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Gold Addiction Fuels Brutal Congo War (VIDEO)

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:45 PM ET

Gold Congo

This Sunday "60 Minutes" will present an investigation into how the global gold industry is helping fuel violence and chaos in the Congo.

CBS reporter Scott Pelley's investigation found that conflict in the region was often to do with different militias seeking control over valuable natural resources.

"If you do a conflict analysis, you will find that when there are spikes in violence, it has something to do with contestation over the mineral resources, gold and the rest of them," John Prendergast tells Pelley. Prendergast worked in the Clinton administration on Africa policy, and co-founded "The Enough Project," which works to expose war crimes.

Despite efforts to control gold trade from the war-torn country, "60 Minutes" found they were able to freely sell gold it advertised as from Congo with no questions asked in neighboring Uganda.

The war in the Congo has claimed an estimated 5 million lives, making it the bloodiest war since World War Two. The war, CBS finds, is largely kept alive by conflict over resources, and may be brought to a conclusion if sellers of gold begin tracing their purchases to the mine, much like how the diamond industry began to do when addressing the "blood diamond" controversy.

The show will air Sunday Nov. 29 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.


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Filed by Adam Taylor  |