Take Action on the Conflict Coltan and Cassiterite Act of 2008
Senators Sam Brownback and Richard Durbin have sponsored and submitted the “Hope for Africa’s Forgotten: A Report on the Fact-Finding Mission to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Kenya” report and the “Conflict Coltan and Cassiterite Act of 2008” bill to the Senate for consideration. You are encouraged to raise the issue of the humanitarian crisis in the Congo to your senator. This situation in the Congo has been a preoccupation of Global Ministries and our Congolese global partners.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the most mineral resource rich country in Africa; yet, 80% of the population survives on $.30 a day and 75% of the population is undernourished according to the UN. Further, there are an estimated 1.3 million displaced Congolese, and estimated 1.1 million are living with HIV/AIDS, and close to two-thirds of the population cannot afford conventional health care. The Congolese live in these dire conditions because DRC is entangled in war over a natural resource, coltan, which has resulted in the death of over 5.4 million to date. This is the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler’s armies marched across Europe and has been dismissed as an internal African implosion. In reality it is a battle for coltan, diamonds, cassiterite and gold, destined for sale in London, New York and Paris – the metals that make our technological society vibrate and ring and bling. In addition to high death rates, the war has lead to the use of child soldiers, child slavery in mines, a rise in HIV/AIDS, the mass displacement of peoples, and the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war. In one province alone, the United Nations has estimated that 45,000 women were raped in the last year.
Call or e-mail your senator!
Find out who your Senator is by selecting your state from the drop down menu at www.senate.gov (upper right corner).
To call your senator:
– Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
– Ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. The receptionist will answer. Introduce yourself
as (your name), a constituent from (city, state).
– You will be connected with the staff person (or their voicemail). Say:
“I am calling to urge Senator ________ to support the Conflict Coltan and Cassiterite Act
of 2008.” (You can add an additional sentence about why this issue is important to you).
– Be sure to thank the receptionist when you are finished.
To e-mail your senator:
– Click on the Web Form link below your senator’s name.
– Choose the Topic “Foreign or International Relations” from the drop down list.
– Paste the letter suggested by Global Ministries in the Comments section.
– Sign your name and click Submit.
E-mail LaMarco Cable to notify Global Ministries that you have contacted your senator.