Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grand Theft Congo


Congo’s tin soldiers are making a killing

Deep in the forests of Congo lies the “Wali Kali express”, catering to 15 or more planes which pillage up to 2 million dollars worth of “ tin ore” or Casserite. This red rock is the most traded metal on the London stock exchange and it is used to make electrical circuit boards worldwide.
These plundered ores have fuelled more guns and violence in D.R.C , and crisis festers as poor mine workers are exploited in order to gain a yield of this tin ore. Congolese soldiers with Kalashnikovs herd the miners to a corner of a clearing as middlemen weigh their sacks of ore and pay them 14 cents a pound – about $15 for the rocks – a price guaranteed by the guns pointed at the miners.
A few feet away those same sacks are sold for five times the price. They will ultimately fetch $350 on world markets, after they are flown out of the area on rusty Russian Antonovs and smuggled to neighboring Rwanda and other destinations.