For the past two decades, the Congo has been under the clutches of internal conflict. The biggest conflict arises from the natural resources and minerals that reside in the mines of the Eastern Congo. These mines have been under the control of the militants since the wars have raged and disrupted Congo’s economic growth.

The people in the east are left to fend for themselves as no proper government power exists in that region. Local militias and Rebel Groups have taken control and use the locals as means of a workforce. This workforce is forced to work at gunpoint or to protect their families, which are a part of the conflict mineral trade.

This trade is done through these illegal local groups that sell the minerals to big companies.

Resistance against rebel groups

Groups such as the Ethnic Tutsis, fight back taking back the illegally captured lands and workforce from the militia. However, these armed conflicts have led to human loss and still is an ongoing feud.

The attempts of the central government to bring peace to these conflicts is still not enough to fully solve this issue. The UN has spent billions of dollars in keeping peace in the region through UN experts and task forces.

Corporate trade

Still many of the companies today, despite the Illegal Mining, use these minerals. The main conflict items include tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold.

These main elements are part of the electronics found on the market today. Their importance has increased unbelievably and has caused even bigger feuds over money and cost. This chaos has led to instability in the area which is hard to handle. Groups that have taken over these mines siphon money from the workers and miners and make poverty worse in an area that is already dealing with this issue.

Corporations such as Intel have opened up about their system of bringing these minerals in and they claim to be totally ‘conflict free’. However many argue that Intel brings in minerals thru other companies without having themselves directly involved with the trade.

One European Investor group posted about the few Canadian mining companies that are abusing the Congo despite the violence already present there.

Legislative laws

The European Union legislation wrote and approved a law in 2015 which states that companies need to make sure their trading does not add to the fight in the Congo. The U.S. through Section 1502 has implemented a law stating that companies show if their manufactured products are 'conflict free' or not.

Though the idea of a totally 'conflict free' mining system is farfetched, taking steps in order to fix this issue is important. Raising awareness about this illegal trade and workforce is important and critical as this won’t end until drastic measures are taken to make the east Congo a free state.