“The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand” – Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).
The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.
So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.
That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!
Background of new rule:
“This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).
Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:
“The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).
Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:
“Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).
“Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations
1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).
Date of Application:
“Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).
What the statements on the law:
“The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).
The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.
Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).
After reading a Forbes article on Illicit Financial Funds leaving Ethiopia, as they question the need for and the use of donor aid to Ethiopia. I had to read the reports that it partly was based and make my own assumptions. The difference is that I want to focus on the East African Nations and their Illicit Financial Funds that leaves the States. So that the values and the amounts show’s lack of governance and regulation of finance gives way for the African governments and corporations to get away with transferring funds without legal bounds. This is a way of misusing funds and also money laundering through lacking revenue service and authorities to keep up the upkeep of the states. Take a look!
“IFFs are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another. GFI classifies such flows as illicit if the funds crossing borders are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilized. If the flow breaks a law at any point, it is illicit” (GFI, 2015).
“African governments have a political interest in IFFs because these flows impact their national development aspirations and encroach on state structures. They therefore have law enforcement and regulatory agencies whose duties include preventing IFFs. Among these are the police, financial intelligence units and anti-corruption agencies. Governments also have customs and revenue services and other agencies whose purposes are thwarted or hindered by IFFs” (IFF, P: 35, 2016).
“The widespread occurrence of IFFs in Africa also points to a governance problem in the sense of weak institutions and inadequate regulatory environments. IFFs accordingly contribute to undermining state capacity. To achieve their purposes, the people and corporations behind IFFs often compromise state officials and institutions. Left unchecked, these activities lead to entrenched impunity and the institutionalization of corruption” (IFF, P: 51, 2016)
“Most African countries do not have enough highly trained lawyers, accountants and tax experts to carry out the oversight functions to prevent or punish perpetrators of illicit financial outflows. The few that exist are often overworked and unable to prepare sufficiently to take on top-class representing large corporations” (IFF, P: 72, 2016).
Illicit Financial Funds ranking in the years of 2004 – 2013:
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
Total IFFs in the years of 2004 – 2013 (GER+HMN)
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
* “Trade misinvoicing (GER) dominates measurable illicit outflows, averaging 83.4 percent of total illicit outflows during the years 2004 to 2013. However, there has been a noticeable growth in the hot money narrow (HMN) estimate of balance of payment leakages over those years as well. Though initially only accounting for 6.9 percent of illicit outflows in 2004, HMN rose to 19.4 percent of illicit flows by 2013” (GFI, P: 10, 2015).
If you look at the charts there are some monies that is missing and gone away on all sorts of schemes and tax exemptions, all sort of added invoicing or other types of financial instruments to make sure the monies doesn’t end where they are supposed to be. The East African states have misused giant amount of funds.
Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda are topping the list. What is weird for me and the report it is not specifying the Sudan as the Khartoum republic or putting South Sudan alone! So the report and the values put on South Sudan, which was independent in 2011, there do not know what of part of Sudan who has illicit funds. Still, the values and the amount of million dollars Illicit Financial Funds (IFFs) from Ethiopia for instance. You can wonder how much of the government budget that is eaten by this sort of financial mismanagement and misuse of public funds. The reserves and state coffers have to be hit when it is these amounts of dollars that are lost. Uganda have also gotten rid of giant amount of funds, these is 10 higher than the revelation during the Oil Probe with the 2.4 Trillion shillings, which is about $640-700m dollars. That we’re oil revenue that has not been remitted to the state, just these values is ten-times of what was revealed in the Ugandan courts. So there is other revenue that the State House, Bank of Uganda and Uganda Revenue Authority not have complied to or have registered as there is a loss of $7,149 million dollars.
These is just two financial instruments as the HMN and the GER that is explained under the table, the other ways of misusing funds, I haven’t even covered. This is just how much that is miss-invoicing and Hot Money Narrow, the others can be shown at another time. The numbers shown here alone show the extent of misuse of funds in a decade. That is the public loss and the state coffers that been looted by the regime and their lack of will of following and regulating the financial markets. Therefore, the state and institutions does not have the will or capacity to follow the money. This shouldn’t be evident, but it is and not a good look. Peace.
Illicit Financial Flows iff – ‘Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa’
Global Financial Integrity – ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013’ (December 2015)
There aren’t only murders and mysteries on the telly, its real life and not fiction as the Syrian civil war continues rapidly without whomever force and whomever ally around Aleppo or other check-points where the Presidents force, rebels or ISIS are shooting. The bullets don’t have names, but the men and woman on the side-line and at the battle who dies does; the men and woman who loses their life for themselves or a Nobel-cause.
As much as there are forces battling inside the Iraq nation as Government Forces are attacking together with American soldiers ISIS stronghold around Mosul. There are continued fighting inside of Afghanistan. Still battles between civilians and the Indian Army inside the Kashmir state that has issues there and on the Pakistan side of Kashmir. The long battle for freedom or justice, as the Kurds are battling for in Syria, Turkey and in Iraq; being the minority in the middle of the civil war in Syria and Iraq.
That is just some places, as the deteriorating state of affairs are attacking all sort of freedoms inside Ethiopia, as the army and Aghazi squad are killing and harassing the people’s in Amhara and Oromia states. Together with the arrests of bloggers, silencing media outlets, and detaining demonstrators, burning the homes of people and inflicting violence on the citizens. This state of emergency is used as a useful tool to oppress, silence and make sure the violence and killings doesn’t get out; while the Central Government works to find reasons and solutions to ways of total control of minds and bodies in the states of demonstrations against the Addis Ababa regime.
In Burundi the central government are using the Police and army, together with the Imbonerakure that are detaining, harassing, killing and torturing civilians, silencing the opposition and the ones not loyal to the President Pierre Nkurunziza narrative of keeping power by any means. The Burundian Government has claimed that the Rwandan Government has created armies and guerrillas that wished for a coup d’état against the Nkurunziza regime. Therefore the fleeing civilians are in the wind as the Rwandan government has been wonder for a spell, if they would banish the Burundian refugees a place in the country.
While in the Democratic Republic of Congo, several guerrillas are still running wild, burning and killing villagers in the States of North and South Kivu, Katanga and so on. Where the foreign based groups that have been started in Rwanda and Uganda, continues to battle the locals for the valuable minerals; as even today a former M23 Commander Sultani Makenga who been in Uganda has crossed with a militarized group, surely from Kisoro as before to cause more havoc in the Kivu’s. The ADF-NALU, Mayi-Mayi and others doesn’t create enough death and crimes against humanity already, as the MONUSCO and FARDC haven’t the ability or will to silence them.
In South Sudan, the internal battle that started in July 2016, the resurgence of skirmishes between the SPLA/M and the SPLM/A-IO who are the TGNU and the Opposition party, which is the armies for President Salva Kiir and his former First Vice-President Riek Machar. That has since July battled each other with forces, in Western Bahr El Ghazal State, Equatoria State and Upper Nile State. There been fighting between the two in other states, but just show how big and powerful the forces are. The South Sudanese civilians are the losers who flees to Ethiopia, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, even in Congo because the Opposition we’re there has been asked to leave to other destinations. Therefore the internal power-struggle those fear of genocide, as still creating implications inside other nations.
In Somalia the Al-Shabab, the different state continues to have infighting together with the AMISOM mission. The running battles for land between Galdumug Interim Administration and the Puntland Government inside the Federal Republic of Somalia. Doesn’t really help for a peaceful session and making dialogue in the war-torn nation where Piracy and Khat been the ways of securing funds for ammunition and AKs, not for building a state and security.
Eritrea is closed and the continuation of the flow of refugees, as the internal controlling central government that forces the freedoms and liberties, as the men and woman does what they can to even enter Ethiopia, where they are badly treated. Eritrean reports are staggering as they are even supporting internal guerrillas in Ethiopia and Djibouti to unsettle their neighbours.
There are wars and running battles between government forces and rebels in Central African Republic, Mali, Mozambique and so on. This is happening in silence and without little flash, even as the ones are guerrillas like Boko Haram that are going in between Nigeria and Cameroon, to stop the Government from functioning and spreading fear of locals.
What is worrying how these actions continues, and how there are other I could mention, the issues in Libya, the Algerian complex and the Western Sahara colony of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The death that dies in silence, in the midst of homes, villages where their families have been living for decades, while big-men fight like two elephants; the grass get hurt, but the big-men be fine. The same is with all of these civil wars, the civilians are dying, the societies are deteriorating, the central government are controlled by little amount of people instead of procedure and rule of law.
The worry is how it becomes pro-longed, how the innocent dies and the power-hungry survive and the lucky get refugee somewhere else in uncertainty, like for how long can they stay, as been seen with the Kenyan Government work to get rid of Somali refugees in Dadaab Refugee camp during this calendar year, while the Somalian Federation if far from peaceful. Even as the Ethiopian troops has went home again surely to use their knowledge to chop heads in Amhara and Oromia. That is what they do now, they just doesn’t want people to know about it.
We shouldn’t allow this actions to happen, this killings, this violence and the silence of freedom, liberty and justice to our fellow peers, we should act upon it, question our power-to-be and the men who rules over these armies, the ones creating the havoc and the ones who are behind the crimes against humanity. Those are the ones that earning money on the wars and the ones that doesn’t want the words on the acts; those are the worst ones in it all as they are accomplices to destruction of lives and societies as we speak. Peace.
Thank you, Mr. President. First, let me thank you, Mr. President, and Vice President Kagame, and your wives for making Hillary and me and our delegation feel so welcome. I’d also like to thank the young students who met us and the musicians, the dancers who were outside. I thank especially the survivors of the genocide and those who are working to rebuild your country for spending a little time with us before we came in here.
I have a great delegation of Americans with me, leaders of our Government, leaders of our Congress, distinguished American citizens. We’re all very grateful to be here. We thank the diplomatic corps for being here, and the members of the Rwandan Government, and especially the citizens.
I have come today to pay the respects of my Nation to all who suffered and all who perished in the Rwandan genocide. It is my hope that through this trip, in every corner of the world today and tomorrow, their story will be told; that 4 years ago in this beautiful, green, lovely land, a clear and conscious decision was made by those then in power that the peoples of this country would not live side by side in peace. During the 90 days that began on April 6, in 1994, Rwanda experienced the most extensive slaughter in this blood-filled century we are about to leave – families murdered in their homes, people hunted down as they fled by soldiers and militia, through farmland and woods as if they were animals.
From Kibuye in the west to Kibungo in the east, people gathered seeking refuge in churches by the thousands, in hospitals, in schools. And when they were found, the old and the sick, the women and children alike, they were killed – killed because their identity card said they were
Tutsi or because they had a Tutsi parent or because someone thought they looked like a Tutsi or slain, like thousands of Hutus, because they protected Tutsis or would not countenance a policy that sought to wipe out people who just the day before, and for years before, had been their friends and neighbors.
The Government-led effort to exterminate Rwanda’s Tutsi and moderate Hutus, as you know better than me, took at last a million lives. Scholars of these sorts of events say that the killers, armed mostly with machetes and clubs, nonetheless did their work 5 times as fast as the mechanized gas chambers used by the Nazis.
It is important that the world know that these killings were not spontaneous or accidental. It is important that the world hear what your. President just said: They were most certainly not the result of ancient tribal struggles. Indeed, these people had lived together for centuries before the events the President described began to unfold. These events grew from a policy aimed at the systematic destruction of a people. The ground for violence was carefully prepared, the airwaves poisoned with hate, casting the Tutsis as scapegoats for the problems of Rwanda, denying their humanity. All of this was done, clearly, to make it easy for otherwise reluctant people to participate in wholesale slaughter.
Lists of victims, name by name, were actually drawn up in advance. Today, the images of all that, haunt us all: the dead choking the Kigara River, floating to Lake Victoria. In their fate, we are reminded of the capacity for people everywhere, not just in Rwanda, and certainly not just in Africa but the capacity for people everywhere, to slip into pure evil. We cannot abolish that capacity, but we must never accept it. And we know it can be overcome.
The international community, together with nations in Africa, must bear its share of responsibility for this tragedy, as well. We did not act quickly enough after the killing began. We should not have allowed the refugee camps to become safe havens for the killers. We did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide. We cannot change the past, but we can and must do everything in our power to help you build a future without fear and full of hope.
We owe to those who died and to those who survived who loved them, our every effort to increase our vigilance and strengthen our stand against those who would commit such atrocities in the future, here or elsewhere. Indeed, we owe to all the peoples of the world who are at risk because each bloodletting hastens the next as the value of human life is degraded and violence becomes tolerated, the unimaginable becomes more conceivable – we owe to all the people in the world our best efforts to organize ourselves so that we can maximize the chances of preventing these events. And where they cannot be prevented, we can move more quickly to minimize the horror.
So let us challenge ourselves to build a world in which no branch of humanity, because of national, racial, ethnic, or religious origin, is again threatened with destruction because of those characteristics of which people should rightly be proud. Let us work together as a community of civilized nations to strengthen our ability to prevent and, if necessary, to stop genocide.
To that end, I am directing my administration to improve, with the international community, our system for identifying and spotlighting nations in danger of genocidal violence, so that we can assure worldwide awareness of impending threats. It may seem strange to you here, especially the many of you who lost members of your family, but all over the word there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror.
We have seen, too – and I want to say again – that genocide can occur anywhere. It is not an African phenomenon and must never be viewed as such. We have seen it in industrialized Europe; we have seen it in Asia. We must have global vigilance. And never again must we be shy in the face of the evidence.
Secondly, we must, as an international community, have the ability to act when genocide threatens. We are working to create that capacity here in the Great Lakes region, where the memory is still fresh. This afternoon in Entebbe leaders from central and eastern Africa will meet with me to launch an effort to build a coalition to prevent genocide in this region. I thank the leaders who have stepped forward to make this commitment. We hope the effort can be a model for all the world, because our sacred task is to work to banish this greatest crime against humanity.
Events here show how urgent the work is. In the northwest part of your country, attacks by those responsible for the slaughter in 1994 continue today. We must work as partners with Rwanda to end this violence and allow your people to go on rebuilding your lives and your nation.
Third, we must work now to remedy the consequences of genocide. The United States has provided assistance to Rwanda to settle the uprooted and restart its economy, but we must do more. I am pleased that America will become the first nation to contribute to the new Genocide Survivors Fund. We will contribute this year $2 million, continue our support in the years to come, and urge other nations to do the same, so that survivors and their communities can find the care they need and the help they must have.
Mr. President, to you, and to you, Mr. Vice President, you have shown great vision in your efforts to create a single nation in which all citizens can live freely and securely. As you pointed out, Rwanda was a single nation before the European powers met in Berlin to carve up Africa. America stands with you, and will continue helping the people of Rwanda to rebuild their lives and society.
You spoke passionately this morning in our private meeting about the need for grassroots efforts, for the development projects which are bridging divisions and clearing a path to a better future. We will join with you to strengthen democratic institutions, to broaden participation, to give all Rwandans a greater voice in their own governance. The challenges you face are great, but your commitment to lasting reconciliation and inclusion is firm.
Fourth, to help ensure that those who survived, in the generations to come, never again suffer genocidal violence, nothing is more vital than establishing the rule of law. There can be no place in Rwanda that lasts without a justice system that is recognized as such.
We applaud the efforts of the Rwandan Government to strengthen civilian and military justice systems. I am pleased that our Great Lakes Justice Initiative will invest $30 million to help create throughout the region judicial systems that are impartial, credible, and effective. In Rwanda these funds will help to support courts, prosecutors, and police, military justice, and cooperation at the local level.
We will also continue to pursue justice through our strong backing for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The United States is the largest contributor to this tribunal. We are frustrated, as you are, by the delays in the tribunal’s work. As we know, we must do better. Now that administrative improvements have begun, however, the tribunal should expedite cases through group trials and fulfill its historic mission.
We are prepared to help, among other things, with witness relocation, so that those who still fear can speak the truth in safety. And we will support the war crimes tribunal for as long as it is needed to do its work, until the truth is clear and justice is rendered.
Fifth, we must make it clear to all those who would commit such acts in the future that they too must answer for their acts, and they will. In Rwanda, we must hold accountable all those who may abuse human rights, whether insurgents or soldiers. Internationally, as we meet here, talks are underway at the United Nations to establish a permanent international criminal court. Rwanda and the difficulties we have had with this special tribunal underscores the need for such a court. And the United States will work to see that it is created.
I know that in the face of all you have endured, optimism cannot come easily to any of you. Yet I have just spoken, as I said, with several Rwandans who survived the atrocities, and just listening to them gave me reason for hope. You see countless stories of courage around you every day as you go about your business here, men and women who survived and go on, children who recover the light in their eyes remind us that at the dawn of a new millennium there is only one crucial division among the peoples of the Earth. And believe me, after over 5 years of dealing with these problems, I know it is not the divisions between Hutu and Tutsi or Serb or Croatian; and Muslim and Bosnian or Arab and Jew; or Catholic and Protestant in Ireland, or black and white. It is really the line between those who embrace the common humanity we all share and those who reject it.
It is the line between those who find meaning in life through respect and cooperation and who, therefore, embrace someone to look down on, someone to trample, someone to punish and, therefore, embrace war. It is the line between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past. It is the line between those who give up their resentment and those who believe they will absolutely die if they have to release one bit grievance. It is the line between those who confront every day with a clenched fist and those who confront every day with an open hand. That is the only line that really counts when all is said and done.
To those who believe that God made each of us in His own image, how could we choose the darker road? When you look at those children who greeted us as we got off that plane today, how could anyone say they did not want those children to have a chance to have their own children, to experience the joy of another morning sunrise, to learn the normal lessons of life, to give something back to their people? When you strip it all away, whether we’re talking about Rwanda or some other distant troubled spot, the world is divided according to how people believe they draw meaning from life.
And so I say to you, though the road is hard and uncertain and there are many difficulties ahead, and like every other person who wishes to help, I doubltless will not be able to do everything I would like to do, there are things we can do. And if we set about the business of doing them together, you can overcome the awful burden that you have endured. You can put a smile on the face of every child in this country, and you can make people once again believe that they should live as people were living who were singing to us and dancing for us today. That’s what we have to believe. That is what I came here to say. And that is what I wish for you.
Thank you, and God bless you.
NOTE: The President spoke at 12:25 p.m. at Kigali Airport. In his remarks, he referred to President Pasteur Bizimungu of Rwanda and his wife, Sarafina, and Vice President Paul Kagame and his wife, Janet. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.
COPYRIGHT 1998 U.S. Government Printing Office
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning
Chinese-owned mining company exporting to Dubai gave armed groups AK-47s for access to gold.
LONDON, United Kingdom, July 5, 2016 – Armed groups in Shabunda territory, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, received gifts of arms and cash from a Chinese mining company and made up to $25,000 per month extorted from local miners during a recent two-year gold boom. In just one year, up to $17 million of gold produced by Kun Hou Mining, the Chinese-owned company, went missing and was likely smuggled out of Congo into international supply chains, Global Witness reveals today(globalwitness.org/river-of-gold-drc).
At the same time, the Congolese state lost out on tax revenues on up to $38 million of artisanal gold produced per year during the gold rush, due to smuggling and misconduct by provincial authorities. The gold rush focused on the Ulindi River reached its peak in 2014 and 2015 and continues to this day. Evidence gathered by Global Witness also shows a provincial authority colluded with armed groups in illegal taxation of miners while another altered official export documents so gold looked as though it was coming from legally-operating mines.
Global Witness’ investigation reveals the extent of the problems in eastern Congo’s artisanal gold sector. Eastern Congo has seen an uptick in gold production in recent years, the revenues from which could have been used to address the region’s desperate poverty but have instead often funded armed groups and corrupt officials. Most of eastern Congo’s artisanal miners – around 80% – work in the gold sector. Recent international reforms have aimed to stop Congo’s mineral wealth funding armed groups. Global Witness warns today that the Congolese government needs to hold companies and government officials involved in such abuses to account in order for these reforms to work.
Armed groups, known as Raia Mutomboki, received at least two AK-47 assault rifles and $4,000 in cash from Kun Hou Mining, which operates mechanised gold dredging machines along the Ulindi River in Shabunda territory, South Kivu province of eastern Congo. In addition, the armed men taxed artisanal miners operating locally-made dredgers extracting gold along the river. Local authorities also collaborated with the Raia Mutomboki, through a tax sharing deal. The taxes collected by authorities appear to have disappeared, depriving Congo of much needed revenue which could be used for health and education.
“There were over 500 cases of malnutrition reported in Shabunda town in 2014 and yet the significant revenues generated by this gold boom benefitted armed men and predatory companies instead of the Congolese people” said Sophia Pickles, Senior Campaigner at Global Witness. “The Congolese government must enforce its own laws to ensure that companies in its gold sector do not produce or trade gold that has funded armed groups. Any company breaking these laws must be held accountable for their actions. Provincial mining authorities that fail to properly govern the minerals sector must also be held liable.”
Global Witness’ research shows that almost half a million dollars’ worth of Kun Hou’s gold was exported to a Dubai company through official channels. The rest of the company’s estimated $17 million of gold production is likely to have been smuggled out of the country.
There were over 500 cases of malnutrition reported in Shabunda town in 2014
Global Witness has also found evidence that mining officials in the provincial capital, Bukavu, deliberately falsified documentation to obscure links to Shabunda. Officials changed the gold’s origin on official export documents to show instead it came from the handful of legally-operating artisanal mines in South Kivu. This pattern has been repeated with other mines in the province. As a result, it is much more difficult for international buyers to be sure that gold has not funded armed groups.
“Provincial authorities overseeing Shabunda’s boom have, by their actions over the past two years, directly undermined international and the national government’s efforts to reform eastern Congo’s artisanal gold trade,” said Pickles. “States have a responsibility to ensure that companies do no harm, including checking supply chains for links to conflict and human rights abuses – Congo and the United Arab Emirates have dramatically failed in this respect.”
Global Witness’s report River of Gold also shows that:
· South Kivu’s provincial government and mining authorities continued to support Kun Hou Mining despite repeated legal violations by the firm and repeated requests from Congo’s national government in Kinshasa to shut down its operations.
· Mining officials in Shabunda town working for SAESSCAM, a governmental body mandated to support artisanal miners, ran an illegal taxation racket in areas where the local dredgers operated, including in collaboration with Raia Mutumboki armed groups.
· Gold from Shabunda’s boom was sold on to a gold trading house in Bukavu that then sold it to their sister company, Alfa Gold Corp DMCC, in Dubai. Neither firm carried out supply chain due diligence to international standards, which would have revealed that the gold had been obtained in direct contravention of Congolese law and UAE Guidelines. Alfa Gold Corp DMCC has a wholly owned UK subsidiary registered in London’s Hatton Garden jewellery area. Alfa Gold in Dubai and London did not respond to request for comment.
· Documents show that a French citizen Frank Menard, who worked for Kun Hou Mining, is deeply implicated in the company’s wrongdoing. Raia Mutomboki armed groups wrote to Menard in February 2015 to thank him for the two AK-47 assault rifles and $4,000. Menard also signed an official document confirming the sale of Kun Hou’s gold to Alfa Gold’s Congolese office. Global Witness’ attempts to contact Franck Menard were unsuccessful.
In recent years there have been significant international efforts to tackle the link between violent conflict, human rights abuses and the minerals trade in Congo and elsewhere including international supply chain guidance set out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) five years ago, which has been a legal requirement in Congo since 2012. The US also passed a law and most recently industry supply chain guidelines based on the OECD standard were agreed in China. The Chinese guidelines set a precedent for Chinese companies to recognise and reduce supply chain risks and if adhered to should allow companies sourcing minerals from high-risk areas to do so responsibly.
Kun Hu Mining refused to comment in response to three requests from Global Witness. SAESSCAM have strongly denied that its agents collaborated with armed groups.
“My interview with US Special Envoy for Great Lakes of Africa Thomas Perriello after his visit to DR Congo and Burundi” (Sammi Awami, 2016)
“Political Analysts says they are not surprised with the intensifying fallout between President Museveni and the West. But Makerere University Don Dr. Dixon Kamukama says the president elect is sitting on a time bomb. This week President Museveni sounded a stern warning at the Western powers over what he says is meddling in Uganda’s affairs. His comments came on the heels of US government criticism over current political situation in the country. Richard Olwenyi with the details” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).