oh, for heaven's sake
I can't wait to see Enough's press release on this one:
Mining in three provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been banned on the orders of the President Joseph Kabila.So many questions, so little time. But here are a few:
President Kabila ordered the indefinite suspension during a visit to the mining hub town of Walikale.
The president said he wanted to weed out what he called a "kind of mafia" involved in the mining industry.
Control over mining minerals like coltan and cassiterite has fuelled conflict between rebel groups.
The minerals are used in mobile phones and computers.
The ban covers the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema.
- How does Kabila think his government/army/police will enforce this ban? The national army can't and won't do it, MONUSCO's not capable of (or mandated to) monitor border traffic in the ways this ban would require, and the border police are still very much engaged in the practice of augmenting their meager incomes with bribes from whomever will pay them.
- Or, perhaps more importantly, why does Kabila think anyone with even the slightest knowledge about the eastern DRC would believe that such a ban is even remotely enforceable?
- What happens to the hundreds of thousands of people in the Kivus and Maniema whose primary or sole source of income is mining?
- And does Kabila think he'll get their votes in next year's presidential elections by taking this course?
- What about mining in areas of the provinces that are at peace? Ituri's off the hook. Why not other non-militarized mines?
- Who's about to get really, really, really, really, really, really, really mad at Kabila for threatening to cut off one of their sources of income? Many of these mines have prominent investors in the business and political sectors.