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Archive for the tag “South Kivu”

DRC: Conflicting statements on the skirmishes at Kusisa in South Kivu Province

Major fighting took place yesterday in Kusisa (Kalehe territory, South Kivu) between the Congolese army and the CNRD, a Rwandan rebellion that resulted from a split with the FDLR in 2016” (Kivu Security, 27.11.2019).

There are apparently two different views to what happened in Kusisa, Kalehe territory in South-Kivu province. What it says, there are claims of the violence towards civilians in a refugee camp by government soldiers and Rwandan soldiers camouflaged as so in South Kivu. While the Rwandan government claims the militia caused these attacks. The MRCD have already promised to wage war against Kigali, while they are still based in the DRC.

Clearly, they could play for the facade, but we never know in these instances. The MRCD claims a total different picture from the Rwandese, both using the UN documentation, while the DRC reporter states what the FARDC says it does. Therefore, it is hard to know what’s going on. But something is up and civilians are the casualties in all of this.

MRCD Statement:

On the night of 25 to 26 November 2019, the FARDC (Armed Forces of the DRC), together with the Rwandan soldiers in Congolese army uniform, attacked and destroyed the Rwandan refugee camp in Kalehe territory in South Kivu. The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD-Ubumwe) had nevertheless alerted the International Community of the imminence of these attacks given the encirclement of this camp since 13/11/2019 by members of the RDF (Rwandese Defence Forces) disguised as Congolese soldiers. We denounce the silence and passivity of the International Community before such massacres against the survivors of the genocide perpetrated in Congo by the same troops of General Paul KAGAME in 1996-1998, as proved in the UN Mapping Report: These massacres of refugees are committed with the indifference of the UN military force MONUSCO, which has been present in the DRC since 1999. The MRCD-Ubumwe also recalls that MONUSCO has several soldiers not far from this camp of attacked refugees” (MRCD – ‘Rwandan soldiers in Congolese army uniform, attacked and destroyed the Rwandan refugee camp in Kalehe territory’ 26.11.2019).

Rwandan Embassy in Brussels Statement:

Recently, and to the knowledge of the Belgian authorities, it has been proven that two politico military platforms named P5 and MRCD operate from the Kingdom of Belgium where some of its leaders are staying, including Paul Rusesabagina, who heads the Rwandan Movement for Peace. Democratic Change (MRCD Ubumwe), Faustin Twagiramungu and Placide Kayumba (Vice President of the United Democratic Forces (UDF) and co-founder of Jambo ASBL). This group meets regularly, signs pacts and raises funds for the sole purpose of overthrowing the Rwandan government by force. The details of the activities of the P5 military branch led by the Rwanda National Congress led by Kayumba Nyamwasa and the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) were analyzed in a report by the UN expert group. on the Congo from December 2018. As a reminder, the FDLR are the ideological heirs of the perpetrators of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 and since their presence in eastern Congo are responsible for systematic killings and rapes. In spite of these criminal acts, members of the ASBL under Belgian law called “Jambo ASBL”, actively involved in a misinformation campaign against Rwanda, regularly visited the eastern part of the Congo to meet with them. FDLR leaders” (Rwanda in Belgium – ‘Le Rwanda déplore que la presse belge fasse l’écho d’une campagne visant à le déstabiliser’ 27.11.2019).

Reports from the DRC:

Information confirmed by the FARDC that announce that on the orders of the high military hierarchy, the operational sector Sukola 2 South Kivu and North Kivu, launched this Tuesday, November 26, an offensive against the armed group CNRD with the objective of neutralizing this group armed foreign active on Congolese soil. “For the only day of this Tuesday, November 26, the FARDC have already recovered the localities of Kitindiro, Rutare1 and 2, Bibatama and Nganjo, formerly under control CNRD. The populations of all these localities are asked to remain calm and to dissociate themselves with all these armed groups “, adds captain Dieudonné Kasereka military spokesman of the operation Sukola 2 South South-kivu” (Justin Mwamba – ‘Sud-Kivu : les FARDC récupèrent plusieurs localités jadis occupées par les CNRD à Kahele’ 27.11.2019, Actulite.cd).

We can clearly see that none of them is denouncing the skirmishes, the battles nor the actually fatalities in South Kivu Province. However, the FARDC says its liberated parts of the territory, while the MRCD claims the army did crimes against humanity and went after civilians in a refugee camp. That is not the story from the FARDC. But who would confess that directly? Secondly, what militia doesn’t want goodwill and try to portray their enemies in the worst light? Thirdly, what government doesn’t want to defend themselves, against the ones who want to overthrow it?

That is all reasonable, but, a very important but, someone is lying here. Someone is not coming with a straight face. There is a lie here and I cannot catch it. As there are two much between the lines and that I have no knowledge of. What we do know, is that Rwandan soldiers has been and easily could be in the Kivu provinces. The MRCD and allies are working to get rid of Kagame, that is a mere fact. FARDC has a bad rep together with MONUSCO to not shield citizens. Therefore, there is a lot at stake and also open questions. Neither do I trust the FARDC, the MRCD nor the Rwandan in this matter. Because, they could all be lying. However, there must be truth there somewhere, but I cannot see that either.

That’s because they are all lying and in war, the first thing that is the innocent and the innocence of people. They are all using all means to win. It doesn’t matter which side of the gun you are, as long as your not on the losing side. Because, that means either punishment or death. That’s why all of these will tell stories, will amplify or even spread propaganda for their own narrative. I just don’t know who to believe. That’s my issue. What’s the real issue is that by all accounts, civilians and refugees was in the midsts of cross-fire and certainly someone died because of warlords was busy tormenting the region. Peace.

UN Report states that armed groups comes from destabilizing neighbouring countries into the DRC!

On ReliefWeb today, there was released a United Nations Security Council Report dated back to the 12th March 2019. What is vital about this report, is that what has been in the press and not been verified. Is not clearly stated in the print and reports of the United Nations. That is a very tough bargain, as the UNSC shouldn’t release reports, which is false or not verified by either its witnesses, its experts or its investigators. This is no in concern with the armed groups that is crossing into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Uganda and Rwanda.

There been reports about the FDLR and Rwanda National Congress crossing into Uganda in December 2018, until now it hasn’t been verified. The UN is not saying why they crossed into the the DRC or where they came from, but the arrests and extradition was served to Rwanda. That is why, the previous reported stories in connections seems more likeable. We can wonder, why the UN didn’t verify the meetings in Kisoro, Uganda too, as it was in connection with the arrests being made in the DRC.

Alas, there are more, which is striking, because the language is dense, but still settling the score between the DRC towards the Uganda/Rwanda, who both are known for conning in the neighbour republic. They are stating it directly in this report, without no shadow of a doubt.

On 15 December, FARDC arrested the spokesperson and deputy head of intelligence of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and media sources reported their extradition to Rwanda in January. While the extradition and repatriation of disarmed FDLR combatants weakened the group, FDLR remained active. On 16 and 17 December, seven FARDC soldiers were reportedly killed in two separate attacks by suspected FDLR rebels. Military operations in December and January against an FDLR splinter group, Conseil national pour le renouveau et la démocratie-Ubwiyunge, forced the latter to abandon positions in North Kivu and move into South Kivu” (UN, 2019).

Participants called for continued cooperation among the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda to complete the repatriation of disarmed FDLR combatants and their dependants from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and of former M23 combatants and dependants from Rwanda and Uganda” (UN, 2019).

In furtherance of the second national commitment, namely, to “consolidate State authority, particularly in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including to prevent armed groups from destabilizing neighbouring countries”, Congolese authorities closed FDLR transit camps in the east in November 2018 and repatriated 1,634 disarmed FDLR combatants and dependants, some of whom were previously detained, pursuant to a bilateral agreement with Rwanda” (UN, 2019).

During its fourth meeting, held on 24 January in Nairobi, the follow-up mechanism adopted a timetable for screening and sensitization missions to Uganda and Rwanda, to advance the repatriation of former M23 members, as well as a mission to Rwanda to monitor the reintegration of former FDLR combatants and their dependants. From 15 to 22 February, representatives of my Special Envoy, together with representatives of the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, the Expanded Joint Verification Mission and MONUSCO, visited camps hosting former M23 members in Rwanda and Uganda. Previously, from 11 to 13 February, the Office of my Special Envoy and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region had conducted an assessment visit to the headquarters of the follow-up mechanism on ADF, located in Kasese, Uganda. While the Democratic Republic of the Congo has deployed a representative to serve on the mechanism, the delayed contribution of personnel by participating States and logistical challenges continue to hamper the operations of the follow-up mechanism” (UN, 2019).

It is really significant that it comes within the paradigm of the tenseness between Rwanda and Uganda. That the UNSC releases this report this way, that its showing the FDLR, M23 among others. Which has gotten support from Uganda/Rwanda in the past, while doing their deeds in Eastern Congo. We can clearly wonder, why they verify it now and has this report for the Secretary-General of the UN.

Because, that means the UN is taking the situation seriously and needs to see action. As the destabilizing neighbours are continuing to persist in the region, as well as it didn’t state. Cross over into themselves and create issues there. Like the MRCD or parts of the ex-FDLR are doing together with the RNC.

It is really significant what was compiled in this, by all means the connections and even the stated wording of it. That the states even hamper with the operations of the follow-up mechanism. Shows, there is clear intent from the parties, to continue to destabilizing the DRC.

Surely, someone will torn by this report. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘Implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region – Report of the Secretary-General’ (12.03.2019)

RDC: Kibali Gold Mine – Note de Service (09.02.2019)

DRC: Is there an escalation of insurgency in the Kivu’s?

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the interference and sponsoring of rebellions has been steady in the two recent decades. There are now talks of even more brewing trouble ahead. There been killings of peacekeepers lately, also rising numbers fatalities as well, that has been reported in North Kivu. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was similar numbers compiled on the other province too.

Therefore, the recent spark, the recent trend of wondering if there are something new brewing. Is healthy to ask. There are one force who is new in play, that is the Red-Tabara who only yesterday was reported in killing 18 people in and around Uvira. While the Burundian Forces are following their trail inside the DRC. There is no numbers of how many who is part of the Red-Tabara or their possible camps. Just that they are now also a part of the conflict inside the DRC. There has also been clashes between the FNL (Forces Nationale des Liberation), the rebels of the army. Therefore, the are plenty of obstacles already.

While the Allied Defence Force (ADF) is on a rebranding mission from being a Ugandan Muslim Military Operation, whose trying to invade Uganda. To become a jihadi organization for all of East Africa. The size of their operations is uncertain at this point. These has been steady attacking and killing in Beni. Where they have had massacres and working with other local militias to control the area.

While that is happening, the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) have deployed a 1000 of their newly trained and recruited LDU to the Uganda-Congolese Border. This is been done as a measure to secure the border. Clearly, also sending a message about the use of the LDU. Who was supposed to be a supportive unit of urban crimes, but now are an extra brigade for a possible warfare in the DRC. That is not a positive a sign. The first report of larger scale deployment was on the 15th October 2018, this might have been an escalation of that. But certainly hits a pattern.

This is proof of movement from two outside forces within the battle-torn and continued warfare in the region. Which seemingly doesn’t have an end. There are also still Mayi-Mayi militias, also Rwandan backed forces within the region too. There is FDLR-FOCA, whose size is uncertain, but bouncing around after a seismic split in 2016. Where in 2018, the DRC Operations of a militia named Mouvement Rwandais pour le Changement Democratique (M.R.C.D) who parts of it came from the FDLR. Who might also be criss-crossing the border region between Burundi/Rwanda and the DRC.

While there is nothing new that there are military movement from Rwanda and Uganda, where there both supply of arms, training and militia men. This being M-23 or other groups who was supported by military supplies from across the border. Therefore, if this would happen again. It wouldn’t be shocking or surprising.

The timing of all of this is perfect again. If it flairs up to extended levels and the government will have to suspend the elections again. So that, the ones running has to post-pone it again. Just in the nick of time to secure more illegal time for Kabila to rule. While so many more lives are taken, just so one man and his cronies can reign supreme.

What is for sure, is that this picture will be materialized and secured with time. What is worrying is the scale and the amount of players involved. As the Burundian forces are now into the mix, the Rwandan with both Ex-Rebels and Militias, who knows what stakes the Ugandan has. Other than adding more forces on the border. All of this is indication of more to come. There will not be silence.

When there is smoke, there is fire. In this instance, I am worried of the escalation and the levels of troops moving. Even as uncertain as it is. Because they have killed peacekeepers, there are foreign supported militias in the Kivu’s and there are tensions in the region. Peace.

Opinion: What are they up to? Kuteesa and Kagame had a meeting in Kigali today.

There are reasons for why there is easy to speculate about the meetings and the secrecy of the ones involved. As there are only one official story. That Foreign Affairs Minister of Uganda, Sam Kuteesa brought a Special Message to Rwandan President Paul Kagame. We don’t more from this meeting, as it not recorded or transcribed. There are no record or no protocol. That is why we know so little about this. Just like we know little about the meeting last week between Kuteesa and Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa. 

The little we know from official Ugandan sources today is this: “Hon. Kutesa delivered a special message from President Yoweri Museveni to his counterpart. Mr. Kutesa had earlier met with Dr Richard Sezibera and congratulated him upon his recent appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community. They discussed issues of bilateral interest and pledged to work closely to broaden and deepen cooperation between Uganda and Rwanda” (Uganda Media Centre – ‘Hon. Kutesa delivers special message to President Kagame’ 25.10.2018).

We really don’t know what the cooperation or that Special Message was about, even if it was involving their mutual business and exports of minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Who knows right? Because there is no official communique, there are no minutes or protocol from this meeting. Even no statement of intent. The parties have been silent about it and the only message from Uganda is practically saying nothing.

Why I am thinking like this, it is only a week ago, this was the message from the meeting in Kinshasa between Kabila and Kuteesa:

Also, he reassured the military leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda will use this meeting to solve the problems on Lake Albert to restore peace and security, and to allow the people of both countries to freely and peacefully conduct their fishing” (MediaCongo.net – ‘Un message spécial de Yoweri Museveni remis au Président Joseph Kabila Kabange’ 19.10.2018)

Whatever Kagame or Kuteesa was scheming isn’t easy to know, as the interests are there and they have all profited from the insecurity and the lack of building institutions and political stability in the region. Kuteesa could also ensure they are ready for action with Kabila.

We can wonder as the DRC are scheduled an election in December. That a new form of militia will appear “out-of-nowhere” from these nations to destabilize either in Ituri, South Kivu and North Kivu even more if they get lucky. That wouldn’t be surprising if there is coming weapons from Kisoro or Gisenyi in the coming future. If it would be familiar faces from FDLR/CNDP/M23 coming out of the wood-works too. That wouldn’t be shocking (!!). To create enough insecurity, so that the Democratic Republic of Congo has to postpone the elections again.

Because that would seem likely, as a major insecurity and use of militias to create troubles within the Kivu’s and Ituri. Would give Kabila a reason for even launching a “State of Emergency” and relinquish all power until it is over. Hence, stopping the need of the two year long postponement of election. As he is on overtime in his role the President. No one would complain if he had to fight a civil war to stay in power, especially not foreign sponsored ones from former allies. That he happen to meet just in mere weeks before they assembled on Kisangani, Bukavu and Goma. I wouldn’t be shocked if that is the next step.

At this moment, it is just my wild thoughts, which sadly enough isn’t far fetched. As there are enough of freed former militia men walking about and such. Right now this is just my mere speculations, as there are no official statement/communique/document from the meeting in Kigali today and nothing from the one in Kinshasa. But these gentlemen tries to keep thing low-key, but at a later date. It suddenly explodes. If there would be weird activity in Kabale, Rwenzori or in Gisenyi in the coming weeks. I wouldn’t be directly shocked. As the timing is perfect to secure a “valid” reason to postpone the election and ensure a new “process” for yet another election. Because Kabila feed of the insecurity and needs it. Since he has no legitimate power and kills of the activists and the sends the political operatives that matters into exile. Peace. 

BTW: I hope I am terrible wrong and out of line. That these meetings means they enjoyed some posho/ugali in each others company and served high quality tea afterwards. But there are often a reason for these meetings. I just start bugging when I don’t know why!

RDC: Sud-Kivu – “Quote Part du Gouvernorat sur les Frais Remuneratoires percus per SAESSCAM” (19.05.2017)

UN World Food Programme in diplomatic tangle because of the Rwandese beans exported to Burundi (12.04.2017)

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).

Burundi: Le Ministère de la Défense Nationale annonce qu’aucun Groupe armé n’a été aperçu traversant la frontière entre le Burundi et le Rwanda (13.03.2017)

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

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