the DRC renews its accusations against Apple

the DRC renews its accusations against Apple
the DRC renews its accusations against Apple

(Ecofin Agency) – In April 2024, the DRC sent a series of questions to Apple, relating to the American giant’s involvement in the exploitation of minerals produced in violation of laws and human rights. The company has still not responded to the concerns of the Congolese authorities.

Apple has not responded to concerns raised by the DRC regarding the use of “blood ores» in its supply chain. At least that’s what the lawyers representing Kinshasa indicate in a new release Wednesday May 22.

According to the press release read by the Ecofin Agency, legal representatives of the Congolese government claim to have received new evidence from whistleblowers. The digital giant is notably accused of obtaining its supplies illegally from Congolese mines where human rights are violated and whose production is exported by contraband to Rwanda.

The lack of response is an implicit admission that the questions we asked Apple were relevant […].It is more urgent than ever that Apple provide real answers to the very serious questions we have raised, as we evaluate our legal options“, declared William Bourdon and Robert Amsterdam, the two lawyers responsible for the group hired by Kinshasa.

As Ecofin explained a few weeks ago, the accusations targeting digital giants, including Apple, for their involvement in the trading of “blood ores» in the DRC are not new. Apple has previously denied sourcing from refineries or smelters linked to “armed groups in the DRC or in a neighboring country“. However, the new accusations from the Congolese government seem to indicate that the efforts of the actors involved, including those of the Congolese authorities themselves, remain insufficient.

As a reminder, the DRC provides more than 70% of global cobalt production, an essential part of coltan production and a significant part of tin production, all metals essential to modern electronics, smartphones and computers. Understood. But the conditions of production of these metals have been denounced for years, both in terms of non-respect of human rights and for the environmental impact of these activities.

Also read:

15/05/2024 – The DRC requests an international embargo on mineral exports from Rwanda

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