Miners in Congo launch petition to resume digging after mining ban, US blacklisting

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Miners in eastern Congo are petitioning for the right to go back to work in a territory that has been under a mining ban for three years and is blacklisted by U.S. legislation.

Their petition, made public Friday, calls for mines in Walikale territory to be allowed to restart production.

The ban was imposed across much of eastern Congo on the grounds that minerals were funding armed groups. It was reinforced by the US Congress's 2010 Dodd Frank Act, which requires American companies trading in Congolese minerals to conduct due diligence checks.

The petition says the ban "risks having serious effects on security owing to increased youth unemployment."

Mining expert Kihangi Kyamwami told The Associated Press there is no armed group involvement at three-quarters of the mines in Walikale.