DR Congo Mulls Suing Apple Over Alleged Blood Minerals

DR Congo Mulls Suing Apple Over Alleged Blood Minerals
DR Congo Mulls Suing Apple Over Alleged Blood Minerals
Written by Harry Johnson

Apple is directly accused of selling technology products that are manufactured using minerals sourced from a region where the local population is enduring severe human rights violations.

The Central African country is contemplating taking legal action against the US tech giant Apple in case it does not clarify the structure of its mineral supply chain on its territory.

Attorneys representing the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) stated on that they had sent inquiries to Apple’s US parent company and its branches in France last month, seeking clarification on whether Apple was obtaining metals for its products from the war zones in eastern DRC.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is considered to be number one producer of cobalt – a crucial element in batteries utilized in a wide range of consumer electronics such as smartphones and electric cars, in the world. Over the years, the Central African state has faced persistent internal violence, especially in the eastern region, attributed to numerous armed factions, including the M23 rebels, engaged in conflicts with the government over access to resources.

The legal team from Washington-based Amsterdam & Partners LLP and Bourdon & Associes in Paris stated that the US tech giant has stayed silent and failed to respond or acknowledge receipt of the questionnaire even though the three-week deadline to respond has expired.

Amsterdam & Partners LLP has recently released a report alleging that numerous companies and armed groups have been involved in the illicit smuggling of minerals from the former Belgian colony. These minerals are said to be transported through Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, where they are then laundered and incorporated into the global supply chain.

The legal firm has specifically named prominent technology companies such as Apple, Intel, Sony, and Motorola, claiming that they have been made aware that the metals they procure from Rwanda are actually obtained from the Democratic Republic of Congo under circumstances of violent exploitation.

The law firm has directly accused Apple of selling technology products that are manufactured using minerals sourced from a region where the local population is enduring severe human rights violations.

Apple has stated in the past that it does not engage in the direct procurement or sourcing of primary minerals.

In a report released last year, Apple noted that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim that any of the smelteries or refineries involved in the production of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold directly or indirectly supported by the armed groups in the DR Congo or nearby states.

Recently, a petition filed in a US court of appeals seeking to hold Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Dell Technologies, Microsoft, and Tesla legally accountable for their alleged involvement in child labor in cobalt mining operations in the DR Congo was dismissed by the judges.


WTNJOIN | eTurboNews | eTN

(eTN): DR Congo Mulls Suing Apple Over Alleged Blood Minerals | re-post license post content


 

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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