"Anyone who uses modern technology nowadays is in some way using the blood of the Congolese people,” said Father Richard Muembo, Rector of a seminary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fr Muembo further added that "Looters from all over the world come here to exploit the country,".
He is reported to have said this in an interview in the United Kingdom at a meeting of the Aid to the Church in Need charity - a pontifical foundation helping persecuted Christians.
These remarks by Fr. Muembo come at a time when one of the world's largest electronics brands, Apple Inc., have said that they have instructed their manufacturers not to buy cobalt from mines in the DRC that use child labour. Apple have also come out in the past couple of weeks saying that they aim to one day make all their devices from 100% of recycled materials and without having to mine the earth for any natural resources including cobalt and coltan.
Cobalt and coltan are used in the manufacturing of various electronic devices (e.g. smartphones, computers) for their batteries. Fr. Muembo believes this great need for the natural resources is what is fuelling conflict in the DRC, ""Schools have been closed, hunger reigns, parts of the population are hiding in the jungle,".
"Technology should make lives easier, not end lives," he concluded.
Cover Image: Coltan mine in the DRC.