John Katunga, former Acting Executive Director of the Nairobi Peace Initiative and current African Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center

The wars of Africa often contain a strong element of economic exploitation hidden within the layer currents of political and ethnic rivalry. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been an historic example of this phenomenon. Once ravaged for rubber and copper, the country is now devastated by conflicts over control of Coltan – a mineral essential to mobile telephones and other devices.