Bad Connection: Cell Phones and Ebola

Since well before the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, North Kivu has been at war.

What funds the fighting? An abundance of coltan. The “conflict mineral” ubiquitous inside laptops and cell phones may now be more valuable than the DRC's gold. Violence has risen alongside demand.

Various international resolutions mandate that countries and companies shun Congolese coltan. But the electronics industry very likely still relies on it.

International emergency or not, one thing’s for sure: The international community must double down to halt the sale of minerals that drive the conflict and by proxy, the Ebola crisis, Laurie Garrett writes.

Foreign Policy (opinion)


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