September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Impact of Conflict Minerals

Country: Ethiopia
Delegate Name: Will McConnell

It should come as no surprise to the people of this committee that Ethiopia–such as our African sister countries–is rich in cobalt, gold, and various other precious metals. For this reason, our nation has had problems with environmental detriment, amongst the other political issues stemming from mining, as seen with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Because of our problems in the world of mining, this topic is something we care about deeply and hope to find a solution for. Countries such as Ethiopia–as well as the other economically weaker countries of the world–who are rich in minerals and metals have been exploited for too long. It is time to end what far too many of us are far too familiar with.
A significant cause of conflict in regard to mining is the lack of regulation. The part of our nation where this is seen most is in southern-central Ethiopia in an area known as the Guji zone. The Guji zone alone being home to our largest gold mine,the Legadembi mine, has been exploited for materials since the 1920’s and the exploiters’ accountability is still dangerously low, showcasing to us that there are no plans to stop. The Legadembi mine is owned by MIDROC, a company owned by a Saudi Arabian, and their decisions to expand have displaced the indigenous Gujii people ignoring their rights to freedom, prior and informed consent as adopted by the United Nations in 2007. Aside from this, the mining in the Legadembi mine has released many dangerous toxins into the air, causing a spike in flora and fauna deaths, birth deformities, tumors, miscarriages, soil erosion, and the contamination of drinking water.
Beyond this, in recent years–or more specifically, in 2018–gunmen shot and killed five miners in the Ethiopian mine system due to anger regarding the encroachment onto Oromo lands. With the continuation of unregulated mining, more problems such as this will occur. Neither encroachment of land nor the murder of workers are in the best interest of any nation. As a people, we seek safety in our lands; when exploitative mining occurs, we are no longer safe.
One of the most important things we can do to prevent further exploitation is to regulate the ownership of mines and limit it to local or federal government rather than private ownership. No international nor domestic private owner can respect the nation’s needs like the people of and for the nation. Even if the private company is hiring the people of that nation to work and operate the mines, financial decisions are in the hands of those who care more about their wealth than the environmental and health factors of the nation(s) in which they own and/or fund mines.
Furthermore, regulating how much can be mined from each mine per year could be of noticeable importance as well to the overall health of our shared planet. The more regulation we have in place, the less likely are conflicts, health problems, and environmental deterioration.
Finally, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is pleased to have the opportunity to discuss our opinions and speak for the people of our nation to a wider demographic of the world.
We are hopeful that, as a committee, we can come together and decide on a solution in accordance with all of our best interests.


Mencho, B. B. (2022). Assessing the effects of gold mining on environment: A case study of Shekiso district, Guji zone, Ethiopia. Heliyon, 8(12), e11882.

Free, Prior and Informed Consent. (n.d.). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved November 20, 2023, from

Reuters. (2019, March 19). Gunmen kill five miners in Ethiopia, TV says foreigners among dead. Reuters.

Ethiopia: Companies Long Ignored Gold Mine Pollution. (2023, April 26). Human Rights Watch.

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