Congolese activists take blood in phone-conflict minerals campaign to Europe

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By Our reporter.
The world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer NOKIA and the Western world are fueling conflict in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo by buying conflict minerals, and therefore, financing civil war, Congolese activist are complaining to the world.
“The campaign to mobilize on fair mineral-fair phones is underway in Europe; we’re screening a documentary film that demonstrates the horrors of children working in minerals sites as forced labor and blood minerals that fuel conflict,” Sekombi Katondolo, a Congolese producer and activist revealed to Great Lakes Voice.
The Documentary “Blood in the Mobile” shows the connection between our phones and the civil war in the Congo. Director Frank Poulsen traveled to DR Congo to see the illegal mining industry with his own eyes. He got access to Congo’s largest tin-mine, which is being controlled by different armed groups, and where children work for days in narrow mine tunnels to dig out the minerals that end up in our phones.
After visiting the mine, Mr. Poulsen struggled to get to talk to Nokia, the world’s largest phone company. He wanted them to guarantee that they are not buying conflict minerals and thereby financing the war in the Congo. Nokia cannot give him that guarantee.
“Blood in Mobile” is a film about our responsibility for the conflict in the Congo and about corporate social responsibility.
“Nokia and the world have been in this bloody business of buying minerals that fuel conflict for many decades. We need them to understand how this has affected our people, and whenever some one is holding a smart phone, should think on blood minerals,” Katondolo said.
According to Katondolo, the movement taking blood in phone campaign have grown to more than two hundred members determined to take the massage to the whole world.
Supported by DANIDA, MEDIA and the Danish Film Institute, the film will be broadcast in Denmark (DR), Germany (WDR), France (Arte), Finland (YLE), Norway (NRK), Ireland (TG4), Hungary (Duna TV), Greece (ERT) and Israel (DBS). The film premiered in Denmark on September 1st 2010. The film has also been premiered internationally at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam from November 23rd 2010 until December 1st.

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