As the Mobile World Congress opens in Barcelona on 16 February, Global Witness is calling on mobile phone manufacturers to audit their supply chains in order to exclude minerals financing the armed conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There is a direct causal link between the metals trade in eastern DRC and atrocities perpetrated by armed groups against Congolese civilians. Recent work by Global Witness and the UN Group of Experts revealed that all of the main armed groups involved in the current fighting in eastern DRC finance themselves through the trade in high-value minerals. These minerals are processed into metals such as tin and tantalum, which are used in the manufacture of mobile phones. (…) The UN Group of Experts’ latest report, published in December 2008, asserts that the world’s fifth largest tin-processing company, Thailand Smelting and Refining Co (Thaisarco), buys ore from an exporter who is supplied by mines controlled by the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). The FDLR is a Hutu militia whose members are alleged to include perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The group continues to commit grave human rights abuses against Congolese civilians. Thaisarco, based in Thailand, is owned by British metals giant Amalgamated Metal Corporation (AMC) Group. Image: > Continue.