Global Witness warmly welcomes the news that the Royal Television Society granted its International News Award to Channel 4 foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller for his report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) broadcast on Channel 4 News in June 2005.
“The Channel 4 report on tin mining in eastern Congo was ground-breaking,” said Emily Bild, researcher at Global Witness. “Not only did it broadcast images of remote areas affected by conflict which had never been seen on our screens before, but it brought alive the realities of the situation in the DRC.”
Global Witness worked closely with the Channel 4 team on the preparation of the programme, which tied in with a Global Witness report on the link between cassiterite (tin) mining in eastern DRC and the ongoing armed conflict
The eastern provinces of North and South Kivu, which are rich in cassiterite, have been at the heart of the war in the DRC since 1998. Different armed groups, including the army, have been fighting a brutal war for control of these areas, particularly around the cassiterite mines. The Congolese population have seen none of the benefits of the natural resources of their country and have been the first victims of the war.
Despite a peace agreement and the establishment of a transitional government in 2002, fighting continues in parts of the DRC. Democratic elections – the first for more than 40 years - are scheduled for June 2006, but insecurity is still rife and peace remains elusive, especially in the east. The country’s vast natural resources – which also include gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt and timber – are still being plundered by political and military officials.
“We hope this award will ignite interest in the UK in the continuing tragedy in the DRC,” said Emily Bild. “The UK government is currently one of the biggest aid donors to the DRC and can play an important role in calling for an end to the systematic looting of the country’s natural resources.”
For further information, please contact Emily Bild on 44 (0) 207 561 6381.
The Global Witness report “Under-mining peace: Tin - the explosive trade in cassiterite in eastern DRC” and other reports on the DRC are available at http://www.globalwitness.org/reports/index.php?section=drc
Global Witness is an investigative non-governmental organisation that focuses on the links between natural resource exploitation and conflict, and was co-nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
Press Release / Feb. 23, 2006