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Archive for the tag “Jospeh Kabila”

In Uganda the President’s family directly involved in the Gold Industry and the export of conflict minerals!

Basically what we do is taking advantage that I’m in government, it’s not a conflict of interest, I don’t use my position for conflict of interest issues, but it’s an advantage in itself.”Jackson Mayanja, TMT Mining and DGSM employee, August 2016

When you thought the Mineral Industry in the Republic of Uganda couldn’t be questioned more. There is a Global Witness report on the subject. That clearly shows signs of common cronyism and National Resistance Movement (NRM) who uses their connections to get better licenses and deals. The NRM and President Museveni, together with family members are in the midst of the transactions surrounding the Mineral Industry. Especially considering also the well-known fact that Ugandan government are helping with exports from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. This been done with shaky licensee deals.

The report is spelling how Gen. Salim Selah or President Yoweri Museveni are parts of the inside the mineral trading and export from Uganda. The other NRM cronies and the brown envelopes that pays for the licenses and the insider knowledge of DGSM gives an edge. Instead of being ethical and protocol through the laws, instead it is more of the personal connections the owners of licenses has. Take a look!

Gen. Salim Selah and Ragga Dee connected with minerals:

Senior political figures appear ultimately to call the shots. Their patronage facilitates access to the sector and allows investors, including political elites, to flaunt the law. In one example, a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, with close ties to the President, were found to be shipping out hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, apparently paying barely any taxes and failing to disclose the origins of the gold. Their exports may include gold which could be fuelling conflict in neighbouring DRC and South Sudan. In the absence of government data and evidence of rigorous supply chain checks it is not possible to tell” (…) “In one example, an Australian home loans broker with no evident experience of mining, was able to secure licences for over 6000km2 of land (more than any other company or individual Global Witness has seen) by making payments to DGSM officials, and later teamed up with pop star turned businessman, Ragga Dee, who has close ties to the president’s brother Salim Saleh” (Global Witness, P: 7, 2017).

Bwindi National Park:

One licensee is NRM MP Elizabeth Karungi, whose story is emblematic of how well placed individuals claim to be able to use their political connections for personal gain. The woman representative for Kanungu District told Global Witness that she was able to carry out mining activities in Bwindi because the former tourist minister Maria Mutagamba was a “good good friend.” It is remarkable that the DGSM saw fit to issue her with a licence in this area despite the obvious threat to the wildlife there. In a letter to Global Witness dated January 2017, Mutagamba claimed that she did not know who Elizabeth Karungi MP was, however Karungi was on the Committee of Tourism, Trade and Industry which held meetings with the Minister during her period in office. The DGSM Commissioner told Global Witness that mining activities in national parks require the permission of the Uganda Wildlife Authority”. (Global Witness, P:10, 2017)

Kilembe National Park:

One of these is the Tibet Hima Mining Company, which won a multi-million dollar contract to re-open the former colonial Kilembe Copper Mines on the border of Rwenzori in 2013. Two DGSM staff told Global Witness that the President instructed the government to partner with Tibet Hima. Global Witness wrote to President Museveni in December 2016 but has not received a response. As part of the deal, Tibet Hima also received two mining exploration licences that run deep into the national park and right up to the DRC border. The DGSM Commissioner told Global Witness that Tibet Hima had been awarded the concession through a competitive bidding process” (…) “As well as obtaining exploration licences inside a World Heritage site, Tibet Hima appears to have been carrying out operations at Kilembe – one of the largest mines in the country – without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is required by law. The company produced an environmental ‘project brief’ in February 2015, but this did not cover the activities witnessed by Global Witness staff at the site in November 2015” (Global Witness, P: 11-15, 2017).

Africa Gold Refinery:

African Gold Refinery is run by a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, including former government minister Richard Kaijuka, who are managing to ship hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold out of Uganda without disclosing its origin and paying very little tax in the process. They are the owners and managers of a newly built gold refinery on the shores of Lake Edward near Entebbe airport. Remarkably, Barnabas Taremwa: brother-in-law to Salim Saleh, Museveni’s most famous brother and Uganda’s de facto number two, told Global Witness that he had helped negotiate the company’s huge tax breaks with the government (corroborated by documents seen by Global Witness) and set up supply routes for the refinery” (Global Witness, P: 27, 2017).

When an undercover Global Witness staff member spoke to Kamuntu in November 2016, he claimed that he continued to export 10,000 tonnes of iron ore a month out of Uganda under the waiver he received from the President. He told us he ships out minerals as “samples” in order to avoid taxes. He explained that he was the only person in Uganda able to export iron ore. He also told Global Witness that he deals in minerals originating from the DRC, labelling them as Ugandan to get around regulations. Kamuntu said that he exports tantalite from the DRC, labelling it as iron ore to pay less tax. If this is true then conflict minerals from Eastern DRC could be entering the international supply chain via Kamuntu’s shipments. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the fact that Kamuntu told us that “as a local person” he had paid US$10,000 to a third party to get a meeting with the President, in order to seek the permission he needed to continue with his business. (The price for foreign investors is US$15,000, according to Kamuntu.) A letter from the President to the Mining Minister explains that the two met at a private Chamber of Mines and Petroleum event. Global Witness wrote to President Museveni and Mr Kamuntu in December 2016 but never received a response” (Global Witness, P: 42, 2017).

AGR ownership:

Alain Goetz, who is also the CEO of the company, a Belgian national, is one of the most famous dealers of Congolese gold in recent history. During the 90s the Alain and his father Tony, who died in 2005, were reported as dominating gold exports from the Congo through their networks to Belgium and later Dubai” (…) “Mr Barnabas Taremwa, who previously worked for AGR is the brother in law of Salim Saleh, the President’s brother. AGR told Global Witness in a letter dated January 2017 that Taremwa’s sister and Salim Saleh had divorced three years ago, seemingly in an attempt to distance themselves from the General. However, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that “Barnabas Taremwa is still my brother in law and it is false and an insult to me for you to state that I divorced his sister.” (…) “Richard Henry Kaijuka is the Chairman of AGR.160 According to an article in Africa Energy in June 2011, Mr Kaijuka is “a childhood friend of President Yoweri Museveni, who fell out with the regime after he opposed a controversial constitutional amendment in 2005 that removed presidential term limits.” (Global Witness, P: 73, 2017).

Infinity Minerals:

Ragga Dee, whose real name is Daniel Kyeyune Kazibwe, is a popstar turned businessman, famous as much for being the first musician in Uganda to own a Hummer as he is for his music. Ragga Dee does not appear on any of the company documents relating to Ellie’s companies, however while discussing his business interests in an interview with Uganda’s Observer newspaper in 2015 Ragga Dee said, “I also mine for gold under my other company, Infinity Minerals” (…) “Global Witness has identified two sales of Infinity’s rights to other investors after Ellie left Uganda. In the first instance a company called Afrisam Cement Uganda Limited paid US$75,000 for prospecting access to licence number EL1083 which was held by Infinity” (…) “The whole episode raises serious questions about the way that licences are awarded, the licence transfer process, and the accuracy of the mining cadastre. If the information on the cadastre is inaccurate or wilfully misrepresented this has serious impacts for the governance of the sector. While AfriSam appears to have received its licence through the proper channels at the DGSM questions remain about the way that Sunbird acquired its licence. In a letter dated January 2017, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that the Big Picture Corporation, a company which is part owned by his wife, is “one of the companies which duly applied for, and inherited, the expired Licences previously held by Infinity Minerals Limited, under TN 2370.” According to the Cadastre, however, this application, which was made after the licence had expired, was rejected” (Global Witness, P: 48 – 51, 2017).

Special Export:

The latest OAG report noted that during the financial year 2015/16, the DGSM assessed royalty and awarded export permits for only 93kgs of gold worth just over US$3 million. However, reports from the Customs and Excise Department of Uganda Revenue Authority indicated that 5,316 kgs of gold had been exported with a total value of US$195 million. Accordingly, Government should have collected between US$2 million and US$9.7 million in royalties depending on the applicable rates of 1% and 5% for the imported or locally mined gold respectively” (Global Witness, P: 74, 2017).

If you didn’t think there was anything fishy in the trades, in the Mineral Ministry and the Mineral Resources Exports in Uganda. This here reports proves the amounts of gold exported combined with the gold extracted. That these numbers doesn’t add-up. This together with the NRM leadership and the closest partners in and around the President. Therefore, it is even his own family involved in the mineral industry. This reports is saying what people and rumors has been, therefore, the implications of the government, the president in the business, and also they are involved in exporting and cleaning conflict minerals for the exporters of South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. This is not surprising for the ones following the situation. Peace.

Reference:

Global Witness – Under-Mined (June 2017)

RDC: La mauvaise gestion de la province du Haut-Katanga détournements de fonds publics par le Gouv Jean Claude Kazembe et ses collaborateurs

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Historique: Lettre de Lambert Mende sur Etienne Tshisekedi, 8 Avril 1995.

mende-95-p1mende-95-p2

RDC: Communique en Rapport avec la Conference de Genval “L’Unite de L’Opposition dans la Coherence” (25.06.2016)

RDC Oppositon 25.06.2016 P1RDC Oppositon 25.06.2016 P2

RDC: Declaration de la Majorite Presidentielle sur le Forum de l’Opposition Congolaise a Bruxelles (10.06.2016)

Declartion RDC Opposition 10.06.2016 P1

Declartion RDC Opposition 10.06.2016 P2

No. 017/GCLG/Bbo/2016: “Massacres des Populations civiles en Territoires de Beni et de Lubero” (06.06.2016)

Letter Beni June 2016 P1Letter Beni June 2016 P2Letter Beni June 2016 P3

The partner organizations reaffirm their support to the political dialogue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and call on all Congolese stakeholders to work towards its successful holding (06.06.2016)

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NEW YORK, United States of America, June 6, 2016 –  The African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) are closely following the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The four organizations act under the framework of their partnership for peace and security in Africa, as well as their collective commitment to support the DRC in consolidating the achievements recorded during the last decade.

The four partner organizations underline once again the crucial importance of holding a successful political dialogue with all Congolese stakeholders leading to a consensus that would allow for free, fair, transparent and credible elections to take place in accordance with the framework of the Congolese Constitution, thus preserving peace and stability in the country and deepening the democratic process and the rule of law.

The four organizations reaffirm their full support to the facilitation efforts led by Mr. Edem Kodjo on behalf of the AU. In this context, they have agreed to set up a support group to the facilitation, which also includes representatives of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and to mobilize the expertise and resources needed to maximize chances of achieving a successful dialogue.

The four organizations underline the primary responsibility of the government and all concerned Congolese stakeholders to maintain peace and stability in the DRC, to preserve the hard-won gains and to strengthen democracy and the rule of law. In this regard, they urge all Congolese actors to join the dialogue and extend their full cooperation to the Facilitator, recalling that he is acting within the framework of the relevant bodies of the AU and resolution 2277.

The four organizations urge the Government and all political actors in the DRC to refrain from any action that could increase tensions or lead to violence. More than ever, restraint and the spirit of responsibility are needed at this particular moment of the history of the DRC. The four partner organizations also call on the government to maintain its commitment to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the DRC, including by releasing political prisoners; bearing in mind that the preservation of political space and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution is a necessary condition to the success of the political dialogue, an outcome to which President Kabila has expressed his utmost commitment.

Opinion: Past and Present – Rwandan and Ugandan sponsoring proxy Guerrillas and Militias in the DRC, and is sad about the world ignorance of these activities.

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What is my worry, well; it’s these warlords, generals in Politics, not ordinary men trying to become legislators, the former civilians, but these men who went with guns into battle and guerrilla; finally taking over and controlling nations, controlling territories with militias and youth wings that disperse and assassinate people. This happens with own Warlords, Proxy-Militias, Guerrillas and serious amount of looting from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I will look quickly into it and explain how I see it, with the looting and little responsibility, since this a question that should be asked, again and again, until there are taken down the men who support the militias, the guerrillas and warlords in the DRC.

That is where I am going as there are so many Warlords that have entered from the DRC during the last two decades; certain ones have earned lots on it and gotten away, like Gen. Paul Kagame, the former Intelligence Officer for Gen. Museveni. These are now Presidents of Rwanda and Uganda, as Kagame have been in central government of Rwanda since 1994, and Museveni have been in charge since 1986. The both took Power with the gun, and are still using it at any point of possibility.

Rwanda has had the CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) that was established by Laurent Nkunda, they we’re a militia from 2006 to 2009, became a political party, while Nkunda have been in exile and in peace in Kigali. The others have been FDLR that have both fighting the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and other militias. This fighting have been in mineral rich areas, both gold, cobalt and earth minerals that are used in cellphones, aircrafts and other important industrial production in the west and technology we are all used too, and expect naturally to be there.

M23 Picture

There is also Allied Defense Force (ADF-NALU) that is militias that came from Rwenzori region in Uganda, and have been moved over to the DRC. With that in mind they have constantly taken areas and territory with both minerals and burning villages, while not the focus of international media, as the other Ugandan Rebels of LRA have gotten, as they went from Northern Uganda, into DRC forest, then the armies of UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Force) and FARDC pushed them into the uncertain areas of Central African Republic (C.A.R.) with their ‘Operation Thunder’.

With all of these militias, the biggest one of late M23 (Mouvement du 23-March) who controlled areas for 20 months before the peace-agreement, but the M23 leadership had deliverance of weapons from Uganda, as there was reported training in Kisoro, Uganda and Gisenyi of Rwanda. As the main routes for minerals from Democratic Republic of Congo towards the Rwanda; and there are over Rwenzori and Kabale from Congo as well. So with the well-known knowledge of the looting of DRC, the levels of impunity and fragile borders have been used by Rwandan and Ugandan Government earned money on the inflicted militias.

DRC Minerals

There been so much money involved that at one point the 2002 U.N. Panel  of Experts  report on Congo further notes: “A reliable source associated with the Congo Desk have circulated that income to the Desk provided 80 per cent of all RPA expenditure of 1999. The official Rwandan budget for 1999 allocated $80 million to the military… The Congo Desk’s contribution to the Rwandan’s military expenses would therefore have been in order of $320 million. The activities funded by revenues generated by number of domains. These transaction are, however, hidden from scrutiny of international organization,” U.N. Security Council “Final Report of the Panel of Experts” 5/2002/1164 Para 71.

With that in mind, as this was in the middle of the war that happen and took control of the nation together with Uganda, which toppled the Mobutu-Regime. As they we’re reporting on point: “Now it is Kabila, whose steady rebel advance has turned into a juggernaut, who apparently can afford to be coy. His rebels are less than 150 miles from Kinshasa and on Friday added the northwestern city of Lisala–Mobutu’s birthplace–to their conquests” (…)”Truckers attempting to bring food to Kinshasa returned home empty Friday, saying they turned back at Mbankana, a village 50 miles east of the capital, because the road was blocked by fleeing government soldiers and the rebel advance” (…)”Before the meeting, Kabila had said he was prepared only to discuss Mobutu’s swift departure from power. Aides to Mobutu, however, said the president wanted to obtain a cease-fire, to be followed by negotiations for a democratic transition in Zaire. Asked whether Mobutu would announce his resignation, Mobutu’s chief of staff Felix Vunduwe, said, “No. Why should he?” Overshadowing the diplomatic maneuvers has been the rebels’ swift advance, which has exceeded the expectations of military observers. “There’s obviously a plan they’re working to, and they’re doing a very good job at it,” said one diplomat” (Daniszewski, 1997). As this was the beginning, and certainly the Rwandan helpers was paid for their help. Something that was shown by the UN Security Council in 2002; still there haven’t been done much about it, as the violence and killings have lingered and done to this day.

Digging600

Now it is not Laurent-Désiré Kabila that only did his duty towards the men who put him in power and set in his son into power as well. With the history in mind there are really been looting of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as with the recent knowledge of court justice that says this: “Rubaga South MP Ken Lukyamuzi and other lawmakers, quoting an August 27 Daily Monitor story, demanded to know who was behind the plunder of DRC. “We would like to know the people who committed these atrocities in DRC and how we are going to pay DRC before our country is mortgaged,” Mr Lukyamuzi said. He added: “Our country is about to be mortgaged and none of us can afford to pay Shs82.8 trillion because we are one of the poorest nations.” (Mugerwa, 2015).  This was reported on what the Ugandans did in the DRC: “According to press accounts, the ICJ began hearing the DRC’s case against Uganda on April 11.  The Congolese delegation, headed by Justice Minister Honorius Kisimba Ngoy, reportedly called for the Ugandans to pay $10 billion in reparations for a host of crimes allegedly committed by Ugandan forces in the Congo from 1998-2003, including murder,  human rights abuses, destruction of public property and illegal exploitation of the Congo’s natural resources.  The Congolese also reportedly claimed that the Ugandans’ main objective had been to overthrow the Congolese government in Kinshasa, and cited public statements by Ugandan authorities to bolster their case.  Press accounts said the Ugandan side rejected these accusations and explained that Uganda had acted to protect its own territory from rebels based in the DRC” (WikiLeaks, 2005).

So with the big money in the looting, even if the official armies are out of Democratic Republic of Congo, wouldn’t Rwanda and Uganda, still earn big bucks on having proxy militias in the DRC as they would always earn good monies on the mineral resources… with the history and the “house-arrest” of Laurent Nkunda in Kigali, proved the connection between Rwandan Militias and the DRC, the same can be said with the M23 that have been pardoned and left in military camps in Kisoro and then went over with military training and weapons from Uganda unto the rebels who even forced the hand of Joseph Kabila.

drc-mineralssupplychain1

The chronic issue is that in the midst of this the training have in the Kivu’s have happened in the midst of Internally Displaced Camps and Refugee camps, where both the arms and military training of the militias, that either Interahamwe or Génocidaire who the Rwandan have fought and used as reason for their presence instead of their looting of Congo. That can be proven with the soft actions toward Nkunda, as he has not really been punished, the same with the treatment in Kampala for the leadership of M23. While others have been delivered to the ICC, but not key figures in the supply chain from the Ugandan and Rwandan Government; as there haven’t been questions of the Gen. Salim Selah or others who have been in charge of certain ones have deserved scrutiny from the international world!

As much as the Ugandans army has been involved in the DRC, they have also been together with SPLA/SPLM under President Salva Kiir, as they both have together fought LRA and opposition of the South Sudanese, as President Museveni wants loyal leaders in the region, so that they can all bounce on each other. President Kiir had the support without consent or mission from the United Nations to control the rebels of SPLM-IO and others who didn’t like the sacking of VP Riek Machar. As he is now reinstated the fighting is not between them and the Ugandan army is supposed to be out, as there is not mineral rich in the sense of DRC. If the Ugandans wanted a stake in the oil money there, that would be through military support to suppress the ones who does not want to support Kiir as the head in charge.

Ugandan and Rwandan governments involvement in rebels, in militias, guerrillas in Congo, is not a question worth answering yes or no, it is yes, and that there is still militias that are foreign supported as the Kinyarwanda speaking forces have been collected stripes in the Kivu’s and even French speaking mercenaries have been deployed in Kampala during election period, there are certainly significant connection and monies at stake. The Ugandan and Rwandan want Kabila Reign to continue, as he lets rob and steal for a percentage of the spoils, instead of actually govern, that is why the citizens concerned with killings in Beni in May 2016, was really oppressed, while on the birthday anniversary for the President on the 4th June, they we’re allowed to walk the streets; the impunity and arrogance while the militias, the proxy guerrillas to loot Congo. What saddens me, is the silence, the ignorance, the little care for the violence and killings, the wrong zip-code as it doesn’t matter, but the mineral resources can easily be taken and used in our modern society and smart-phones.

Why are the so little actions from the world society towards the Ugandan and Rwandan Government when they are sponsoring these militias and guerrillas in the Congo and the Kivu’s? That is what I wonder about… this is happening and there is no reactions or real movements, there are some blue-helmets, but they are a stand-by force with no will. The others let the Rwandan and Ugandan does as they please, as the FARDC doesn’t have the commando or the will to act towards them, as they have had a decade to get rid of these proxy miltias; and they are still there earning money on exporting minerals. Something is wrong with that picture, if you don’t see how the Kinshasa-Government are letting the Rwandan and Ugandan friends eat of the Kivu’s, as they would have taken more command, if they didn’t have agreement between Kabila, Kagame and Museveni. I hope you see, what I see? Peace.

Reference:

Daniszewski, John – ‘Zaire Rebel Leader Kabila Shuns Talks at Sea With President Mobutu’ (04.05.1997) link: http://articles.latimes.com/1997-05-04/news/mn-55301_1_rebel-leader

Mugerwa, Yasiin – ‘Uganda: Government Asked to Name DRC Looters’ (02.09.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201509020664.html

WikiLeaks – ‘CONGO DEMANDS $10 BN IN REPARATIONS FROM UGANDA’ (15.04.2005) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/05KINSHASA640_a.html

Documentary Soicety – Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth (Youtube-Documentary)

“Millions of Congolese have lost their lives in a conflict that the United Nations describes as the deadliest in the world since World War Two. Rwanda and Uganda, invaded in 1996 the Congo (then Zaire) and again in 1998, which triggered the enormous loss of lives, systemic sexual violence and rape, and widespread looting of Congo’s spectacular natural wealth. The ongoing conflict, instability, weak institutions, dependency and impoverishment in the Congo are a product of a 125 year tragic experience of enslavement, forced labor, colonial rule, assassinations, dictatorship, wars, external intervention and corrupt rule. Analysts in the film examine whether U.S. corporate and government policies that support strongmen and prioritize profit over the people have contributed to and exacerbated the tragic instability in the heart of Africa” (Documentary Channel, 2016).

MONUSCO and OHCHR reports on Humanitarian Law Violations committed by the ADF combatations in the terrority of Beni, North-Kivu Province between 1. October 2014 and 31. December 2014

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