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Archive for the tag “Kivu”

Fresh UN Report: Illigal Gold Smuggling from the DRC to Uganda!

There been new reports on the gold smuggling to Uganda from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, it needs more reporting, as this illegal trading and looting of mineral resources from the Republic needs to be put a spotlight on. As this trade is feeding illegitimate government and militias whose using force against innocent civilians and citizens in general. This report that is reported in the report from the Group of Experts are expelling a deep, but also a volatile story of how they are transporting and getting the illegal gold into the market.

We can wonder if this gold enters the Gen. Salim Selah owned African Gold Refinery Limited in Entebbe, before flying away into the World Market through the brokers and traders there. We can question that, as the government on both sides of the border is accepting this. They are both earning on this and not registering it. Therefore, the location of extraction is kept secret, while the production and the paperwork is kept under the radar. That is why the consumer cannot know under what condition the gold came from and that is worrying. The smuggling, the lack of paperwork and forging of documents shows they are really pushing the boundaries to get into the global markets.

Also, this shows how blatant disregard for maladministration, they have done deliberately and not cared about the public.

Smugglers used the road to Mahagi, where they travelled either by motorbike, taxi or even truck. At the border with Uganda, when they were eventually checked, they bribed customs officials on the Congolese side. All of the Group’s informants on this issue confirmed that, in Goli, on the Ugandan side of the border, they were not asked to present papers or explain the origin of gold that they carried. Mahagi is a long-established hub of the smuggling route” (P: 22)

Two brokers told the Group that they mainly carried gold from mining sites in Kawa and Monbgwalu in Djugu territory. When they arrived in Goli, they would meet with a broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who would accompany them to sell to Kampala-based dealers. One of the brokers told the Group that, until February 2018, he travelled to Kampala every two weeks with about 3 kilograms of gold (approximately $132,000) 20 per trip” (P: 22-23).

The Group confirmed that, in Entebbe Airport, companies sell empty seats. As previously documented, empty seats are used by smugglers to transport gold concealed in hand luggage. Two individuals associated with the gold sector in Kampala, one Kampala-based gold broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one migration officer stationed at the airport in Entebbe told the Group that, despite the official claim that minerals cannot leave the country without proper paperwork, gold smugglers continue to travel either without documentation or with forged documents. The migration officer and the broker told the Group that the owners of gold being trafficked do not travel themselves but use couriers who fly to Dubai to deliver the gold to buyers there. The two sources added that couriers can operate easily because they bribe customs and security officers at Entebbe airport” (…) “Two Ugandan nationals working for two airlines operating from Entebbe informed the Group that they are not requested to check gold in hand luggage. In the course of its current mandate, the Group held discussions with senior officials of eight airlines operating in and out of the Great Lakes region, who said that their primary role in checking passengers was to make sure no one was carrying anything that could jeopardize the security of the plane, a policy focusing almost entirely on weapons and explosives. The Group is of the view that gold transported on commercial aeroplanes should not be banned as it represents a key form of export for responsible artisanal and small-scale mining activity that observes the requisite due diligence guidelines. However, there is a need to address the loopholes related to the illegal transportation of gold carried in hand luggage on commercial aeroplanes” (P: 24, 2018).

Clearly, the illegal trade of gold should be looked into and be a worry for the international community, as the is funding militias and illegal activity within the DRC. This should not be overlooked, the clear indication of smuggling gold and also not registering the conflict minerals. Therefore, this is sophisticated and using all means to bribe lower level civil servants on both sides, to secure the trade of this can go-on. Both republic’s can do something about this, if they cared or had incentive to do so. However, they seem pretty fine and dandy with this activity. As the state and the close connected activity with the elites who are sponging the funds made from it.

That is why even President Museveni was there for the opening of the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. That shows that the Republic have no trouble with illegal smuggling of gold from the DRC. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘ Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo’ (04.06.2018).

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RDC: Declaration No. 001/2018 De La SYMOCEL Appellant a la Consience Citoyenne Pour un Processus Electoral Inclusif (30.05.2018)

RDC: Communique Officiel de la Presidence de la Republique (29.05.2018)

RDC: Declaration Commune de l’Opposition Congolaise en Rapport Avec l’Audit du Fichier Electoral Conduit Par l’Oif (28.05.2018)

RDC: Declaration Conjointe de New York (25.05.2018)

RDC: CENCO – Appel a la Responsabilite – Point de Presse du Secretariat General de la CENCO sur le Processus Electoral (24.05.2018)

RDC: Ensemble – Le President Declaration sur le Virus Ebola (20.05.2018)

517 Days on Overtime: How come Kabila is still there?

It is weird and sad, that as the days goes, that President Joseph Kabila is still a thing. Let me clear, he is lingering unconstitutionally at his role as the President and without an official mandate. He is squatting at the highest office in the 3rd Republic and the world, just let him get away with it. It is like it easier that way, there is less accountability, less transparency and less proper guidelines of governance, therefore, let him be. So, the world can get the resources and the minerals from the rich country, while the state is piss-poor. Because who needs this stuff through proper procedure, tariffs and through fair trading. No, that is only for theories and not for the reality.

Kabila is still in power and its 19th May 2018. When his final term ended was on the 19th December 2016, which means that there has been 517 days since his term ended. What is more insulting is that he had long grace period before his first election in 2006 and the second in 2011, therefore needed to prepare to leave before the end of his second 5 year term in 2016. However, as we know, that didn’t happen. Therefore, he has been the de facto leader now since 26th January 2001. With two elected terms, but the rest of the time, been ruling with grace. That grace continues, without any hesitation or any significant change.

We have now let a man without any mandate rule for one year, five months and one day. That should be insulting to anyone, to let that happen and get away with it. It is just selfish to think otherwise. Yes, there are other self-serving, self-interested leaders who impose themselves on the their republic. They rig their constitutions, they make the laws of association and electoral malpractice into a profession. While the public await the army and the rigged tallies of their victorious achievement of another term, after paying off cronies and the making the institutions praise the almighty leader. That is happening all around the world, like we are still living in a feudal time and the peasants, just have to follow the anointed kings.

It is not like the two elections for Kabila was marred with issues, but the people and stakeholders had hope, as it was a significant change from the two brutal wars that had been. The government of the 3rd Republic would be different, as there haven’t been any peaceful transition of power. The last time that happen was with Patrice Lumumba and he got assassinated by a foreign force under code-name “Swamp Monster”. So who knows it was the Belgians or the CIA, as they both wanted a puppet to the Republic.

However, lets get back to Kabila, who is not leaving in peace, he isn’t leaving at all. He on his third illegal term, without any elections. Using all tools to stay in power, all insurgency, all massacres in Kasai-Oriental, Kivu’s and all the problems in the Republic. Establishing a hard-line against the real opposition in UNDP, Ensamble and everyone else questioning his powers. Stopping protests and activists from Lucha. Nothing is not touched, even bishops, priests and church protests is shut down with vile force. Nothing is to spare the people, only man who reign in mercy is Kabila. The rest has to bow their knees and hope they are not his prey. Therefore, we all need to pray.

Kabila continues to linger in power, 517 days over his mandate, the MONUSCO, the International Community, still letting him linger, nothing is imposed or taken away. A few sanctions on companies and few of the elites, even the vital minerals are still exported either through the ports or through Rwanda. Just like it has done for years. No-one questioning it, no one wonders where the militias are getting resources to buy arms, but who cares as long as the world can have a fancy smart-phone right?

Kabila just got it made. No one doubt it and steps on his throne. They just let him. The ones that does oppose. Will get the taste of pain, the agony and even stop breathing. That is known, but no one says much or cries havoc. It is just the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place where that is normal. They are our brothers and sisters, but we cannot shield them. We cannot make sure their future is sealed. No, as long as we get the minerals, we don’t mind war-lords, militias and scrupulous killings of civilians. We don’t mind, we get a bargain and the elites of Kinshasa get massive wealth. We are letting the masses starving, and letting the elite “Kabiliaist” eat of everyone’s plate. That is the order of our time.

Even with knowing that, we let it go and let it be. Because that pain and agony isn’t ours. But we let him stay and use his force, to generate wealth for our tech-companies, but he get to decide the fate of his civilians. However, he does that without a mandate, without a transparent leadership and without the needed accountability, that would lead into a better future. Because it is all in his decrees and his allies that matters. Not what is for the better future, but enrich his pockets. That narrative in our world, never gets old.

What is insulting is that he thinks he can get away with it. That he don’t think he got to pay for being in-charge over it and not trying make a difference.

Kabila is lingering and no-one is batting an eye. He is far from the only one. I know that, but still, that should not be forgotten. That he is now 517 days on overtime, that isn’t just awaiting CENI to push an election. That is postponing so he can loot a bit more and hope people forget about this. Peace.

RDC: Comite Laic de Coordination (CLC) – Communique de Presse (16.05.2018)

World Health Organization (WHO) concerned as one Ebola case confirmed in urban area of Democratic Republic of the Congo (17.05.2018)

As of 15 May, a total of 44 Ebola virus disease cases have been reported: 3 confirmed, 20 probable, and 21 suspected.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 17, 2018 –  One new case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Ministry of Health of the DRC announced the finding, after laboratory tests conducted by the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) confirmed one specimen as positive for EVD.

Until now, all the confirmed Ebola cases were reported from Bikoro health zone, which is also in Equateur Province but at a distance of nearly 150 km from Mbandaka. The health facilities in Bikoro have very limited functionality and the affected areas are difficult to reach, particularly during the current rainy season, as the roads are often impassable.

“This is a concerning development, but we now have better tools than ever before to combat Ebola,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “WHO and our partners are taking decisive action to stop further spread of the virus.”

The World Health Organization is deploying around 30 experts to conduct surveillance in the city and is working with the Ministry of Health and partners to engage with communities on prevention and treatment and the reporting of new cases.

“The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning and WHO and partners are working together to rapidly scale up the search for all contacts of the confirmed case in the Mbandaka area,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

WHO is also working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other partners to strengthen the capacity of health facilities to treat Ebola patients in special isolation wards.

As of 15 May, a total of 44 Ebola virus disease cases have been reported: 3 confirmed, 20 probable, and 21 suspected.

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