TOKYO-2016 Editorial / Conflict

Hole of Hope

  • Prize
    Silver in Editorial/Conflict
  • Photographer
    Giovanni Salvaggio

the region of Kivu (DRC) is one of the richest in minerals of the entire African continent. Over the past 30 years it has been the scene of a bloody conflict that has caused over 6 million deaths. In North Kivu over 70% of mines are artisanals or informals and thousands of people dig holes for 10 hours a day in the hope of being able to obtain 2 grams of clean mineral for sale at a "bureou". In 2010 an American law (Dodd Frank Act) was issued in order to trace the minerals to determine those "conflict-free", giving rise a massive media campaign over "blood minerals". This campaign fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between minerals and conflict in the eastern DRC, pouring all the burdens of this traceability on miners and not ensuring, at the same time, better protection of miners against abusive taxation by the army, militias or wealthy local businessmen.