How Sony’s new console created a war in Africa

The “boom” of minerals

Finance the advance of the militia

Rackets, extortions or profits: rebel groups feed through the rent of these mines. When the state is weak, the mines are coveted by the armed groups who make them their rear base. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, shaken for more than 20 years by the war, more than 40 militias crisscross the territory. Their appetite is up to the riches of the region: 70% of global reserves of coltan, gold reserves, diamond, tin… Especially since the absence of the state is patent. Between May 2012 and November 2013, a group called the M23 established itself on Congolese territory by developing a real administration and creating positions of Minister of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture.

A PlayStation for Christmas?

Mined ground and disseminated silver

Do price rises benefit states? Apart from South Africa, all the other countries studied by Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Dominic Rohner and Mathias Thoenig are small producers of minerals on a global scale. Yet it is on their soil that these minerals are found.

Who pays the price?

Militias are not the only disruptive elements in these areas. But among those who pay the price, people are the first affected. Forced labor, cheap labor, disrespect for individual rights are the daily lot of African miners. Behind this almost gratuitous labor force, the risk of riot or revolt also increases insecurity.

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