Congolese minerals may be making their way into U.S. consumer electronics, fueling a war that has become the most violent since World War Two. But some U.S. legislators are trying to change that.
Pick up any household electronic -- a phone, a remote, or a laptop -- and it could contain minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country where armed rebel groups connected with crimes of rape and murder profit from trade of these minerals.
Tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold mined in the eastern part of the DRC are said to finance the armed rebel groups that contribute to the ongoing violence in the country.
Congo's second war officially ended in 2003 when a transitional government took over after the signing of peace agreements between African nations. But the fighting still persists. The DRC army has launched several attacks on the civilian population and armed rebel groups have risen up to fight against them. Tensions between the two factions are perpetuated by the profits to be made from the mining industry.
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According to a study released by the International Rescue Committee in 2008, the war in the DRC and its aftermath is the deadliest conflict since World War II. An estimated 5.4 million people have been killed in the country since 1998 and 45,000 deaths occur each month--a loss equivalent to the entire population of Colorado.