Patrick Maxwell, a regional conflict specialist with MCC in Africa’s Great Lakes region, evaluates the extent to which the ongoing conflict in Congo is fueled by conflict minerals and sexual violence.
The idea that the smartphones lead to rape in eastern Congo is a handy message for organizations who want to mobilize support in a hurry. And messages like this one have helped to focus the world’s awareness on a conflict that has received precious little attention, while reminding the Western world of its complicity in the conflict. Certainly, both conflict minerals and sexual violence are important characteristics of the conflict in the Congo. Unfortunately, though, focusing just on these two elements draws attention away from the conflict’s many local-level causes – including land conflict, struggles for political representation, and complex relationships with neighboring countries.
Click here to read his report in Third Way Café.
(Featured image photo credit: MOJPIC)