National Geographic : 2013 Oct
Conflict Minerals 61 He pointed to the recent scandal of Gen. Ga- briel Amisi, Congo’s land-forces commander, who was suspended after UN investigators re- vealed that he was covertly arming brutal rebel groups, selling them weapons and ammunition that helped them poach elephants for ivory. All this while he was ostensibly fighting the same rebels. A game indeed. A double game. “ The government is crumbling, and every- body is trying to do a deal and cut Kinshasa out,” the UN official said. “ Those guys in Bavi didn’t want you seeing what they were up to.” When we asked him what it would take to fix Congo, he looked down at his polished shoes for a long time. “ There’s no easy solution,” he said. “And I’m not even sure there is any solution.” The next day we flew out of Bunia in a small prop plane. Below us, the banana trees faded into dark green swirls and the thatched-roof vil- lages turned into tiny brown dots as we crossed over the same beautifully sculpted mountains where all that treasure lay buried. j A boy’s hope for a normal life is as tenuous as his shelter in a camp for displaced people near the Nyiragongo volcano. As long as the corrupt trade of conflict minerals continues, fear and greed will rule eastern Congo.