African nation threatens Apple with legal action over alleged “blood minerals” in its gadgets – by Sarah Carter (CBS News – April 29, 2024)

Johannesburg — The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has threatened U.S. tech giant Apple with legal action over what it says are “illegally exploited” minerals from the impoverished nation in its products. U.S. and French lawyers representing the DRC’s government sent a letter to Apple on April 22 warning the company it could face legal action if it continues with the alleged practice.

The letter accuses Apple of purchasing minerals smuggled out of the DRC into Rwanda, where their origin is allegedly obscured so they can find their way into the global technology supply chain. It makes clear that the DRC government intends to address the matter and is looking into legal options to do so.

The letter sent by the lawyers to Apple CEO Tim Cook includes a list of questions laying out the DRC’s concerns over alleged “blood minerals” in Apple’s supply chain, and it demands answers within three weeks. Similar letters, seen by CBS News, were also sent to two of Apple’s subsidiaries in France, demanding answers in the same timeframe.

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