Just as the news of Nespresso suspending their imports of coffee from South Sudan, the South Sudanese Authorities are saying that they need to cut in the Health Care budget for next year. This is happening as the possibility for a peace between the fractions becomes smaller and the window is closing. Because the SPLM/A-IO of Dr. Riek Machar has fewer friends as the Ethiopian, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya or Uganda does not want to host the Rebels.
While the news awhile back we’re that Dr. Riek Machar and his close allies we’re taken through DRC and on the Congolese soil with help of MONUSCO and the United Nation Peacekeepers sent him after fleeing Juba. This happens as the violence between SPLM/A-IO and SPLM/A, the Government party that are led by President Salva Mayardit Kiir and new First Vice-President Gen. Taban Deng Gai who has been part of SPLM/A-IO and we’re even a close ally of Dr. Lam Akol back-in-the-day when there where rifts between Gen. John Garang and Dr. Riek Machar.
Machar shows the history of rebellion towards the leadership around him, as he wants to be leader of all leaders and run it; something he seems to think he is entitled too. That is my opinion, when he even tried in early 1990s to overcome the liberation hero Dr. John Garang de Maribor. That President Kiir has taken oven for and got now the same accusation from the SPLM/A-IO as Garang got from SPLM-Nasir in the 1990s; strange how the past gets recycled in the present?
Just reported from the DRC:
“Riek Machar’s militia are not welcome in northern Democratic Republic of Congo where locals say they are a security risk. DRC’s government, after protests from the locals, has asked the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, to move the 750 militiamen. The Congolese government has asked the UN to remove them by October the 10th. Last week, local officials wrote to the government in the capital Kinshasa warning that the South Sudanese militia are a security risk in the area” (The National Courier, 04.10.2016).
As written the Congolese Authorities are not welcoming Machar’s rebels and for certain the MONUSCO, blue helmets are moving rebels from one area to the next as they are seen as threat in DRC, but okay to have in Khartoum. Even as Sudan has said they won’t really cater to him either they are still letting him be there after the MONUSCO left him there earlier in the is calendar year.
On the Coffee Export:
“The Governor of Yei River State David Lokonga Moses says his state has lost investment and development opportunities due to the presence of insecurity in the state” (…) ““The prevailing insecurity in the state has hampered the use of these tractors and other plans for this sector. In a related development, the USAID has earmarked a grant of 3.5 million US dollars through the National Government to promote coffee growing in Yei River state. Only that we have been interrupted by this insecurity. All this efforts will strengthen the economy of the state. We are really by far being eyed by the international community to be given support for development.” (…) “Notice of Correction: An earlier version of this story emphasized that USAID had given millions for coffee development in Yei River State. This was based on a remark by Governor Lokonga taken out of context. He was in fact stressing that insecurity in the state has resulted in a loss of investment and development opportunities” (Radio Tamazuj, 03.10.2016).
As the Nespresso suspends the operations in South Sudan, the USAID coffee growing project have been also interrupted by the insecurity of the state. Yei River and Yei have been in the cross-fire and surely makes farming impossible.
More on trouble in Yei:
“Jacob Aligo Lo-Lado, MP and Minister of Local Government in Yei River State has admitted that roughly 100,000 people trapped in the town amid increasing insecurity in the area as reported by the UN refugee agency last week” (…) “Aligo told Radio Tamazuj yesterday that Yei residents fled their homes following fighting in July, but they returned after the security situation was restored in the area. He pointed out that the locals are currently experiencing shortages of food and basic services due to the closure of roads” (Radio Tamazuj, 04.10.2016).
Here you see the more troubles in Yei, as there been reported that SPLM/A-IO had taken over the area and the fighting between SPLA and rebels have continued since July as the reports we’re then that SPLM/A-IO closed the roads towards Uganda. Because the Machar rebels fears the support of UPDF that has helped President Kiir in the past.
Shooting Police Officers:
“Police spokesman Justin Daniel said that a group of attackers assaulted the police post at Nyelo Sunday before fleeing the scene of attack to Nelo village, where they purportedly shot dead a village chief. “The general security situation is under control except some isolated incidents by some people trying to cause havoc and to cause panic to the citizens but our police personnel are there. The incident of Nyelo is being investigated and as police, we condemn and treat it as a barbaric and terrorists act. There is no justifiable cause to kill some people trying to secure the safety of the road for travelers. We are also told that the same attackers after fleeing the scene of the crime went and killed an innocent village chief at Nelo”, police spokesman said in a statement broadcast also by South Sudan broadcasting corporation” (Radio Tamazuj, 04.10.2016).
This is incidents happening on the road between Juba – Nimule road, as the village is on road. Therefore the Police Command and Police Post is on an important roads as it led to the capital and the proof of occurring violence as a reaction to another act that involve the Village chief of Nelo killed. This might be a “small act”, but significant in the matter of who it concerns and the extent of killings happening.
In Morobo and Kaya:
“The SPLA says Morobo and Kaya have never been under the control of the militias as they have claimed for the last few days. The SPLA spokesman says the militias have been celebrating fictitious victory won from Nairobi hotels on the social media” (The National Courier, 04.10.2016).
This is the official reports and what is the honest truth is hard to say, but if there we’re battles its not likely that the SPLA will concede defeat, either does the SPLM/A-IO as they want to be ahead of SPLA/M in the matter of territory. Even as they need shuttles to get out of foreign territory as they don’t want their 750 rifles and personnel away from Congolese Soil. Together with the establishment of the rebel outfit of National Democratic Movement of Dr. Lam Akol who has been a sworn ally of Dr. Riek Machar; proves that the rebels and opposition is not as solid following the instruction and leadership of Machar as they once did.
Killings in Unity:
“James Yuaj, spokesperson for the SPLM-IO in South Sudan’s Unity State on Monday accused government forces of opening fire on civilians killing three people and injuring four other including two women. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Yuaj accused government forces of being behind the attack in Adok area” (Radio Tamazuj, 04.10.2016).
So here we can also see that there been killings in another state, this in Unity as the proves of the state of affairs and fragile instability of the government versus the rebels who know has a plan to use arms to move and get rid of the SPLM/A as they want to install the SPLM/A-IO, but they have also the NDM who has their powers. Together with the rebels in Darfur who are the SPLM-N who also fights and could also prove their flexibility and pour into the states on the border.
This here crisis is far from over, the South Sudan leaders are more used to their guns and ammunition instead of dialogue; it is ironic that Dr. Lam Akol that are grabbing guns and arming people as he was blaming Dr. John Garang de Maribor for his wishes to use military option over dialogue to deal with the SPLM/A-Nasir of the 1990s. People tend to forget that part too. But that is two decades ago and think Dr. Lam Akol forgotten himself and how he defended dialogue during that time; now he grabs the guns as well!
Well, this is enough for now, depressing enough. Peace.
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2016 — The World Bank Group has suspended disbursements of funding to the Inga-3 Basse Chute (BC) & Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance (TA) Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This follows the Government of DRC’s decision to take the project in a different strategic direction to that agreed between the World Bank and the Government in 2014.
On March 20, 2014 the World Bank’s Board approved a US$73.1-million grant from its International Development Association (IDA) for the project, consisting of Inga-3 BC development support (US$47.5 million) and mid-size hydropower development support (US$25.6 million). At the time of suspension, approximately 6% of total project financing had been disbursed.
The Inga component of the TA project aimed to finance a flexible suite of technical assistance, including strategic advice to the Government, complementary studies, capacity building, and institutional strengthening. The IDA TA project aimed to support a government-led process for the transparent development of Inga-3 BC as a public private partnership. The World Bank Group is in a continuing dialogue with the Government about the implementation arrangements of the project, with the goal of ensuring that it follows international good practice.
The World Bank Group remains committed to supporting the DRC in its efforts to provide affordable and reliable energy for its people and to drive sustainable sources of growth for its economy. Beyond the Inga project, the Bank Group will remain engaged in the electricity sector in DRC by focusing on improving the performance of the State Utility SNEL, rehabilitating mid-size hydropower plants, increasing energy access, and continuing support to regional transmission interconnections.
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.