be de-criminalized?

It is imperative that the various people and organizations of good will who are determined to ensure that the minerals of Kivu are 'clean' or conflict-free first work towards a definition of the basics necessary for the re-establishment of the Congolese state. Only when this is in place will the control of the mining industry be possible. The various initiatives will not be effective unless this basic condition is met.
That's Aloys Tegera, writing on conflict minerals for Congolese think tank The Pole Institute.


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