Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leak: UN expert report

The UN Group of Experts report was leaked to the press today. The experts have spent the past 9 months investigating how various rebel groups in the Congo get financial and military support. Some of their main conclusions:

1. The operations against the FDLR have failed to dismantle the organization’s political and military structures on the ground in eastern DRC. The increasing rate of FDLR combatant defections and the FDLR temporary removal from many of its bases are only a partial success considering that the armed group has regrouped in a number of locations in the Kivus, and continues to recruit new fighters.

2. The report goes a long way in showing how rebel groups in the eastern Congo take advantage of the lack of transparency and accountability in the minerals trade to make millions of dollars from gold, tin, timber and coltan. They carry out this racketeering in complicity with regional governments, as well as local and international businessmen. Some of the figures they cite are:
  • General Adolphe Nshimirimana, the head of intelligence in Burundi
  • Mutoka Ruganyira, one of the most important gold dealers in Burundi
  • Muyeye Byaboshi, one of the biggest mineral dealers in Bukavu
  • Rajendra Vaya and J.V. Lodhia, who headed two Ugandan gold trading companies called UCI and Machanga
  • Colonel Baudouin Nakabaka, the deputy head of the South Kivu military region
  • Two Spanish charities - the Fundació S'Olivar and Inshuti which are funded by the government of the Islas Baleares Province and linked to the Roman Catholic church (not for minerals trade but for financial support to the FDLR)
3. The report shows that the integration of the CNDP, which has been widely hailed as a success, has been extremely limited. CNDP officers maintain parallel command networks within the Congolese army, which have been responsible for a rash of abuses this year. Also, these units have been put in control of some of the most lucrative mining areas in the Kivus, including the Bisie mine (in Walikale territory, biggest tin mine in the Kivus) and mines in Kalehe territory. These commanders, in turn, help supply businessmen in Kigali and abroad with tin. In other words, instead of uniting rebel groups under one command, the integration process has merely displaced the patronage networks and created new factions within the Congolese army.

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