The Cocoa industry is a billion dollar industry which attracts deep pocket players in countries like Netherlands, Belgium and the UK.
Blood Chocolate funding DRC Insurgents?
The Democratic Republic of Congo DRC is popular for its mineral wealth deposits which are estimated at 25 Trillion USD.
ADF insurgents led by Amir Musa Seka Baluku who operate in the Eastern parts of DRC have found a sweet source of funds to finance their insurgency.
ADF recently launched an onslaught in Loselose village, about 50km (30 miles) east of Beni, and the entire Ruwenzori sector which are known for their cocoa plantations and banana groves. Harvesting of cocoa began in the area in November.
Regional officials alleged that the ADF militiamen slaughtered at least 25 civilians when they surprised them in their fields on New Year’s Eve by the village of Tingwe as they were harvesting cocoa.
Gisèle Adjeta a journalist from Radio Okapi said “The massacres of populations are taking place in areas with a high concentration of cocoa fields. The ADF are active in the cacao production basin: Mughalika / Mwalika (in Bashu), the Mbau-Kamango axis, Kokola-Maymoya, Mamove, Halungupa in Ruwenzori.”
She added that “Belgian and British companies buy cocoa from ADF. But various reports on the ADF, do not allude to it. The << blood cocoa goes somewhere >> . There are a few buyers.”
Adjeta further remarked that “The killings coincidence with the harvest season which lasts four months. However, during the planting season the insurgents protect villagers as they plant.”
Radio Okapi is a radio network that operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On an annual budget of USD$4.5 million, a staff of 200 provide news and information to the entire urban population of the DRC.