SOS Africa Submits Comment to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Behalf of GATT-RN

Download the comment on the SEC’s website

SOS Africa Head Office [Eastern DR Congo]
A Civil Society Development & Human Rights Group ‘‘Aspiring to be More and Not to have more!’’
Registration N° 003/JUST.GS/DP-NK/CA/09 DRC

Telephone: +243 993 100 908 / +243 995 200 478 / +243 815 292 206
E-mail :
October 24, 2011
The Honorable Mary L. Schapiro
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549
-The Honorable Hillary Clinton, U.S Secretary of State,
-Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
-Robert Hormats, Under Secretary for Energy, Economic, and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
-Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Dear Chairman Mary L. Schapiro:
As member of the eastern Congo civil society watchdog, the Support Group for traceability and
Transparency in the Management of Natural Resources, or GATT-RN and eyewitness of local
traceability and regional certification unparalleled efforts sparked off by the U.S legislation
requirements to humanize eastern Congo conflict-minerals trade, we are writing in the light of
skewed and framed picturesque advocates for the disingenuously called Kivus miners’ livelihoods to
shut down the timely release of the Dodd-Frank Act implementing regulations for a status quo in
eastern Congo mining industry.
The miners’ livelihoods that overnight became the panacea of the anti-Dodd-Frank Act Section
1502 campaign haven’t the least drawn the attention of either local or international mining
industry in the Kivus for over fifteen years. Those “livelihoods” were cut off by president Joseph
Kabila’s unexpected 6 months’ ban and not by the U.S. legislation as some tend to desinginiously
claim it.
Because of the dire poverty and slavery like conditions exacerbated by the long and almost nonexistence of basic social infrastructures such schools, hospitals, and roads, etc., in mining areas
despite conflict-minerals market boom, and the relentless and serious human rights violations into
the Kivu mines, international aid agencies such as the International Rescue Committee, Catholic
Relief Services, Norwegian Refugee Council, to name a few had no choice if not working out
emergency aid plans in schools, latrines, water and sanitation, shelter, medicine and cash voucher
programs to reach out to internally displaced people and communities in and around mining areas.
President Joseph Kabila rightly called the booming conflict minerals trade a “mafia” that did not
benefit either local communities or the state treasury when he banned mining activities throughout
the three eastern Congo provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema on September 9, 2010.
While that ban was the president’s kneejerk reaction to armed groups’ mass rapes of over 300
women and girls in minerals rich village of Luvungi, Walikale in August 2010, some civil society
individuals in South Kivu province have wrongly linked it to the Dodd-Frank Act. SOS Africa Head Office
A Development & Human Rights Group ‘‘Aspiring to be More and Not to have more!!’’
Registration N° 003/JUST.GS/DP-NK/CA/09

Telephone: +243 993 100 908 / +243 995 200 478 / +243 815 292 206
E-mail :,
Disclosure requirements of the latter have indisputably gotten the Congolese authorities’ brains
into gear to enforce the Congolese mining code by the enactment of the traceability manual and
the signing of the Commitment Acts on March 1, 2011, one month before the U.S companies’
boycott on April 1, 2011.

Since then, demilitarization of large mines such as Bisie, Itebero, Omate, Rubaya in North Kivu,
Nyabibwe, Mugogo, and part of Numbi, etc., the construction of 5 trading centers and the training
of mining policy, and the recent qualification and validation of about 60 percent of the North Kivu
and South Kivu mines as conflict-free by a UN/Minerals Stakeholders’ joint mission have been
sparked off. Because of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congolese army commanders along
with foreign and local armed groups’ commanders are aware of Human Rights Watchdogs’
spotlights on them, and not releasing NOW strong Dodd-Frank Act Implementing Regulations would
simply mean a setback to eastern Congolese justice hopes and an INSULT to the memory of over 5.5
million Congolese victims of the deadliest war the planet has never known.

We are therefore writing to commend U.S. legislators for having enacted the CATALYST of eastern
Congo mining industry humanization, and urge you both as MOTHERS and U.S Sectary of State
Hillary Clinton and Chairman of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Honorable Mary L.
Schapiro to swiftly release ROBUST implementing regulations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act to avoid a return to square one in eastern Congo in particular
and in the African Great Lakes Region in general.

For SOS Africa,
Vice Chairman