It is time to ask…

Another article about Congo Calling, on the Spanish public radio and TV website. The following is copied from the page as translated by Google Chrome, without any tweaking.

Bandi Mbubi, Congo activist: “It is time to ask for fair trade technology”

  • Calling Congo denounces the use of minerals from countries in conflict
  • The Congo is the main world’s coltan reserves
  • It is a mineral used to manufacture electronic components
  • The conference was held at the Campus Party in London

From Monday to Saturday takes place in London first Campus Party, a meeting in which about 10,000 techies and video games camping around the O2 Arena to conduct workshops, courses and debates or tables round.

Among the dozens of talks that are taking place and that they are still streaming, the founder and a director of the charity Congo Calling, activist Mbubi Bandi has spoken about coltan conflict in their country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Congo has, as indicated Mbubi, with most of the world’s reserves of coltan , a mineral oxide is used to make some electronic components that are on devices we use every day, such as phones, tablets, game consoles or computers laptops. The central African country is also known for having half of Reservation diamonds in the world and many other minerals, such as copper and gold.

However, Mbubi stressed that it is “important to ask where they come from minerals “that are manufactured with our devices. “We have to ask how they occur and what options we have to change this situation,” said. And the history of Congo, a country rich in natural resources, has been splattered with blood by the conditions that have lived the people who worked in the mines.

Blood coltan

Congolese activist noted that during the reign of Leopold II of Belgium, in the early twentieth century, the monarch imposed conditions “draconian” for the extraction of minerals. There was a minimum of material to be removed and if there was not the authorities cut the slaves hands, feet or members of their families. “The Congo has lived an immoral and illegal exploitation,” he complained Mbubi, who said that in the country have committed “terrible atrocities”. In recent years, the DRC has suffered two civil wars , the first in 1996 to overthrow the dictator, General Mobutu. Coltan has been key in the wars since the armed groups involved have trafficked with the mineral to buy weapons and continue the conflict. “Do not go it alone, the material is smuggled to other countries, just in China and there is refined, and you get the tantalum” he explained.

Materials from countries in conflict

Calling Congo director noted in the Campus Party conference that there are technology companies that use purchased coltan in Congo and urged consumers to demand companies from which they buy: “No devices we bathed in blood.”

The goal is, he said, that these companies put pressure on raw material suppliers to know where they come from minerals and changing the link between natural resources and financing of the war . Mbubi explained that a draft EE. UU. is fighting against genocide and for companies around the world are concerned about the provenance of the materials.”There has been resistance in the technology industry to investigate. For those who suffer is hard, because people have been tortured, enslaved and murdered , “he told. The Congolese also talked about Fairphone , a mobile that ensures that from extraction until export is subject to a fair trade for those who work in it.

What can consumers do

Mbubi Bandi has invited all consumers to send mails to members of each country to ask them to stop the trade in minerals from countries at war , to write their phone companies to make them know that they disagree with materials that are extracted places in conflict or follow her organization Twitter and / or Facebook . In your page include form letters to send to authorities and companies.

The organization he represents, Congo Calling, works by three objectives: creating a mass of consumers who order products conflict free ; lobbying for the imposition of ethical business practices in the U.S., UK and the EU and get the companies follow the guidance of the OECD to dispense COUNTRIES, minerals from conflict.

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