To ensure that the implementation of the Madini project fits the local context and positively impacts the local population, IPIS conducted a conflict sensitivity analysis in South Kivu and Ituri. The present study highlights that poor governance, along with chronic poverty, are structural causes of violence in mining regions, whereas the presence of so-called ‘conflict minerals’ is only a symptom.
In South Kivu and Ituri, there are four key minerals, gold and the 3Ts (tin, tungsten, tantalum), which provide a livelihood for hundreds of thousands of Congolese artisanal miners, but whose trade and mining are subject to large-scale corruption and human rights abuses by armed groups.
Despite multiple responsible sourcing initiatives, such as the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and its Regional Certification Mechanism, and existing legislation adopted by the DRC Government, minerals mined under unacceptable working conditions are still finding their way into the major global supply chains. The principal objective of the Madini initiative is therefore to reinforce regional stability in the Great Lakes Region and to improve the security situation in and around the mining regions in East DRC, thereby increasing the transparency of global mineral supply chains and reducing smuggling activities in the Great Lakes Region.
The project’s objective is divided into two pillars, of which the first one consists of improving the immediate security situation in and around mining sites in South Kivu and Ituri. Crucial to this part is seeking rapprochement between mining communities, local authorities and security actors, so that conflicts and human rights violations can be jointly identified, analysed, and resolved.
In order to effectively contribute to a safer mining environment, it is also important to minimise economic incentives that encourage illegal practices at mining sites. Such incentives exceed national borders and demand a national, regional and international approach. Hence, the second pillar seeks to make the mineral supply chains that run through eastern DRC responsible, by identifying the stakeholders and interests that encourage the contamination of the chains and highlighting these practices in order to put pressure on the private sector and government stakeholders to change their behaviour.