Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



DR Congo queries Apple over 'blood minerals' from conflict-ridden east

Tim Cook   -  
Copyright © africanews
Achmad Ibrahim/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Democratic Republic Of Congo

International lawyers representing the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have written to Apple CEO Tim Cook demanding answers on the sourcing of minerals used to manufacture the company’s products.

The lawyers shared concerns that Apple’s supply chain may be tainted by blood minerals obtained through unethical mining practices from the DRC.

Led by Robert Amsterdam in Washington DC and William Bourdon in Paris, the group of lawyers, also wrote to Apple subsidiaries in France, demanding a response within three weeks.

Their statement comes in light of a report by the Amsterdam law firm that accuses Rwanda and private entities of laundering 3T and other conflict minerals from Congo.

The DRC is the number one producer of copper and cobalt, a key ingredient in electric batteries. It is also the world's leading producer of tantalum.

The large central African nation's mineral resources are concentrated in the east- known as eastern Congo.

The region has long been overrun by more than 120 armed groups seeking a share of the region's gold and other resources while carrying out massacres. 

The result is one of the world's largest humanitarian crises, with an estimated 7 million people displaced, many of whom are beyond the reach of aid.

"It's really heartbreaking (and) what I saw is really a horrible situation," Ramesh Rajasingham, director of coordination at the United Nations humanitarian office, told the Associated Press. Mr. Rajasingham travelled to the city of Goma, where many people took refuge. “Such several people displaced in such a short time is unprecedented,” he said.

Amid intensifying fighting with security forces, the M23 rebel group – the most dominant in the region and believed to have links to neighbouring Rwanda.

The rebel group rose to prominence 10 years ago when its fighters seized Goma, eastern Congo’s largest city on the border with Rwanda. It derives its name from a March 23, 2009, peace deal which it accuses the Congo government of not implementing.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi blames Rwanda for destabilizing Congo by backing the M23 rebels. U.N. experts have linked the rebels to Rwandan forces. Rwanda denies this.

View more