A Letter from Pastor RAYMOND MUHOMBO SHEMIHIYO
General Mining Cooperatives of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Please listen attentively to our cries of weeping and anguish. Our families and us will be doomed to death if you do not hear these cries of alarm. Do not wait to rescue us when we will be already in the grave. Act in time to avoid the humanitarian catastrophe that would arise from the consequences of your suspension to purchase our minerals.
I represents all the legal registered mining cooperatives in North Kivu and president of the mining cooperatives of Mpama Bisie “COMIIMPA” in Walikale. I represent 50,000 artisanal miners of which support more 100,000 households.
We thank the U.S. for the sake of its characteristic humanism. No one opposes this Act DODD FRANK on the minerals of conflict. We welcome the opportunity to help improve and refine our practices. But we just urge everyone to apply in a gradual process so it is not considered a threat against the survival of populations of any region.
Last week we had a general meeting of our members to place a state of our socio economic condition. We have been plunged into disarray following the decision by American Airlines to suspend the purchase of minerals from the region of eastern Congo from 1 April 2011 because of Dodd Frank.
The decision to suspend the purchase and use of all minerals by final consumers and industries from electronics to April 1st is a misinterpretation of the law DOD-FRANC. There are certainly needs to comply with the traceability minerals to eradicate conflict, but we must recognize that there are sites that are spared from all conflicts that should not be struck. Widespread application of U.S. law must not penalize minerals from areas stable and without conflicts.
Consider that the survival of our families and for the purposes of this new system. There is need to continue uninterrupted with the beneficial mining and minerals trade. The process that must begin immediately but must be done gradually without endangering the lives of those that it is supposed to protect. We should not work in fear to comply with the date of 1 April, but we should continue with beneficial mining activities without interruption, with a view to improve trade ethics.
In this continuity of work, we will develop a communication strategy from the mines to the ultimate consumers of minerals to demonstrate the evolution of the situation, to avoid adverse effects on the population. We do not ask for an extension as some people think, but we ask the end users of our minerals to ignore the date of April 1st which will not be the end of the world because we as mining operators, we also have right to live before, during and after the date above.
We salute the efforts of the Congolese government in its efforts to improve mining conditions, through the construction of trading centers, training and retraining of the police mines to secure mining sites and the removal of illegal taxes in the supply chain of minerals.
We would also like the material and financial support of the major industries for the effectiveness of this process of certification and labeling, for without your assistance we will fail in this process.. Please support for the implement of our model of FAIRMINING which is based on social development, environmental protection, traceability and certification, and ethical trade.
We are committed to work closely with ITRI in the process of Certification and labeling of all minerals of tin, tantalum and others.
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