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No rebel without a cause. Shifting the debate about conflict minerals in eastern DRC

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Release date: 2015-05

Precluding conflict financing through the minerals sector has come to be seen as the panacea to ending conflicts in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The US Dodd-Frank-Act (2010) and European draft legislation attempt to reduce the financing of armed groups in conflict zones by asking companies to conduct due diligence along their supply chains to avoid the purchase of “conflict minerals”.

This Working Paper lays open the misconceptions that have led to such a narrow regulatory approach towards the Congolese conundrum and analyses the consequences of implementing this legislation without embedding it in a wider agenda for peace. The authors argue that regulation on conflict minerals can only contribute to solving conflicts in eastern DRC if it becomes part of a wider approach to peacebuilding, which takes into account the complex reality of eastern DRC’s conflicts.