Rare Earth Earths in CongoThe Democratic Republic of Congo (formally called Zaire) is located in Central Africa. It is the third largest country in Africa with a population of 71 million. The official language of the Congo is French. Rape and sexual abuse in Eastern Congo is described as the worst in the world. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting in the Eastern Congo from the Second Congo war still continues here. Even worse, Congo is the second poorest country in the world. The mining of rare earths in this country adds more fuel to the fire already in this country because the Congolese army is abusing the Congolese citizens. Profit from rare earths is causing the Congolese army to abuse citizens.

What political effect does this have?

The exploitation of rare earths in Congo has made Congolese politics even messier. In the war-torn eastern Congo, open pit quarries which house rare earths are controlled by rebels in the Congolese army. They have been profiting from these rare earths these past few years. The Congolese army has been terrorizing communities and forcing them to mine by hand. The conflict gets deeper as discovered that the Congolese national army is funded by those who want to purchase the rare earths mined by the hands of communities (guardian.co.uk). This is a bad thing because as long as the Congolese army is provided money, the more they abuse their power. The government isn’t doing anything to protect their citizens. They pay their mine workers less than four dollars a day when they work for more than eight hours daily. The country sells the minerals found in the mines to other countries such as China for millions maybe even billions of dollars. For how much Congo is making the people finding the profiting products should get a higher pay.

How is their economy effected?

Overall, the mining in Congo profits the government of Congo and the militia. Though all the hard work is done by the people of the lower class, they do not get much respect or money for what they do. Since they are in a lower class, they are desperate for jobs and any work that can get to earn money. The militias take control over the miners and give them low pay. The workers do not rebel because they need any money they can get. The mining conditions for the workers are hazardous and the government does nothing to help. Many miners die from hazardous conditions daily.

When the miners break into the walls of the mine it causes a lot of smoke, fog, and dust to be produced. They do not have mask to cover their faces when they work, so the particles have direct access to their lungs. Since they are lower underground it is also difficult to breath during work. The government does not provide them with any materials that may be needed to mine, so they have to use what materials they can find or already have. With mining there is usually a need for a helmet with a flashlight assembled on it. Since the miners have no way of retrieving these things it causes two set backs to completing their job. With out light in a dark mine it is hard for them to see even during the day time. With out a helmet, they have nothing to cover their heads when rocks or boulders come down while working. At times, the entire caves collapse and kill all of the people inside.

The militia takes advantage by how hard they make the miners work for such low pay. They disrespect the women the most though. The militia soldiers abuse the young girls and women in and outside of the mines. They touch and rape the women as they please. By taking advantage of them they get more control. They feel no remorse for what they do and get a pleasure out of it.

The militia causes numerous amounts of murders. Some times the miners get fed up with the abuse and disrespect and try to revolt. The militia does not hesitate to shoot anyone. When they are in the process of getting new workers for mining they invade homes and take who ever they want to work for them. The person has no choice but to listen to the orders given to them. If they do choose not to comply with the order they most likely will be shot and killed.

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