People are massacred in the Congo for the sake of coltan needed for mobile phones

From: Eileen O'Connor
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 23:18:16 +0100
Subject: People are massacred in the Congo for the sake of coltan needed for mobile phones

Head of Justice and Peace from the Congo due to speak at a CAFOD conference in London.

Take a look at the enclosed CAFOD conference details, it might be worth thinking about attending this conference organised by CADFOD. One of the main speakers is the Head of Justice and Peace from the Congo. Remember people in the Congo are being massacred not only for gold but also for coltan, columbite-tantalite which is a black tar-like mineral needed especially for mobile phones. Much of the world's supply of coltan comes from Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A recent UN Security Council report charged that a great deal of it is illegally mined and smuggled out of Congo by armies from Uganda , Rwanda , and Burundi , occupying the eastern region of Congo. One estimate has the Rwandan army making $250 million in 18 months from the sale of coltan.

For more information go to:

Unearth Justice Conferences

Be in at the start of something big.

CAFOD is launching the Unearth Justice campaign at two conferences, where you can:

* Hear from CAFOD partners about how gold mining affects people and the environment in their countries.

* Quiz the experts at a Question Time session.

* Enjoy live music and drama

* Ground your campaigning in your faith with special liturgy.

* Take action to stop mining companies undermining the poor

The Conferences take place in:

* London on Saturday 13 May 2006
(Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW) or

* Bury on Saturday 20 May 2006
(Holy Cross Sixth Form College, Manchester Rd, Bury BL9 9BB)

Inspiring Speakers

Speakers will include Abbé Alfred Buju, Head of the Justice and Peace Commission at Caritas Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pedro Landa, a director of Caritas Tegucigalpa in Honduras, and CAFOD Director Chris Bain.


* Both days run from 11am - 3:45pm.

* Lunch will be available to buy, including vegetarian options.

* The conferences are suitable for those over 14. There will be special workshops for young people and students.

* There will be a crèche available for under 5s (booking essential).

To reserve yours, fill in the form at the foot of this page. (Online registrations are limited to a maximum of 20 people per party. If you require more places than this please call us on 020 7326 5692.)

Places are limited, so please only register if you are sure you can come. Places will be allocated on a 'first come first served' basis. We will confirm your registration by email, so please include a valid email address. Go to form

Campaigners in Wales

CAFOD Wales will be launching the 'Unearth Justice' campaign at the annual Pantasaph Family Day in north Wales on 13 May. If you live in Wales, please do join them! Call 01978 355 084 or email for more details.


From Karen Barratt

Re: Independent 'Red Phone' article - I sent the following

Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 1:16 PM Subject: RED PHONE ALERT

Dear Martin

I saw your report on the Bono 'Red Phone' initiative and thought you might be interested in the following. I think everyone has to be suspicious when the telecom operators start offering to help with such moral crusades. They certainly are desperate to recoup some of the £23 billion licence money and getting everyone to ditch their current mobiles might give the struggling 3G market a shot in the arm.

Karen Barratt

The following is an extract from a longer article called "Hard Cell" in EC.

"One of the most pressing mobile phone issues is that of coltan, much of which is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).. 80% of the world's supply of coltan is said to be found in the east of the country. It is a crucial ingredient used in mobile phones for its heat conducting properties. It is said to be incredibly difficult to ascertain whether or not coltan from the DRC has been mined illegally, since that part of the country is under the control of rebel troops. In recent years, approximately three million Congolese have died as a result of the war. Farmers are said to have been forced from their land to mine, while others have reportedly been forced into prostitution, fighting and child labour. Some studies of the crisis estimate that in north eastern Congo, 30% of children have abandoned school to mine for coltan. Gangs from neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, Uganda and Ximbabwe are also said to be heavily involved in the smuggling trade, and use the proceeds from sales of the mineral to fund weapon procurement and oppression. Some rarer species of gorillas and other animals are nearing extinction as their forests are destroyed to make mining easier or they are killed for meast to feed rebel soldiers and miners."


On top of promoting the new red mobile, there was also a piece written by a Vodaphone consultant on how mobiles have made life in Africa so much better. I suppose people die of AIDS before they die of cancer, but this may change as they get more saturated with mobiles and masts.


From Mast Sanity/Mast Network


Congo's tragedy: the war the world forgot

By Johann Hari

This is the story of the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler’s armies marched across Europe. It is a war that has not ended. But is also the story of a trail of blood that leads directly to you: to your remote control, to your mobile phone, to your laptop and to your diamond necklace.


“The War The World Ignores”

The conflict in Congo has been called the world's largest forgotten war. Yet while millions have died since the start of the most recent violence in 1998, the country has been torn apart by resource exploitation and government repression for decades.

From Information Clearing House



Informant: Paul Doyon



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