Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hammer Anvil Out of the Congo

Meet Bill Turner, president of Aussie mining company, Anvil. With help from the Congalese government and The World Bank, Anvil make money from mining the violent remote eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It must be pointed out that Anvil's building of a small primary school and health clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bragged about by the Anvil president, in the 4 Corners report are mandatory to ensure their newly approved insurance policy taken with the World Bank insurance agency, MIGA.

This brings another point. Why and how did this arm of the World Bank approve "Political Risk Insurance" to Anvil only last month? Surely the World Bank would have had some intelligence there was a question mark on the West Australian's potential link to the killings in Kilwa, last year.

According to press releases by Anvil and MIGA, this is the first such insurance policy offered to a mining company anywhere in the world.

It is irresponsible for the World Bank to encourage any further mining in volatile countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On their website, Anvil justify their work in the Democratic Republic Congo saying, "positive political developments in recent years have ushered in a workable political climate under which Anvil is now able to operate."

Try telling that to the 15 women and girls who the UN reported were raped last month by government backed militia in the Congelese village of Sonsa, only 250km from the site of yet another of Anvil's mines in the DRC's east.

If the recent reports by the World Health Organisation, "Congo the Curse of Gold" or Medicans Sans Frontiers report on the DRC's current rape endemic, "I Have No Joy, No Peace of Mind" are anything to go by, Anvil and other western mining companies must get out of the Congo immediately. Merely throwing your arms up in denial like Anvil's president, Bill Turner did on Monday night's 4 Corners is unacceptable.

Sadly, Anvil's mission statement proclaims the Australian company is "Forging a Great Future in the Congo". Instead, I feel they and other mining companies, with financial help from the World Bank, are only digging the African country deeper into worse times of rape and murder.

Link to Four Corners Report


Anonymous said...

Seriously, how naive are you? You think the Congonese want a life of destitution and poverty? If noone is prepared to invest money in their country how is anything going to change? Ask the people of Kilwa how they feel about Anvil and how their lives have been improved. The tribal chiefs of the region have infact completely backed Anvil and laid the blame squarely where it belongs, st the DRC military.

Glenn said...

Naive? Sheesh.

Did you miss this week's news story that the war in the DRC is "deadliest humanitarian crisis today" and that almost 4 million people have been killed in the war over the country's resources?


If you are so concerned about the Democratic Republic of Congo's welfare, how and why did you come here by doing a google search for "anvil worldbank"?

Do you work for Anvil?

"Ask the people of Kilwa how they feel about Anvil and how their lives have been improved."

It's going to be pretty hard to ask that to the over hundred people who were killed in Kilwa.

"The tribal chiefs of the region have infact completely backed Anvil..."

Show me (a report which doesn't come from the Anvil website) where you found this out.

Mining by foriegn companies is not the way out of violence and poverty in the DRC.