Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Congo-Kinshasa: Campaign Group Sues UK Government for Enabling Violence
26 July 2010
Campaign group Global Witness is taking the British government to court for allegedly failing to report companies trading Congolese "conflict minerals". The organisation said on Monday that British companies have been trading in minerals controlled by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is in defiance of United Nations sanctions introduced in 2008 and 2009, it said, accusing Britain of sitting by and letting it happen.
Global Witness says groups controlling the trade in minerals such as tin and tungsten use the money to buy arms to fund campaigns against civilians. It says it is applying to the High Court in London for an order requiring the government to put forward for sanctions British firms violating the UN resolutions.
"We approached the UK government in early 2009 once sanctions were passed where you could list entities supporting armed groups for sanctions," says Seema Joshi legal adviser at Global Witness. "We decided to take advantage of that. We requested they put forward certain names."
She says Global Witness and UK government representatives met several times last year. By November, no action had been taken and the same companies were mentioned again by a group of UN experts.
"Further evidence again came up during that period, which showed that these companies were breaking sanctions," says Joshi. "In eastern Congo there are still high levels of violence. By the UK government not taking action it's allowing the funding of armed groups in these areas and allowing the conflict to perpetuate."
Britain's Foreign Office released a statement saying it expects all British companies operating in the minerals sector in the DRC to follow high standards of due diligence.
"We will continue to take reports that they are not doing so seriously, and will assess in each case whether there are grounds to consider recommending to UN partners that sanctions measures be imposed or supporting proposals for listings made by other states," it said.
Ghana Pundit Headline News
Pan Africa News
Peacefm Online - News with a vision
The Times - World News
The Times - Africa News
Pambazuka News :Emerging powers in Africa Watch
AfricaNews - RSS News
The Zimbabwe Telegraph
BBC News | Africa | World Edition
My Blog List
Guest Post: Financing Wind Power Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: From One Donor to Many - *This guest post is by Yanning Chen, PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins SAIS. This article first appeared on Agenda for International Development (www.a-id.or...1 week ago
A Leopard can’t change its skin: PNDC versus Rev. Charles Palmer Buckle, NDC versus Rev Martey & Otabil - The Catholic Standard, before it was banned by the PNDC government of Jerry John Rawlings in 1985, was Ghana’s oldest private newspaper, owned by the Catho...1 year ago