The Democratic Republic of Congo’s mineral wealth means that it has enormous economic potential. As late as 1996, however, the country represented a paramount example of the relationship between the exploitation of raw materials and the financing of war. The UN Expert Panel on Use of Resources in DR Congo points out that the history of the country since decolonialisation is marked by systematic misuse of natural and human resources. Even foreign companies which use, trade in or process Congolese raw materials are repeatedly subject to criticism that they share responsibility for the sustained violence occurring primarily in the east of the country. In recent years, virtually every major conflict escalation between the various parties in Congo has involves the management of resources or the (legal and illegal) revenues from resources, in particular mining. Alongside timber, diamonds, oil and gold, it is the recovery of and trade in gold which is making the situation in the south east of the country unstable. Both of these raw materials are central to economic development trends for future technologies. This report uses a case study to analyse the current status quo in the nexus of conflict and resources. On the basis of this, four scenarios are used to describe various possible developments in the period up until 2020.
Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Kupfer und Kobalt in der Demokratischen Republik Kongo – Studie im Auftrag des Umweltbundesamtes. Teilbericht Nr. 3.2
Westerkamp, Meike; Moira Feil und Dennis Tänzler 2011: Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Kupfer und Kobalt in der Demokratischen Republik Kongo. Studie im Auftrag des Umweltbundesamtes. Teilbericht Nr. 3.2. Berlin: adelphi.