The DRC is considering legal action against Apple in France and the United States

The DRC is considering legal action against Apple in France and the United States
The DRC is considering legal action against Apple in France and the United States

On April 25, lawyers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accused Apple of buying minerals smuggled from the country’s unstable east to neighboring Rwanda, where they are laundered and “integrated into the supply chains.” ‘global supply’.

Lawyers retained by the DRC and based in Paris sent Apple a formal notice, warning the company that it could face legal action if the alleged practice continued.

To the letters from the lawyers, Apple reserved a “laconic” response which could be considered as a “form of contempt, cynicism, arrogance”, Mr. William Bourdon, one of the lawyers of the company, declared to the press. DRC.

This is a “denial of the legal risks weighing on this company,” said the French lawyer during this exchange with journalists, moderated with other lawyers and led by the spokesperson for the Congolese government, Patrick Muyaya.

Western lawyers from the Congolese state are on a working trip to Kinshasa where they met President Félix Tshisekedi.

Read also: DRC: NGOs warn of the situation of cobalt and copper workers

“Legal options are on the table”, “actions are being considered in France and the United States”, indicated Me Bourdon.

“We are developing other actions against other targets on all continents,” he added, without further details.

In their formal notice addressed to the Apple group, lawyers for the Congolese state designated Rwanda as a “central actor in the illegal exploitation of minerals (…) in the DRC”.

Kigali called the DRC’s accusations against Apple “baseless allegations.”

The mineral-rich east of the DRC has been plagued by violence since the 1990s, and tensions have worsened since the reappearance at the end of 2021 of the M23 rebellion, supported by Rwanda. Rebels occupy large swathes of territory in North Kivu.

The DRC is particularly rich in tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, used in particular in the production of smartphones and other electronic devices.

By Le360 Africa (with AFP)

06/14/2024 at 7:57 a.m.

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