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Mines push people from their land
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In mining areas there has been an increase in malnutrition, poor health and low food security, with a lack of food choices. (Christian Fuchs — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)

Illegal mining operations are proliferating as armed groups expand their operations. It is much easier for the armed groups to move minerals illegally taken into the legitimate mineral market than it is to move illegal drugs to the illegal drug market.

Mines often operate in areas not controlled by the government, and the few times mining machines have been stopped are when local communities rallied and did it themselves. In retaliation, community leaders have been killed.

The mining operations are unregulated and destructive, contributing to natural disasters. The destruction of trees and the subsequent exposure of unprotected soil means many areas are now flooding that never flooded before. 

In mining areas there has been an increase in malnutrition, poor health and low food security, with a lack of food choices. Entire communities are vanishing. Their losses are not officially registered as a displacement event, but it is nonetheless clear that mines are driving people from their land.



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