Statement: Dr. Denis Mukwege Endorses Report on Conflict Minerals by Global Witness and Amnesty International

(BUKAVU, DRC) Dr. Denis Mukwege, Founder and Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital, and Founder and President of the Panzi Foundation USA, authored the foreword for the report released today by Global Witness and Amnesty International “Digging for Transparency.” The report examines and analyzes filings submitted by 100 companies under the 2010 Dodd Frank Act (Section 1502) known as the conflict minerals law.

The Panzi Foundation USA, released the following statement today on behalf of Dr. Mukwege, in support of the report:

 “Violence continues despite the war’s official end. Huge areas of my country remain controlled by rebel groups who use sexual violence as a weapon. More women and girls, physically and psychologically scarred by rape arrive weekly at Panzi, a hospital I founded in my hometown of Bukavu in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. As a surgeon, my role is to heal and repair their bodies and souls. Every day, my staff and I witness the devastation sexual violence spreads. It violates the body and often destroys lives.

“This conflict spreads far beyond Congo’s borders. The brutality is partly funded, and fuelled, by the trade in mineral resources. Some of these minerals – such as gold, tin, and coltan – come from mines controlled by armed groups with a history of carrying out these attacks. Women are the primary labor force and the primary caregivers. Through rape, the armed groups exert control over them while destroying their bodies and trying to rob them of their humanity. 

“Cleaning up the minerals trade, on which thousands of legitimate miners depend, is vital if we want to limit the damage done by the perpetrators of the destabilizing violence. It is not an easy task. 

“These laws must be enforced. Those guilty of crimes in Congo must be brought to justice. More must be done to support the lives of ordinary men and women who work in the mines. Responsible companies should continue to source from mines in Congo and other high-risk areas that are free from armed groups. We need a conflict-free minerals trade that brings benefits from these resources to the people of Congo.

One of the most powerful is to compel companies to shine a light on their supply chains to see who is benefiting at each step and then report on what they find. To try to solve this problem without looking would be like me trying to operate with my eyes closed.”

### 

Related Content

Déclaration du Dr. Denis Mukwege sur le récent accord UE-Rwanda sur les minéraux de conflit

Avec le protocole d’accord signé le 19 février entre l’Union Européenne (UE) et le Rwanda pour favoriser le développement de chaînes de valeur « durables » et « résilientes » pour les matières premières, aussi appelées minerais des conflits ou de sang, l’exécutif européen atteint non seulement le paroxysme du cynisme en matière de géostratégie, […]

Statement of Dr. Denis Mukwege on the Recent EU-Rwanda Agreement on Conflict Minerals

With the memorandum of understanding signed on February 19 between the European Union (EU) and Rwanda to promote the development of “sustainable” and “resilient” value chains for raw materials, also known as conflict or blood minerals, the European executive is not only reaching the height of cynicism in terms of geostrategy, but is once again […]

16 Days of Activism at Panzi Foundation

The annual international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign takes place November 25 to December 10. This year, Panzi will carry out a series of activities around the theme Unite Together: Investing to prevent violence against women and girls. Below you will find ways in which we will participate in this year’s campaign.  […]