This post was co-authored with Enough's Laura Heaton.
We've gotten word that, after an eventful trip to eastern Congo in June and many months in production the all-new segment CONGO GOLD will air on CBS's 60 Minutes this Sunday, November 29. I had the chance to travel to war-torn region with the 60 Minutes film crew to investigate and capture on camera the connection between the mining of gold and other precious minerals in eastern Congo and the violence that has contributed to the deaths of over 4.5 million people in the past decade.
In an op-ed for the Boston Globe when we returned to the U.S., I recounted:
Being held at gunpoint by 30 drunk and angry militia in the middle of the night on a deserted road in one of the most dangerous war zones in the world was not our plan when we started out the day. But my traveling companions and I were digging into the links between the illicit mining of Congo's "conflict minerals'' and a deadly war, and we didn't expect a walk in the park. We had visited a gold mine contested by some particularly vengeful armed groups, and this militia had lost out in controlling the mine and wasn't happy about the result. After hours of negotiations, guns poked into ribs, and death threats, we emerged relatively unscathed and $1,000 poorer. Congolese civilians, however, are rarely so fortunate.
For 41 years, 60 Minutes has been telling the world's most compelling stories in 12-minute segments, educating generations of families and expanding their horizons. This Sunday at 7 p.m., 16 million people will suddenly learn about the deadliest war in the world deep in the jungles of Central Africa and our own links to it.
Please tune in and spread the word among your friends and family. After the show, visit Enough's Special Page to find out ways we can all help bring the suffering of the Congolese people to an end.
Follow John Prendergast on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EnoughProject