How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa

17 March 2017 | Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Dominic Rohner, and Mathias Thoenig


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Fighting groups have long understood how important it is to secure a stable stream of financial resources in order to sustain the fighting effort over a prolonged time. Fighters need to be fed and remunerated. In other words, no cash, no conflict.


In July 2010, the United States passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Included in the Act was a specific provision – Section 1502 – intended to try to stop the national army and rebel groups in the DRC from illegally using profits from the minerals trade to fund their fighters by requiring companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals.


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