In the short run, I agree with the study that a ban on Congo's "conflict minerals" would likely hurt the poor. But in the long run, we Congo and the poor be better off?
Banning minerals exported from violence-ravaged eastern Congo would threaten the livelihoods of a million miners and could worsen the world's deadliest conflict, a study said on Wednesday.
A study funded by the British government, the London School of Economics and Belgium's Ghent University published this week found such measures, although well-intentioned, would likely do more harm than good.
"The 'blood diamond' scenario where soldiers force workers to mine at gunpoint is largely absent in eastern Congo," Nick Garrett, an analyst with Resource Consulting Services and one of the study's authors, said in a statement.
"Most miners choose to mine for lack of livelihood alternatives, so stopping or disrupting the trade in minerals will hit the most vulnerable the hardest, and in all likelihood exacerbate conflict dynamics and retard development," he said.