'Conflict Minerals, Rebels and Child Soldiers in Congo’
VICE documentary on the situation in the DRC, and some brave journalists visiting the notorious Mai Mai rebels.
"This is coltan. This is what it's all about. 80% of the world's supply comes from here in Congo."
- Alison Suroosh Alvi (VICE journalist)
Extractions from coltan are used in all kinds of electronics, and is probably inside your and my phone right now.
"That's the whole point with conflict minerals, it's in every businessman's interest to keep conflict going. Then there's no control, there's no government. There's nobody watching whether or not children are working."
- Tim Freccia (veteran crisis and conflict photographer who worked in Congo for years)
But what about the UN? They are governing where government is needed, right?
When the journalists sought out to spend a night in the Mai Mai camp, they had to register with the UN in case they didn’t come back from the jungle - because they were no longer protected by anything; not by the Congolese government, not by the UN.
"(...) they are useless. Where has the UN tried to stop an invasion? Even in Goma. You see how they trap themselves? They are not doing anything. All they do is sit inside a hole like this, waiting for their salaries. That's it! They have nothing to do."
- Leader of the Mai Mai rebel group