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Archive for the tag “Democratic Republic of Congo”

RDC: Communique Officiel concernant Moise Katumbi (18.06.2018)

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RDC: UDPS – Messieurs les Presidents Federaux de l’Union pour la Democratie et le Progres Social (Tous) – (14.06.2018)

RDC: Ensemble – Le passeport semi-biometrique de Moise Katumbi annule par le regime de Kinshasa qui lui avait deja refuse l’obtention d’un passeport biometrique (15.06.2018)

RDC: Lambert Mende – Modifiant et Completant l’Arrete No. 04/MIP/020/96 – Portant Mesures d’Application de la loi 96-002 du 22 Juin 1996 Fixant les Modalities de l’Exercice de la Liberte de Presse (14.06.2018)

KCC dispute: GÉCAMINES reaches an agreement with KATANGA GROUP, and defines with GLENCORE the foundations for a new win-win partnership (13.06.2018)

LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 13, 2018 – On 12 June 2018, GÉCAMINES (www.Gecamines.cd), together with its subsidiary SOCIÉTÉ IMMOBILIÈRE DU CONGO (“SIMCO”), entered into with KATANGA MINING LIMITED and some of its affiliated companies (the “KATANGA GROUP”) as well as their joint company KAMOTO COPPER COMPANY (“KCC”), a settlement agreement (the “Agreement”).

Under the terms of the Agreement, the following goals and results are targeted, among others:

  • KCC’s net equity will be restored in accordance with applicable laws ;
  • KCC’s indebtedness towards the GLENCORE group will be reduced from 9 billion USD down to 3.45 billion USD as at 1 January 2018;
  • Interest rates applicable on intra-group loans are revised and shall no longer exceed 6% per year;
  • On the basis of KCC’s current business plan, as early as the 2019 fiscal year, GÉCAMINES will start, for the first time, receiving dividends, which assessed cumulated amount should exceed 2 billion USD over the next ten years;
  • The profits will allow for the payment of corporate taxes being likely to significantly contribute to the replenishment the Congolese State’s treasury;
  • A better valuation, in the future, of GÉCAMINES’ contribution of the copper and cobalt deposits to the partnership through a significant increase of the amount per ton of the pas de porte, from 35 USD to 110 USD, and which can reach 170 USD in certain scenarios;
  • A significant increase of the valuation of GÉCAMINES’ ownership in KCC, which value was until then nil due to the high level of indebtedness of the company;
  • The waiver by KCC to the benefit of the JORC certified reserves amounting to 3,992,185 tCu and 205,629 tCo (the “Reserves”), releasing GÉCAMINES from its obligation to deliver the Reserves or, failing that, to pay a counter-value of a maximum amount of 285 million USD;
  • The payment by the KATANGA GROUP of a settlement indemnity (150 million USD) in favor GÉCAMINES; and
  • The withdrawal by GÉCAMINES and SIMCO, at closing, from the judicial proceeding initiated before the Commercial Court of Kolwezi on 20 April 2018.

GÉCAMINES welcomes the outcome of the discussions with the KATANGA GROUP and its majority shareholder GLENCORE PLC, and the new foundations now set for the partnership, with a view to an effective sharing of wealth, with immediate financial benefits for all the stakeholders, and in particular the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the affected communities. GÉCAMINES hopes that upcoming negotiations with other partners and companies will be conducted in a similar open and respectful climate, and will reach the same satisfactory outcome.

RDC: Luc Nkulula – Message de condoléances de la Conférence Épiscopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) – (12.06.2018)

RDC: Enemble – Declaration du President (10.06.2018)

RDC: Communique du CLC – La mort de LUC Nkulula militant de Lucha: le CLC exige l’ouverture d’une enquete independante (10.06.2018)

Fresh UN Report: Illigal Gold Smuggling from the DRC to Uganda!

There been new reports on the gold smuggling to Uganda from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, it needs more reporting, as this illegal trading and looting of mineral resources from the Republic needs to be put a spotlight on. As this trade is feeding illegitimate government and militias whose using force against innocent civilians and citizens in general. This report that is reported in the report from the Group of Experts are expelling a deep, but also a volatile story of how they are transporting and getting the illegal gold into the market.

We can wonder if this gold enters the Gen. Salim Selah owned African Gold Refinery Limited in Entebbe, before flying away into the World Market through the brokers and traders there. We can question that, as the government on both sides of the border is accepting this. They are both earning on this and not registering it. Therefore, the location of extraction is kept secret, while the production and the paperwork is kept under the radar. That is why the consumer cannot know under what condition the gold came from and that is worrying. The smuggling, the lack of paperwork and forging of documents shows they are really pushing the boundaries to get into the global markets.

Also, this shows how blatant disregard for maladministration, they have done deliberately and not cared about the public.

Smugglers used the road to Mahagi, where they travelled either by motorbike, taxi or even truck. At the border with Uganda, when they were eventually checked, they bribed customs officials on the Congolese side. All of the Group’s informants on this issue confirmed that, in Goli, on the Ugandan side of the border, they were not asked to present papers or explain the origin of gold that they carried. Mahagi is a long-established hub of the smuggling route” (P: 22)

Two brokers told the Group that they mainly carried gold from mining sites in Kawa and Monbgwalu in Djugu territory. When they arrived in Goli, they would meet with a broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who would accompany them to sell to Kampala-based dealers. One of the brokers told the Group that, until February 2018, he travelled to Kampala every two weeks with about 3 kilograms of gold (approximately $132,000) 20 per trip” (P: 22-23).

The Group confirmed that, in Entebbe Airport, companies sell empty seats. As previously documented, empty seats are used by smugglers to transport gold concealed in hand luggage. Two individuals associated with the gold sector in Kampala, one Kampala-based gold broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one migration officer stationed at the airport in Entebbe told the Group that, despite the official claim that minerals cannot leave the country without proper paperwork, gold smugglers continue to travel either without documentation or with forged documents. The migration officer and the broker told the Group that the owners of gold being trafficked do not travel themselves but use couriers who fly to Dubai to deliver the gold to buyers there. The two sources added that couriers can operate easily because they bribe customs and security officers at Entebbe airport” (…) “Two Ugandan nationals working for two airlines operating from Entebbe informed the Group that they are not requested to check gold in hand luggage. In the course of its current mandate, the Group held discussions with senior officials of eight airlines operating in and out of the Great Lakes region, who said that their primary role in checking passengers was to make sure no one was carrying anything that could jeopardize the security of the plane, a policy focusing almost entirely on weapons and explosives. The Group is of the view that gold transported on commercial aeroplanes should not be banned as it represents a key form of export for responsible artisanal and small-scale mining activity that observes the requisite due diligence guidelines. However, there is a need to address the loopholes related to the illegal transportation of gold carried in hand luggage on commercial aeroplanes” (P: 24, 2018).

Clearly, the illegal trade of gold should be looked into and be a worry for the international community, as the is funding militias and illegal activity within the DRC. This should not be overlooked, the clear indication of smuggling gold and also not registering the conflict minerals. Therefore, this is sophisticated and using all means to bribe lower level civil servants on both sides, to secure the trade of this can go-on. Both republic’s can do something about this, if they cared or had incentive to do so. However, they seem pretty fine and dandy with this activity. As the state and the close connected activity with the elites who are sponging the funds made from it.

That is why even President Museveni was there for the opening of the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. That shows that the Republic have no trouble with illegal smuggling of gold from the DRC. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘ Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo’ (04.06.2018).

Bemba Acquitted in the ICC: Witness Tampering & mistakes by the Trial-Chamber is the reasons for the Verdict!

The Movement for Liberation of Congo (MLC) Jean Pierre Bemba, who has been charged with War-Crimes as multiple rape and killings in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) between 2002-2003. Have now this week gotten a favorable verdict in the International Criminal Court (ICC). By everything written in the Court Documents. The verdict is challenging the Trial Courts predetermination and the lack of evidence to back the supposed crimes Bemba committed. Even if all the crimes of MLC did in CAR. The evidence and the affidavits are not clear enough to indict him or prosecute him. That is why he is freed from the charges in this case against him. Though he has been charged with Witness Tampering, that might be a lead into why the verdict became what it is. As the ICC cannot establish legal grounds for his crimes. They are out of jurisdiction and out of order, to charge him and detain him, when the lack of evidence is there.

This here is a failure of previous ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who indicted Bemba on the 13th October 2010 for dozens of War-Crimes counts of Rape, Murder, Pillaging and Crimes Against Humanity. If he had collected the evidence properly and haven’t let Bemba and associates off the hook. He wouldn’t have given Bemba the ability to tamper with the evidence. That is especially worrisome after he was caught in Belgium in 2008 and indicted in 2010. Later on the 19th October 2016 for crime of witness tampering in connection with the Bemba-Trial. That could give the ICC rights to keep Bemba in inside for 5 years. However, he has been behind bars since 2008. Therefore, the verdict today is dire to the ones that was in the midst of the MLC fire in Central African Republic in the time period of 2002-2003.

First, I will show what was written by the Witness tampering that the Bemba team did, before we look into the reason for the favorable verdict for Bemba. Let’s look!

di Rossella Pulvirenti wrote:

After a meticulous reconstruction of the facts, the ICC concluded that Mr Bemba, who was detained in the Scheveningen prison at that time, gave directives on the content and the modalities of witnesses’ testimonies. He was helped by Kilolo, who implemented Bemba’s instructions. He illicitly coached and prepared defence witnesses in consultation with Mangenda, who liaised between Mr Bemba and Mr Kilolo. Almost all the fourteen defence witnesses received either money, other valuable goods or non-monetary promises as a ‘gift’ or a ‘token’ shortly before their testimonies before the ICC in the main case. In exchange for those ‘gifts’, witnesses were suppose to provide false testimony declaring that Bemba’s Movement for the Liberation of Congo military was not responsible for the alleged crimes and that the Congolese army was under the command of Central African generals” (…) “Trial Chamber VII condemned Bemba, Kilolo and Mangenda, as co-perpetrators, for corruptly influencing fourteen witnesses, giving false testimony and presenting evidence that they knew was false. Moreover, Bemba was found guilty of soliciting fourteen witnesses to provide false testimony, Kilolo was convicted for inducing those witnesses to give false testimony and Mangenda was found responsible of aiding and abetting the giving of false testimony by, respectively, two and seven defence witnesses. Mangenda was found not guilty of having aided, abetted or otherwise assisted Bemba and Kilolo in convincing the other five witnesses to provide false testimony. Finally, Babala was found guilty for aiding the other defendants for corrupting two of the fourteen defence witnesses. Finally, Arido was convicted of corruptly influencing four defence witnesses” (di Rossella Pulverinti – ‘The first case on witness tampering at the International Criminal Court: conviction for Bemba and four of his associates’ – GIURISPRUDENZA PENALE WEB, 2016, 11).

Outtakes from the Verdict on the 8th June 2018:

Importantly, the Trial Chamber failed to properly analyse this evidence and address its potentially extremely low probative value. The Trial Chamber also failed to give even an indication of the approximate number of crimes that were committed at these locations. Thus, beyond the low number of individual instances of crimes found to have been established beyond reasonable doubt, it is unclear how widespread the criminal behaviour of the MLC troops in the 2002-2003 CAR Operation was; and, as a corollary, it is difficult to assess the proportionality of the measures taken. Furthermore, the Appeals Chamber notes the apparent discrepancy between the limited number of crimes for which Mr Bemba was held responsible under article 28 and the Trial Chamber’s assessment of the measures Mr Bemba should have taken, which appears to have been based on the much broader and more general ‘finding’ by the Trial Chamber concerning widespread MLC criminality in the CAR. Indeed, a finding that the measures deployed by a commander were insufficient to prevent or repress an extended crime wave, for example five hundred crimes, does not mean that these measures were also insufficient to prevent or repress the limited number of specific crimes, for example 20 crimes, for which the commander is ultimately convicted” (ICC-01/05-01/08-3636-Red 08-06-2018 75/80 EC A).

Had the Trial Chamber properly assessed the measures that Mr Bemba took and 193.had the Trial Chamber properly considered the list of measures that it stated that Mr Bemba could have taken in light of the limitations that he faced in the specific circumstances in which he was operating, it would not have been open to it to reach the same conclusion. The errors the Trial Chamber made resulted in an unreasonable assessment of whether Mr Bemba failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures in the circumstances existing at the time” (ICC-01/05-01/08-3636-Red 08-06-2018 75/80 EC A).

In these circumstances, the Appeals Chamber considers it appropriate to reverse 197.the conviction of Mr Bemba and to declare that the criminal acts listed above at paragraph 116 are outside the scope of this case and that the proceedings in that regard are discontinued” (ICC-01/05-01/08-3636-Red 08-06-2018 75/80 EC A).

You can clearly see that there is technicalities from the ICC that is the reason for the verdict. If the case was differently, if the Trial Chamber had collected their evidence and affidavits correctly. The case would have been differently, secondly, if the Bemba-Team was already charged with tampering with witnesses in the case. All of that would most likely make a difference for the case. However, the ICC are themselves to blame that Bemba is off the hook.

They have not done their job properly in the collecting of evidence, neither affidavits from witnesses. They have not done it after the statutes. That is why the MLC and Bemba possibly gotten away with their actions in the CAR.

It is not yet over, but this shows how important the collection of evidence, witness statements (affidavits) and actually have the ability to present the case after the statutes of the Court. Peace.

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