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.

RDC: Union pour la Nation Congolaise “U.N.C” – Declaration Politique (19.06.2020)

RDC: Association des Bashi pour le Developpement Integral du Bushi – “Cinyabuguma asbl” – Declaration de la communaute des Bashi sur le Proces Vital Kamerhe (16.06.2020)

UN Report: 95% of Ugandan Gold Exports with other Origin [AGR registered in Seychelles]

gold is gold, and they simply need gold” – Gold Smugglers (UN, 2020, P: 19).

The newest UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was just recently published. This article here will focus on the gold smuggling operation and the amount of smuggled gold to Uganda from the DRC. This report really states the amount and the way the Ugandan exporters are trading the gold from there. The direct connection between these Republics are clear. This has been stated before, but not to these levels.

If your thinking this sort of business is clean and done after protocol. Then this report will shatter and break the glass. This report is explaining and showing more intelligence on how its done. We can easily see that the Ugandan authorities and the Entebbe Gold Refinery are only having its ability to be trading and minting the gold on the basis of gold smuggling from the DRC.

Just look:

The Group estimated, using information published by the Ugandan authorities, that over 95 per cent of gold exports from Uganda were of non-Ugandan origin for 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 20).

The next part is a proof of a way of illegal export and gold smuggling. Where there is one company operating doing so and how they are registered. While other bodies are claiming they are fraud. This shows what sort of ways the traders, smugglers and exporters are doing to be able to deal with the gold. What is really striking is the way the supposed fraudulent corporation are using all sorts of means to operate. They are even using bank accounts for other companies, which in the end might be a sign of illegal activity. As they are keeping everything of the books.

Vaya Forex Bureau forgery:

The Group found however that during the reporting period, sanctioned entity Uganda Commercial Impex (UCI) Ltd (CDe.009) retained an active business registration according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information. The Group also noted that, according to an official ICGLR gold export certificate, Vaya Forex Bureau in Uganda acted as an intermediary in an official gold export (see para. 87 of this report). Incorporated in 2007, the two shareholders of Vaya Forex Bureau were Vaya Kiran Rajendra and Vaya Vipal Kumar Maganlal, family members of Rajendra “Raju” Vaya, owner of sanctioned entity of Machanga Ltd (CDe.007) (see S/2015/19, annex 63). The Group wrote to Vaya Forex Bureau but did not receive a response by the time of writing this report. Finally, the Group noted that, according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information, Sameer Bhimji was a signatory on the bank accounts of The Bullion Refinery Ltd (see S/2018/1133, para. 97) until 23 April 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 72).

AGR told the Group that “a so called Vaya Forex Bureau” was unknown to the company and did not hold an account with AGR. The company further stated that they considered that the ICGLR document may be a “forgery” or “fraud” and that the company had already been the target of several such attacks. The company further committed to preventing forgery or fraud, and to reporting such activities to relevant Ugandan authorities and to relevant authorities abroad, as well as “instituting criminal and civil proceedings against the perpetrators”” (UN, 2020, P: 101).

What is more interesting is that the AGR in Entebbe has switched owners and is also registered in the Seychelles. What is known about the Seychelles in this manner is that they usually is confidential and tax-exempt to a degree. This means the AGR is run most likely in a tax-haven by its owners. While they are earning their profits. That is how I crack this one down. They wouldn’t have registered the company there after selling its stakes. If there wasn’t any benefits in doing so. Right?

Here is the information about AGR:

The Group established that, on 9 February 2018, African Gold Refinery Ltd sold its shares to AGR International Ltd, a company registered in the Seychelles at Global Gateway, 8 rue de la Perle, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles (see screenshot below). The Group wrote to the authorities of the Seychelles, who confirmed that AGR International Ltd was registered in the Seychelles at the address listed in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau documents” (UN, 2020, P: 107).

We already know the AGR has connections to the President and his family. Therefore, the move of liabilities to Seychelles is to safeguard the profits in a tax-haven. There is no other way to see it. This is so the future state will be in more trouble to follow the money and also get the accounts frozen by authorities.

This is it for today. Peace.

RDC: UDPS – Communique de Presse – Concerne: Situation politque de l’heure (29.05.2020)

RDC: Communique de L’Union pour la Nation Congolaise (30.05.2020)

SADC: Communique of the Extraordinary Organ Troika Plus Republic of Mozambique Summit of Heads of State and Government – Harare -Zimbabwe, 19 May 2020 (19.05.2020)