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EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

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President Trump: “Presidential Memorandum: Suspension of the Conflict Minerals Rule” – Legalizing export of questionable minerals from the DRC!

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My letter to Electronics Producers who are responsible for supplying money to militias and guerrillas of the DRC!

Illegal Mining DRC

Dear Electronic Producers of end-products as Mobile Phones and such, I write to you in haste!

Then I mean the likes of Foxconn of China, Apple, Hitachi, Sanyo, NEC Tokin, Kemet, AVX, Vishay, Flextronics, Celestica Sanmina, Asustek, Jabil, Hewitt-Packard, Dell, Acer, IBM, Samsung, Motorola, Canon and Nokia. Also other suppliers who deliver the needed products for you too label and sell to the global market.  

I write too you with urgency, do you want your names to mentioned in blood, as your greed for the profits are no embedded with warlords and thieves of East Africa, as the exported mineral resources as Coltan, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten. These minerals are needed in your production to make your phones, your electronics and others.

There been warlords, been warriors and presidents that have looted the Southern and Northern Kivu of Democratic Republic of Congo. They have all used AK-47 and other weapons while taking territories, towns and villages. These are the places, where the militias and guerrillas are raping the woman, burning villages and taking over mines even with child-labor if needed.

All the deaths and wars since the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko in the end of 1990s, where the proxy war of Uganda and Rwanda in the Kivu’s where the mines are; and you have accepted this as you vouch for their armies and their militias taking the area, eating of the minerals, eating the stones and lifting the burden they have to buy ammunition to continue their thieving. The thieving and capturing the miners, destroying and taking the minerals, the minerals you use in your products, the end-products you want to sell to me and the world.

DRC Minerals

What is the pride of your fiscal profits, knowing you were securing payments, securing buying of small-arms and killings of fellow men and woman, on your watch, on your payment and your production? The initial end-game of Electronic Products is that as long as we know that, the Laptops, Smart-Phone and others are tainted with blood; they are tainted with the operation of warlords.

That cannot be gone away in silence, as long as the President of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, they are all in on it, and enjoy the monies with their proxy armies controlling various mines and different minerals, the issues and stages of exploitation of the Kivu’s.

If more people care, they would be aggravated, they would wonder if there was ways of producing the smart-phones and laptops without the minerals that are fueling the guerrillas and militias of Kivu, which is not extending the reign of Kabila, Kagame and Museveni. They are the reasons for these killings and these groups who extort this violence.

Kagame-Museveni-Kabila

The nonsense non-action, the deliberate assault for these minerals, and your plenty of usage, while knowing where it came from, with the extent of the force that it taken from the ground and into the factories, before sold with pop-song on the local TV-Station with a fancy name and image; that image should be tainted with the knowledge of how the minerals for it came to light of day, with the injustice, the impunity and dissolved society where the fear of violence, reckless warlords, relentless soldiers and murders keeping at bay the illegal logging of minerals of the Kivu’s. That is what the price of the profits.

The brave and Nobel men of the boardrooms of the companies, the men and woman of the PR firms, and the consumers, should be enlighten, should take a stand and we all should try to find ways to absorb and not buy the tainted electronics, or least spread the names of them who take the supply of blood-tainted minerals and make products for profit. That should be stopped, as the killings, the continued presence of militias and guerrillas, they are all been kept and fed by your money. The money you have supplied them, so they can continue to get guns and ammunition.

FARDC Beni May 2016

This money comes from the people, the citizens of the world, they should now and should extend their hands, if they about the atrocities and violence of the Kivu’s. They are serving your profits, the profits made on the guerrillas and militias controlling the mines and exploitations of the provinces with the enriched minerals of the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is what should be known, the silent and sudden killer of it all, the ones that responsible for the presence of modern technology, are militants and guerrillas who are fed on the violence as they export to industries that take it without questions.

It should be questioned and the people should care, the knowledge of these actions should be in the open and spoken more about. Last time the blood-diamonds movie and Leonardo DiCaprio played a reckless man who sold diamonds in Sierra Leone… maybe if they did the same with blood tainted minerals from the DRC, then the world citizens might care and asked for change of policy, but the average man don’t, they just want to enjoy 3G and 4G while surfing to read Tabloid papers and other madness, instead of using their waste opportunities to gain the needed knowledge of the affairs that is happening from afar with the technology at hand.

There is time to question; there are and been more than enough massacres and deaths happening in Beni, in Goma and in Kivu’s for the needed minerals. Time to ask the Electronics Companies and the Suppliers of these minerals to take actions, as their need for this is the reason why the atrocities and killings are happening. They are happing on our watch and with our knowledge. It is time to do something and ask for change, to pressure the DRC Government, to pressure the Electronic producers to use other suppliers if possible and stop fueling their profits into the warlords of East Africa, as they are responsible for their existence, as they are the ones giving them money and plenty to continue to harass and kill their fellow brother and sisters.

Best Regards

The Writer of Minbane

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