DRC: Félix Tshisekedi rules out any dialogue with the M23

The DRC accuses Apple of using minerals extracted “illegally” from its territory

The authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) point the finger at the American giant Apple, accusing it of using minerals extracted “illegally” in mines in eastern Congo.

In a public statement Thursday, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo accused Apple of using minerals “illegally exploited” in the design of its products, coming from mines in eastern Congo where human rights are regularly violated. Lawyers mandated by the Congolese government have issued a formal notice to Apple, demanding clear answers as to the origin of the minerals used in its devices.

In its complaint, the DRC highlights the “inconsistencies that exist between Apple's claims regarding verification of the origin of minerals (tin, tantalum and tungsten) and the reality on the ground “.

According to Congolese authorities, Apple acquired minerals mainly from Rwanda, despite the almost non-existent production of these minerals in this country. This practice, described as“illegal” through Kinshasa, would be fueled by smuggling and money laundering, thus financing armed groups. This situation exacerbates the humanitarian and environmental crises in eastern DRC, a region already ravaged by violence for decades.

This accusation comes in a context of diplomatic tensions between the DRC and Rwanda. Indeed, Kinshasa continues to accuse Kigali of militarily supporting the M23 rebels who operate in the east of the DRC. An accusation that the Rwandan authorities have always rejected.