MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Democratic Republic of Congo”

Opinion: A panga for your thoughts…

Sometimes my mind wonders. Because of that, I really start to wonder! How many has die in certain conflicts before they really matters? How many innocent lives has to be taken, before the international community and the world as whole want it too stop?

I don’t have the answers, I don’t, but its tiring to know and have the knowledge of conflicts. See the steady stream of figures, estimated deaths and breaking news, bulletins and minor side-notes on the conflicts that is happening in our time. If the superpowers or the in the United Nations Security Council isn’t involved. These conflicts are in the shadows, in the midst and the publicity is mediocre at best.

Therefore, you can wonder, how long the deaths of innocent civilians in the mercy of authorities in Burundi can persist. How long the silent war of the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and not forget the steady bombs in Mogadishu, Somalia. The civil war inside Cameroon, where the South-West and North-West regions are a battlefield for the central government to silence the separatists. These are just happening.

The other day an FDLR commando leader got killed, but didn’t hit the headlines. Which it should have, because that is fatal setback for the militia, which continues to cause havoc in the DRC. We should be worried, when these sort of things doesn’t get the headlines.

When the mere bomb killings several of people in Mogadishu doesn’t matter too. Unless, the Al-Shabaab is killing an American soldier or something. Because, the loss of AMISOM soldiers or nearly annexing of land to Kenya there doesn’t make head-weight. Just like there is no outcry nor about the possible takeover of 5 ports there either.

I am just wondering what it will take and how many has die to which point people thinks it is enough. Because, the state of affairs isn’t changing. The steady deaths, the refuge of people and other atrocities that goes unnoticed.

I am just wondering how many pangas has to be used before it is enough. How much blood it takes and how many has to stop breathing?

I don’t have the answer, but something got to give. It is too much pain and the sufferings continues for so many. We should be worried about that, because the lives are ruined and the uncertainty of the future for so many. Peace.

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Opinion: Museveni will use any excuse not to retire…

I would have retired long ago if I was sure that the crucial actors saw the danger that Africa has been in ever since 1453 when the Turks captured Constantinopole, blocked the silk road for the Europeans and forced them to come to Africa on their way to the East. One of the strategic bottlenecks is market and political fragmentation. The medicine for this is economic and political integration. The medicine for market fragmentation and political balkanization is economic integration like the EAC and also political integration (East African Federation or Confederation). Why don’t political actors, if they really care about Africa, talk about these issues in addition to talking about Museveni’s retirement?”Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Edris Kiggundu – ‘Museveni: Why I cannot retire now’ 28.08.2019).

This is getting old, this is such an old thing. I have written about this countless times for various of reasons. If it is term-limits, age-limit or even promises made, which the President have broken.

President Museveni has said many times before that he would retire. However, Yoweri has never had the intention or the idea to do so. If there isn’t a crisis he has to solve, something he has to eat or even a mare coincidence.

If there is the battle against the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), the battles of Allied Defence Force (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, his initial sponsored enterprise in AMISOM or whatever he needs as an excuse to stay in power.

The President will use whatever solution to keep himself in power. Now its the East African Community, that is his baby. Just like it in past was to save Northern Uganda. Before that was to kick Obote, Amin and whoever else. If not it was get rid Mobutu too. That is just what Museveni does.

His using the public as pawns, his using yet another narrative to stay in power. Because, there is always an excuse to be at the helm. No one else can solve it or fix it. Only Yoweri who has the capacity and the ability to resolve.

Which is all untrue, because his not the saviour or the man of salvation. His not the only man to rule the Republic, indefinitely.

If he was just saying, he wanted to be a self-styled President for life, a dictator to overrule the public as long as he breathes. That would have been truthful. But his just trying to shift the narrative and the story. So, that his needed and no one else, because his golden fingers is the only one can manage to address things.

That is what his initially saying and continues to say. In addition, finding new excuses. It is getting old. Revising old excuses and arguments, instead of showing real reasons for being there. Peace.

Opinion: Bosco aka the Terminator is now charged, but what about the big-men supporting him?

Today, the International Criminal Court sentenced warlord Bosco Ntaganda of 18 counts on crimes against humanity. This is a victory for the victims of his crimes and the things he did while being a general of militias within the Democratic Republic of Congo for years. However, even with him in the Hague, the sins his committed are still being done by someone else.

That is why the downfall of Bosco aka the Terminator haven’t had much affect. It isn’t like this has stopped militias from robbing, stealing, controlling, child-soldering and raping civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because, the same ones that supported Bosco is still lingering around and have new henchmen to do their bidding. The same minerals are taken through the same routes to the same sort of illicit trade and securing that another warlord their cut. The only thing that changed was that Bosco went to Europe and had to testify in Court.

Just a friendly reminder of who he is: “Bosco Ntaganda was born in 1973 in Kinigi, which is a small village located in the Virunga mountains in Rwanda. Shortly after, his family moved to Ngugu in Masisi in North Kivu. In 1990, at the age of 17, Bosco Ntaganda joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebellion whose military wing was led by the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Bosco Ntaganda will then successively be used in the Rwandan army (1990-1995), AFDL (1996), RCD (1999), UPC (2003), CNDP (2003), the Congolese army (2004) and finally M23 (2012). He knows too much about Kagame’s organized crimes in the African Great Lakes region. Peace and security in this sub-region require first an end to impunity” (FDU-Inkingi – ‘The transfer of warlord Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court and the deployment of the special intervention brigade in Eastern DRC are two most priorities’ 22.03.2013).

So, its not like Bosco don’t have handlers behind him or had a support system for his tricks and trade. No, Bosco had a powerful ally, someone whose been meddling in the DRC for years. Someone who has sent his troops and earned fortunes on the minerals in the DRC, Mr. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Therefore, it is not like nobody was giving him weapons and letting him get rich of the spoils. It was the man who trained him and gave him the military education for later using him as a militia man in the DRC.

Just to put in more in perspective, Mondiaal nieuws reported: “But Ntaganda is of use to Kabila as well. Berwouts: ‘With the CNDP, Kabila won the support of the only power that could somewhat stabilize East Congo and moreover serves his electoral interests. In the run-up to the election, only Kabila was able to campaign in CNDP areas.’ What was not part of the agreement, is that the CNDP remained a state within a state, establishing a proper administration in Masisi and considered a threat rather than bringing security by large portions of the population. So Ntaganda is taking care of both Kagame’s and Kabila’s interests. That explains how he became a general of the Congolese army in 2009, in spite of the International Court of Justice issuing an arrest warrant against him three years earlier for crimes against humanity, mainly because of child soldier recruitment” (Stefano Valentino, John Vandaele & Anneke Verbraeken – ‘The killer king of North Kivu’ March 2012).

This shows the world how connected the Warlord and General was in his time. It wasn’t like he was in a vacuum doing his deeds. No, he was connected to Kagame and Kabila, they both endured and earned fortunes on his services. They accepted his crimes and promoted him for what he did. Therefore, it is striking that none of them had to pay for his crimes, but only him. Like he is the only one who committed this and did these acts.

We should wonder why Kagame and what he offered in return for the surrendering of Ntanganda. Why the ICC didn’t get Laurent Nkunda and others, whose become forgotten or not worthy criminals for the Courts. Surely, there must have been something for Kagame and Kabila to offer the Terminator to let him go and let him answer for these crimes. Because, surely, they didn’t want it all uncovered, especially they didn’t want their secret shady agreements done in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This would all stain their political future and also their standing among their peers. That is something, Kabila and Kagame couldn’t have. Therefore, without certainty, the leaders must have offered Bosco something in return, as he did rat them out and is now eating the charges. Peace.

Opinion: I been told with time things will be better, but does it?

Well, in troubling times, as things are moving both forward, backward and sideways. It seems that we can defer from enterprising the idea, that everything gets better with time. Surely, this doesn’t mean we as folk doesn’t change, broaden our minds and expand our patterns of thought. No, we might do this, but this doesn’t change the narrative nor the times we are seeing passing by.

We are not a single leaf in the wind. Neither are we a recycled raindrop, awaiting next part of its existence to become evaporated before becoming clouds and be rained down upon us, yet again. Even if life goes in cycle and we as human beings are repeating history, sometimes even without knowing.

The ignorance of out times, as we are silent to the death of immigrants, as we are deaf to the pleas of separated kids in camps in the United States. The silence and lack of outcry, as the US tried to start a war in Iran and tried to enforce an coup d’etat in Venezuela. This is all happening, but no worries. As well, as the European Union have favourable deals with the Libyan, Egyptian and Sudanese Governments to stop immigrants from coming to the shores of Italy, Spain and Greece. That is just we do to each other, instead of giving a helping hand in need, we let people drown with excuses of nationalism, border security and fear of the unknown.

We are living in a time, where there is no problem to silence the media, weaponize social media and misuse state resources to suppress dissidents. This is happening all over, not only in dictatorships, but also in the “free world”. Where leaders are using their means and using their techniques to sophisticated silence and letting the ones defying their stance suffer. There are plenty of journalists in the recent time died by poison, being arrested and tortured. Plenty of opposition leaders in exile and struggling to regain their vitality. That is all happening, but nothing contemplating on the reasons for this.

The weaponization of social media with bots and big media, where the hacking, leaks and misuse of information combined with blind narrow-minded followers, who doesn’t think of the consequences of the acts nor they think of what the message they are spreading. The parties, the leaders are letting their camps all go out into the battlefield. Build their borders filled with landmines, barbed-wire and trenches. In this field, everyone who disagrees is traitors, radicals or even stupid individuals who has no sense. While the bombs, the hypocrites and the vilified commentators should just be blocked or silenced. Because, they are just fake and frauds, while the almighty leader is the ones to listen too.

While this is happening, the wars are steady, they are not stopping. The trade-wars, the Brexit is pumping in its sketchy way. The troubles of Yemen, Syria and Ukraine continues, like wars of old. The slavery trade of Mauritania continues as well as possible slave-ships on the outside of Libya. While, the Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, appeal to the International Community, the Western Sahara is still a punchline for the Pan-African Political Parties, but the world is not caring about the plights of the people there, as long as the big-companies can fish outside the coast there.

The peacekeeping missions are lacking funding, as the missions are staying and lingering, also paying off dictators to send military forces to conflict zones in Sahel, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and so on. The former colonial powers of France, Belgium, United Kingdom and others are still holding their grips of former colonies, as they have new units to treat the new leadership and “open markets” for their products. If they need, they will kiss the rings of dictators and others, to just get the needed resources for a dime.

We are living in fabulous times, we are living times of adventures of freedom, liberty and justice. Where labels of Fairtrade, trade-unions and others are continuing to pushing the envelope, but still not seeing thing true. As the illicit trade practices continues in many markets and by plenty companies, multi-national earning fortunes on their production units paying little or none to its contractors. This wouldn’t been acceptable in the industrialised world, but in the developing world it is dandy. Some in our time, even says these people should be grateful to even have a job. That is how dark our time is.

They says things are getting better with time, are they? There was a promising generation of leaders in the 80s and 90s, but they became alike the former dictators and militaristic regimes of the past. There are little resemblance of the past positive movement. While we are celebrating mediocrity and lacklustre approach to the future problems. We are supposed to be content and think this spoils of our times is good.

While we are not even able to solve the crimes of the 70s and 80s, while struggling with the aftermath of the politics done in the 90s and 00s. We are supposed to be all smiles, as the first decade of this millennium is here. The millennial’s can vote and we are supposed to promise them a greater future. When we are leaving behind the same old issues, with the same old greed and the lack of will to accept the mantle given to us.

Things was supposed to get better time, but apparently they are not. Maybe I am in a dark place today, but I do not see it. Because, we didn’t make it better, we didn’t push it to a greater place, we just let it be and watched a game of football. We didn’t care and didn’t sign up for a party, NGO or even go in a demonstration. We just looked and wonder, when is our turn?

Well, it isn’t given to us, just like the leaders of our day wasn’t given to them either. They fought and took it. If we want change, maybe we need to do the same. Because, things aren’t getting better. I see darkness, I see sinister acts going unpunished and the innocent dying for no fucking reason. Peace.

Communique Conjoint entre la Republique Unie de Tanzanie et la Republique Democratique du Congo ibbu de la visite d’etate Son Excellence Felix Antonie Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President de la Republique Democratique du Congo en Republique Unie de Tanzanie du 13 au 14 Juin 2019 (14.06.2019)

New details in the UN Experts Report: On the Illegal Gold Export from Butembo to Uganda!

This is now more than known, that the Gold Refinery in Entebbe is a source of gold from Democratic Republic of Congo. Where the illicit gold export persists. This is a problem, where the state are not able to catch and the wealthy traders in Butembo/Bukavu bribe the local government associates. This here is showing how the President of Uganda and his family is involved in the illegal trading of gold. As the African Gold Refinery, which the First Family is owning is involved in. They are not transparent and for the reason, that the state doesn’t want to take responsibility for this trade.

“Several sources associated with gold trade told the Group that wealthy traders in Butembo and Bukavu or buyers in transit countries and Dubai financed the smugglers, enabling them to buy gold and transport it to foreign markets. Two sources directly involved in such transactions with gold traders based in Butembo told the Group that traders with no affiliation with the gold trade lent money to their bosses. The latter used the money in order to buy gold in Butembo. Traders who lent money were paid back in cash, either in Kampala or in Dubai, by those who received gold. The Group believes that circumventing the banking system through gold-based financial transactions generates a lack of transparency and violates the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force as reflected in Congolese legislation” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 35-36, 2019).

“Uganda declared gold exports of 12,000 kg, but the United Arab Emirates said that it had received 21,044 kg of gold from Uganda” (…) “The Group noted that, at the time of writing, the authorities of Uganda had failed to send the Group the report of their investigations into the activities of Kampala-based gold traders, as officials had promised. On 16 January 2019, the Group met with representatives of African Gold Refinery Ltd. (AGR) at AGR premises in Entebbe, Uganda, and discussed in particular the fact that AGR had yet to provide the names of its suppliers to the Group” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 36, 2019).

This is just verified reports from the United Nations Experts, whose investigated it. They have digging deeper. The Report is continuing to show how the state is benefiting of the illegal trade, as long as the Democratic Republic of Congo is missing it. They are being looted by illegal logging, trading, smuggling and not doing due diligence of the mineral resources produced there.

The Ugandan authorities doesn’t care that this is stolen and not verified, as the refinery is showing that they are not caring about the production or the proper protocol of the mineral production, as long as they are profiting from the illicit trade. This is the moral of the story, as the elites of Kampala are eating of the illegal trade. They are doing this and continuing to do so. Peace.

Rwanda: Public Notice – Reminder to strengthen measures to prevent the spread of Ebola into Rwanda (11.06.2019)

Meeting of the Chief of Intelligence and Security Services of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania – Communique (06.06.2019)

UN Report states that armed groups comes from destabilizing neighbouring countries into the DRC!

On ReliefWeb today, there was released a United Nations Security Council Report dated back to the 12th March 2019. What is vital about this report, is that what has been in the press and not been verified. Is not clearly stated in the print and reports of the United Nations. That is a very tough bargain, as the UNSC shouldn’t release reports, which is false or not verified by either its witnesses, its experts or its investigators. This is no in concern with the armed groups that is crossing into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Uganda and Rwanda.

There been reports about the FDLR and Rwanda National Congress crossing into Uganda in December 2018, until now it hasn’t been verified. The UN is not saying why they crossed into the the DRC or where they came from, but the arrests and extradition was served to Rwanda. That is why, the previous reported stories in connections seems more likeable. We can wonder, why the UN didn’t verify the meetings in Kisoro, Uganda too, as it was in connection with the arrests being made in the DRC.

Alas, there are more, which is striking, because the language is dense, but still settling the score between the DRC towards the Uganda/Rwanda, who both are known for conning in the neighbour republic. They are stating it directly in this report, without no shadow of a doubt.

On 15 December, FARDC arrested the spokesperson and deputy head of intelligence of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and media sources reported their extradition to Rwanda in January. While the extradition and repatriation of disarmed FDLR combatants weakened the group, FDLR remained active. On 16 and 17 December, seven FARDC soldiers were reportedly killed in two separate attacks by suspected FDLR rebels. Military operations in December and January against an FDLR splinter group, Conseil national pour le renouveau et la démocratie-Ubwiyunge, forced the latter to abandon positions in North Kivu and move into South Kivu” (UN, 2019).

Participants called for continued cooperation among the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda to complete the repatriation of disarmed FDLR combatants and their dependants from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and of former M23 combatants and dependants from Rwanda and Uganda” (UN, 2019).

In furtherance of the second national commitment, namely, to “consolidate State authority, particularly in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including to prevent armed groups from destabilizing neighbouring countries”, Congolese authorities closed FDLR transit camps in the east in November 2018 and repatriated 1,634 disarmed FDLR combatants and dependants, some of whom were previously detained, pursuant to a bilateral agreement with Rwanda” (UN, 2019).

During its fourth meeting, held on 24 January in Nairobi, the follow-up mechanism adopted a timetable for screening and sensitization missions to Uganda and Rwanda, to advance the repatriation of former M23 members, as well as a mission to Rwanda to monitor the reintegration of former FDLR combatants and their dependants. From 15 to 22 February, representatives of my Special Envoy, together with representatives of the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, the Expanded Joint Verification Mission and MONUSCO, visited camps hosting former M23 members in Rwanda and Uganda. Previously, from 11 to 13 February, the Office of my Special Envoy and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region had conducted an assessment visit to the headquarters of the follow-up mechanism on ADF, located in Kasese, Uganda. While the Democratic Republic of the Congo has deployed a representative to serve on the mechanism, the delayed contribution of personnel by participating States and logistical challenges continue to hamper the operations of the follow-up mechanism” (UN, 2019).

It is really significant that it comes within the paradigm of the tenseness between Rwanda and Uganda. That the UNSC releases this report this way, that its showing the FDLR, M23 among others. Which has gotten support from Uganda/Rwanda in the past, while doing their deeds in Eastern Congo. We can clearly wonder, why they verify it now and has this report for the Secretary-General of the UN.

Because, that means the UN is taking the situation seriously and needs to see action. As the destabilizing neighbours are continuing to persist in the region, as well as it didn’t state. Cross over into themselves and create issues there. Like the MRCD or parts of the ex-FDLR are doing together with the RNC.

It is really significant what was compiled in this, by all means the connections and even the stated wording of it. That the states even hamper with the operations of the follow-up mechanism. Shows, there is clear intent from the parties, to continue to destabilizing the DRC.

Surely, someone will torn by this report. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘Implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region – Report of the Secretary-General’ (12.03.2019)

Opinion: The Chinese claims the loans to developing countries is not to trap them – I beg to differ!

Today, there was an interesting thing coming through my feed that captured my eye. It was a headline from the Philippines News Agency. It was claiming that the Chinese was not making developing countries in debt slaves or putting them into debt traps by taking up huge loans for extensive spending on infrastructure projects. Now in March 2019, the Chinese are claiming that they are just giving viable loans and not to much.

However, I will beg to differ, but before I do so. Let see what the Chines spokesperson said. Which I have to say is not true.

Guo Weimin, spokesperson of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said extending Chinese loans to developing countries aims to facilitate infrastructure projects that are expected to bring development and boost the economic growth of these nations. “Chinese investments only account for a very small share to their total debt. And our projects are mostly infrastructure, which can support the long-term development of those countries,” Guo said. “Yet some say, this is a great debt trap. But this doesn’t make sense,” he added” (Kris Chrismundo – ‘No debt trap for developing countries: CN political advisory body’ 02.03.2019, link: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1063438).

Let’s me just take the first victim of the debt trap made by the Chinese is in Sri Lanka where the Chinese has taken over and lease the Hambantota Port for 99 years in 2018. While in Zambia, the Chinese has taken over ZESCO, the state electricity company, majority ownership of the Zambian National Broadcasting Company, and if the Republic fails more on their debt. The Zambian state might loose the ownership of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as well.

In Kenya, the government have loaned massive funds for the Standard Gauge Railway Part 1 and 2. Now, they are on the limb and its speculated that the Port of Mombasa can be taken as collateral for the possible failing loans.

There are warning signs of the total loans given to Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Maldives, Ghana, Liberia Philippines and so on. They are clearly strategic about it. There should also be worrying about the loans given to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and so on. The Chinese has loaned for massive projects and not small-pocketed money. Which the Chinese would like to have back paid.

This is just small examples of what that is coming. Because the states are taking up gigantic loans, which they can possibly default with. That is why the Chinese has been smart enough to sign for collateral, which usually is important parts of infrastructure or mobility. So, that the Chinese can trade and also control vital parts of the economy. They are not joking around and seemingly taken a soft approach to neo-colonize the developing countries. Because they can and have the ability to do so.

We can wonder if there will be more like this. There are also the battle happening in Djibouti over the Doraleh Port, who went from DP World Port Company to a Chinese Company. That was because of the debt that the Republic of Djibouti had. Just like the port in Sri Lanka went to them as well. Both very strategic and important ports in their regions. Therefore, the Chinese has gotten good infrastructure and possible revenue streams in these Republic for their defaulting loans.

There will be more to come out of this. That is why I don’t believe the Chinese, saying the developing countries can manage the amount of loans, as the Chinese are planning to takeover something to get repaid for their services. Peace.

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