February 9, 2017
Dear people at the SEC,
My name is Julie Kabukanyi, I am no politician, no smart economist, no savvy activist, I am simply a Congolese American woman born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has only known a world of suffering, political oppression of my family and deprivations of my human and woman rights until I immigrated to the United States of America in 1991 and my destiny took a turn for the best, because I was welcomed in a country where Democracy, the Rule of Law and respect of Human Rights is prevalent. Although my country of origin, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the richest country on earth, we the people are living in extreme poverty because of the curse of the minerals.
The news that President Trump is about to sign an Executive Order taking away all the gains from the Conflict Minerals Rule has sounded like an alarm and another death sentence and hope killer for millions of Congolese people affected by the illegal trade of minerals in Eastern Congo. Please help me understand this: what is the national security interest of the USA in the DRC that need to be preserved? I think that unending civil wars, persistent killings of innocent civilians, rapes of women and children in that forgotten area of the world will continue to be against the national security interest of the United States of America, a World Champion of Human Rights. What are negative consequences such as loss of jobs or loss of livelihoods, compared to the despair and sufferings of millions of people being killed in atrocious manners, decapitated, dismembered, helpless women being tracked down on the fields, on their way to fetch water, raped, gang-raped in front of their families and fleeing their lands and living uncertain and dangerous lives in the woods and forests?
Let me tell you, Dodd-Frank 1502 brought hopes for human security, respect of Human Rights and Peace in Eastern Congo, it mitigated the evil actions of armed rebel groups, it was the promise for the end of exploitation of our lands and illegal profiting from our minerals. Please do continue your investigation of an alternative plan and at the same time leave Dodd-Frank 1502 be until you find better ways to manage the situation. Thats the spirit of the America I know and that the whole world knows, thats the reason America is the leader, the champion of human rights.
Dodd-Frank 1502 was implemented on the grounds of fighting for Human Rights and Justice, Human Rights and Justice for the long-suffering Congolese people, dying massively from war-related causes, from famine, from greed imposed civil wars. Dodd Frank 1502 has been a godsend for those thousands of raped and mutilated women in the Rape Capital of the world: The Democratic Republic of Congo.
I would like to remind you that since the implementation of Dodd-Frank 1502, there are less rebel-controlled mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are more companies doing due diligence in trading minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is more world attention on the Human Rights violations in the Congo, more grass-root organizations campaigning on behalf of the Congo, more publicity about the orphan country that is the Democratic Republic of Congo which has for 130 years suffered from the minerals curse since its discovery by the Portuguese in the 15th century, since its cruel and bloody exploitation by Leopold the second to these days of unending civil wars and blatant violations of Human rights.
Lastly, this is an opportunity for the United States of America to show the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo that it has its interest at heart and that it will as a leader of democracy and civil rights, bring justice and respect for Human Rights to a long-suffering people. Please, leave Dodd-Frank 1502 be and restore the hope of millions of human beings.