Rwanda: Joint Communique of the Defence and Security Meeting between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Rwanda (14.02.2021)

Opinion: Museveni have become 2021 edition of Mobutu

Nothing is not my business in this country: everything is my business, everything. The state of education, the state of our economy, the state of our agriculture, the state of our transport, everything is my business” – President Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1972)

In 2021 we can wonder if General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wants to distort his whole legacy. He has already destroyed much of it and with more time in office. Now with a new term starting soon. The Self-Styled President for Life is soon ending up like Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko. Why do I say that? Mobutu was a man Museveni despised. However, it is so unique that he ends up replicating him.

Mobutu ruled Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 to 1997. He ruled the Republic for 32 years after being installed by the CIA and Belgium after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Since then he had all power and the state was the personification of him.

What is making him more similar to Yoweri is that they we’re both getting old. In 1997 Mobutu was 67 years old and had cancer. His cabinet was decaying. The army was hated by the general public. An army that killed and preyed on the citizens for their cuts. Mobutu owned several of businesses and the treasury was his personal bank. There was reports that he had an wealth of USD $4 billion.

Another trick Mobutu had to prolong his time in office. Was the usage of Kleptocracy. Where the President held meeting with rivals, chiefs and opponents. Later he would appoint these persons into his cabinet or create positions for them. They became Ministers or at a leaders at a Governmental Parastatal. A place where they didn’t remain for long, but got enough coin to not create their own power-base.

I am just saying these things, as we can see similar things is happening to Museveni. Museveni is on the other hand celebrating 35 years since his takeover. Nevertheless, his popularity have been dwindling. He has used the tricks of Mobutu and become Ugandan answer to DRC’s Mobutu. If there was someone like a young Yoweri in the near proximity. They would have the rights to topple him and install someone else. As Museveni used all reasons and said it was for the betterment of DRC to get Laurent Kabila as the President there in 1997. Therefore, Museveni should be careful. Because, the old man has done this to others and his own actions could be applied to himself.

Yoweri Museveni is a walking contradiction and he knows it. If not his deluded and forgotten everything he did in the past. Something I doubt, as the old man is always telling stories that benefit him in the current time. That is how he white-wash history and ensures it fit his any given whims. Just like all the random people have on his pay-roll, as Presidential Advisors and appointed to a government parastatal.

The people despise the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), Special Force Command (SFC), Uganda Police Force and all the other state security agencies. These entities are all destroying civil society and easily taking lives. They are state sponsoring violence and the civilians are their causalities. The President promotes this violence, usage of force and arbitrary arrests without any proper cause or justification for the action in the first place. Other then these people are associated with opponents and that’s why they are fair game.

We can wonder if Museveni wants to fall out like Mobutu. If he wants to fall out of favours in the West. Be a relic and a man who is a pariah. A man who went from being a donor darling into the total tyrant, which his currently proud of. The old man doesn’t care and he doesn’t mind it seems. That his turning into the 2021 edition of Mobutu. Where his kleptocracy and “Mobutuism” will destroy the republic. Where Museveni have skimmed off the top and built a extensive entourage of soothsayers, a rag-tag team of compromised opponents and loyalists. That is why there are former NRA historicals and Ghetto “Superstars” who was there to boost the President ahead of 2021 election.

Nevertheless, we are now on the 35 year of his reign. The man who promised “fundamental change” and promised more then he have ever given to the Republic. Instead he has turned into everything he promised to be different from. That is why his legacy is destroyed and what remains is how badly he wants to go out. There is no redeeming factor anymore. The old man had the opportunities, but he instead wants to become another Mobutu. Which is not a good look. When he spoke ill of everything Mobutu was about, but now he has become this man.

That what’s uncontrolled and absolute power does to you. It takes away your soul and whatever you possessed before and in return bathes in greed. This is why he resembles and have replicated the ones he promised to be different from. After 35 years in power. There should have been more positive things to look for. However, that train have left the station and there is no return. The General has ordered this meal and now he got to eat it. Even if it is bitter. Peace.

UN Expert Report says that DRC gold smuggling increased during COVID-19 lockdown to Burundi and Rwanda…

Yet again there are exploits of conflicts and the resources. The latest UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) establishes this fact. This isn’t a shocking revelation, as this has persisted for so long. The illicit and trade of minerals in the DRC to the neighbours have been going on for years. Where the militias and other “rebel” outfits have exploited the porous borders.

What was striking was a few of the sentences and that this of business continues. That the ones enriching themselves continues in haste. Producing, exporting and trading illicit gold. This is being exploited and extracted in the DRC. Later illegally exported to Burundi and Rwanda. We know this also happens to Uganda in the report. However, they have not stated the scale there. As we know the Gold Refinery in Entebbe for illegal gold exports.

Here is excerpts from the Report:

Three mining authorities confirmed that cross-border gold smuggling between South Kivu (see S/2020/482, annex 45) and Burundi and Rwanda had increased during the COVID-19 lockdown. Two authorities explained that this was because, while gold production continued, border closures reduced the value of dollars hand-carried into the Democratic Republic of the Congo for illicit gold transactions. According to official mining data, 30.6 kg of gold were officially exported from South Kivu between January and October 2020, while official gold production was 7.1557 kg between January and September 2020 according to mining authority data” (United Nations Experts Report December 2020, P: 19, 2020).

The Group noted that, as was also the case in 2019 (see S/2020/482, annex 16), as of October 2020 official recorded gold production for South Kivu was far lower than the volume of gold exported. Total gold production as of September 2020 was 7155.7 grams, while exports were 30.6 kilograms for the year up to October 2020. Following the COVID-19 border closures, only two gold trading comptoirs – Etablissement Namukaya and Etablissement ML – exported gold in the second half of 2020 until the time of drafting this report. Bukavu-based gold trading house Mines Propres SARL suspended its operations in South Kivu as of February 2020, but confirmed to the Group that construction of Congo Gold Raffinerie (see S/2020/482, annex 25) continued in its place (Karim Somji, an associate of Congo Gold Raffinerie also owns Mines Propres SARL” (United Nations Experts Report December 2020, P: 186, 2020).

This here story isn’t a new, but it shows a pattern. Where there is more production than recorded. More gold produced than what is initially registered. This here is proof of the illicit trade, as the records itself states.

The Est. Namukaya is even mentioned an export to Kampala to Muzira Bravia Ltd. A company the UN Group of Experts couldn’t find in a registry. Therefore, that is easy an front and not the true company who imported this gold. That could easily be another concealment.

However, all this here just shows that its big business to trade gold illegally and illicit trade of conflict minerals. Where the DRC is not getting reported wealth out of their resources. While the militias and others are profiting on the mines. That is reality of this. Peace.

CORRECTION: New coup by businessman and politician Moïse Katumbi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

On Friday morning, 25 September 2020, at 7:30 am, several dozens of armed police officers entered by force into the premises of the company NB Mining Africa in Lubumbashi.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 30, 2020 – While several judgments of the French justice system have dismissed all of Moïse Katumbi’s claims, he continues to try to seize assets that he sold several years ago, citing local court decisions that have never been handed down. The intervention of armed forces in the Katanga region on behalf of Moïse Katumbi poses a threat to the rule of law in the country.

On Friday morning, 25 September 2020, at 7:30 am, several dozens of armed police officers entered by force into the premises of the company NB Mining Africa (http://NB-MiningAfrica.com) in Lubumbashi (Katanga region, DRC), alongside members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, to expel the NB Mining Africa teams.

The alleged legal basis for this action is unfounded and fallacious. NB Mining Africa is the victim of repeated harassment and intimidation, in total violation of the principles of law, with judgments that are not even publicized: the company has not been summoned before any court to assert its rights and the company’s representatives were never kept informed. Everything is happening in complete illegality, in violation of the rights of the defence and through an undisguised manipulation of the judicial system.

It would appear that armed forces are now heading towards Ruashi Mining to seize the company’s machinery and equipment.

Pascal Beveraggi, president of NB Mining Africa, says: “From someone who has run for the highest position in the country, it is unworthy to use force in this way, using the judicial authorities of a region he once governed. No elementary principle of law has been respected. French justice has ruled on what was only a matter for French justice: Moïse Katumbi sold his company, wanting to reappropriate it is pure and simple theft.”

Opinion: Reminiscing about Maj. Gen. Kazini [and will Museveni launch a “new breed” of military entrepreneurialism in North Kivu?]

This isn’t a far fetched, ancient history and such. Many of the men behind the ills of the past is still lingering around. They are in the chambers of powers, having titles and being called “honourable”. These men used their opportunities in the past to earn fortunes on the misery of others. They created massive networks, supported local militias and forged companies to ensure wealth. These was Generals, High Ranking Officials and Associates of the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

This they did across the Democratic Republic of Congo. These men in question was Gen. Salim Selah, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and Maj. Gen. James Kazini. They we’re all participating in the plundering, the looting and the illicit resource flight from the DRC to Uganda. They ensured the military presence and their allies could extract, steal and operate illegal businesses to profit out of. That was all done with the blessing of the “High Above” in Kampala.

Today, I started to reminiscing about Maj. Gen. James Kazini, the late General who was killed by his girlfriend in 2009. That was year after the war in the DRC ended. The man who had together with various of factions, barriers to market and usage of force made it possible to enrich himself on the conflict. He together with Gen. Salim Selah secured companies like Victoria Group. Victoria Group even had as one of their shareholders being Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga. That’s why this enterprise was supported, all from the top!

The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) used the power they had in the region to exploit the mineral resource and re-export it. Like selling diamonds, gold and coffee as Ugandan, but it origins was from the DRC.

Therefore, knowing all this, as the news of the Cabinet Meeting in Entebbe on Monday this week. Which stated building road-network in the North Kivu Province. I cannot help to think, that it’s not only a wet-dream for road-scandal with tenders, lost funds and ghosts. Also with the history of the UPDF. The history of men like Maj. Gen. Kazini. There could be people willing to profit from the sins of the past again. Especially, profitable mineral resources as cobalt and others, which happens to be in North Kivu.

So, if Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is building the roads in North Kivu. Then, the President and his team will come excuses that the UPDF need a battalion to ensure the safety of contractors and engineers. While, the same army will also configure ways to participate in more military entrepreneurialism in the province. That would be a way to kick-back and make it profitable.

That the UPDF and UNRA would do this wouldn’t be shocking. There is to much resources and possible exploits for them to not grab it. Even if it is a illicit business and illegal. Still, to this day the Ugandan government is exploiting Congolese gold as they are minting it at the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. Which is why, I am thinking there is more plans ahead in North Kivu.

They are not just going there to tarmac some roads and build a bridge or two. No, they are not compensation for the past hurt and looting. No, these men are finding a new way to exploit and profit of the situation. This is the same government that has used Kisoro as a base and supported para-military groups in the DRC. The same government that was a safe-haven for M-23 soldiers. Therefore, I have little trust of the goodwill…

Until proven otherwise. Peace.

Uganda: Cabinet Meeting at the State House authorised building roads in the North Kivu Province! [A new saga begins]

Yesterday on the 28th September 2020 at the State House in Entebbe, the Cabinet Meeting have made several of decisions. These are usually rubber-stamped by the Parliament. Therefore, what they decided is decisive. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its government are really starting a expansive plan.

The NRM are now going forward with building roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

These roads are:

Kasinde – Beni (80 Km)

Beni – Butembo Axis (54 km)

Bunagana – Rutshuru – Goma (89 km)

They are building the roads in the North Kivu in a region, which the Ugandan state have both occupied between August 1998 to June 2003. As well, as the Ugandan involvement in toppling Mobutu and installing Laurent Kabila. Because, of the looting of the years and the loss of the compensation for it.

Is this the way the Ugandan government trying to bait- and switch the government of Kinshasa? Will President Tshisekedi and Kabila accept this?

This is about 223 kilometres of tarmacked roads within the North Kivu province. A place the para-military of the Uganda knows well. A region where the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) are familiar in. Who knows how they are planning to develop this and who will do the bidding?

Is this more Chinese Operators or in connection with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). One of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, which is the reason why buildings roads in the Republic is so expensive.

That is why its weird that the Ugandan is doing this and made this decision in a Cabinet Meeting yesterday. Wonder, if the government and authorities within the DRC will accept this? Is this to patch the hurt or is this a gamble of the Presidency?

They are pursuing it for inter-connectivity, mobility and for security. That is what they are stating in the minutes from the Cabinet Meeting. However, in my opinion this isn’t about bilateral cooperation and further the ties of the Republic’s.

The Cabinet Meeting and the State of Uganda is gambling that this will be a sort of pay-off for their plundering. Do some good deeds, but that has to be accepted by Kinshasa. That is something we have to see and this can take forever before it starts. We can wonder who will deal with the tenders, the budgets and who will keep the governments accountable. This sort of building and development project is a corrupt man wet-dream. As there will be no clear oversight and will be raining funds. There will be ghosts, there will be goats and will be unallocated funds.

We can also wonder, if this will be an excuse to have the UPDF returning into the province of North Kivu, as they have to be security for the road-companies and the construction. That wouldn’t shock me at all.

That is all speculation, but this story is only starting. There will be devils in the details. We just have to see, if the states will write Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) and Agreements to safeguard the deals. Therefore, the Cabinet Meeting yesterday is just a beginning. This is a saga that will continue… Peace.

DRC: Bachelet urges investigation into death threats against Dr Mukwege (28.08.2020)

GENEVA (28 August 2020) –  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday expressed deep concern over the recent death threats directed at the Congolese human rights defender and Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege, and called for swift action to investigate who is behind the threats and bring them to justice.

Dr. Mukwege, who founded and runs the Panzi hospital in Bukavu, has won international recognition, including the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, for his decades of work helping thousands of women victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He has also been a determined advocate against the use of rape as a weapon of war, and for increased protection of women.

He has also been a strong and consistent voice calling for those responsible for sexual violence to be brought to justice. He was a staunch supporter of the 2010 ‘Mapping Report’ by the UN Human Rights Office which chronicled hundreds of serious human rights violations and abuses that occurred in the eastern DRC between 1993 and 2003, in many cases identifying the groups and entities believed to be responsible for perpetrating the crimes.

He has received deaths threats in the past and survived a major assassination attempt in October 2012. The recent alarming surge of threats against Dr Mukwege, which have been conveyed via social media and in direct phone calls to him and his family, followed his condemnation of the continued killing of civilians in eastern DRC and his renewed calls for accountability for human rights violations and abuses.

“Dr. Mukwege is a true hero – determined, courageous and extremely effective,” said Bachelet. “For years, he helped thousands of gravely injured and traumatized women when there was nobody else to take care of them, and at the same time he did a great deal to publicize their plight and stimulate others to try to grapple with the uncontrolled epidemic of sexual violence in the eastern DRC.”

“His life seems to be at serious risk,” the High Commissioner said. “I welcome the public commitment of President Tshisekedi to ensure his security, and I hope that Denis Mukwege and his team will be provided with comprehensive protection by the Congolese authorities so that the indispensable work they perform day in, day out, at Panzi hospital can be guaranteed.”

She also called for an effective, prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the threats made against him. “It is essential those responsible are brought to justice and that the truth is known, both as a means to protect Dr. Muwege’s life, but also as a deterrent to others who attack, threaten or intimidate medical workers and human rights defenders who, like him, work for the benefit of the Congolese people, often in exceptionally difficult circumstances,” she added.

The UN Human Rights Chief underscored the need for all relevant authorities to openly condemn the threats. And, in order to tackle the problem in the longer term, she urged the Congolese authorities to adopt the draft law on the protection and regulation of the activity of human rights defenders in a form that is fully consistent with international standards.

She also called on the authorities to reinforce their efforts to prevent further human rights violations and abuses in eastern DRC and to take concrete steps to establish transitional justice processes that grant thousands of victims of successive conflicts their right to justice, truth, and reparations.

RDC: Union pour la Democratie et le Progres Social (UDPS) – Presidence du Parti – Communique de Presse (22.06.2020)

RDC: Union pour la Nation Congolaise “U.N.C” – Declaration de la Direction Politique Nationale de l’Union pour la Nation Congolaise “UNC” (21.06.2020)

100 Days judgement: Is this the end of CACH?

Today, Vital Kamerhe the Chief of Staff for President Felix Tshisekedi was sentenced to 20 years of forced labour, massive fines and losing his civic duties and opportunity to have a public office in the next 10 years too. This is a giant blow to him, but will also have political ramification beyond the sentencing itself.

Kamerhe (UNC) and Tshisekedi (UDPS) made an alliance before the last election (2018), this was the Cap pour le changement (CACH). This agreement was between them and their two parties l’Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS) and l’Union pour la nation congolaise( UNC). This was a game changer.

I have no doubt that Kamerhe was corrupt and has done his dirt. Deserving like any citizen to answer for his crimes and be sentenced today. However, with his stature, role in government and as a running mate to the President. This opens up a can of worms. As he was the leader of the UNC, which is one half of the CACH. It is kind of hard to not see the issues.

Yes, the CACH made secret deals behind the closed doors with Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC). With the fall of Kamerhe, the support there is ideal for the President. But with the fall of Kamerhe his losing the balance within the government and might even get open dissent from former allies. This might be seen as a betrayal of their alliance and also coalition they made. All of that wouldn’t be shocking either, as the UNC has defended their leader is statements since his arrest.

For the UDPS directly they are in pickle. They either got to promote someone else from the UNC or they got to disband the alliance and only focus on the FCC. The FCC is Kabila and Kabila is the FCC. The FCC have never denied that and been adamant about it.

We can wonder how this will affect the relations between them all. As one of the three kingpins are behind bars. Tshisekedi and Kabila is living large, while Kamerhe is in the pen. That is the reality of this. The CACH should practically be dead and this is the funeral of it.

As the CACH are getting the merciful death by the slingshot of getting rid of Kamerhe. We can wonder how the FCC and UDPS will play this one out. Since they let this happen and it happened on their watch. Yes, Kamerhe was corrupt, but so has the whole system been. Getler and Kabila can write books on it and their shady deals behind closed doors. Therefore, we know Kamerhe is just a fitting target here.

The UDPS better consolidate and we better see the President suddenly appear again with Kabila. Like they have done in the past. Having suddenly meetings to iron out their differences. This would make sense now. Since they have no practically assaulted the UNC as one of their allies.

Tshisekedi isn’t alone in power. His still the puppet of Kabila. If he like that? Well, that is the choice he made with the secret deals behind closed doors after the 2018 election. Now that he have betrayed his coalition mate and with the sentence he got. We know this is the end of the road for Vital. Then we can wonder who will trust Felix now? 

Unless, he like to be used and toyed around with. Yes, they made an example of Kamerhe. That is why the ones in office now should thread the waters carefully. If Tshisekedi can do this to Vital. Begs me to question: What could he do to you? Peace.