Joint Declaration on the Armed Revolutionary Groups and the Syrian Opposition Coalition of National and Revolutionary Forces regarding the Barbaric Military Escalation against Aleppo City and the Future of the Negotiations Process (25.09.2016)

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Secretary-General’s message to the Sixth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (07.09.2016)

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[Delivered by Ms. Mary Soliman, Acting Director, Geneva Branch, Office for Disarmament Affairs]

I am pleased to greet the Sixth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. I congratulate the Netherlands for assuming the Presidency of the Meeting and for leading its preparations. I also thank Switzerland, the host country.

Over the years, States, international organizations and civil society have worked together to establish and implement a solid legal norm prohibiting the use, development, production, acquisition, transfer or stockpiling of cluster munitions. This unity has made the Convention a success.

I congratulate Colombia, which ratified during the First Review Conference last year, as well as Cuba, Mauritius, Palau and Somalia for joining the Convention most recently, bringing the number of States parties to 100. The United Nations will continue to support all efforts aimed at the universalization of the Convention.

With the adoption of the Dubrovnik Action Plan, States parties have set an ambitious path of concrete actions and specific deadlines for the Convention’s further implementation by the Second Review Conference in 2020. Actions are to be undertaken in the crucial areas of universalization, stockpile destruction, clearance and risk reduction education, victim assistance, international cooperation and assistance, transparency and national implementation measures. Our shared hope is to achieve the destruction of additional stockpiled cluster munitions, the release of previously contaminated land for productive use and, ultimately, a reduction in the number of new victims.

Ridding the world of heinous cluster munitions is a moral and humanitarian imperative. I wish you every success as you embark on your important deliberations.

Armed Revolutionary Groups welcome UN humanitarian assistance to Aleppo but urge improvement to delivery plan (27.08.2016)

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Press Release: Use of chemical weapons in Aleppo city marks ‘new normal’ for Syria (11.08.2016)

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Washington, DCYesterday, the Aleppo Health Directorate confirmed a chemical attack on the Zabadiya neighborhood in eastern Aleppo City. Two children and their mother were killed in the attack. Initial reports recorded roughly 50 cases of victims exhibiting symptoms that have led physicians to believe a choking agent, such as chlorine, was used. The chemical agent was reportedly delivered by helicopter in a barrel bomb. This attack follows at least 58 other chlorine attacks after the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2209 in March 2015, which condemned the use of chlorine gas as a weapon in Syria.

Sama, Mohammad, and their mother were the three victims killed in the attack. The three died of suffocation from chemical agents. A video online from shows the death of Mohammad after failed resuscitation.

SAMS previously documented 161 chemical attacks in Syria from the beginning of the conflict through the end of 2015, which lead to the deaths of at least 1,491 people. 77% of these attacks occurred after the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2118, which created a framework for the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpiles. 2015 had the most chemical weapons attacks of any year to date in Syria, with 69 attacks, showing an escalation in the use of chemical weapons as a tactic of war in Syria.

The use of chemical weapons in Syria with impunity for perpetrators continues to erode the international norm against the use of chemical weapons, spurring the ongoing use of chemical weapons and creating a “new normal.” Medical personnel and facilities no longer wonder if, but when, a chemical attack will occur. This attack and all others are violations of humanitarian and human rights law. The international community must take a more active role in civilian protection and take substantive action to enforce its own resolutions, most notably Resolutions 2118, 2209, and 2235.

For media requests, please contact SAMS’s Communications & Program Information Coordinator, Caroline Philhower at caroline.philhower@sams-usa.net.

Mining Company Funds Armed Men in Eastern Congo Gold Rush While State Loses Tax Windfall (05.07.2016)

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Chinese-owned mining company exporting to Dubai gave armed groups AK-47s for access to gold. 

LONDON, United Kingdom, July 5, 2016 –  Armed groups in Shabunda territory, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, received gifts of arms and cash from a Chinese mining company and made up to $25,000 per month extorted from local miners during a recent two-year gold boom. In just one year, up to $17 million of gold produced by Kun Hou Mining, the Chinese-owned company, went missing and was likely smuggled out of Congo into international supply chains, Global Witness reveals today(globalwitness.org/river-of-gold-drc).

At the same time, the Congolese state lost out on tax revenues on up to $38 million of artisanal gold produced per year during the gold rush, due to smuggling and misconduct by provincial authorities. The gold rush focused on the Ulindi River reached its peak in 2014 and 2015 and continues to this day. Evidence gathered by Global Witness also shows a provincial authority colluded with armed groups in illegal taxation of miners while another altered official export documents so gold looked as though it was coming from legally-operating mines.

Global Witness’ investigation reveals the extent of the problems in eastern Congo’s artisanal gold sector. Eastern Congo has seen an uptick in gold production in recent years, the revenues from which could have been used to address the region’s desperate poverty but have instead often funded armed groups and corrupt officials. Most of eastern Congo’s artisanal miners – around 80% – work in the gold sector. Recent international reforms have aimed to stop Congo’s mineral wealth funding armed groups. Global Witness warns today that the Congolese government needs to hold companies and government officials involved in such abuses to account in order for these reforms to work.

Armed groups, known as Raia Mutomboki, received at least two AK-47 assault rifles and $4,000 in cash from Kun Hou Mining, which operates mechanised gold dredging machines along the Ulindi River in Shabunda territory, South Kivu province of eastern Congo. In addition, the armed men taxed artisanal miners operating locally-made dredgers extracting gold along the river. Local authorities also collaborated with the Raia Mutomboki, through a tax sharing deal. The taxes collected by authorities appear to have disappeared, depriving Congo of much needed revenue which could be used for health and education.

“There were over 500 cases of malnutrition reported in Shabunda town in 2014 and yet the significant revenues generated by this gold boom benefitted armed men and predatory companies instead of the Congolese people” said Sophia Pickles, Senior Campaigner at Global Witness. “The Congolese government must enforce its own laws to ensure that companies in its gold sector do not produce or trade gold that has funded armed groups. Any company breaking these laws must be held accountable for their actions. Provincial mining authorities that fail to properly govern the minerals sector must also be held liable.”

Global Witness’ research shows that almost half a million dollars’ worth of Kun Hou’s gold was exported to a Dubai company through official channels. The rest of the company’s estimated $17 million of gold production is likely to have been smuggled out of the country.

There were over 500 cases of malnutrition reported in Shabunda town in 2014

Global Witness has also found evidence that mining officials in the provincial capital, Bukavu, deliberately falsified documentation to obscure links to Shabunda. Officials changed the gold’s origin on official export documents to show instead it came from the handful of legally-operating artisanal mines in South Kivu. This pattern has been repeated with other mines in the province. As a result, it is much more difficult for international buyers to be sure that gold has not funded armed groups.

“Provincial authorities overseeing Shabunda’s boom have, by their actions over the past two years, directly undermined international and the national government’s efforts to reform eastern Congo’s artisanal gold trade,” said Pickles. “States have a responsibility to ensure that companies do no harm, including checking supply chains for links to conflict and human rights abuses – Congo and the United Arab Emirates have dramatically failed in this respect.”

Global Witness’s report River of Gold also shows that:

·         South Kivu’s provincial government and mining authorities continued to support Kun Hou Mining despite repeated legal violations by the firm and repeated requests from Congo’s national government in Kinshasa to shut down its operations.

·         Mining officials in Shabunda town working for SAESSCAM, a governmental body mandated to support artisanal miners, ran an illegal taxation racket in areas where the local dredgers operated, including in collaboration with Raia Mutumboki armed groups.

·         Gold from Shabunda’s boom was sold on to a gold trading house in Bukavu that then sold it to their sister company, Alfa Gold Corp DMCC, in Dubai. Neither firm carried out supply chain due diligence to international standards, which would have revealed that the gold had been obtained in direct contravention of Congolese law and UAE Guidelines. Alfa Gold Corp DMCC has a wholly owned UK subsidiary registered in London’s Hatton Garden jewellery area. Alfa Gold in Dubai and London did not respond to request for comment.

·         Documents show that a French citizen Frank Menard, who worked for Kun Hou Mining, is deeply implicated in the company’s wrongdoing. Raia Mutomboki armed groups wrote to Menard in February 2015 to thank him for the two AK-47 assault rifles and $4,000. Menard also signed an official document confirming the sale of Kun Hou’s gold to Alfa Gold’s Congolese office. Global Witness’ attempts to contact Franck Menard were unsuccessful.

In recent years there have been significant international efforts to tackle the link between violent conflict, human rights abuses and the minerals trade in Congo and elsewhere including international supply chain guidance set out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) five years ago, which has been a legal requirement in Congo since 2012. The US also passed a law and most recently industry supply chain guidelines based on the OECD standard were agreed in China. The Chinese guidelines set a precedent for Chinese companies to recognise and reduce supply chain risks and if adhered to should allow companies sourcing minerals from high-risk areas to do so responsibly.

Kun Hu Mining refused to comment in response to three requests from Global Witness. SAESSCAM have strongly denied that its agents collaborated with armed groups.

Statement by Dr Tarek A. Sharif, Head of the AU Defence and Security Division at the 6th Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapon (07.06.2016)

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 7, 2016 – New York, USA 6-10 June 2016 – Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman, It is an honour for me to speak on behalf of the African Union and wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as the Chair of the 6th Biennial Meeting, and commend you for the manner in which you are steering the meeting. The African Union assures you of its full support.

Mr. Chairman,

The African Union fully aligns itself with the statement made by the African Group and wishes to underscore that Africa is among the regions most affected by the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons.

These weapons have caused unspeakable death and suffering over the decades and remain a serious impediment to peace, security, stability, and development on the continent and globally. This is why the AU is strongly committed to regional and global efforts to eliminate illicit small arms, and we firmly believe that the Programme of Action remains a critical and comprehensive policy framework to achieve this end.

The Member States of the AU have made significant progress in implementing the different components of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument. In this regard, I wish to express the AU’s sincere thanks and appreciation to all the international partners for their continued commitment to support our Member States.

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Mr. Chairman,

The AU recognizes that some challenges to the full and effective implementation of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument still remain. These include limited financial and human resources and also the declining levels of international assistance and the lack of effective assistance coordination at the regional and global levels.

The AU wishes to seize this opportunity to call on all international partners to reboost their assistance in order to preserve the gains that have been made thus far. It is also imperative that the international community re-considers and improves the current funding modalities. While the AU commends the support provided through the UN Disarmament Trust Fund and UNSCAR, these funds do not match the existing and growing needs and gaps.

In this regard, the AU will support regional coordination and synergies in the implementation of the PoA, the ATT, and other regional instruments. The AU is also particularly keen to promote and support sustainable action that is fully owned and led by Member States. It is, therefore, critical that the relation between donors and recipient countries is transformed into a strong partnership that is based on a shared understanding of the priorities and where both parties are committed to institutional and capacity building and long term impact, in accordance with best practices and mutual agreements.

Moise Katumbi DRC 07.05.2016 Army

Mr. Chairman,

The important role of regional and sub-regional organizations in combating illicit small arms cannot be overstated. Over the years, their programmes and initiatives against illicit small arms have led to significant milestones. This makes them key potential partners in global efforts, and their role should be capitalized on in order to close the gaps in implementation as well as coordination.

The AU calls upon international partners to ensure that regional and sub-regional organizations are consulted and involved in project planning and implementation in order to ensure that regional dimensions and border security aspects of illicit proliferation are considered and addressed. Furthermore, the AU encourages a central role for regional and sub-regional organizations in coordinating resource mobilization and assistance.

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Mr. Chairman,

On its part, the AU is ready to provide a regional forum for States, the UN and international partners to discuss modalities to enhance the capacities of Member States to meet their obligations under the POA and ITI as well as on the strengthened role of regional and sub-regional organizations in this regard. In concluding, the AU delegation hopes that this meeting agrees on substantial and results-oriented recommendations to reinforce the Programme of Action.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

A look into how the American and British Companies defied the embargo and UN sanctions against the South African Apartheid Government in the 1970s and 1980s

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This here will be about how American and British interest we’re in the draconian Apartheid regime in South Africa in 1970s and 1980s. I been looking into how businesses at the time went through hoops and not caring about the United Nations Sanctions and resolution 418 of 4th November 1977 states this:

Determines, having regard to the policies and acts of the South African Government, that the acquisition by South Africa of arms and related material constitutes, a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security; Decides that all States shall cease forthwith  any provisions to South Africa of arms and related materiel of all types, including the sale of transfer of weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, para military police equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and shall cease as well the provision of all types of equipment and supplies and grants of licensing arrangements for the manufacture of the aforementioned” (UN, 1977).

So with that in mind, we can see how businesses of United States and Britain started and worked as subsidiaries in South Africa during the Apartheid, where the instances of FORD Motors and Leyland Vehicles we’re produced and used by the Police under the worst atrocities of a regime who used their laws, security agencies to harass the majority; while keeping the minority rulers and their economic incentive intact by any means. So that big business and other ones defied the Sanctions and even collaborated with necessary arms, cars and other procurement for the totalitarian state; shows how far the Corporation goes for profit and serve even governments who has no quarrel with prosecuting innocent citizens. Therefore the history of these corporations and their dealings should come to light and be questioned. As business today does the same under regimes that are totalitarian and militaristic with the favor of elite and harassing the opposition. That is why we can see at the tactics of the 1970s and 1980s and see how they might be used today.

So with that introduction take a look at my findings and hope you find it interesting.

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How to start the discussion:

“Johannesburg Star (South African daily), Nov. 26, 1977, at 15. See also 1978 Hearings, supra note 13, at 846 (statement of John Gaetsewe, General Secretary of the banned South African Congress of Trade Unions) (“The ending of foreign investment in South Africa … is a means of undermining the power of the apartheid regime. Foreign investment is a pillar of the whole system which maintains the virtual slavery of the Black workers in South Africa.”); Christian Sci. Monitor, Feb. 21, 1984, at 25 (statement by Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela)” (Hopkins, 1985).

Some money earned by the SADF at the time:

“According to official SADF accounts, the money that would have been recouped from the sale of ivory would flow back into funding the Unita rebels. However, Breytenbach knew that in the year 1986/1987 alone, the SADF’s assistance to Unita through military intelligence totalled R400 million (ZAR2005=R2,5 billion) and this excluded the supply of almost all Unita’s hardware and fuel. It is therefore unlikely that this was the reason behind the SADF’s interest in ivory smuggling. It is more likely that the potential for self-enrichment that this presented to SADF officers was enormous. General Chris Thirion, Former Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence, agrees and suspects that Savimbi was in fact over-funded at the time” (Van Vuren, 2006).

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How much RSA used on Military Equipment during Apartheid in the 1980s:

“According to evidence presented to the UN Security Council arms embargo committee in 1984, out of its annual total arms procurement budget of some R1.62 billion over R900 million was to be spent on arms purchases from overseas” (…)”This R900 million is spent on the procurement of arms directly by the regime from overseas and via the private sector. No official figures are published about how much is actually spent on direct imports of armaments. However, it can be estimated from figures contained in an in-depth survey by the Johannesburg Sunday Times in July 1982 that imports from overseas were 15 per cent of defence spending which then stood at R3,320 million per annum” (AAM, 1985).

How that happen:

“Those breaches of the arms embargo which have been exposed have also revealed the myth of South Africa’s self-sufficiency. Equipment smuggled into South Africa include weapons such as machine guns, rifles and pistols as well as spares and components for them. In a trial at the Old Bailey, London, in October 1982, the Court was informed that South African efforts to produce components for pre-war machine guns had not been successful. This points to the serious deficiencies in the quality and reliability of even minor items manufactured in South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Export of R.J. Electronics International:

“Britain’s refusal to strictly implement the UN arms embargo and its continuing military collaboration in various fields are not totally surprising since much of this arises out of its traditional relationship with South Africa” (…)”They failed to re-appear in Court on 22 October 1984 and the following weekend gave a press conference. At it, Colonel Botha disclosed that they had operated as undercover agents for five years and “had saved the country at least R5 million on purchases of vital equipment”. Metelerkamp claimed he was only a consultant to Kentron and was the Managing Director of R J Electronics International. However, it emerged that he had been employed by Kentron up to a month prior to his arrest, and R J Electronics International was “a company used to purchase illicit arms” (AAM, 1985).

Other Examples:

“One cargo of FN rifles was initially exported by air to Red Baron Ltd at an address in Zurich before being forwarded to South Africa. This company, however, was not Swiss, but registered in England. Its directors were Mr Trinkler and two others who had also been directors of Kuehne and Nagel in Britain” (…)”The most controversial case was that of the British Aerospace naval reconaissance aircraft, the Coastguarder. In Hay 1984 it was disclosed that British Aerospace had been approached by the South African Government and that initial discussions had taken place concerning the purchase of eight aircraft. These were to replace the Shackleton aircraft which were having to be phased out. The South African authorities had sought to evade the arms embargo by forming a Coastguard service as a civilian authority through which the order for the aircraft would be placed. Repeated efforts to secure from the Government an undertaking that the Coastguarder would not be granted licence for export to South Africa met with the response that “it would not be proper for me to offer a definitive view now on the hypothetical question on the issue of a licence for the export of an aircraft such as the Coastguarder to South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Shell Corporation working with the Regime:

The South Africans agreed and supplied a cash advance that allowed the traders to purchase a tanker, shipping company and the required insurance. The tanker docked in Kuwait and filled its tanks with oil owned by Shell. The oil was registered for delivery in France. However, en route to Europe from the Gulf the tanker stopped in Durban and off-loaded almost all of its oil crude oil—almost 180,000 tonnes—with the South Africans paying the difference between the purchase price and the fees it had advanced for the purchase of the tanker. The Salem was then filled up with water in order to create the impression that it was still laden with oil. Off the coast of West Africa (Senegal), at one of the deepest points of the Atlantic, the ship was scuttled and the crew, who were prepared for the evacuation, were conveniently ‘rescued’. They had hoped to make an extra $24 million off the insurance claim for the lost oil. Following investigations by the insurance company the main perpetrators were prosecuted. The biggest loser next to Shell was South Africa, asit agreed to pay the Dutch multinational US$30 million (ZAR2005=R436 million) in an out-of-court settlement. Shell was left to carry a remaining loss of US$20 million. The use of corrupt middlemen had cost South Africa almost half a billion rand. There was no prosecution in South Africa of the officials at the SFF who had authorised South Africa’s procurement of a full tanker of oil from three novice (criminal) entrepreneurs” (Van Vuren, 2006).

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British Subsidiaries in South Africa:

“Many of these subsidiaries are British. They include Leyland (Landrovers and Trucks); ICI (through its 40 per cent holding in AECI) (Ammunition and Explosives); Trafalgar House (through Cementation Engineering) (artillery shells); ICL (Computers); GEC including Marconis (Military Communications Equipment); Lontho (aircraft franchises); Plessey (Military Communications Equipment); BP and Shell (oil and other petroleum products for the military and police)” (…)”An impression of the full extent of the role of British subsidiaries in South Africa in undermining the arms embargo can be obtained from studying Appendix C. This is a list of British companies with subsidiaries in South Africa which are also known to be engaged in the manufacture of military and related equipment” (AAM, 1985).

British Mercenaries:

“British mercenaries, some recruited. originally for the forces of the illegal Smith regime, are serving in a number of South African Defence Force units, including the infamous “32 Battallion” operating out of Namibia into Angola. A British mercenary was killed in the South African commando raid on the residence of South African refugees in Maputo, Mozambique, in January 1981” (AAM, 1985).

“British Government policy so far has been to grant permission for Officers to serve in the South African Defence Forces.” (…)”This was explained by Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine, in a letter to the Rt Hon Denis Healey:

“An Officer is required to resign his commission before joining the forces of a country that does not owe allegiance to the Crown, and if he did not do so then the commission would be removed. As you will appreciate, this is the only power that we can exercise over an officer who has already retired from the Services. Guidance is given to officers about these procedures before they retire, but no specific recommendations are made about which countries’ Armed Forces an officer should join; nor do I believe that it would be right to do so.” (AAM, 1985).

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American Businesses under Apartheid:

Approximately 350 of the most prominent companies in the United States, including more than half of the Fortune 500’s top one hundred firms, operate subsidiaries in South Africa [18]. Another 6000 do business there through sales agents and distributers [19]. The United States holds fifty-seven percent of all foreign holdings on the Johannesburg stock exchange, including gold mines, mining houses, platinum mines, and diamonds [20]. The State Department estimated that U.S. direct investment amounted to $2.3 billion in 1983, down from the $2.8 billion calculated by the South African Institute of Race Relations for 1982 [21]. Other estimates put overall American investment, including loans and gold stocks, at $14 billion [22]” (…)”rcent [25]. U.S. exports to South Africa, however, grew from approximately R1.2 billion in 1979 to R2.7 billion in 1981 [26]. As a result, the United States emerged as the Republic’s largest trading partner [27]. Apart from its quantitative impact, U.S. business investment has a qualitative impact disproportionate to its financial value” (…)”John Purcell of Goodyear concurred, asserting that economic pressures will not encourage nonviolent social change in South Africa; rather, this will be brought about by “economic growth, expanded contact with the outside, and time” ((Hopkins, 1985)

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Ford sold cars to the Apartheid regime:

“Ford Directed and Controlled its South African Policies from the United States, Exported Equipment from the United States, and Acted to Circumvent the United States Sanctions Regime: (New York Southern Cout Case, P: 65, 2014)

“Thus, despite the tightening of U.S. trade sanctions in February 1978, Ford U.S. still announced a “large infusion[] of capital into its South African subsidiary. Ford injected $8 million for upkeep and retooling” (New York Southern Court Case, P: 67, 2014).

“Ford support was significant: “[B]etween 1973 and 1977 [Ford] sold 128 cars and 683 trucks directly to the South African Ministry of Defense and 646 cars and 1,473 trucks to the South African police. Ford sold at least 1,582 F series U.S.-origin trucks to the police” (…)”Despite the prohibitions, Ford continued to supply vehicles to the South African security forces with the purpose of facilitating apartheid crimes. Ford denied that its continued sales to the South African security forces ran counter to the U.S. prohibitions, on the basis that the vehicles did not contain parts or technical data of U.S. origin” (…)”Notably, into the 1980s, Ford sold vehicles that did not need to be “converted” by the apartheid government for military or police use but were already specialized before leaving the plant in South Africa” (…)”Ford built a limited number of XR6 model Cortinas known as “interceptors” that were sold almost exclusively to the police. The XR6 was special because it had three Weber model double carburetors, as opposed to all other Cortinas that had only one double carburetor” (…)”Ford knew that the normal market for these vehicles was the security forces. The vehicles were deliberately pre-equipped with armor and military fixtures and designed for easy modification by the security forces to add additional defensive and offensive features” (…)”By making profits which they knew could only come from their encouragement of the security forces’ illicit operations through the sale of vehicles, parts, designs, and services, Ford acquired a stake in the criminal enterprise that was the apartheid regime” (New York Southern Case, P: 71-77, 2014).

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Leyland under Apartheid:

“The British government now virtually owns British Leyland and therefore controls the company’s operations in South Africa. Yet it has done little in practice to press for the rights of black workers to organize through trade unions, or for the recognition of the unions for collective bargaining purposes” (…)”The South African “branch” is Leyland’s biggest operation in the world outside of the U.K. At present it is the 8th largest car manufacturer (holding approximately 5% of the market) and the 7th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer (holding approximately 5,5% of the market) in South Africa. Despite the depressed condition of the South African Market it sold 1959 vehicles in January-February of 1977 alone” (…)”B.L.S.A. has massive contracts with the South African state. It is one of the chief suppliers of the South African Defense Force, providing not only trucks and landrovers (which form the backbone of anti-guerrilla operations) but also armored personnel carriers. Of course, the figures for these contracts are never made public” (…)”For example, in June 1976 it was announced that B.L.S.A. had won a £1.9millon order for 250 trucks from the Cape Provincial Authority” (…)”As Leyland itself have argued , It “must conform, it not entirely” to South African government and established wishes” (Coventry Anti-Apartheid, 1977).

This here is not easy to finish up as the implications of this deals and arrangement used to support a government that oppressed and detained the majority. This Apartheid government did it all openly and with a clear message that the white minority should rule, while the rest should serve them.

In that context these businesses earned good amount of cash and profits for their stakeholders and their shareholders. While their products and procured services by the state we’re used to oppress majority of people in South Africa. We can surely see the amount of money and how this have affected the society and given way for the government of the time to continue with the process of detaining and harassing the majority of South Africans. This could not have happen if there wasn’t a helping hand from businesses and their subsidiaries. This here is just a brief look into it.

Certainly this should be studied even more and become clear evidence of how heartbreaking it is to know how certain businesses and people owning them will profit on suffering of fellow human beings. That is why I myself shed a light on it, to show the extent of disobedience of the UN Resolution and also what these corporations does in regimes that harassing and oppressing fellow citizens for their background, creed, tribe etc. It’s just ghastly and makes my tummy vomit. But that is just me, hope you got some indication of how they did their business and served the Apartheid government. Peace.

Reference:

Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘How Britian Arms Apartheid – A memorandum for presentation to her Majesty’s Government’ (1985)

Coventry Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘Leyland in Britain and in South Africa’ (1977)

Hopkins, Sheila M. – ‘AN ANALYSIS OF U.S.-SOUTH AFRICAN RELATIONS IN THE 1980s: HAS ENGAGEMENT BEEN CONSTRUCTIVE?’ (1985) – Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law 7 (1985) 89-115, North Holland

United States, New York Southern Court: Case 1:02-md-01499-SAS Document 280-1 Filed 08/08/14

Van Vuren, Hennie – ‘Apartheid grand corruption – Assessing the scale of crimes of profit from 1976 to 1994’ (2006)

International reactions to the assassaination plot and killings in Burundi

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If this is not interesting and see how the government and multi-national organizations reacts to the continuations of violence from the Government towards its opponents. The staggering fleeing of people to neighbor countries and the escalations of killings should be put on the map and be addressed.

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THE AFRICAN UNION REITERATES ITS CONCERN ABOUT

THE SITUATION IN BURUNDI

Addis Ababa, 4 November 2015: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, reiterates the AU’s deep concern about the situation obtaining in Burundi. She notes the continuation of acts of violence and the increase of statements that are likely to further aggravate the current situation and create conditions for more instability, with devastating consequences for Burundi and the whole region. She expresses the AU’s strong condemnation of all acts of violence and violations of human rights, as well as of all statements that can inflame the situation.

Against this background, the Chairperson of the Commission reminds all concerned Burundian stakeholders that the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 551st meeting, held on 17 October 2015, decided, in support of the efforts aimed at finding an early and consensual solution to the crisis facing Burundi, to impose targeted sanctions against all Burundian actors whose action and statements contribute to the persistence of violence and impede the search for a solution. The Chairperson of the Commission stresses, once again, that only an inclusive dialogue, bringing together all Burundian stakeholders, will enable Burundi to overcome the serious prevailing challenges and prevent the situation from totally undermining the gains made since the signing of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. She urges the Burundian authorities and other concerned actors to demonstrate the sense of responsibility that the situation demands and to place the interests of the Burundian people above any other consideration.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s support to the mediation efforts led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, on behalf of the East African Community (EAC), and urges the Government of Burundi and all the other concerned stakeholders to lend him their full cooperation.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights statement:

“I unreservedly condemn the killing of the son of one of Burundi’s most prominent human rights defenders, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, in Bujumbura earlier today. This is second member of Mbonimpa’s family to have been killed in recent weeks. Welly Nzitonda was reportedly arrested by police this morning around 11 a.m. His body was found this afternoon in the neighbourhood of Mutakura. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa himself narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in August 2015 and is still undergoing treatment abroad. One of his sons-in-law was also killed on 9 October” (OHCHR, 2015).

“Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello will travel to Burundi November 8-11 to express urgent concerns over the political and security crisis there. He will communicate the U.S. government’s alarm at violence by government and non-government actors inside of Burundi, and the recent dangerous rhetoric by the Burundian government surrounding the expiration of President Nkurunziza’s five-day ultimatum to turn over all illegal arms. He will also call for all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to follow through on commitments to dialogue” (…)”The Envoy also intends to visit Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia between November 11 and 18, to consult with regional leaders on restoring stability to Burundi and emphasize the United States’ belief that a comprehensive, inclusive dialogue, as laid out in the AU’s October 17 communique, is the best means of doing so” (US GOV, 2015).

Belgium Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynards Statement 6th November:

“Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is shocked by the murder of Welly Fleury Nzitonda, son of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, the human rights activist who took refuge in Belgium. This murder follows that of his son-in-law, Pascal Nshimirimana. Tens of anonymous victims already died because of the instability in recent months. The Minister expresses his sympathy to the family of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa and to the people of Burundi.  The death of Mr. Nzitonda illustrates once again that incitement to hatred and violence can have tragic consequences. The Minister noted with deep concern the public statements in this regard. These brought to memory the darkest pages in the history of Burundi. The Minister calls on all parties, both from government and opposition, to exercise utmost restraint in declarations and to avoid new violence at all costs”.

Hey! What do you think about it? Peace!

Reference:

OHCHR – ‘Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Burundi killing (06.11.2015) link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Media.aspx#sthash.bqxnw4Hf.dpuf

 

US GOV – ‘Special Envoy Thomas Perriello’s Travel to Burundi and the Great Lakes Region’ (06.11.2015) link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/11/249291.htm

Press Release: Court dismisses Case against Uganda and SG on the alleged Failure to Investigate Business related to Trafficking of Military Goods (05.11.2015)

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East African Court of Justice Arusha, 5 November 2015: The First Instance Division dismissed a case filed by a Ugandan national, Oscar Okaly Opuli, against the Secretary General of the East African Community (1st Respondent) and the Republic of Uganda (2nd Respondent) alleging that the government of Uganda’s failure to investigate David Greenhugh and business related to trafficking of military goods from Ukrain to Sudan through Uganda, a conduct which is contrary to the United Kingdom’s Export Control Order Act 2008 and the East African Community Laws is an infringement of the Treaty. The Applicant also alleges that the Secretary General’s inaction constitutes an infringement of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.

In February 2015, the Court directed the Applicant to file evidence of a witness by way of affidavit and his submissions with the Court by 8th May 2015. To date none of the orders have been complied with and the Court has gone ahead and dismissed the matter.

The Court in its ruling stated that, they agree with the Counsel for the Respondents that no sufficient reasons had been advanced by the Counsel for the Applicant for his failure to take steps ordered by the Court on 23rd Feb 2015 after the Scheduling Conference. The Principal Judge Hon. Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi further said that in absence of sufficient reasons such failure amounts to abuse of Court process. The Court therefore exercised its discretion under Rule 1 (2) and 66 (3) of the Court’s Rules of procedure and dismissed the case.

Before the Court ruled, the Lawyer for the Applicant submitted that the Applicant lost contact with the witness leading the to delay in filing of the Submission as the Court had ordered in February 2015 and was requesting the Court for more time of 30 days to file the same.

Mr. Agaba representing the Secretary General also submitted opposing the prayer for the Applicant and said that Applicant has consistently shown lack of interest in the matter since the time the Court directed him to file his submission up to today. That this was evidenced by his failure to communicate to Court what the challenge was. He further said that if he had failed to submit the requirements in eight months then he might not do the same in the one month being requested for. Mr Agaba asked Court to strike out the case because the Applicants have failed to fulfill their obligations and that is the abuse of the Court’s process.

The 2nd Respondent (Attorney General of Uganda) represented by Ms. Margaret Nabakooza also associated herself with the submissions of Counsel for the Secretary General and asked Court to dismiss the case.

The matters came before a bench of the Judges of the First Instance Division composed of Honourable  Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi (Principal Judge), Justice Dr. Faustin Ntezilyayo, and Justice Fakihi A . Jundu.

Notes for editors
Rule 1 (2) of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure 2013 states that; nothing in these Rules shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent power of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court.

Rule 66 (3) of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure 2013 provides that; Where any party to whom time has been granted fails to produce evidence or to cause the attendance of its witness, or to perform any other act necessary to the further progress of the case, the Court may, notwithstanding such failure, proceed to determine the dispute or reference forthwith.

About the EACJ

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

ENDS-
For more information please contact:

Ms. Geraldine Umugwaneza, Ag. Registrar
Email: umugwaneza@eachq.org

Mr. Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department;
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department;
EAC Secretariat
Tel: +255 784 835021; Email: othieno@eachq.org

East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania

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Press Release: Burundi: Police Barricade Parts of the Capital (13.08.2015)

In response to police in Bujumbura, Burundi barricading the neighborhood of Jabe to search residents’ homes and collect weapons, Freedom House issues the following statement:

“This is clearly an attempt by Burundian authorities to stifle peaceful freedom of movement and assembly in Bujumbura,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “Burundian authorities should not use the latest uptick in unrest to justify further repression of the rights of citizens,  as it exacerbates political polarization in the country.”

Background:
Since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to defy term limits in April, Burundi has spiraled into near chaos. Over 180,000 persons have fled the country, and more than 100 others have been killed. On August 2, General Adolphe Nshimirimana, seen as President Pierre Nkurunziza’s number two man, was assassinated. On August 3, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, prominent human rights activist, was assaulted. Police raids in Jabe and other neighborhoods in the capital are viewed as attempts to suppress opposition to Nkurunziza seeking a third term.

Burundi is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.