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Archive for the tag “Minerals”

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – “Statement on Illegal Mining Activities in Uganda” (02.08.2017)

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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)

What do Mobutu and Museveni have in common after thirty years in power? Massive looting of their state reserves!

Museveni: My critics always forget to mention that I was democratically elected, the others were not. Everyone in Uganda can challenge me, everyone can vote, the elections are free. Not many countries have achieved what we did. One third of the seats in parliament are reserved for women, five seats for youth, five for workers, five for the disabled and 10 for the army. How many democracies with such a record do you know?” (Koelbl & Puhl, 2016).

Just as the knowledge of the all the state businesses and properties of President Museveni that he has amassed over the 31 years in power in Uganda. It reminds more and more of the state of affairs under President Mobutu. Mobutu Sese Seko was a dictator that President Museveni was proud to ouster and reinstate President Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni knows about Mobutu’s fatal fall, is certainly known.

President Museveni has gotten rid of other dictators before the fall of Mobutu, he even knew or had knowledge of the death of the plane of Juvenal Habyarimana, the plane who got shot down in April 1994, as his fellow comrade General Paul Kagame of Rwandan Patriotic Front was on the way to overthrow the current regime there. Also that the President Museveni together with President Milton Obote overthrew President Idi Amin in the late 1970s. So the current President Museveni has been involved in lots of armed change of power, he is even rumored and not verified if he had knowledge of the death of John Garang of SPLA and the South Sudan.

Still, the man who has used force and taken weapons to change history and his own fate, again and again, also to get puppets in states around. Have certainly thought of the demise of the men he got rid off. So when the stories of the last year of Mobutu sounds like this:

Mobutu’s Wealth:

For 32 years President Mobutu has treated Zaire like a toy and used its rich mineral reserves like his own private bank account. He plundered its mines, insisting their entire annual profits be transferred to personal accounts overseas” (…) ““We had to be close to the regime to do business,” admitted Mohammed Abdul, a Lebanese businessman yesterday as he fortified his shop for an expected pre-Kabila pillage by Zaire’s ruthless and brutal army. The Lebanese are hated by Zaireans who believe they colluded with President Mobutu to plunder the country’s diamonds” (Kinshasa, 1997).

Swiss assets:

The decision by the Swiss Federal Council came a day after judicial and police authorities seized his luxurious villa at Savigny near the lakeside resort of Lausanne. The 30-room mansion is estimated to have a market value of more than $5 million” (…) “After three decades of plundering the mineral wealth of his country, Mobutu is believed to have accumulated an enormous fortune. There have been persistent reports that he has stashed as much as $4 billion in Switzerland, but a government review of the country’s 400 banks last week said that none reported having accounts in his name” (Drozdiak, 1997).

Just as you think the dictator of Democratic Republic of Congo would be different than the current one in Uganda, your terribly wrong and President Museveni tries to keep it hidden, the way he is using the state reserves on himself and build his wealth. Just like President Mobutu was trying to move the money to the Swiss accounts, President Museveni has his own way.

A look into Museveni:

The way the Museveni family is paid royalties, or rent, by escrow accounts for their ownership of the title deeds of the Stanbic Bank business name in Uganda (what was once the Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda’s largest banking group) is the way it is paid for their ownership of other apparently South African or foreign-owned businesses in Uganda” (…) “These sources say that it is Stanbic Bank that is used to finance businesses like Roofings Ltd, Speke Resort Munyonyo, the J&M Hotel along the Kampala-Entebbe highway, businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba’s hotel and Kampala International University, all of which actually belong to the Museveni family” (The London Evening Post, 2012).

This is just the business side of it, it could be worse by now and they could own more pieces of all the businesses that are bailed out or even getting tax breaks by the government, because who knows the true deeds or royalties going to accounts owned by the royal Ugandan Museveni family. So the next says more about the value of the Museveni family and their estates.

Museveni’s wealth includes ranches in Rwakitura and Kisozi Uganda which accommodates over 2,000 healthy cows which produce thousands of liters of milk daily. The Uganda president makes at least Ush 100 million per month from his farm” (…) “Apart from livestock farming, Museveni has interests in real estate, hotel industry as well as transport industry. He has also invested heavily in the banking industry” (…) “The longest serving president of Uganda is estimated to be worth $ 700 million” (Venasnews, 2016).

So when you see how the Museveni family has become as wealth and rich as President Mobutu did. Mobutu had after his 30 years of dictatorship stashed away US$ 4 Billion into Swiss Bank Accounts, what is more uncertain is the total value of the 30 years President Museveni rule in Uganda. What is right now and known is the businesses that the President is involved in or having ownership in. Secondly is the knowledge of estates, as well as ranches in Uganda with livestock that the President owns. Therefore, the extended wealth of secret bank accounts and not revealed businesses could show the true value of the Museveni family.

With the knowledge of this and the sudden departure that President Museveni together with President Kagame, as they forced the dictator away in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I don’t think there will be an intervention on President Museveni from one of the neighbors. Still, the world can see the dictator protocol is kept by Museveni as he himself have crafted ways of emptying the state coffers. Therefore, that the riches, the estates and the value of Museveni have risen over the three decades in power isn’t strange. What is more worrying is how he has been able to keep is wealth and ownership.

That President Museveni wishes to look like a hardworking rancher and that he works for his fortune. The yields are coming from hard-work and dedication. At the same time the ownership in banking industry and in other parts of the economy shows how much control the family and the President does have. The private industries and companies are run or ordered directly from the State House.

So that President Museveni said this in 1997 as he overthrew Mobutu is now insane:

Mr. Museveni’s ideology is simple. For too long, he says, African politicians have hoodwinked the common people, manipulating tribal sentiments to stay in power and steal millions of dollars in foreign aid and taxes. A former Marxist, he sees the true struggle on the continent as one between corrupt leaders and the dirt-poor people they exploit” (McKinley Jr., 1997).

So he said for to long African Politician played the commoners, using the sentiments of tribe on their populations and using this tools to stay in power, while doing so taking an emptying the state reserves and donor funding to themselves. Therefore, 20 years since he stood for this and said these words, he has now done the same.

President Museveni of today would assassinate himself or overthrow himself… since he is now the Mobutu of Uganda, he has the character of the men he overthrew in past. He should be worried, because the ghosts of the past and the reckless leadership will follow him and that is why he trust the guns more than people. Since his own insincere political game might catch up with him.

On some levels now, there aren’t much difference between President Mobutu and President Museveni. Peace.

Reference:

Drozdiak, William – ‘Swiss Freeze Mobutu’s Assets; Reports Put Worth at $4 Billion’ (18.05.1997) link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/africa/zaire/swiss.htm

McKinley Jr., James – ‘Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order’ (15.06.1997) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/15/world/uganda-leader-stands-tall-in-new-african-order.html

Kinshasa, Mary Braid – ‘Mobutu takes the money and runs to a safe haven’ (16.05.1997) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/mobutu-takes-the-money-and-runs-to-a-safe-haven-1261945.html

Koelbl, Susanne & Puhl, Jan – ‘’This Is Our Continent, Not Yours’ (10.06.2016) link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-ugandan-president-yoweri-museveni-a-1096932.html

The London Evening Post – ‘Revealed: How the Museveni family owns Uganda’ (03.01.2012) link: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/comments/revealed-how-the-museveni-family-owns-uganda/2/

Venasnews – ‘Yoweri Museveni Salary and Wealth’ (27.06.2016) link: https://venasnews.com/yoweri-museveni-salary-and-wealth/

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

President Trump: “Presidential Memorandum: Suspension of the Conflict Minerals Rule” – Legalizing export of questionable minerals from the DRC!

conflict-minerals-08-02-2017-p1conflict-minerals-08-02-2017-p2conflict-minerals-08-02-2017-p3

Watch: Recession is unlikely in South Africa – Pravin Gordhan (Youtube-Clip)

Kenya: Public Inquiry on the Impact of Mining Activities on the Enjoyment of Human Rights in Taita-Taveta County (18.08.2016)

Taita Taveta 18.08.2016 P1Taita Taveta 18.08.2016 P2

My letter to Electronics Producers who are responsible for supplying money to militias and guerrillas of the DRC!

Illegal Mining DRC

Dear Electronic Producers of end-products as Mobile Phones and such, I write to you in haste!

Then I mean the likes of Foxconn of China, Apple, Hitachi, Sanyo, NEC Tokin, Kemet, AVX, Vishay, Flextronics, Celestica Sanmina, Asustek, Jabil, Hewitt-Packard, Dell, Acer, IBM, Samsung, Motorola, Canon and Nokia. Also other suppliers who deliver the needed products for you too label and sell to the global market.  

I write too you with urgency, do you want your names to mentioned in blood, as your greed for the profits are no embedded with warlords and thieves of East Africa, as the exported mineral resources as Coltan, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten. These minerals are needed in your production to make your phones, your electronics and others.

There been warlords, been warriors and presidents that have looted the Southern and Northern Kivu of Democratic Republic of Congo. They have all used AK-47 and other weapons while taking territories, towns and villages. These are the places, where the militias and guerrillas are raping the woman, burning villages and taking over mines even with child-labor if needed.

All the deaths and wars since the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko in the end of 1990s, where the proxy war of Uganda and Rwanda in the Kivu’s where the mines are; and you have accepted this as you vouch for their armies and their militias taking the area, eating of the minerals, eating the stones and lifting the burden they have to buy ammunition to continue their thieving. The thieving and capturing the miners, destroying and taking the minerals, the minerals you use in your products, the end-products you want to sell to me and the world.

DRC Minerals

What is the pride of your fiscal profits, knowing you were securing payments, securing buying of small-arms and killings of fellow men and woman, on your watch, on your payment and your production? The initial end-game of Electronic Products is that as long as we know that, the Laptops, Smart-Phone and others are tainted with blood; they are tainted with the operation of warlords.

That cannot be gone away in silence, as long as the President of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, they are all in on it, and enjoy the monies with their proxy armies controlling various mines and different minerals, the issues and stages of exploitation of the Kivu’s.

If more people care, they would be aggravated, they would wonder if there was ways of producing the smart-phones and laptops without the minerals that are fueling the guerrillas and militias of Kivu, which is not extending the reign of Kabila, Kagame and Museveni. They are the reasons for these killings and these groups who extort this violence.

Kagame-Museveni-Kabila

The nonsense non-action, the deliberate assault for these minerals, and your plenty of usage, while knowing where it came from, with the extent of the force that it taken from the ground and into the factories, before sold with pop-song on the local TV-Station with a fancy name and image; that image should be tainted with the knowledge of how the minerals for it came to light of day, with the injustice, the impunity and dissolved society where the fear of violence, reckless warlords, relentless soldiers and murders keeping at bay the illegal logging of minerals of the Kivu’s. That is what the price of the profits.

The brave and Nobel men of the boardrooms of the companies, the men and woman of the PR firms, and the consumers, should be enlighten, should take a stand and we all should try to find ways to absorb and not buy the tainted electronics, or least spread the names of them who take the supply of blood-tainted minerals and make products for profit. That should be stopped, as the killings, the continued presence of militias and guerrillas, they are all been kept and fed by your money. The money you have supplied them, so they can continue to get guns and ammunition.

FARDC Beni May 2016

This money comes from the people, the citizens of the world, they should now and should extend their hands, if they about the atrocities and violence of the Kivu’s. They are serving your profits, the profits made on the guerrillas and militias controlling the mines and exploitations of the provinces with the enriched minerals of the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is what should be known, the silent and sudden killer of it all, the ones that responsible for the presence of modern technology, are militants and guerrillas who are fed on the violence as they export to industries that take it without questions.

It should be questioned and the people should care, the knowledge of these actions should be in the open and spoken more about. Last time the blood-diamonds movie and Leonardo DiCaprio played a reckless man who sold diamonds in Sierra Leone… maybe if they did the same with blood tainted minerals from the DRC, then the world citizens might care and asked for change of policy, but the average man don’t, they just want to enjoy 3G and 4G while surfing to read Tabloid papers and other madness, instead of using their waste opportunities to gain the needed knowledge of the affairs that is happening from afar with the technology at hand.

There is time to question; there are and been more than enough massacres and deaths happening in Beni, in Goma and in Kivu’s for the needed minerals. Time to ask the Electronics Companies and the Suppliers of these minerals to take actions, as their need for this is the reason why the atrocities and killings are happening. They are happing on our watch and with our knowledge. It is time to do something and ask for change, to pressure the DRC Government, to pressure the Electronic producers to use other suppliers if possible and stop fueling their profits into the warlords of East Africa, as they are responsible for their existence, as they are the ones giving them money and plenty to continue to harass and kill their fellow brother and sisters.

Best Regards

The Writer of Minbane

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.

kagame-kabila

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).

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