La responsabilité des États face aux ressources minérales de conflit

LONDRES – « Eh bien ! Ce diamant qui est à votre doigt, répondez, comment vous est-il venu ? s’interroge le roi Cymbeline dans la pièce de Shakespeare. « Tu veux me torturer, » répond alors l’affreux Iachimo, « pour me faire dire ce qui, une fois dit, te mettra à la torture. » Que nous l’entendions ou non, la réalité actuelle du commerce des ressources naturelles en certaines régions du monde est tout aussi effroyable que dans cette œuvre du XVIIe siècle.

Le bon sens voudrait que les ressources naturelles contribuent de façon majeure au développement de certains pays, qui en auraient le plus besoin. Et pourtant, dans plusieurs États parmi les plus pauvres et les plus fragiles de la planète, ces ressources engendrent précisément un effet inverse, le commerce des ressources naturelles motivant, finançant et prolongeant bien souvent les conflits et autres violations manifestes des droits de l’homme. Dans nombre de ces pays, les richesses de type diamants, or, tungstène, tantale ou encore étain, sont extraites, introduites en contrebande et taxées illégalement par de violents groupes armés, qui y puisent le budget nécessaire au financement de forces de sécurité et autres milices belliqueuses.

Prenons l’exemple de quatre pays africains : Soudan, Sud-Soudan, République centrafricaine (RCA), et République démocratique du Congo (RDC). Ensemble, ces États riches en ressources naturelles ne représentent qu’un peu plus de 13 % de la population d’Afrique sub-saharienne, et abritent pourtant 55 % des personnes déplacées au sein de la région (une sur cinq à l’échelle mondiale) en raison de conflits. Au-delà de l’Afrique, il y là une problématique mondiale, dont les tendances s’observent dans certaines régions de Colombie, de Birmanie et d’Afghanistan.

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