"John Prendergast, who worked in the Clinton administration on Africa policy, co-founded "The Enough Project," which works to expose war crimes. He says Congo is stuck in a vicious cycle of war -- in which rape and other atrocities are common -- due to the outside world's demand for the precious minerals it holds. "If you do a conflict analysis, you will find that when there are spikes in violence, it has something to do with contestation over the mineral resources, gold and the rest of them," he tells Pelley. Congo also holds vast quantities of copper, tin and coltan -- an essential ingredient of electronics. Militias will attack civilian populations near the mineral supply to take control over a source of income. "It's chaos organized in order to exploit the gold and other minerals for the enrichment of these armed groups and it just keeps the cycle going and going," says Prendergast."Pelley goes on to interview the jewelry industry and draw parallels with "conflict diamonds" which are banned. Seems to me that commercial pressures are only one vector of influence. Surely this is a clear-cut case for armed humanitarian intervention -- Peacemaking -- as Paul Collier argues for -- "Security Assistance through Military Intervention" -- which is something rather beyond the Peacekeeping currently being tried. See here the 60 Minutes piece...
India-Pakistan border at nighttime[4928X3280]
34 minutes ago
As a ten year employee in the jewelry industry, I must say that this issue may be overlooked (at least in my circle of colleagues). With all of the fuss made about “blood diamonds,” which may or may not have died down considerably, as consumers and professionals we really need to examine all of the jewelry-related issues that affect other parts of the world and humanity in general. There is a lot of buzz about green or recycled gold. Hopefully this will raise concern about the source of gold being purchased. It will also be interesting to see how the people that mine platinum and palladium position their metals against this story and issues.
Thanks for your note. Nevertheless, I'm generally pretty non-plussed about singling out select elements of a value network and imposing sanctions on them. For instance, some people make a big fuss about "blood diamonds" only to overlook the exploitative practices of the Indian gem cutting sector. Or the Chinese dirty recycling practices or prison labor. Or the oil from rapacious kleptocracies such as Equatorial Guinea. Hypocrisy seems to be the norm. What kills me most is the suffering of innocent civilians and that should be targeted directly.
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