Honestly, my heart and condolences go to the entire nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the continual genocide, especially the Child labour that has caught the world’s attention.
Before the birth of DR Congo, King Leopold II of Belgium formed and made the Congo Free State his private firm in 1885 till 1908 extracting mineral resources like ivory, rubber and others from the upper Basin of Congo which he sold to the world.
King Leopold was known for his atrocities; he tortured, murdered and amputated his subjects which include men, women and children when the quota of rubber was not met. Over 10 million people died during his regime.
Lately, #CongoIsBleeding started trending on all social media platforms. The hashtag which was aimed at expressing their sorrows and anguish over the exploitation of their mineral resources – diamond, gold, copper, cassiterite, and most especially, Cobalt which its high demands from tech giants resulted to high rate of Child labour.
The people of Congo had continued to cry and wish the world would hear and come to their intervention. Starting from the first Congo war that lasted from October 1996 to 1997 and the second war (August 1998 – July 2003) that saw the assassination of President Kabila by his bodyguard in which his son, Joseph took over.
Over 6 million lives were lost since the African World Wars. It was primarily children as a result of malnutrition, and lack of leadership which resulted to the creation of over 100 rebel groups in the nation which continues to vandalize the infrastructures of the country, forcing physical and psychological damages to its citizens, violating human rights through rape, plunder, murder, and child labour in a nation rich in mineral resources.
These unending killings of the Congolese people will be likened to a movie ‘Blood Diamond’ where children were forced to work for hours over no payment or a little payment of $2.
Their women continued falling victims of rape cases. In contrast, their men were killed and some of these children given weapons to work for the benefit of others whose aim was to mine Cobalt which they sell to technology companies since the demand for Cobalt skyrocketed.
A trip to the Eastern part of DR Congo, over 40,000 children are currently working daily at the mines excavating Cobalt over 12 hours which they get paid or get fed in other to survive. The demand in Cobalt has resulted in the untimely death of many, yet the world remains silent on what is going on in Congo. Tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, Dell, etc. which are the major buyers of Cobalt continues patronizing without questioning the source nor the condition of the nation that supplies them with this precious mineral which they use in producing Lithium-ion batteries used on their gadgets.
With time, efforts, and more voices who speak on the #CongoIsBleeding, the world will get to know what is happening in Congo and put an end to it. Hopefully, the Congolese will benefit from the gift from mother nature.