(Maarive, Eitan Rabin, 27.4.2003)
27 people from Zoran have cancer, the average age is 38 only.
the updated report from April 2003, today the school is on
Ariel Sharon the prime minister will order to shut down the
farm. The residents are trying to sell their houses but nobdy
wants to buy it.
* Right now on the radio report on the protest of the residents
of the Knesset, they brought graves and antennas.
Informant: Iris Atzmon
Phones" - RCR News and AP on coltan
From RCR Wireless News - Jeff Silva's current editorial and
articles on coltan mining in Congo and its involvement in
the civil war there.
From AP - 16 April 2003 article: "Fighting Rages in
Wealthy Congo Province"
RCR Wireless News
by JEFFREY SILVA
* April 21, 2003
In a different continent-geographically next door, geopolitically
away-is another troubled land rich in a natural resource critical
Western modernity and abundant in human suffering. There you
troops tasked with regime change or armies of journalists.
It is the
"dark continent" because of a perpetual news blackout.
The big story is
somewhere else, most definitely out of Africa.
If cameras had been rolling during the past few years, particularly
the Democratic Republic of Congo, they would have recorded
atrocities in numbing numbers. Warlords fighting over coltan-a
used in mobile-phone capacitors-is a big reason why. Wireless
previously said they would not buy coltan from DRC. But a
exists for DRC coltan. Somebody is buying. Who?
A new report from the International Rescue Committee, a New
aid agency, said as many as 3.3 million Congolese have died
That would make the conflict, at once fueled and underwritten
plunder of coltan, diamonds, timber and gold, the deadliest
War II, according to the group.
"This is a humanitarian catastrophe of horrid and shocking
said IRC President George Rupp on April 8. "The worst
projections in the event of a lengthy war in Iraq and the
from all the recent wars in the Balkans don't even come close.
crisis has received scant attention from international donors
media." The recent World Bank-IMF meeting produced grumbling
Iraq dominated an agenda that didn't include it.
Comparing tragedies in terms of body counts is tricky business,
distasteful. But if you're desperate for attention about something,
go for effect. It's hard to blame Rupp if you consider what
against: indifference and just possibly injustice. Last month,
Senate study absolved Belgian companies of illegally trading
coltan. Opposition lawmakers refused to endorse the document.
The United Nations and humanitarian groups have taken stabs
problem. The efforts appeared to be in vain, until just recently.
peace process is now under way, beginning with a power-sharing
administration that will oversee the region until a new, post-war
national government assumes control.
Closer to home, Congress has sent President Bush legislation
the U.S. joining other countries in banning the export or
"conflict diamonds" that finance civil wars in the
region. How about a
"clean coltan" bill?
Meantime, progress is being made. At long last, coltan is
in ways constructive and beneficial to Africa. Last month
saw the launch
of the first next-generation wireless local loop system, a
network in Lagos, Nigeria. Mobile penetration rates are increasing
most African countries. In fact, many African nations are
mobile operators and seeing subscriber figures steadily climb.
Phone component illegally mined, hurts environment, people
By Jeffrey Silva
May 21, 2001
WASHINGTON-The wireless industry may be an unwitting accomplice
mass-scale looting of an African mineral used in mobile-phone
capacitors, a situation some believe is prolonging war, causing
environmental destruction and contributing to human suffering
Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The world's top mobile-phone manufacturers-Nokia Corp., L.M.
and Motorola Inc.-are scrambling to limit the potential public-relations
fallout from an issue they say totally blindsided them. The
last week said they cannot be sure whether or not illegally
columbite-tantalite-known also as coltan and tantalum-is used
hundreds of millions of cell phones they've sold throughout
Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola, which said they are investigating
matter with suppliers, said they want no part of it.
"We recently became aware of the issue regarding the
mining of tantalum
in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Motorola deplores the
alleged against illegal miners in the environmentally protected
of the Congo. We have asked our suppliers to verify and certify
writing that illegally mined African tantalum is not used
manufacture of electronic components purchased by Motorola.
fully support the efforts of relevant authorities to protect
where the environment or wildlife is threatened," said
Motorola in a statement.
While the world has become aware of the gruesome mutilation
and adults in connection with fighting over diamond mines
in Africa, the
illegal plundering of coltan in the eastern Congo has suddenly
the attention of governments, environmentalists and religious
around the world.
According to a new United Nations report and other organizations,
illegal mining of coltan in the Congo is perpetuating a war
drawn in at least six African nations during the past six
years. A UN
panel has called for a temporary embargo on the import and
Congo coltan until illegal mining of it ceases.
The issue has come to the attention of Congress, which already
considering bills to restrict import of illegally mined diamonds
Africa. Congressional staffers said current legislation does
cover coltan. But aides to Reps. Tony Hall (D-Ohio) and Frank
(R-Va.) warned that could change if the U.S. private sector
responsibly address the coltan mobile-phone issue.
Coltan itself is not much use to warring factions from the
Rwanda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Nambia, but it can be
sold for top
dollar to multinational mineral companies and suppliers to
world's insatiable appetite for mobile phones. The money from
sales buys more arms. It is not unusual for coltan mines to
many times, depending on what group happens to be in control
time. From there, the supply chain gets blurry insofar as
relationships among suppliers and processors of coltan and,
"We certainly are aware of the situation and concerns
about the mining
of tantalum in the Congo," said William Plummer, vice
government and industry affairs at Nokia. "We recognize
the Congo is one
of the sources of tantalum. We've got a very sophisticated
program incorporating essential environmental management goals.
sent notifications to suppliers to avoid purchasing tantalum
from the Congo."
Moreover, there is evidence that illegal coltan mining is
endangered species, like the Gauer gorilla, as well as elephants,
monkeys and antelope. Illegal miners hunt and kill the animals
themselves during mining of coltan, whose properties-including
denseness, high melting point, resistance to corrosion and
conduction-make it ideal for compact mobile phones. "The
population has been virtually wiped out," Dr. George
Schaller, of the
Wildlife Conservation Society, told Newsweek.
Coltan reportedly can be found in Australia, Brazil, Canada,
and Nigeria, but most of the world's reserves are believed
to be buried
in the eastern Congo locale of Kivu.
Ericsson, like the other two top mobile-phone manufacturers,
said it is
trying to get to the bottom of coltan controversy.
"We clearly take this issue very seriously," said
Kathy Egan, an
Ericsson spokeswoman. "We're investigating where the
source of our
supplies of coltan comes from. We are also looking at phasing
use of coltan [in mobile-phone capacitors] and replacing it
Travis Larson, a spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications
Internet Association, referred questions about the use of
mobile phones to equipment manufacturers.
The Telecommunications Industry Association said it was unaware
coltan concerns, when contacted by RCR.
try to steer clear of coltan
By JEFFREY SILVA
December 10, 2001
WASHINGTON-A follow-up investigation to last April's U.N
illegal mining has led to another call for a moratorium on
the import of
coltan-a metal ore and excellent conductor used to manufacture
components for mobile phones and other electronic products-from
Democratic Republic of Congo.
In April, a U.N. report concluded illegal mining of coltan
in Congo has
perpetuated a bloody civil war that has drawn in at least
nations during the past six years. In that report, the United
for the first time called for a temporary embargo on the import
export of Congo coltan until the illegal mining ceases. Though
report was criticized in some quarters, the findings and conclusions
remain largely intact, as reflected in the November addendum
"The systematic exploitation of natural resources and
other forms of
wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues unabated,"
latest U.N. report concludes. "The exploitation has resulted
further enrichment of individuals and institutions, who are
opportunistically making use of the current situation to amass
wealth as possible."
Previously attention was focused on Uganda and Rwanda, which
in coltan and other valuable minerals to defend the government
rebel groups. Now, the spotlight is on a third Congo defender,
"There is a clear link between the continuation of the
conflict and the
exploitation of natural resources. It would not be wrong to
say that one
drives the others," the new U.N. document states. The
April U.N. report
and the follow-up come at a time when efforts to achieve peace
made, following the July 1999 cease-fire, and in conjunction
When the coltan issue erupted last spring, mobile-phone manufacturers
were taken off guard, but they scrambled quickly to distance
from a controversy with negative public-relations implications.
vendors took immediate steps to identify their sources of
shorthand name for columbo-tantalite-and halt the purchase
coming from Congo. The mineral also is called tantalum. That
mined in Congo has come to be known as "blood tantalum."
"We sent out letters to suppliers to verify in writing
that they are not
supplying us with tantalum in that region. They've all replied
will comply with this request," said Sharon Corbitt,
a spokeswoman for
Corbitt said she believe letters were sent out to around
a dozen suppliers.
"We will certainly review the report," said William
president of government and industry affairs for Nokia Inc.
instructed suppliers to avoid buying coltan from Congo, which
one of the sources [of the mineral]."
L.M. Ericsson, another leading mobile-phone manufacturer,
did not return
a call for comment.
The initial publicity about coltan and its use in mobile
other electronic gadgets appears to have curbed coltan imports
Congo and depressed prices. Indeed, the U.N. report said coltan
an all-time high of $300 per pound in 2000, when the high-tech
reached its peak. Since then, prices have fallen sharply to
to $30 per pound.
The mass-scale looting of valuable African minerals has not
unnoticed by Congress. The House late last month passed legislation
designed to stop the purchase of "conflict diamonds"
that rebel groups
in Sierra Leone and Angola use to pay for weapons. The rebel
accused of killing and mutilating children and adults alike
connection with fights for control over diamond mines and
The House bill would make the United States the first country
regulate rough diamonds through a system of strict controls
country-of-origin standards. A companion bill is pending in
Some press reports have suggested that Al Quaeda and Osama
bin Laden are
also involved in conflict diamonds trade to support terrorist
Rages in Wealthy Congo Province
By RODRIQUE NGOWI
The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 16, 2003; 3:27 AM
DRODRO, Congo - Fertile soil, lush green hills and rivers
gold make Ituri province one of the potentially richest in
But even as the 4 1/2-year civil war winds down elsewhere
in Congo, the
drive to control the wealth beneath the feet of Ituri's 5
inhabitants has stoked vicious fighting and ethnic massacres
this northeastern region, once touted as the nation's breadbasket.
"There is gold all over Ituri ... If you take a shovel,
a pan and a
water pump and begin digging on a river bank, you will strike
said Faustin-Goba Tengama, a 39-year-old gold dealer who operates
a wooden shack in the provincial capital, Bunia.
But the potential wealth has brought mostly death and destruction.
women and children nursing machete and gunshot wounds fill
at Drodoro Roman Catholic mission, 26 miles northeast of Bunia.
the survivors of an April 3 attack on the mission and 14 nearby
settlements in which some 966 people were killed.
The raid was carried out by members of the Lendu community
from their wealthier Hema neighbors to finance the purchase
of arms and
ammunition used in the battles for control of Ituri, said
a priest at the sprawling, red-brick mission.
"The assailants came screaming and shooting in the air
people to flee and leave their property," Ngona said.
"I even heard them
shout: 'We will sell your cows to buy guns.'"
Before the attack, Lendu men, women and children descended
isolated settlements, making off with more than 18,000 head
hundreds of sacks of coffee beans and other property, Ngona
"This wealth is fueling war here," Tengama said
after peeling off bills
from a thick wad of dollars to pay a miner for a handful of
wrapped up in a black plastic bag. "We are victims of
our own wealth."
Since the war broke out in August 1998, Ituri has become
one of the
deadliest places in Africa's third-largest nation where troops
government - based 1,000 miles to the west - rebels, tribal
soldiers from neighboring Uganda fight for control of the
timber, coffee - and possibly even oil.
An estimated 50,000 people have been killed in the Ituri
hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes.
The war broke out when Uganda and Rwanda sent troops to back
seeking to oust then-President Laurent Kabila, accusing him
insurgents threatening regional security.
The International Rescue Committee estimates that 3.3 million
have died throughout Congo, most of them from war-induced
famine and disease.
Most foreign troops from the six countries that had backed
and the government withdrew after a series of peace deals
took hold, but
fighting among rival rebel factions, tribal fighters and the
Ugandan troops has continued in eastern and northeastern Congo.
Ituri, one of the last patches of Africa to be taken over
colonial powers when they divided the continent among themselves
late 1880s, wasn't always the object of such unhealthy interest.
The Belgian colonial authorities saw in Ituri a sort of Switzerland
Africa - a region of prosperous dairy and cattle farms, wheat
temperate weather, bountiful rains and spectacular scenery.
But years of mismanagement and misrule under Mobutu Sese
Seko, who ruled
Congo from 1964 until his ouster in 1997, stymied development.
A few months after war erupted in Congo, killings in Ituri
horrific proportions after the Congolese government, Uganda
- and later
Rwanda - armed rival tribes with assault weapons, using them
forces in battles for control of the region, its wealth and
airstrips dotting the landscape that indicate the presence
mines, residents said.
Instead, the Lendu and Hema turned their guns on each other,
an arms race.
The two communities have fought for control of land and other
in the past, but casualties were low because they used arrows,
and machetes. Attacks were sporadic because of fear of Mobutu's
But as Ugandan-backed rebels splintered and fought among
semblance of law and order vanished, encouraging tribal fighters
launch increasingly vicious raids on rivals.
U.N. investigators confirmed that rebels of the Ugandan-backed
Liberation Movement and the allied Congolese Rally for
Democracy-National carried out rape, torture, killings and
in Ituri late last year.
"I will be willing to pray in any kind of religion for
the bloodshed to
stop in Ituri," said Behrooz Sadry, deputy head of the
U.N. mission to Congo.
"But whether I can state with any guarantee that people
will stop the
killings, I cannot," Sadry said.
© 2003 The Associated Press
Informant: Janet Newton at EMRNetwork
Does anyone know where there may be scientific characterizations
ELF & RF emissions and other radiance from TV and computer