The battle for coltan rages in the Congo

Catherine Morand, swissinfo

, by AfricaFiles

A human catastrophe threatens the Congo In Kivu, in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, war has broken out again, bringing atrocities and displaced persons in its wake. At stake: the control of the fabulous reserves of coltan, a highly prized mineral fought over by all the major industrial powers. The tragedy of the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, is its underground wealth, abundant in strategic minerals – copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, uranium, coltan, and cassiterites (tinstone) –which are motivating the greed of all the industrial powers, including China. The commandeering of coltan in particular, whose open-pit mines are located in Kivu province, is at the heart of the conflict which is once again tearing this region apart.