“gold is gold, and they simply need gold” – Gold Smugglers (UN, 2020, P: 19).
The newest UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was just recently published. This article here will focus on the gold smuggling operation and the amount of smuggled gold to Uganda from the DRC. This report really states the amount and the way the Ugandan exporters are trading the gold from there. The direct connection between these Republics are clear. This has been stated before, but not to these levels.
If your thinking this sort of business is clean and done after protocol. Then this report will shatter and break the glass. This report is explaining and showing more intelligence on how its done. We can easily see that the Ugandan authorities and the Entebbe Gold Refinery are only having its ability to be trading and minting the gold on the basis of gold smuggling from the DRC.
“The Group estimated, using information published by the Ugandan authorities, that over 95 per cent of gold exports from Uganda were of non-Ugandan origin for 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 20).
The next part is a proof of a way of illegal export and gold smuggling. Where there is one company operating doing so and how they are registered. While other bodies are claiming they are fraud. This shows what sort of ways the traders, smugglers and exporters are doing to be able to deal with the gold. What is really striking is the way the supposed fraudulent corporation are using all sorts of means to operate. They are even using bank accounts for other companies, which in the end might be a sign of illegal activity. As they are keeping everything of the books.
Vaya Forex Bureau forgery:
“The Group found however that during the reporting period, sanctioned entity Uganda Commercial Impex (UCI) Ltd (CDe.009) retained an active business registration according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information. The Group also noted that, according to an official ICGLR gold export certificate, Vaya Forex Bureau in Uganda acted as an intermediary in an official gold export (see para. 87 of this report). Incorporated in 2007, the two shareholders of Vaya Forex Bureau were Vaya Kiran Rajendra and Vaya Vipal Kumar Maganlal, family members of Rajendra “Raju” Vaya, owner of sanctioned entity of Machanga Ltd (CDe.007) (see S/2015/19, annex 63). The Group wrote to Vaya Forex Bureau but did not receive a response by the time of writing this report. Finally, the Group noted that, according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information, Sameer Bhimji was a signatory on the bank accounts of The Bullion Refinery Ltd (see S/2018/1133, para. 97) until 23 April 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 72).
“AGR told the Group that “a so called Vaya Forex Bureau” was unknown to the company and did not hold an account with AGR. The company further stated that they considered that the ICGLR document may be a “forgery” or “fraud” and that the company had already been the target of several such attacks. The company further committed to preventing forgery or fraud, and to reporting such activities to relevant Ugandan authorities and to relevant authorities abroad, as well as “instituting criminal and civil proceedings against the perpetrators”” (UN, 2020, P: 101).
What is more interesting is that the AGR in Entebbe has switched owners and is also registered in the Seychelles. What is known about the Seychelles in this manner is that they usually is confidential and tax-exempt to a degree. This means the AGR is run most likely in a tax-haven by its owners. While they are earning their profits. That is how I crack this one down. They wouldn’t have registered the company there after selling its stakes. If there wasn’t any benefits in doing so. Right?
Here is the information about AGR:
“The Group established that, on 9 February 2018, African Gold Refinery Ltd sold its shares to AGR International Ltd, a company registered in the Seychelles at Global Gateway, 8 rue de la Perle, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles (see screenshot below). The Group wrote to the authorities of the Seychelles, who confirmed that AGR International Ltd was registered in the Seychelles at the address listed in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau documents” (UN, 2020, P: 107).
We already know the AGR has connections to the President and his family. Therefore, the move of liabilities to Seychelles is to safeguard the profits in a tax-haven. There is no other way to see it. This is so the future state will be in more trouble to follow the money and also get the accounts frozen by authorities.
This is it for today. Peace.
Again, there is illegal gold trade to the neighbour republics of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This time its the NDC-R whose trading illegal gold to Uganda and Burundi. That means the militia is funnelling funds by illegal mining and trading. Also, that the Ugandan and Burundian authorities are earning fortunes on the soldiers of fortunes in the province of North Kivu.
However, this is not really new that militias and that there is illegal gold trade in the Great Lakes region from the DRC. What was new now, is that athe NDC-R is involved in this. There been other groups in the past and shown that the African Gold Refinery (AGR) of Entebbe, the refinery owned by Gen. Salim Selah, the half-brother of the President Museveni have been involved in this trade. Also, selling the gold to the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, what is in this months report. Shows, another pattern, but says what militia who does it. Which is an interesting tale, as the illegal trade is boosting the NDC-R and their capabilities to cause havoc in the province.
“The Group has found that the armed group Nduma défense du Congo-Rénové (NDC-R) has remained active in North Kivu and has continued to recruit and expand. NDC-R engaged in fighting with the Collectif des mouvements pour le changement (CMC) comprised of Nyatura factions, the Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain (APCLS) and FDLR-FOCA in Masisi and Rutshuru territories” (Midterm report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 6, 20.12.2019).
Financing of the militia:
“A senior NDC-R combatant with first-hand knowledge of the matter and three NDC-R members recounted that gold sales brokered by close relatives of Guidon, who sold to gold buying houses in Goma, also generated cash for the movement. Sales were cash-based and were not usually documented. The Group is aware of two occasions on which senior NDC-R ex-combatants sold gold to buyers in Uganda and one on which they did so in Burundi” (Midterm report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 10, 20.12.2019).
This is a worrying sign. Not that its new, but this shows how the NDC-R is financed. Through illicit financing through illegal gold-mining and illegal gold trade. There been trade between Butembo/Goma and over to Entebbe through back-channels. If the NDC-R does this, that wouldn’t be shocking either. Not that the UN Experts Report is specific about this matter.
However, it again reveals more details and reports about one specific group. Which is interesting for the world to know. That it happens to be a group, which has FDLR-FOCA fighters is even more special. Since, there been reports of meetings and supporting arms to them over the last few years. Therefore, the revelation of NDC-R connection with FDLR-FOCA opens more questions, than what it answers. Peace.
Now after two days of Demonstrations in Beni and also demonstrations in Butembo in the Province of the North Kivu. This is happening as the ADF/ADF-NALU is causing more casualties, more fatalities, as the citizens doesn’t feel secured by the army nor the peacekeepers (MONUSCO). All of this in a region and a province that has been battling militias for two decades. There been several of militias in the region supported by foreigners in Rwanda and Uganda. These been supported with reinforcement, with ammunition and training across the borders.
Therefore, the reality of North Kivu province is dire. Not like the peacekeepers nor the army has any control. The numbers over the last two years are tragic. So many innocent lives taken by the means of insurgents and lack of responsibility from the powers in Kinshasa. There is a lack of will, to support and be there for the civilians in North Kivu. If the army and the Republic cared, they would have tackled this head-on. As this is years and years on end.
The numbers of killings reported by UN Experts on the DRC in June 2019. The UN reports reported there was 78 killed in 2018 in the Beni region, by April 2019 there was reports of 121. This means the UN has registered 199 deaths in between 2018 to April 2019. That is 16 months and that 16 people a month on the regular. This being both killings of MONUSCO Peacekeepers, FARDC soldiers and also civilians. Therefore, this is a lot of casualties in just one region.
I don’t have verified numbers between April and November 2019. Which means there is most likely more casualties and more fatalities, which isn’t recorded or been reported en-mass. That would have shown the whole picture. So, I will end on the recent month, this November, but the UN Experts Report and this shows the amounts of killings and systematic it is. If we would for argument sake, say that the fatalities continued in the same fashion as it has been from January 2018 to April 2019. With 16 per month and it continued up to November 2019. That means There is another 128 more fatalities, but my reckoning that’s just mere speculation. As I don’t have any numbers in the time between April and November.
Well, with that being said, November 2019 has been bloody too. There is report of a total of 69 dead after skirmishes of ADF in the Beni region. Beni is burning and steadily so. The FARDC and MONUSCO isn’t able to beat the ADF/ADF-NALU.
Skirmishes from ADF this November:
“Since 30 October 2019, the Congolese government has launched military operations in North Kivu, in the Beni territory, with the aim of neutralizing the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one of the deadliest armed groups in eastern DRC, which emerged from an Islamist rebellion of Ugandan origin. Since then, ADF attacks have been ongoing on the outskirts of the city of Beni. The attacks target the Congolese armed forces but also civilians, with multiple brutal killings. On 5 November, ten civilians including six women, were killed in an attack in Kokola. This first mass killing has been followed by many other abuses (murders, kidnappings, house fires, looting, etc.) on a daily basis since 15 November 2019. Some AFD attacks against the Congolese forces are claimed by Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP)” (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ‘DRC – Rapid and intense deterioration of the humanitarian situation in North Kivu, Beni (UN, DG ECHO)’ 20.11.2019).
There is a silent war going on. It is not causing a stir, not making headlines or shaking the heads of state. Not even making President Felix Tshisekedi, neither gets actions of Vital Kamerhe or Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba. The FCC-CACH is more involved in eating and looting, than governing apparently. Since, they are not acting upon this nor creating the space to create peace in North Kivu. They are not even trying and there is a lack of will.
This silent war got to stop, but there is no signs of it. Since, it seems like the merchants of deaths continue to roam this region and the allegiance to illegal activity counters the possibility for a peaceful development. Peace.
Bosco Ntaganda aka the Terminator was today sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crimes. However, that is not enough. It is not enough to take out the Capo or an Underboss to stop the crime. You need to take out the Don. In concern of the Terminator. The ICC and the International Community only took the Capo.
The Terminator is fine and dandy, he did his deeds and he did his bidding in the Kivu’s. He caused havocs, murder and massacre. In the wake of this, he should answer to that crime and to the lives he took and the kids he raised to be child soldiers. All of that is good, that he answers for that.
However, his handlers, the ones who gave him weapons, the ones who traded favours and ensured that the Capo could do his livelihood are walking free. The ones who gave way and let him do his deeds. Are proudly summoning people, being at international functions and continuing supporting other War-Lords in the same region.
You took out one, but there are plenty more fish. Because, the state, the ones across the border from Kivu needs the rebels, the warlords to continuing to prosper and sell looted minerals on the world market. This continues, as the spoils and exploits continues. Even as Bosco aka Terminator has to rot for 30 years in Europe.
The salvation isn’t coming, because the saviours are not there. The state are allowing this and the MONUSCO is not powerful to restrain these armed groups and militias, that has outside support and trade-routes to ensuring wealth.
If it is the Ugandan President supporting militias through Kisoro or Rwenzori mountains or the Rwandan President supporting it through Gisenyi. We just know this is happening and the world let it go on. Because, it isn’t our problem and the Coltan we need for Iphone and Samsung is getting distributed just in timely fashion anyway.
So, its fine that the Terminator is charged for the crimes committed. But its not fine, that the ones supporting the weapons, the ones earning on the exploits of him are getting away. They are walking free and getting no trouble what so ever. That’s what bugs me, but I am special that way. Peace.
Today, the International Criminal Court sentenced warlord Bosco Ntaganda of 18 counts on crimes against humanity. This is a victory for the victims of his crimes and the things he did while being a general of militias within the Democratic Republic of Congo for years. However, even with him in the Hague, the sins his committed are still being done by someone else.
That is why the downfall of Bosco aka the Terminator haven’t had much affect. It isn’t like this has stopped militias from robbing, stealing, controlling, child-soldering and raping civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because, the same ones that supported Bosco is still lingering around and have new henchmen to do their bidding. The same minerals are taken through the same routes to the same sort of illicit trade and securing that another warlord their cut. The only thing that changed was that Bosco went to Europe and had to testify in Court.
Just a friendly reminder of who he is: “Bosco Ntaganda was born in 1973 in Kinigi, which is a small village located in the Virunga mountains in Rwanda. Shortly after, his family moved to Ngugu in Masisi in North Kivu. In 1990, at the age of 17, Bosco Ntaganda joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebellion whose military wing was led by the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Bosco Ntaganda will then successively be used in the Rwandan army (1990-1995), AFDL (1996), RCD (1999), UPC (2003), CNDP (2003), the Congolese army (2004) and finally M23 (2012). He knows too much about Kagame’s organized crimes in the African Great Lakes region. Peace and security in this sub-region require first an end to impunity” (FDU-Inkingi – ‘The transfer of warlord Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court and the deployment of the special intervention brigade in Eastern DRC are two most priorities’ 22.03.2013).
So, its not like Bosco don’t have handlers behind him or had a support system for his tricks and trade. No, Bosco had a powerful ally, someone whose been meddling in the DRC for years. Someone who has sent his troops and earned fortunes on the minerals in the DRC, Mr. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Therefore, it is not like nobody was giving him weapons and letting him get rich of the spoils. It was the man who trained him and gave him the military education for later using him as a militia man in the DRC.
Just to put in more in perspective, Mondiaal nieuws reported: “But Ntaganda is of use to Kabila as well. Berwouts: ‘With the CNDP, Kabila won the support of the only power that could somewhat stabilize East Congo and moreover serves his electoral interests. In the run-up to the election, only Kabila was able to campaign in CNDP areas.’ What was not part of the agreement, is that the CNDP remained a state within a state, establishing a proper administration in Masisi and considered a threat rather than bringing security by large portions of the population. So Ntaganda is taking care of both Kagame’s and Kabila’s interests. That explains how he became a general of the Congolese army in 2009, in spite of the International Court of Justice issuing an arrest warrant against him three years earlier for crimes against humanity, mainly because of child soldier recruitment” (Stefano Valentino, John Vandaele & Anneke Verbraeken – ‘The killer king of North Kivu’ March 2012).
This shows the world how connected the Warlord and General was in his time. It wasn’t like he was in a vacuum doing his deeds. No, he was connected to Kagame and Kabila, they both endured and earned fortunes on his services. They accepted his crimes and promoted him for what he did. Therefore, it is striking that none of them had to pay for his crimes, but only him. Like he is the only one who committed this and did these acts.
We should wonder why Kagame and what he offered in return for the surrendering of Ntanganda. Why the ICC didn’t get Laurent Nkunda and others, whose become forgotten or not worthy criminals for the Courts. Surely, there must have been something for Kagame and Kabila to offer the Terminator to let him go and let him answer for these crimes. Because, surely, they didn’t want it all uncovered, especially they didn’t want their secret shady agreements done in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This would all stain their political future and also their standing among their peers. That is something, Kabila and Kagame couldn’t have. Therefore, without certainty, the leaders must have offered Bosco something in return, as he did rat them out and is now eating the charges. Peace.