The VICE Guide to Congo

The VICE Guide to Congo

2011, Society  -   43 Comments
Ratings: 8.46/10 from 41 users.

The VICE Guide to CongoThe Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world and thanks to an insanely complicated mix of politics, armed conflict, and corruption... it's also one of the most under-reported.

It also happens to be home to a nondescript black rock known as Coltan... a vital ingredient in the production of nearly every cell phone and computer on the planet.

Without Coltan, our technology-driven lives would come to a screeching halt, and Congo has 80% of the world's supply.

Since the mid nineteen-nineties, armed groups have used these minerals to fund a series of fantastically complicated and horrifically violent wars.

Vice founder Suroosh Alvi travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo and makes one of the most grueling treks of his life to see first-hand where this so-called conflict mineral comes from and to meet some of the rebels involved in the seemingly never-ending conflict in Eastern Congo.

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John Linnemeier
4 years ago

Congo is under reported largely because it's so damned dicey to go there. I've been shot twice, almost died of malaria, typhoid and hepatitis, seen famines, wars, riots and revolutions, but I'm 73 now and Congo would likely kill me, so all I can do is salute you guys for what you people around the world a no bullshit picture of what's going on in difficult places they'll never see but need to understand.

10 years ago

If the congolese cannnot take control of the minerals in their own country, they will continue serving our interests and dying because of disorganization and failure to keep power. Its all about power and if you can't keep it because you lost most wars in your country, thats just too bad.

10 years ago


10 years ago

The General and others were probably pretty high on local hallucinogens and stimulants. Nutty place with no easy answers for sure.

It's interesting to read Conrad and see that over a century later there's still an undercurrent of greed and corruption fueling murderous violence. Cursed with natural resources - what a strange paradox for a nation.

11 years ago

You have to be a bit crazy to go to that place.
Did you see the eyes of the general?
Something strange, isn't it?

11 years ago

I feel Jesus would weep at the horror done in the name of His enlightened message.Be warned,however..powerful Evangelical agents still bed themselves with politicians to exert a suffocating influence on a free thinking society in America.The Congo is a turbulent battlezone for precious resources.All the religion on earth cannot rescue it from greed and corruption..our insatiable first -world voraciousness will ultimately suck it dry and leave it a desolate ruin..and all for what?

11 years ago

The VICE crew is badass. True-life, gritty realism - grade A journalism.

Keep it up. And hit Myanmar sometime.

11 years ago

@ Epicurus: How they started has nothing to do with what they do now. Look up Virtue Worldwide. "We help global brands find new ways of communicating with the world's youth." - a good enough reason to "throw hate" at them in my book.
@ misterwong: I'm not saying the horrors there should not be shown. I'm just saying that these people might not be the best to do it. Their only redeaming quality is having the stones to go there. As for christianity, don't get me started.

11 years ago

Bang on! Scariest documentary I have seen and I lived in Africa for 25 years. Nothing more frightening than kids with AK 47s. Vice team very brave or daft.

Well done.

Bilbo Baggins
11 years ago

You have to be uber dedicated to human rights to even think of doing what the VICE channel has done.

Major thanks to the VICE channel.

Bilbo Baggins
11 years ago

The VICE channel is ******* NUTS to do this!

I'd be pissing my pants going anywhere near that place.

11 years ago

Ultimately, it is 'we' who drive this global gulag to its inevitable conclusions. We are choosing to support the means by which we are controlled. All people have to do is switch off the TV and chuck it away somehow or recycle parts. All people have to do is get rid of the mobile phones and not use them. But they won't. No matter what the cost to themselves and others, they can't, they're addicted to machines.

We are killing eachother for the sake of our enemies 'convenience' thinking it's for our own. We are idiots.

11 years ago

Good doc

11 years ago

And of course,history has shown us the fate of ALL peoples who have experienced the salvation of Christianity..Genocide.Slavery.The destruction of entire cultures,art,language,engineering,mathematics,astronomy,navigation,agriculture..Christianity robbed the indiginous people of the world of their gold.their culture.Their Science,in exchange for disease,lives of humiliating servitude and poverty disenfranchisement from their own culture and land.I spit on your salvation.You religious mercenaries nauseate me with your self righteous arrogance.You have brought only ignorance,death and misery over centuries of greed -propelled expansionism.Quod Erat Demonstrandum.Thus it has been proved.Deny THAT,if you dare

11 years ago

The reaction of many via the comments,is woefully predictable.When confronted with horror,inhumanity,the resources of our first-world lifestyle;we must deny our participation in egregious,vicious corruption.After all,our kids need their tech-fix.The denial is like the Holocaust disbelief.It is so wretched,it MUST be a hoax.A lie.It is PROPAGANDA.It is faulty journalism.It can't be proved,therefore,it does not exist.Our consciences and sense of humanity are still clean..thank God.Just some distasteful sensationalistic garbage..everything is just fine..If a heap of Congoese corpses were piled on your driveway,you would still think it was some Plot to raise your cellphone rates.You people are blinded by your slavish addiction to guilltless delusion.The corporate masters own your souls.You are cowards and you should be ashamed

11 years ago

i just watched this, and also saw the North Korea one- both great episodes. it is not the whole story but expecting that would be unrealistic so VICE is great for giving a perspective seldom seen on mainstream news.

11 years ago

part 1, 2:48 couldnt help myself and rofl:D no offence

11 years ago

Thank you vice for the brief insight. I don't think there is any sensationalism. It is a dangerous place and that is shown and discussed. I also have no idea what will save any country.

11 years ago

Journalism? Their whole gimmick is based around sensationalism, shock value and exploitation. VICE's little "media empire" has a single purpose: showing rich people in the "civilized countries" how much worse off they could be. And making a whole lot of money from it.

11 years ago

Despite the west's holier-than-thou mentality - declaring a boycott of Congo's coltan - all the major refiners in the west have developed ways and means of buying coltan - re-routing through South Africa and South America.

11 years ago

That's journalism! "I need immodium he says!" lol Great doc!
It is because of guys like them that we get a view of an entire other world. In a way it reminded me of a red ant hill that lived behind my house in Austin Texas, something no one wanted to get close to but had to despite the fear.

11 years ago

I don't want someone to Die over my needs and likes. God is watching from above. The time is almost here. When Our lord comes to save us all.

11 years ago

You can have my cell phone back.

11 years ago

Whats the big deal about all this Africa stuff. The answer has come. That answers name is George Clooney. He will help the good people of the sub-continent open a few bags of rice, tell some 9 year old they're extremely brave for having their arms blown off and go on a stroll through the safest area of whatever country he's in all in front of the camera no less. I can see his trademark sh*t eating grin as he lets the rest of the civilised world know whats going on and how bad it is and how little we know and maybe we should do something about it. Who knows, he might even bring a few of the orphaned children back to the West as souvenirs for his hollywood or political chums. The ones who's parents were eaten by the next tribe over. No strings you see. Heck, he could make a night of it. I bet he would have his pals over for the evening at his palatial villa on Lake Como. They'd sip champagne and laugh as Georgey boy hands out his new gifts.
"Where's Jim? Here, this ones for you." Servant brings into livingroom dark black 5 year old child.
"Aww. Nice. Man. George, you never stop man. Where did you get this child from again?"
"Umm. Christ." Looks to Assistant. "Where were we last week?"
"The Sudan."
"Yes. Yes. Sudan. Craaazy place Jim. So dusty. Do you like it? How's your glass? Refill?"

11 years ago

The Vice Guides are the best travel shows you will ever see. I'm really happy their back on their game.

It's kind of funny how true that last statement was: "in Congo, a guy with a gun and an agenda can have his own little kingdom."

11 years ago

the EU are now planning to implement a refund system for handys,so customers bring back the device for recycling purpose.only that won't change the exploitation of poor countries with rare resources.