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Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place Hardcover – July 1, 2011
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"An exceptional book that opens up the complicated and brutal reality of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By explaining and connecting the violence that occurs on the ground to the products it facilitates, Eichstaedt serves up a devastating global insight into the perpetuation of violence in the DRC.” —Sarnata Reynolds, Amnesty International USA
About the Author
His latest work is Borderland, a thriller set in the Southwest and Washington DC. The novel features war correspondent Kyle Dawson, whose father is brutally murdered in the desert west of El Paso. Dawson tracks down the killers with the help of Raoul Garcia, an ex-special forces veteran turned DEA special agent. Dawson quickly finds himself embroiled in cross-border drug cartel violence linked to a U.S. senator who is on the verge of being elected to the White House. Dawson knows he has the story of a lifetime -- one that could cost him his career and his life.
He attended the University of the Americas in Mexico City and graduated from Ohio State University. He earned a masters degree from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lived and worked for more than twenty years. From 2010 to 2011 he was the Afghanistan country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Kabul. He is the author of Above the Din of War, Consuming the Congo, Pirate State, First Kill Your Family, and If You Poison Us.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book's chapters are each like their own essay on the various topics such as mining, armies, individual locations, the effects of war on people, the rape epidemic, the minerals themselves, reform proposals and others. There are descriptions of mines, a buying cooperative, a refugee camp, a rape victim's clinic, a trip to Sudan and more.
Some of the story is told through interviews. A wide range of people are interviewed, such as villagers, miners, a Mai-Mai militia commander, a metals middleman (comptoir), women's rape counselors and a victim, refugees, a reform advocate and politicians. There are discussions of the wars' effects on the civilians (worn out), agriculture (disappearing with some exceptions) and wildlife (rapidly disappearing).
There are recurrent themes. The vast mineral wealth is not trickling down to the people. The government is too weak to protect the people and its own soldiers, because they are not paid, find ways to make a living off civilians. The fighting is over the wealth and who runs the mines, but ethnic hatred is a factor as there is a lot of senseless violence.
Reformers propose systems to identify "conflict minerals" will deter buyers. Critics of the system say that European buyers will shun these minerals, but others will not. Critics are also skeptical that those who tag these minerals will not be honest.
There are excellent photos and a good index. The last chapter offers mixed hope for measures that may stem the trade of "conflict metals".
The author talks about Sudanese conflict that has nothing in common with war/occupation of the D.R.Congo by his neighbors.
The author does his best to clean Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian armies as well as corporations involved in looting, killings and occupation taking place in the D.R.Congo.
I wonder who funded the author's trips to D.R.Congo and this book. I won't be surprised if I hear that it's one of corporations involved in the destruction of the D.R.Congo.
I am shocked by the way the author condemns activists and other advocacy groups who do their best to help end the occupation of the D.R.Congo by his neighbors as well as the looting of his minerals by these countries and foreign corporations.
I can't recommend this book to anyone because it misleads about the reality of the D.R.Congo.