Blood in the mobile
Congo is considered one of the richest countries on the planet. The population also closes the poverty list. There is even such a wish in the Congo to the enemy: “that you live in gold” ...
We all use mobile phones. They are sold to half a billion a year, and each uses columbo-tantalite, derived from coltan ore, and 80% of the world's deposits of coltan are located just in the Congo. And that's not counting a third of the world's diamond reserves, nearly half of the cobalt reserves, a quarter of the uranium reserves, as well as significant oil deposits, copper, gold and silver. One of the richest countries in the world could afford the standard of living of at least the Emirates. But there are companies America Mineral Fields Inc., and still there are Nokia, Siemens, as well as Cobatt (USA), HC Starck (Germany), Ningxia (China) and a number of others ...
50 years in the Congo, the war, which is referred to as the "Congolese civilian" and the "second African" and "world coltan", is almost never ending. At first, the pieces went for diamonds, and in 90's, mobile phones appeared, and a “coltan boom” began. Over the past ten years, from 6 to 10 millions of people have died here (according to various sources). The “holy” war (as some group members call it) for control over the mines of coltan concentrated in South Kivu province continues. From here, the population (who can) is massively fleeing.
Everyone has their own interests in the Congo - those who didn’t get there only indirectly. National Tutsi and Hutu groups (concealing Franco-American conflicts of interest), religious sects, foreign missions, regular units of neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Angola, Russian and Ukrainian pilots, Chinese specialists and French mercenaries, guards of private Belgian and French firms. The dump is universal. Coltan mines are concentrated, moreover, in two national natural parks - and in recent years there have been almost no animals left. Hungry armies have eaten all the gorillas, elephants and giraffes, and the terrain itself now resembles a lunar landscape.
In addition, the deposits of coltan here are mixed with deposits of radioactive uranium, and it is mined by hand with a shovel and tin basin. The bottom line: almost half of the children are stillborn. Miners carry pieces of radioactive ore just in their pockets.
Another problem of the richest country is hunger. In armies, legal and illegal armed groups, they fight up to 70% of the entire male population, the rest produce coltan, receiving about 1-2 dollars per day. They are digging coltan on self-made mines, where miners are constantly falling asleep. Practically nobody is engaged in agriculture - it makes no sense, anyway, no army will pass today or tomorrow and will sweep everything clean. Only women are still somehow crawling in the gardens to feed their children. But they face another problem - according to local beliefs, a soldier who raped a woman will be saved from a bullet ...
In the province of South Kivu, up to 1500 people are now (!) Dying every day. Here, whole 33 armed groups are fighting on the principle of all against all. Worst of all, the UN peacekeepers sent here are also immediately included in the division of profits from the mines - it comes to clashes already between the blue helmets. Everybody needs Coltan - its profitability considerably exceeds the income from diamonds, uranium and gold.
Local sorcerers consider coltan as a “damned stone”, arguing that unless they dig it all up, there will be no peace in the Congo.
Yes, in 1960-m the Belgian administration left Congo, but L'Union Miniere remained, which breathed very unevenly in the direction of the diamond mines. Attempted to nationalize the mines of Lumumba lived after this, as we know, not for long. Put in his place Mobutu 40 formally reigned for years in the capital, accepted military parades and did not interfere with what was happening in the southern province. During this time, the Congo entered the top ten of the poorest countries, Mobutu - among the ten richest people in the world. Meanwhile, mercenaries from security Belgian firms were actively fighting with competitors from other firms, insurgents and raiders from neighboring states. But Mobutu was overthrown as soon as the coltan boom began, and the usual war acquired the character of a merciless massacre of all with all.
According to the UN Security Council, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, the USA, Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, India and Malaysia (not counting African states) are participating in the global “drama” for coltan. Ten years UN demands imposing an embargo on supplies weapons to this region, but no results are visible. Coltan and weapons are inextricably linked. As the president of neighboring Rwanda, who fought in the battle for coltan (first on the side of French companies, then on American Cobatt), said: “This war finances itself”.
The armaments necessary for the seizure of the mines are bought for coltan already captured, then weapons are again bought on the sold new coltan. Congo alone spends about a million dollars a day on waging war (like Rwanda). Often, the weapon is bought and the IMF loans. At the beginning of 2000-s, the IMF highly appreciated the fast-growing economies of all the warring countries that showed 6% growth - and allocated new loans. But the population with such growth decreases at an incredible pace: often in armies, except teenagers, there is no one to fight.
In addition to regular armies, foreign mercenaries and security firms, the Movement for Congolese Democracy, which recently seized several mines near the city of Goma and sold 150 tons of coltan in a month, almost destroying the population of this town, is also fighting here.
The “Lord’s Resistance Army”, which came from neighboring Uganda and which was notorious for the massacre of African Catholics before the war, is fighting. The “divine army” was founded as far back as 1987 ago by a certain Joseph Kony. She is also known for the theft of children throughout central Africa, "who are sinless and will enter the kingdom of God." Of them make short-lived fighters - cannon fodder in the struggle for coltan. Periodically, wrapped in bible leaves, parts of the dismembered bodies of “ideological” enemies are scattered throughout the towns and villages of Uganda and the Congo, and all this is done in the name of morality and ethics.
The army of the mercenaries of Nkunda, the pastor of the 7-day Adventist Rwandan church, the 20-thousandth army of sectarians, secretly sponsored by America Mineral Fields Inc., operates here. (controlling stake in the Clinton couple). This year, having received weapons from Rwanda, it pressed the Angolan army (Chinese interests) and the Congolese government forces, demanding to terminate the 9 billion-dollar contract with China for the development of coltan mines.
The army of French mercenaries Jean-Pierre Bembe, a local oligarch who grabbed a piece of Congo into his own patrimony, who declared himself as “a representative of Christ in the region”, is also operating here. From this area coltan is already on the manufacture of Intel processors.
The scheme itself supplies coltan very difficult. Congolese prospectors manually mine it and give it to small dealers-dealers. Those, in turn, hire private planes from Ukraine and Russia, which transport raw ore to neighboring countries (mainly to Rwanda). Further, the cargo exported from the Congo, through government companies owned by the relatives of the presidents of Rwanda or Uganda, is delivered to Europe. Here the main role is played by Belgian firms. Most of the cargo arrives at Ostend Airport (transshipment point) and the airplanes are already returning weapons from Eastern Europe and Russia, and the cargo of coltan through firms registered somewhere in Cyprus is delivered to processing plants.
There are few of them, but their owners, in fact, are the main sponsors of the war in the Congo: Cobatt (USA), HC Starck (Germany), Ningxia (China) and the Kazakhstani processing plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk. The latter, presumably through the Kazakh leadership, in fact controls the Swiss magnate Chris Huber. The same Kazakh-Swiss channel is mainly engaged in recruiting pilots in post-Soviet countries. There is even such a joke now: “one cannot fly in the skies of Africa without knowing Russian”. Our pilots ("glorious guys") serve all the belligerents, for the day, sometimes simply carrying weapons to all the participants of the coltan brawl.
“Mobile is oozing blood” is spoken in Africa.
At one time, the South African company De Beers was able to force them to buy diamonds under "white" schemes (not on the black market, where it is cheaper), simply fixing the origin of the goods. It is not possible to achieve the same regarding UN coltan: all large countries are stuck in a fight - profits are too great.
Africans call the koltanovy district "branch of hell" and there will be no one to fight here, in fact, soon. Therefore, it is no coincidence that Belgian human rights activists have noted the intensification of private security firms in Eastern Europe recruiting mercenaries in the Congo. Just business.
- Dmitry Kolesnik
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