WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 24, 2016 – U.S Department of the Treasury, Press Release, 6/23/2016.
Action Targets Kinshasa Police Commissioner for Police Violence Against DRC Civilians
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Congolese government official, Céléstin Kanyama, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671, which authorizes the designation of persons for specified conduct “contributing to the conflict” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, OFAC designated Kanyama for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, or forced displacement in the DRC, and for being a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in such conduct. As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the individual designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.
Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC. It is intended to alter the behavior of individuals involved in violence against civilians. The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office reported that the beginning of 2015 was marred by “an increase in the number of violations of political rights and public freedoms” committed by DRC government agents, particularly by police. In several provinces, security forces violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many feared would allow President Kabila to run for a third term. Clashes between police and protestors have continued this year.
“As President Kabila’s constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression, including the arrest of opposition members and violent suppression of political protests, all to avoid scheduling national elections,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director. “Treasury’s action today sends a clear message that the United States condemns the regime’s violence and repressive actions, especially those of Céléstin Kanyama, which threaten the future of democracy for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
General Céléstin Kanyama is the Congolese National Police (PNC) Provincial police commissioner for Kinshasa. Under his leadership, police forces engaged in the targeting of civilian protestors through acts of violence.
Kanyama was the primary commander of Operation Likofi, a police operation between late 2013 and early 2014 that was set up to combat criminal delinquency in Kinshasa. However, the operation reportedly did not enforce the law in Kinshasa, but instead used unlawful violent tactics to establish a climate of fear. During this operation, Kanyama was responsible for extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. In raids across the city, uniformed police wearing black masks dragged suspects out of their homes at night at gunpoint with no arrest warrants. At least 50 young men and boys were reportedly killed, and over 30 were reported to be forcibly “disappeared” during the operation.
In January 2015, during Kanyama’s tenure as Kinshasa police commissioner, over 40 people were killed during demonstrations in Kinshasa, including at least 20 people fatally shot by security forces. The demonstrators were protesting proposed changes to the electoral law that many Congolese believed would permit President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his mandated two-term limit.
“Jean Marie Kalonji is the coordinator of a citizen’s movement by “Democratic” Republic of the Congo. He was arrested on 15 December 2015 in Kinshasa by agents of the non-identified, sequestered in a military camp, then delivered to the national intelligence agency, (l’Agence Nationale de Renseignement) ANR, three days after. He has been transferred from the dungeon of the RDA in the prison of Makala since 28 April 2016.” (Kambale Musavuli , 07.06.2016).
More on his arrest:
“#DRC – #Congolese youth demand justice for their colleague Jean Marie Kalonji during a press conference today in Kinshasa. The Youth for a New Society (JNS), the Friends of Nelson Mandela and Quatrieme Voix along with other youth groups called on the Congolese government to either charge Jean Marie Kalonji or release him. On December 15, 2015, armed men snatched Jean Marie in broad daylight in Kinshasa. He has since been held by Congo’s intelligence services (ANR) without a trial” (Friends of the Congo, 14.04.2016).
“After spending more than four months in secret detention at Congo’s Intelligence Services (ANR), Jean Marie Kalonji was transferred today to a justice/state facility in the Gombe commune of Kinshasa, where he will face a judge on Tuesday, April 26th. After several reports of his death in the hands of Kabila’s intelligence services, Jean Marie’s fellow youth activists held a press conference last week to demand that the government present Jean Marie to the public to demonstrate that he had not been killed by the Kabila regime Jean Marie’s fellow youth activists in La Jeunesse Pour Une Nouvelle Societe and Quatrieme Voix said that they will not stop until Jean Marie is completely released!” (Friends of the Congo, 25.04.2016).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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