What is Coltan?
Coltan is short for Columbite-tantalite - a black tar-like mineral found in major quantities in the Congo. The Congo possesses 64 percent of the world's coltan. When coltan is refined it becomes a heat resistant powder that can hold a high electric charge. The properties of refined coltan is a vital element in creating devices that store energy or capacitors, which are used in a vast array of small electronic devices, especially in mobile phones, laptop computers, pagers, and other electronic devices.
I, Wemba-koy Okonda citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the President of OKONDA NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION plead to you on the behalf of my people. There are ONLY 6,000,000 Congolese dead so far from the war that you are supporting if you are a user of cell phone, computer, play station etc... I said "ONLY" because you were silent until now and remain silent as you are reading this. You are not standing up for my people.
Foreign Corporate exploitation
Although the countries mentioned above directly exploit coltan, foreign multi-national corporations have been deeply involved in the exploitation of coltan in the Congo. The coltan mined by rebels and foreign forces is sold to foreign corporations. Although, the United Nations in its reports on the Congo do not directly blame the multi-national corporations for the conflict in the Congo, the United Nations does say that these companies serve as "the engine of the conflict in the DRC."
So how many more do you want to be killed? Need I bring up that Hitler had 6,000,000 Jewish people killed? I was there when you stood up for the killing in Iraq, the killing in Mumbai, the killing in New York (9/11), the killing in France, the killing in Spain etc... but why can't you stand up for my people? I am crying right now with pain. What can I do? I am just a simple black man and a fellow Congolese without power. Because I am so weak, to consolate myself I am just crying for my people.
Everyday there is bad news from my home country. What have my people done to you that you cannot forgive????? That cellphone you are using has the blood of my people. It is a weapon against my people. Please, I am not asking you to throw away your technology, but I am asking you to stand up for my people. The 6,000,000 "ONLY" Congolese dead are enough. I can not afford one more death.
The population of the State of Washington (U.S.A.) is 6,395,798. Imagine 6,000,000 Congolese dead. If you took 6,395,798 - 6,000,000(deaths) you would be left with 395,798 people.
We all are the people of the world, but why are you excluding my people as citizens of the world? By the way, if your cellphone rings think about those that are dead because of "COLTAN", the source of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What are some of the uses of coltan in modern society?
• Laptop computers
• Cellular phones
• Jet engines
• Cutting tools
• Camera lenses
• X-ray film
• Ink jet printers
• Hearing aids
• Airbag protection systems
• Ignition and motor control modules, GPS, ABS systems in automobiles
• Game consoles such as playstation, xbox and nintendo
• Video cameras
• Digital still cameras
• Sputtering targets
• Chemical process equipment
• Cathodic protection systems for steel structures such as bridges, water tanks
• Prosthetic devices for humans -- hips, plates in the skull, also mesh to repair bone removed after damage by cancer
• Suture clips
• Corrosion resistant fasteners, screws, nuts, bolts
• High temperature furnace parts.
• High temperature alloys for air and land based turbines