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.
This is now more than known, that the Gold Refinery in Entebbe is a source of gold from Democratic Republic of Congo. Where the illicit gold export persists. This is a problem, where the state are not able to catch and the wealthy traders in Butembo/Bukavu bribe the local government associates. This here is showing how the President of Uganda and his family is involved in the illegal trading of gold. As the African Gold Refinery, which the First Family is owning is involved in. They are not transparent and for the reason, that the state doesn’t want to take responsibility for this trade.
“Several sources associated with gold trade told the Group that wealthy traders in Butembo and Bukavu or buyers in transit countries and Dubai financed the smugglers, enabling them to buy gold and transport it to foreign markets. Two sources directly involved in such transactions with gold traders based in Butembo told the Group that traders with no affiliation with the gold trade lent money to their bosses. The latter used the money in order to buy gold in Butembo. Traders who lent money were paid back in cash, either in Kampala or in Dubai, by those who received gold. The Group believes that circumventing the banking system through gold-based financial transactions generates a lack of transparency and violates the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force as reflected in Congolese legislation” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 35-36, 2019).
“Uganda declared gold exports of 12,000 kg, but the United Arab Emirates said that it had received 21,044 kg of gold from Uganda” (…) “The Group noted that, at the time of writing, the authorities of Uganda had failed to send the Group the report of their investigations into the activities of Kampala-based gold traders, as officials had promised. On 16 January 2019, the Group met with representatives of African Gold Refinery Ltd. (AGR) at AGR premises in Entebbe, Uganda, and discussed in particular the fact that AGR had yet to provide the names of its suppliers to the Group” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 36, 2019).
This is just verified reports from the United Nations Experts, whose investigated it. They have digging deeper. The Report is continuing to show how the state is benefiting of the illegal trade, as long as the Democratic Republic of Congo is missing it. They are being looted by illegal logging, trading, smuggling and not doing due diligence of the mineral resources produced there.
The Ugandan authorities doesn’t care that this is stolen and not verified, as the refinery is showing that they are not caring about the production or the proper protocol of the mineral production, as long as they are profiting from the illicit trade. This is the moral of the story, as the elites of Kampala are eating of the illegal trade. They are doing this and continuing to do so. Peace.
Well, not that Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States is a stable genius, neither is his administration. That is why things like today happens. Not that its surprising, it is just their twisted imperial minds that shower the world with these gems.
Not that Trump nor his administration cares, they are just moving along and acting like nothing happen. They are just dealing with one scandal to the next. While hiding from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but that is what the President does. That is why the Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State can sleep in his office. Because that is must be happening in Washington D.C. like the Starbucks around the corner only have decaf left.
Well, lets be serious, the Democratic Republic of Congo had a fraudulent elections recently, they had the polls in December 2018, Announced in January 2019. later the same month verified by the Constitutional Court. Even if the counting was rigged in favour of someone whose the predecessor made a shady back-room deal with. However, all of that was not a concern for the USA as the transition was happening in the end of January.
However, now that we’re in the end of February 2019. The US Administration is changing their mind. Why do I say this, because they stated this on the 24th January 2019: “The United States welcomes the Congolese Constitutional Court’s certification of Felix Tshisekedi as the next President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We are committed to working with the new DRC government” (…) “The United States salutes the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for their insistence on a peaceful and democratic transfer of power” (U.S. Department of State, 24.01.2019).
This all seems like all fun and games right? That the US is ready to be there and support Felix Tshisekedi and his new administration. That Washington D.C. would give assistance and help the newly minted President in the DRC. Therefore, with the salute and the celebration message of January seems weird today, as the U.S. Department of State stated this:
“The Secretary of State is publicly designating, due to their involvement in significant corruption relating to the electoral process, the following individuals: Mr. Corneille Nangaa, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (D.R.C.) National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI); Mr. Norbert Basengezi Katintima, Vice President of CENI; Mr. Marcellin Mukolo Basengezi, Advisor to the President of CENI; Mr. Aubin Minaku Ndjalandjoko, President of the D.R.C.’s National Assembly; and Mr. Benoit Lwamba Bindu, President of the D.R.C.’s Constitutional Court. This public designation is being made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2019, (Div. F, P.L. 116-6-)” (…) “The Secretary of State is also imposing visa restrictions on election officials as well as military and government officials believed to be responsible for, complicit in, or to have engaged in human rights violations or abuses or undermining of the democratic process in the D.R.C. These individuals enriched themselves through corruption, or directed or oversaw violence against people exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. They operated with impunity at the expense of the Congolese people and showed a blatant disregard for democratic principles and human rights” (U.S. Department of State, 22.02.2019).
So, between the 24th January and the 22nd February 2019 the U.S. Department of State, went from saluting and welcomed the certification of Tshisekedi, but today they are sanctioning the fellows who made that possible. If that isn’t a double play or even foul. Because the US should either not verify and celebrate something… for later changing their minds. This isn’t a place of pitching stories and seeing, which seems the most feasible that moment.
That is what is really unique and special about this. The short paradigm shift of sanctioning the ones that made it possible for Tshisekedi to become the Head of State. They didn’t expect that the US would change this quickly. Surely, Kinshasa should be shocked, the CACH-FCC coalition must wonder, how do we get out of this?
Maybe, next month the US will send their regard and send their love-letters again to Kinshasa. Right now, they are sanctioned. So, it has to change the next month. That is how the U.S. Department of State works, apparently. Let’s Salute Secretary Mike Pompeo and his staff. They are not looking smart, but dumb. Surely, that is protocol under Trump, so that they are making their President looking smarter. Peace.
It is reassuring that media like British Broadcasting Corporation can recognize to right a wrong that has been done, in the fact checking.
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, February 11, 2019 – On February 6 2019, BBC finally agreed to correct their reporting, correcting the fact that Mr Sindika Dokolo was never and had not legitimately been accused of any crimes in Democratic Republic of Congo (or any other jurisdiction).
Defamation law posted on BBC website states: Journalists must operate within legal and ethical guidelines. Defamatory statements are those which ‘tend’ to expose a person to ‘hatred, ridicule or contempt’, cause them to be ‘shunned or avoided’ or lowered in the estimation of ‘right-thinking members of society’.
Journalism is about finding facts, interpreting their importance, and then sharing that information with the audience. In this case, the fact checking missed the fact that the judge in Democratic Republic of Congo who had made an unsubstantiated and false judgement, of fraud, was arrested and jailed.
FreedomHouse.org states that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, civilians and opposition politicians are unable to influence government policies through elections. Civil liberties—including freedom of expression and association—are repressed, and corruption is systemic throughout the government. Armed groups and insecurity are pervasive in many areas of the country, and state security forces have been implicated in human rights abuses.
On July 2016, a judge in the Democratic Republic of Congo has said she was pressured by the intelligence service to convict opposition politician. as reported on BBC news.
This is something that GAN has raised as a red flag: GAN the Business Anti-Corruption Portal recent report describes DRCongo judicial institutions having been plagued with widespread corruption and poses a high risk for companies. Approximately a third of all surveyed companies identified the courts as a constraint to doing business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.(Business-Anti-Corruption.com)
It is reassuring that media like British Broadcasting Corporation can recognize to right a wrong that has been done, in the fact checking.