Researchers Devise Forensic Tests to Track Contraband Conflict Minerals

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Terrorism, political corruption, and human rights violations in sub-Saharan Africa are like any other business: management identifies and provides a needed product or service to willing buyers, thereby generating profits and reinvesting them.

In the tragedy currently playing out in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, minerals are the products most easily converted to a cash resource. Al Shabaab, for example, depends almost exclusively on the sale of conflict minerals to financially support its terrorist activities.

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