MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Jonas Savimbi”

A look into how the American and British Companies defied the embargo and UN sanctions against the South African Apartheid Government in the 1970s and 1980s

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This here will be about how American and British interest we’re in the draconian Apartheid regime in South Africa in 1970s and 1980s. I been looking into how businesses at the time went through hoops and not caring about the United Nations Sanctions and resolution 418 of 4th November 1977 states this:

Determines, having regard to the policies and acts of the South African Government, that the acquisition by South Africa of arms and related material constitutes, a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security; Decides that all States shall cease forthwith  any provisions to South Africa of arms and related materiel of all types, including the sale of transfer of weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, para military police equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and shall cease as well the provision of all types of equipment and supplies and grants of licensing arrangements for the manufacture of the aforementioned” (UN, 1977).

So with that in mind, we can see how businesses of United States and Britain started and worked as subsidiaries in South Africa during the Apartheid, where the instances of FORD Motors and Leyland Vehicles we’re produced and used by the Police under the worst atrocities of a regime who used their laws, security agencies to harass the majority; while keeping the minority rulers and their economic incentive intact by any means. So that big business and other ones defied the Sanctions and even collaborated with necessary arms, cars and other procurement for the totalitarian state; shows how far the Corporation goes for profit and serve even governments who has no quarrel with prosecuting innocent citizens. Therefore the history of these corporations and their dealings should come to light and be questioned. As business today does the same under regimes that are totalitarian and militaristic with the favor of elite and harassing the opposition. That is why we can see at the tactics of the 1970s and 1980s and see how they might be used today.

So with that introduction take a look at my findings and hope you find it interesting.

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How to start the discussion:

“Johannesburg Star (South African daily), Nov. 26, 1977, at 15. See also 1978 Hearings, supra note 13, at 846 (statement of John Gaetsewe, General Secretary of the banned South African Congress of Trade Unions) (“The ending of foreign investment in South Africa … is a means of undermining the power of the apartheid regime. Foreign investment is a pillar of the whole system which maintains the virtual slavery of the Black workers in South Africa.”); Christian Sci. Monitor, Feb. 21, 1984, at 25 (statement by Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela)” (Hopkins, 1985).

Some money earned by the SADF at the time:

“According to official SADF accounts, the money that would have been recouped from the sale of ivory would flow back into funding the Unita rebels. However, Breytenbach knew that in the year 1986/1987 alone, the SADF’s assistance to Unita through military intelligence totalled R400 million (ZAR2005=R2,5 billion) and this excluded the supply of almost all Unita’s hardware and fuel. It is therefore unlikely that this was the reason behind the SADF’s interest in ivory smuggling. It is more likely that the potential for self-enrichment that this presented to SADF officers was enormous. General Chris Thirion, Former Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence, agrees and suspects that Savimbi was in fact over-funded at the time” (Van Vuren, 2006).

Africa 1963-64

How much RSA used on Military Equipment during Apartheid in the 1980s:

“According to evidence presented to the UN Security Council arms embargo committee in 1984, out of its annual total arms procurement budget of some R1.62 billion over R900 million was to be spent on arms purchases from overseas” (…)”This R900 million is spent on the procurement of arms directly by the regime from overseas and via the private sector. No official figures are published about how much is actually spent on direct imports of armaments. However, it can be estimated from figures contained in an in-depth survey by the Johannesburg Sunday Times in July 1982 that imports from overseas were 15 per cent of defence spending which then stood at R3,320 million per annum” (AAM, 1985).

How that happen:

“Those breaches of the arms embargo which have been exposed have also revealed the myth of South Africa’s self-sufficiency. Equipment smuggled into South Africa include weapons such as machine guns, rifles and pistols as well as spares and components for them. In a trial at the Old Bailey, London, in October 1982, the Court was informed that South African efforts to produce components for pre-war machine guns had not been successful. This points to the serious deficiencies in the quality and reliability of even minor items manufactured in South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Export of R.J. Electronics International:

“Britain’s refusal to strictly implement the UN arms embargo and its continuing military collaboration in various fields are not totally surprising since much of this arises out of its traditional relationship with South Africa” (…)”They failed to re-appear in Court on 22 October 1984 and the following weekend gave a press conference. At it, Colonel Botha disclosed that they had operated as undercover agents for five years and “had saved the country at least R5 million on purchases of vital equipment”. Metelerkamp claimed he was only a consultant to Kentron and was the Managing Director of R J Electronics International. However, it emerged that he had been employed by Kentron up to a month prior to his arrest, and R J Electronics International was “a company used to purchase illicit arms” (AAM, 1985).

Other Examples:

“One cargo of FN rifles was initially exported by air to Red Baron Ltd at an address in Zurich before being forwarded to South Africa. This company, however, was not Swiss, but registered in England. Its directors were Mr Trinkler and two others who had also been directors of Kuehne and Nagel in Britain” (…)”The most controversial case was that of the British Aerospace naval reconaissance aircraft, the Coastguarder. In Hay 1984 it was disclosed that British Aerospace had been approached by the South African Government and that initial discussions had taken place concerning the purchase of eight aircraft. These were to replace the Shackleton aircraft which were having to be phased out. The South African authorities had sought to evade the arms embargo by forming a Coastguard service as a civilian authority through which the order for the aircraft would be placed. Repeated efforts to secure from the Government an undertaking that the Coastguarder would not be granted licence for export to South Africa met with the response that “it would not be proper for me to offer a definitive view now on the hypothetical question on the issue of a licence for the export of an aircraft such as the Coastguarder to South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Shell Corporation working with the Regime:

The South Africans agreed and supplied a cash advance that allowed the traders to purchase a tanker, shipping company and the required insurance. The tanker docked in Kuwait and filled its tanks with oil owned by Shell. The oil was registered for delivery in France. However, en route to Europe from the Gulf the tanker stopped in Durban and off-loaded almost all of its oil crude oil—almost 180,000 tonnes—with the South Africans paying the difference between the purchase price and the fees it had advanced for the purchase of the tanker. The Salem was then filled up with water in order to create the impression that it was still laden with oil. Off the coast of West Africa (Senegal), at one of the deepest points of the Atlantic, the ship was scuttled and the crew, who were prepared for the evacuation, were conveniently ‘rescued’. They had hoped to make an extra $24 million off the insurance claim for the lost oil. Following investigations by the insurance company the main perpetrators were prosecuted. The biggest loser next to Shell was South Africa, asit agreed to pay the Dutch multinational US$30 million (ZAR2005=R436 million) in an out-of-court settlement. Shell was left to carry a remaining loss of US$20 million. The use of corrupt middlemen had cost South Africa almost half a billion rand. There was no prosecution in South Africa of the officials at the SFF who had authorised South Africa’s procurement of a full tanker of oil from three novice (criminal) entrepreneurs” (Van Vuren, 2006).

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British Subsidiaries in South Africa:

“Many of these subsidiaries are British. They include Leyland (Landrovers and Trucks); ICI (through its 40 per cent holding in AECI) (Ammunition and Explosives); Trafalgar House (through Cementation Engineering) (artillery shells); ICL (Computers); GEC including Marconis (Military Communications Equipment); Lontho (aircraft franchises); Plessey (Military Communications Equipment); BP and Shell (oil and other petroleum products for the military and police)” (…)”An impression of the full extent of the role of British subsidiaries in South Africa in undermining the arms embargo can be obtained from studying Appendix C. This is a list of British companies with subsidiaries in South Africa which are also known to be engaged in the manufacture of military and related equipment” (AAM, 1985).

British Mercenaries:

“British mercenaries, some recruited. originally for the forces of the illegal Smith regime, are serving in a number of South African Defence Force units, including the infamous “32 Battallion” operating out of Namibia into Angola. A British mercenary was killed in the South African commando raid on the residence of South African refugees in Maputo, Mozambique, in January 1981” (AAM, 1985).

“British Government policy so far has been to grant permission for Officers to serve in the South African Defence Forces.” (…)”This was explained by Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine, in a letter to the Rt Hon Denis Healey:

“An Officer is required to resign his commission before joining the forces of a country that does not owe allegiance to the Crown, and if he did not do so then the commission would be removed. As you will appreciate, this is the only power that we can exercise over an officer who has already retired from the Services. Guidance is given to officers about these procedures before they retire, but no specific recommendations are made about which countries’ Armed Forces an officer should join; nor do I believe that it would be right to do so.” (AAM, 1985).

GM ZA Apartheid

American Businesses under Apartheid:

Approximately 350 of the most prominent companies in the United States, including more than half of the Fortune 500’s top one hundred firms, operate subsidiaries in South Africa [18]. Another 6000 do business there through sales agents and distributers [19]. The United States holds fifty-seven percent of all foreign holdings on the Johannesburg stock exchange, including gold mines, mining houses, platinum mines, and diamonds [20]. The State Department estimated that U.S. direct investment amounted to $2.3 billion in 1983, down from the $2.8 billion calculated by the South African Institute of Race Relations for 1982 [21]. Other estimates put overall American investment, including loans and gold stocks, at $14 billion [22]” (…)”rcent [25]. U.S. exports to South Africa, however, grew from approximately R1.2 billion in 1979 to R2.7 billion in 1981 [26]. As a result, the United States emerged as the Republic’s largest trading partner [27]. Apart from its quantitative impact, U.S. business investment has a qualitative impact disproportionate to its financial value” (…)”John Purcell of Goodyear concurred, asserting that economic pressures will not encourage nonviolent social change in South Africa; rather, this will be brought about by “economic growth, expanded contact with the outside, and time” ((Hopkins, 1985)

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Ford sold cars to the Apartheid regime:

“Ford Directed and Controlled its South African Policies from the United States, Exported Equipment from the United States, and Acted to Circumvent the United States Sanctions Regime: (New York Southern Cout Case, P: 65, 2014)

“Thus, despite the tightening of U.S. trade sanctions in February 1978, Ford U.S. still announced a “large infusion[] of capital into its South African subsidiary. Ford injected $8 million for upkeep and retooling” (New York Southern Court Case, P: 67, 2014).

“Ford support was significant: “[B]etween 1973 and 1977 [Ford] sold 128 cars and 683 trucks directly to the South African Ministry of Defense and 646 cars and 1,473 trucks to the South African police. Ford sold at least 1,582 F series U.S.-origin trucks to the police” (…)”Despite the prohibitions, Ford continued to supply vehicles to the South African security forces with the purpose of facilitating apartheid crimes. Ford denied that its continued sales to the South African security forces ran counter to the U.S. prohibitions, on the basis that the vehicles did not contain parts or technical data of U.S. origin” (…)”Notably, into the 1980s, Ford sold vehicles that did not need to be “converted” by the apartheid government for military or police use but were already specialized before leaving the plant in South Africa” (…)”Ford built a limited number of XR6 model Cortinas known as “interceptors” that were sold almost exclusively to the police. The XR6 was special because it had three Weber model double carburetors, as opposed to all other Cortinas that had only one double carburetor” (…)”Ford knew that the normal market for these vehicles was the security forces. The vehicles were deliberately pre-equipped with armor and military fixtures and designed for easy modification by the security forces to add additional defensive and offensive features” (…)”By making profits which they knew could only come from their encouragement of the security forces’ illicit operations through the sale of vehicles, parts, designs, and services, Ford acquired a stake in the criminal enterprise that was the apartheid regime” (New York Southern Case, P: 71-77, 2014).

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Leyland under Apartheid:

“The British government now virtually owns British Leyland and therefore controls the company’s operations in South Africa. Yet it has done little in practice to press for the rights of black workers to organize through trade unions, or for the recognition of the unions for collective bargaining purposes” (…)”The South African “branch” is Leyland’s biggest operation in the world outside of the U.K. At present it is the 8th largest car manufacturer (holding approximately 5% of the market) and the 7th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer (holding approximately 5,5% of the market) in South Africa. Despite the depressed condition of the South African Market it sold 1959 vehicles in January-February of 1977 alone” (…)”B.L.S.A. has massive contracts with the South African state. It is one of the chief suppliers of the South African Defense Force, providing not only trucks and landrovers (which form the backbone of anti-guerrilla operations) but also armored personnel carriers. Of course, the figures for these contracts are never made public” (…)”For example, in June 1976 it was announced that B.L.S.A. had won a £1.9millon order for 250 trucks from the Cape Provincial Authority” (…)”As Leyland itself have argued , It “must conform, it not entirely” to South African government and established wishes” (Coventry Anti-Apartheid, 1977).

This here is not easy to finish up as the implications of this deals and arrangement used to support a government that oppressed and detained the majority. This Apartheid government did it all openly and with a clear message that the white minority should rule, while the rest should serve them.

In that context these businesses earned good amount of cash and profits for their stakeholders and their shareholders. While their products and procured services by the state we’re used to oppress majority of people in South Africa. We can surely see the amount of money and how this have affected the society and given way for the government of the time to continue with the process of detaining and harassing the majority of South Africans. This could not have happen if there wasn’t a helping hand from businesses and their subsidiaries. This here is just a brief look into it.

Certainly this should be studied even more and become clear evidence of how heartbreaking it is to know how certain businesses and people owning them will profit on suffering of fellow human beings. That is why I myself shed a light on it, to show the extent of disobedience of the UN Resolution and also what these corporations does in regimes that harassing and oppressing fellow citizens for their background, creed, tribe etc. It’s just ghastly and makes my tummy vomit. But that is just me, hope you got some indication of how they did their business and served the Apartheid government. Peace.

Reference:

Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘How Britian Arms Apartheid – A memorandum for presentation to her Majesty’s Government’ (1985)

Coventry Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘Leyland in Britain and in South Africa’ (1977)

Hopkins, Sheila M. – ‘AN ANALYSIS OF U.S.-SOUTH AFRICAN RELATIONS IN THE 1980s: HAS ENGAGEMENT BEEN CONSTRUCTIVE?’ (1985) – Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law 7 (1985) 89-115, North Holland

United States, New York Southern Court: Case 1:02-md-01499-SAS Document 280-1 Filed 08/08/14

Van Vuren, Hennie – ‘Apartheid grand corruption – Assessing the scale of crimes of profit from 1976 to 1994’ (2006)

The President’s Black Book Chapter 3: Bemba and Museveni; what is the ties between the two big-men?

Jeune African Bembe Cover

It’s recently been a court ruling in the International Criminal Court where Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced and guilty of crimes against humanity. As this happen there been questions about his sponsors and his actions, was it for his own cause or was it for the greater good? As the violence he spread in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was during the wars in late 90s and beginning 2000s as the Rwandan and Ugandan ignited the wars the neighbor country, even sponsoring guerrillas, while fighting other forces there, as they we’re using different methods even when the world was telling the RPA and UPDF to leave, while the guerrillas would still cover areas of minerals close to the borders, to secure funding for the governments of the neighbor countries. They will by all means repute this as this shadows their reign, but the moneys and sudden export of minerals without sustainable investments and business-growth proves that there was sudden changes by the warfare in the DRC.

In this picture President Museveni did what he could to have allies inside the DRC, so he could have business and projects there to reach his power and make himself even stronger. That has been his game since day one; not only to get rid of the leaders around him who is not loyal towards him, but also to get people who he knows is loyal to him no matter what.

Jean-Pierre Bemba was a useful tool and an allied who even with brokered peace gave more influence of Uganda into the DRC politics, as he was stationed as Vice-President under President Laurent Kabila, while this wouldn’t last, as the Ugandan and Rwandan did not like the idea of being distanced from the State House in Kinshasa. So as the time and dwindling reactions, the neighbors went into attack again, that ousted the transitional government and took down a second president in the DRC! In that picture and time, comes the relationship between Bemba and Museveni, Especially after the human rights violations and victims of war, as the spoils of it cost honor and integrity, also the visible. Even if the relations between the men and their armies lost their value, the open sponsorship and even training at one point proves how Museveni used his power and reach to put his fortune into the leadership of Bemba and his MLC. Take a look at what I have found about this men!

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About the MLC:

“Current Leader: Jean-Pierre Bemba

Based in Gbadolite, the MLC has been backed by Uganda since the start of the war in 1998 although there have been occasional differences between the two. The MLC tried twice to establish a foothold in Ituri: in 2001 Bemba had nominal control of the short-lived FPC coalition of Ugandan- backed rebel groups and in 2002 the MLC attacked Mambasa in western Ituri but were forced backed by the APC of Mbusa Nyamwisi. The MLC has occasionally fought alongside the UPC and has been a rival of Mbusa’s RCD-ML” (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

Bemba creating his army:

“In spring 1998, Bemba sought to motivate a group of Congolese exiles to join an armed struggle with support from Kampala. He elaborated a political program with a network of friends and former classmates and discussed financing and training with Museveni. By Bemba’s own account, he met Museveni while exporting fish to Belgium through Uganda in the early 1990s, though it is widely believed that Mobutu used Bemba’s aviation companies to transport goods for Jonas Savimbi, then leader of União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), through Uganda throughout the 1980s. Another account claims that Bemba met Museveni through Museveni’s half-brother, General Salim Saleh, then chief of staff of the UPDF, while seeking to establish a link between ex-FAZ troops cantoned at the Kitona military base in southern DRC and UNITA forces in Angola. The MLC emphatically denies any involvement with the Angolan insurgency movement. But the firm belief, at least in Luanda, that Bemba, Uganda, and Rwanda had links to UNITA largely accounts for Angola’s switching sides in the Second Congo War to back Laurent Kabila and its strong antipathy toward Bemba to this day” (Carayannis, 2008).

Bemba in 1999:

“The main Goma faction of the rebel RCD on Monday welcomed Bemba’s signing of the accord. Its leader, Emile Ilunga, claimed Bemba was “not to be trusted”, but added: “We are gratified to learn that he has signed the accord as we had hoped he would. We have always wanted to sign the accord together with him”, Radio France Internationale reported” (…) “Ilunga, who was due to travel to Uganda on Monday evening for a meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, earlier that day accused Uganda of not respecting the rebels’ decision-making process. “Wamba has no troops, and there is no point in his signing the ceasefire agreement … We’re astonished by Ugandan support of an individual, rather than working in the interest of the Congolese people,” AP news agency quoted Ilunga as saying”(IRIN, 1999).

“Jean-Pierre Bemba, a millionaire businessman and leader of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), was accompanied to the signing in Lusaka by a senior aide of the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, and by Tanzania’s foreign minister, Jakaya Kikwete, officials said” (…)”But Mr Bemba warned that he would go back to war if a rival rebel group did not sign a truce within a week” (…)“Referring to the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), which has refused to sign the truce, he told Reuters: “If they do not sign within seven days, I will continue the fight to Kinshasa.” The RCD and Mr Bemba’s forces control 50% of Congo’s territory” (Gough, 1999). “Speaking to IPS by satellite-link, Bemba, who is also backed by Uganda, said it was too early to say whether the peace would hold, “but for the time things are very quiet, with no fighting near us” (Simpson, 1999).

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Bemba in 2000:

“A few days ago, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the rebel leader in Equateur Province, issued a challenge to Mr. Kabila and major Western nations that pushed the accord with more vigor than any of those who signed it” (…)”‘We are at a turning point,” Mr. Bemba, a 38-year-old businessman-turned-rebel, said this week in Gbadolite, his headquarters. ”Is Lusaka alive still or not? That is the question.” (…)”It is not certain whether Mr. Bemba is capable militarily of closing the airport. Nor is it clear if his major sponsor, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, would give his approval given that Mr. Museveni’s own friends, the United States and many European nations, would probably hold him responsible for such a departure from the Lusaka accord” (Fisher, 2000).

Bemba in 2001:

“But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni also reiterated his commitment to pulling his troops from neighboring Congo, saying now that they have defeated Ugandan rebels operating there, it was time for his forces to leave. The force Museveni claims to have defeated is the Allied Democratic Front, a small Ugandan rebel group that has attacked villages throughout western Uganda from bases in Congo” (…)”Some participants appeared unconcerned that Uganda was pulling out of the peace agreement, and were pleased that Museveni would still withdraw his troops. “If the government decides to withdraw its forces from the Congo, it’s always favorable. This is in line with the Lusaka agreement,” said Kamel Morjane, the U.N. special representative for Congo. “If all parties show their goodwill there is no risk.” (…)”Kikaya Bin Karubi, the Congolese information minister, welcomed the promised troop withdrawal and said his country would stick with the Lusaka peace agreement no matter what. The leader of the Ugandan-backed rebels, Congolese Liberation Front Chairman Jean-Pierre Bemba, said the decision would have little impact on the war since, he insisted, Ugandan troops had not been involved in the fighting. Uganda is estimated to have had at least 10,000 troops in Congo at the peak of the war” (Muleme, 2001).

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UN Allegation:

“In 2001, when Bemba took the reins of the unified movement RCD/ML, now called the FLC, he tried in January to broker an agreement between the Hema and Lendu belligerants. He got more than 150 traditional chiefs to participate in this agreement (had the Ugandans acted unilaterally, they would never have managed to achieve this), thus securing a halt to military training and youth recruitment by the UPDF, a measure of security on the roads, food security for the livestock, and the appointment of a governor who was not from the region as a way of providing greater assurance to all the parties. In the end, though, it was Bemba’s dependence on the Ugandans that frustrated the entire peace process” (…)”On more than one occasion, Bemba tried to exert his influence over the Ugandan Government, but Uganda ultimately took the final decisions” (…)”In July 2001, thanks to the efforts of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the Mouvement de Libération du Congo and RDC/Bunia joined forces, taking with them Rober Lubala’s RCD/National and thus forming the Front de Libération du Congo (FLC)” (Garreton, 2009).

Bemba in 2002:

“Another former rebel movement backed by Uganda, the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Kisangani-Mouvement de liberation (RCD-K-ML), was pessimistic about prospects for the success of the Kabila-Museveni accord” (…)“The DRC is faced with two Ugandas – that of Yoweri Museveni, who acts from a distance in Kampala, and that of his army officers and soldiers involved in the ongoing pillage of gold and diamonds in Ituri [region, northeastern DRC],” said Honore Kadima, in charge of RCD-K-ML external relations. “I don’t see either of these Ugandas adhering to even one comma of the Luanda accord.” (IRIN, 2002). “The mutiny marked the return to prominence of the commanders who had been behind the earlier CMF mutiny. Following their training in Kyankwanzi (for new recruits) and Jinja (for officers), most of them had been sent to Equateur Province to join the MLC’s armed wing. After some months of fighting for Bemba, the soldiers had grown increasingly frustrated. They knew that fellow Hema were still dying in Ituri’s inter-ethnic clashes, and they felt that the MLC used them ‘like dogs’” (Tamm, 2013).

Some more on the MLC:

“The MLC had been involved in Ituri during the short-lived agreement of the Front for the Liberation of Congo (FLC), a platform of the MLC, RCD-N and the RCD-ML, sponsored by Uganda under the leadership of Jean Pierre Bemba. But Nyamwisi refused to accept Bemba’s leadership in Ituri and his forces pushed Bemba and the MLC troops out of Beni and Bunia. In the last months of 2002, the MLC tried to fight its way back into Ituri with the support of Roger Lumbala’s RCD-N, claiming that Nyamwisi had violated the Lusaka Accord. In doing so, their combatants committed violations of international humanitarian law including the deliberate killing of civilians, numerous cases of rape, looting and some acts of cannibalism. Some of these violations may have been directed at the Nande ethnic group, targeted for their connection with Nyamwisi, himself a Nande” (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

ICC Court

ICJ Court case claims:

“The DRC claims to have seised an abandoned tank used in the Kitona attack. The Reply alleges the tank is Ugandan because it is the same mode1 as a tank used later by Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who allegedly received his tank from Uganda. (DRCR, para. 2.40.)” (…)”Clearly Bemba’s hesitations vis-à-vis the inter-Congolese negotiations and the disengagement are linked to his quick enrichment, the greed of his Ugandan offïcer godfathers and the politics of self-aggrandizement practiced by his opportunistic, wandering ministers who annoy the people.” (ICJ, 2002).

ICJ Ruling document says:

“For its part, Uganda acknowledges that it assisted the MLC during fighting between late September 1998 and July 1999, while insisting that its assistance to Mr. Bemba “was always limited and heavily conditioned”. Uganda has explained that it gave “just enough” military support to the MLC to help Uganda achieve its objectives of driving out the Sudanese and Chadian troops from the DRC, and of taking over the airfields between Gbadolite and the Ugandan border; Uganda asserts that it did not go beyond this” (ICJ, 2005).

Cooperation in DRC during the war claims:

“The cooperation of the allied MLC rebel force was secured by the pre-payment of taxes. A letter from MLC commander Jean-Pierre Bemba informed civil and military authorities that Victoria was authorised to do business in the towns of Isirio, Bunia, Bondo, Buta, Kisangani and Beni (Ugandan Judicial Commission, Final Report, op. cit., 21.3.4, p.119). This letter was counter-signed by Kazini who further instructed his commanders in the same towns to allow Victoria to conduct its business ‘uninterrupted by anybody.’ The exception was Kisangani town itself, administered by an RCD-Goma backed Governor, although the UPDF controlled areas to the north of the town. Kazini issued a veiled threat to the Governor to cooperate with Victoria and later conspired to appoint Adele Lotsove as Governor of the new Province of Ituri in order to take control of the mineral producing areas, including those previously administrated by Kisangani (ibid., 21.3.4, p.122). In his reply to the Panel, Kazini stated: ‘In some cases, as in the case of Madame Adele Lotsove, in Ituri Province, our duty was confined to supporting existing administration (the Panel report concedes that Madame Lotsove had been appointed by Mobutu and was continued in office by Kabila).’ (See Reaction No.47, written statement from Major General James Kazini to the Panel, reproduced in UN Panel, Addendum, 20 June 2003, op. cit.)” (RAID, 2004).

From the WikiLeaks:

“During a May 24 meeting with Vice President Azarias Ruberwa, the Ambassador asked Ruberwa about his trip to Kampala for the inauguration of Ugandan President Museveni,  and the reported long meeting between the two.  Speaking from memory, Ruberwa provided an extensive read-out, noting by way of preamble that Museveni is a “complicated” person, and often difficult to read” (…)”According to Ruberwa, Museveni flatly denied that  there is continuing Kampala support of Congolese militia  groups.  Ruberwa said that Museveni added that the last support Uganda had provided to armed groups in the Congo was that given to Jean-Pierre Bemba’s MLC, and to combatants associated with Mbusa Nyamwisi. Ruberwa observed that Mbusa was next to him in the same meeting, but did not respond to the Museveni comment” (…)”Ruberwa noted, for example, that if all the detained MRC leaders were found with weapons, all inside Ugandan territory, it seemed logical to assume these weapons would find their way to Ituri, in apparent contradiction to Museveni’s assertions that there are no further arms flows from Uganda to support Congolese armed groups. In any event, Ruberwa asserted it is good periodically to point out to Museveni that the Congolese are aware of what is going on. The Ambassador asked if Museveni did not know that already. Ruberwa said “maybe,” but it seems useful to make it clear. Ruberwa added he believes it important for Kinshasa to send a senior-level person to Kampala to have an exchange with Museveni perhaps every three months to help avoid a major clash between the two governments” (WikiLeaks, 2006).

214850-congo-democratic Bemba 2006

Hope this was insightful and gives an edge as the reports are steady and many. Not only a one place and one person who thinks that there is a specific connection between President Museveni and Jean-Pierre Bemba of the MLC! That is very clear and the ways it happen and the timing prove the value Bemba had for Museveni and his ambition in the DRC. The excuse was always internal guerrillas who moved to DRC like ADF-NALU and LRA, but we all know that more to bait and more to gain by taking mineral rich areas and create businesses and use ammunition to gain that. That is something that never been an issue for Museveni as his best tool is a weapon, not negotiations and agreements, they can break when he see he has the upper-hand and ability to score over his counterparts.

Something he surely will do again. Bemba might never surface with the MLC and the Party MLC in any election in the DRC. As the ICC gave him a verdict and court ruling which set precedence for his life.

I know that the Yellow Men of NRM, and the NRM-Regime will fight against this and say something else, as even Amama Mbabazi did at his time in the ICC to fight the case between Uganda and the DRC on the reasons for the aggression from them. The same might happen again and the viciousness and ruthlessness of the President is visible, as those who studies his history(not the one he has rewritten) but more the remarks and voices around him, you’ll see the temperament and attitude of bush-warfare that is instilled in him, and not the political person or even a statesman of a like which he seems to be. Peace.

Reference:

Carayannis, Tatiana – ‘Elections in the DRC – The Bemba Surprise’ (February 2008).

Fisher, Ian – ‘Congo’s War Triumphs Over Peace Accord’ (13.09.2000) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/18/world/congo-s-war-triumphs-over-peace-accord.html?pagewanted=all

Garreton, Roberto – ‘REPORT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT DOCUMENT ICC 01/04-01/06’ – MANDATE OF THE SPECIAL REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN ZAIRE (20.02.2009)

Gough, David – ‘Peace of the dead in Congo forests’ (02.08.1999) link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/02/6

Muleme, Geoffrey – ‘Uganda Withdraws From Congo Accord’ (30.03.2001) link: https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/181/33411.html

Human Rights Watch – ‘Democratic Republic of Congo – Volume 15. Number 11. (A)’ – “ITURI: “COVERED IN BLOOD” Ethnically Targeted Violence In Northeastern DR Congo” (July 2003)

IRIN – ‘Bemba signs Lusaka accord for MLC’ (03.08.1999) link: http://www.irinnews.org/news/1999/08/03/bemba-signs-lusaka-accord-mlc

IRIN – ‘DRC: Kabila and Museveni sign troop withdrawal protocol’ (09.09.2002) link: http://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/drc-kabila-and-museveni-sign-troop-withdrawal-protocol

International Court of Justice – ‘CASE CONCERNING ARMED ACTIVITIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE CONGO – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

  1. UGANDA RE JOINDER SUBMITTED BY THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA VOLUME 1’ (06.12.2002)

International Court of Justice – ‘CASE CONCERNING ARMED ACTIVITIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE CONGO (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO v. UGANDA) – 2005 19 December General List No. 116 (19.12.2005)

RAID – ‘Unanswered questions Companies, conflict and the Democratic Republic of Congo’ (May 2004)

Simpson, Chris – ‘POLITICS: Little To Suggest The Congolese Peace Accord Will Hold’ (06.09.1999) link: http://www.ipsnews.net/1999/09/politics-little-to-suggest-the-congolese-peace-accord-will-hold/

Tamm, Henning – ‘UPC in Ituri The external militarization of local politics in north-eastern Congo’ (2013)

 

WikiLeaks –‘RUBERWA ACCOUNT OF MAY MEETING WITH UGANDA PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’ (02.06.2006) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06KINSHASA876_a.html

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