Preventing a cobalt crisis in Congo

Connect With Us

When you make purchases through our links we may earn a small commission.

Dark Brandon

Photo Credit:

Rebels in eastern Congo and the Congolese army have been fighting since the 1990s. The fighting escalated in 2022 as Rwanda-backed rebels, known as M23, invaded and took over several villages. The violence escalated further last summer when M23 moved closer to the area near Goma, one of the largest cities in the region. A war between Congo and Rwanda would not only be a humanitarian disaster, but it would upend the administration’s efforts to get into the cobalt market — a key component for electric vehicle batteries. Congo is home to about 70 percent of the world’s cobalt reserves, and China, one of Washington’s biggest trade competitors, is its main producer and is supporting M23 with drones.

🇺🇸 Support our Patreon for only $1.99 a month 🇺🇸
🍻 Join us on Facebook @PartisanForThePeople 🍻

Article Contents

The move

The president dispatched one of his top intelligence officials to the region last year to broker a pause in fighting. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines met with the presidents of Congo and Rwanda and laid out a plan for deescalation, including that Rwanda move its military back from the frontlines and Congo ground its drones. Leaders agreed to the broad strokes of the deal.

Content Continues Below

The impact

Hostilities continue but have quieted some, despite a national election last year that was marred by logistical problems.

The upshot

A direct conflict between Rwanda and Congo would likely spill over into other countries in the region and would also force the U.S. into an indirect confrontation with China at a time when Washington is trying to reset relations with Beijing.



You’ll get more articles like this – and our favorite promotional offers delivered straight to your inbox.

By submitting this form you agree to our terms and conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time.