Congo Watch: December 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

DR Congo/Rwanda: FDLR in nuclear materials deals - FDLR rebels keeping unsold Uranium –says UN

ACCORDING to the below copied reports, a United Nations Investigative Report in the DR of Congo has unearthed information that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels possess large portions of deadly Uranium, which they have since failed to sell.

The report, released by UN investigators, this week, indicates that the FDLR rebels, mainly Ex-FAR genocidal forces, are stuck with hundreds of kilograms of Uranium, a mineral used to make nuclear weapons.

UN experts revealed that the FDLR rebels discovered a deposit of precious minerals, which included six 70-kg canisters of uranium in Walikale territory of eastern DRC, after a tip-off by local chiefs.

Full story below.

Rwanda: FDLR in Nuclear Material Deals
Source: The New Times - www.newtimes.co.rw
Author: Edmund Kagire
Date: Thursday, 02 December 2010
Reprinted at allafrica.com
(Kigali) — A United Nations Investigative Report in the DRC has unearthed information that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels possess large portions of the deadly Uranium, which they have since failed to sell.

The report, released by UN investigators, this week, indicates that the FDLR rebels, mainly Ex-FAR genocidal forces, are stuck with hundreds of kilograms of Uranium, a mineral used to make nuclear weapons, which they have failed to sell for the last 2 years.

According to the report, the rebels have been trying to sell the deadly mineral on the black market.

UN experts revealed that the FDLR rebels discovered a deposit of precious minerals, which included six 70-kg canisters of uranium in Walikale territory of eastern DRC, after a tip-off by local chiefs.

The minerals were found in 2008 in a hidden underground vault.

The UN investigators say Sylvestre Mudacumura, the FDLR High Commander General tried to sell the Uranium through "his long-time business associate, Evariste Shamamba, of Établissement Namukaya".

"Établissement Namukaya subsequently held the canister for over a year without finding a buyer, and it was eventually returned to a pastor living in Kalehe," reads the report released Monday to the UN Security Council.

The investigators describe the material as "un-enriched uranium" - meaning it cannot be used to make nuclear bombs in its current form. The amount would not be enough to create even a small amount of fissile material, said the UN team.

Since the FDLR - through their contacts could not find a buyer for more than a year, they gave up, suggesting they are still in possession of some of the mineral.

The report also noted that joint Rwanda-DR Congo military operations have pushed the rebels out of the known mines, but the rebels have moved into mines in far rural areas.

The UN experts said they had given Interpol details of the attempted trade as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been monitoring illicit traffic from DRCs Katanga Province, where there are Uranium deposits.
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FDLR rebels keeping unsold Uranium –says UN
Source: Rwanda News Agency (RNA) - rnanews.com
Author: RNA Reporters
Date: Tuesday, 30 November 2010; 11:19. Copy in full:


Text message from Établissement Namukaya agent wishing to sell alleged uranium on behalf of the FDLR rebels. This same company also sells minerals for Congolese soldiers - using Kigali, Bujumbura and Kampala as the transit routes (Courtesy photo)

Kigali: Rwandan FDLR rebels are keeping hundreds of kilograms of Uranium – a mineral used to make atomic weapons, for which they have failed to get a buyer for two years now, according to UN investigators.

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Wikileaks desnuda la política exterior de EEUU: revelan esfuerzos ...


El Diario CoLatino - 2 days ago
Se trata de un material que aporta novedades relevantes sobre el manejo de asuntos de gran repercusión mundial, como el programa nuclear de Irán, ...

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Click on FDLR label here below to view previous reports.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

UN sanctions 4 FDLR leaders in DR Congo - Congo Siasa blog is back - New UN Group of Experts Report is out

Press Release from the Permanent Missions to the UN of France, the UK, and the US on the Designation for Sanctions of Four Additional Individuals in the DRC
Source: United States Mission to the United Nations - usun.state.gov
New York, NY
Wednesday, 01 December 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Permanent Missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States submitted to the Security Council’s Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three FDLR leaders and one individual responsible for targeting children in situations of armed conflict, to be added to the list of individuals and entities subject to a worldwide travel ban and asset freeze.

These four individuals are: Gaston IYAMUREMYE, Félicien NSANZUBUKIRE, Innocent ZIMURINDA and Leodomir MUGARAGU.
Members of the Committee agreed on 1 December 2010 that these four individuals be placed on the Committee’s list of designees for DRC sanctions.

These designations demonstrate the international community’s continued determination to fight against those who oppose the disarmament of rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and those responsible for the recruitment of children and serious human rights abuses.

The UN sanctions regime for DRC was renewed for a further 12 months on 29 November 2010 through the adoption of UNSCR 1952. As part of their work the Group of Experts have developed a clear set of due diligence guidelines for the minerals supply chain in eastern DRC. These guidelines, which the Security Council supported taking forward in SCR 1952, will help avoid financing further conflict in eastern DRC.

The Permanent Missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States will continue to work with members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Sanctions Committee to identify the individuals and entities that meet the criteria in Resolution 1857 (2008).

Background
The UN Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo is responsible for monitoring UN Member State implementation of the sanctions in place in the DRC. The Committee comprises all 15 members of the Security Council, and was authorized by Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1596 (2005) to list individuals and entities for an assets freeze and travel ban. The Committee decided on 1 December 2010 to list the four individuals named below, whose actions have undermined stability in the DRC. Their designation follows a request to the Committee from the Governments of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Those now under UNSC sanctions as a result of the Committee’s action today include:

1. Gaston IYAMUREMYE, born in 1948 in Musanze District (Northern Province), Rwanda. According to multiple sources, including the UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts, Gaston Iyamuremye is considered a core member of the FDLR military and political leadership and has become the group’s president. Gaston Iyamuremye also ran Ignace Murwanashyaka’s (previous President of the FDLR) office in Kibua, DRC until December 2009.

2. Félicien NSANZUBUKIRE, born in 1967 in Murama, Kinyinya, Rubungo, Kigali, Rwanda. Félicien Nsanzubukire has been a member of the FDLR since at least 1994 and operating in eastern DRC since October 1998. The UNSC DRC Sanction Committee’s Group of Experts reports that Félicien Nsanzubukire supervised and coordinated the trafficking of ammunition and weapons between at least November 2008 and April 2009 from the United Republic of Tanzania, via Lake Tanganyika, to FDLR units based in the Uvira and Fizi areas of South Kivu.

3. Innocent ZIMURINDA, born in 1975 or on September 1, 1972 , in Ngungu, Masisi Territory, North Kivu Province, DRC. Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was an officer in the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) which was integrated into the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) in early 2009.

According to multiple sources, Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda, in his capacity as one of the commanders of the FARDC 231st Brigade, gave orders that resulted in the massacre of over 100 Rwandan refugees, mostly women and children, during an April 2009 military operation in the Shalio area.

The UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts reported that Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was witnessed first hand refusing to release three children from his command in Kalehe, on August 29, 2009.

According to multiple sources, Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda, prior to the CNDP’s integration into FARDC, participated in a November 2008 CNDP operation that resulted in the massacre of 89 civilians, including women and children, in the region of Kiwanja.

In March 2010, 51 human rights groups working in eastern DRC posted a complaint online alleging that Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was responsible for multiple human rights abuses involving the murder of numerous civilians, including women and children, between February 2007 and August 2007. Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda has also been accused in the same complaint to be responsible for the rape of a large number of women and girls.

According to a May 21, 2010, statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Innocent Zimurinda has been involved in the arbitrary execution of child soldiers, including during operation Kimia II. According to the same statement, he denied access by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to screen troops for minors. According to the UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts, Lt Col Zimurinda holds direct and command responsibility for child recruitment and for maintaining children within troops under his command.

4. Leodomir MUGARAGU, born in 1954 or 1953, in Kigali, Rwanda or Rushashi (Northern Province), Rwanda. According to open-source and official reporting, Leodomir Mugaragu is the Chief of Staff of the Forces Combattantes Abucunguzi/Combatant Force for the Liberation of Rwanda (FOCA), the FDLR’s armed wing. According to official reporting, Mugaragu is a senior planner for FDLR’s military operations in the eastern DRC.

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PRN: 2010/303
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CONGO SIASA BLOG IS BACK!

New UN Group of Experts Report is Out
Source: Congo Siasa - congosiasa.blogspot.com
Date: Wednesday, 01 December 2010
Excerpt:
Congo Siasa is back, just in time for the new UN Group of Experts' report. It's a great report, chock full of useful information on the situation in the Kivus, and I'll have an exclusive interview with members of the Group here in a few days. For now, some of the highlights of the 190 page document: ...
Read more at congosiasa.blogspot.com authored by Jason Stearns. Here is a copy of Jason's Blogger profile:
I have been working on the conflict in the DR Congo for the past nine years, most recently as the Coordinator of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Congo (2008). I have also worked for Heritiers de la Justice, a local human rights NGO (2001), the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC (2002-2004) and the International Crisis Group (2004-2007). A book I wrote on the conflict, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, is due to be published soon. I am currently getting my PhD at Yale University.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Chad army routs CPJP rebels in CAR border garrison town Birao - European Union pledges 50 billion euros to Africa's development

CHAD'S military repelled rebels from a key border town in northern Central African Republic this week, days after the rebel fighters seized it, officials in both countries said today, Wednesday 01 December.

The African Union said the flare-up in fighting around the town of Birao in recent days had killed several civilians and threatened to complicate preparations for much-delayed elections in CAR, now due in January.

"We affirm that the Chadian army has exercised its right of pursuit by destroying the remaining mercenaries... in the town of Birao," Chad's Army Chief of Staff, General Djionadji, told a news conference late on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the CPJP rebel group said Chadian helicopters and tanks crossed the border from Chad to bombard the town and that rebel fighters retreated on Tuesday.

"We simply evacuated the town because the civilian population, including women and children, were in the process of being killed," CPJP spokesman and commander Issene Abdoulaye told Reuters by telephone.

Full story below.

Chad army routs rebels in Central African Republic
Source: (AP) / Press Trust of India - www.ptinews.com
Date: Wednesday, 01 December 2010 by Staff Writer 17:40 HRS IST
N'Djamena (Chad), Dec 1 (AP) - Chad's army says it has entered the northwest part of neighbouring Central African Republic and pushed out a group of rebels that had attempted to take a town there.

The army chief said late yesterday that soldiers crossed the border to the town of Birao which was occupied by rebels from the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace movement. The army says no children or women were killed in the short operation, but did not give details on combatant deaths.

The rebels had entered the town last week.

Chad and the Central African Republic are both impoverished central African nations grappling with the spillover from violence in Sudan's Darfur province.
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Chad army repels rebels in CAR border town
Source: Reuters Africa - af.reuters.com
Date: Wednesday, 01 December 2010 3:52pm GMT
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's military repelled rebels from a key border town in northern Central African Republic this week, days after the rebel fighters seized it, officials in both countries said on Wednesday.

The African Union said the flare-up in fighting around the town of Birao in recent days had killed several civilians and threatened to complicate preparations for much-delayed elections in CAR, now due in January.

"We affirm that the Chadian army has exercised its right of pursuit by destroying the remaining mercenaries... in the town of Birao," Chad's Army Chief of Staff, General Djionadji, told a news conference late on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the CPJP rebel group said Chadian helicopters and tanks crossed the border from Chad to bombard the town and that rebel fighters retreated on Tuesday.

"We simply evacuated the town because the civilian population, including women and children, were in the process of being killed," CPJP spokesman and commander Issene Abdoulaye told Reuters by telephone.

Djionadji denied women and children were killed in the raid. No details of casualties were available.

The CPJP rebels, who unlike other rebel groups in CAR have not signed peace accords with President Francois Bozize, seized Birao last week and said they were targeting the capital Bangui far to the south.

A Chad-based U.N. peacekeeping force had handed control of Birao over to state authorities on November 15 as its mission to protect civilians in the two countries comes to an end.

AU President Jean Ping condemned the fighting and called on politicians to work to ensure presidential and legislative elections due in January are not derailed.

Rebel clashes and problems over funding in the former French colony have delayed elections three times already, leaving Bozize in power beyond his initial mandate which ended in June.

Central African Republic is rich in minerals but has been caught up in the conflicts of neighbouring Chad, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Further Reading

Chad army routs rebels in Central African Republic
Washington Post - Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Central African Republic: Security remains fragile ahead of UN troop withdrawal and presidential election
Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre; Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at ReliefWeb

"Bemba's soldiers raped and killed in the Central African Republic"
Radio Netherlands - ‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Bokassa rehabilitated by Central African Republic
BBC News - Wed, 01 Dec 2010

UN - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
www.un.org - Tues, 30 Nov 2010 / Reprinted at ISRIA. Excerpt:
Question: And also, in Central African Republic, I want… it seems that maybe the Government has taken back control of… but there is this garrison town of Birao that MINURCAT [United Nations Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic] used to somehow have a presence in, that they handed back to the Government on 15 November, it was reported to be overrun by rebels. What’s going to be… One, is there any kind of update, whether from OCHA or otherwise, on what’s the status of that town? And what’s going to be the UN’s ongoing role, if any, in that part of CAR which seems to be -- the civilians are being displaced and rebels are taking and untaking towns?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson: Well, on that, the only thing I’d have to share with you is to reiterate the points made by the Secretary-General in his recent statement, in which he condemned the recent attack on the town of Birao by rebels of the “Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix” (CPJP). And he calls on all concerned to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the safety of civilians, as efforts are being made by the national authorities to restore normalcy, and ensure peace and reconciliation among all the parties concerned.
Africa: European Union Pledges 50 Billion Euros to Africa's Development
Liberia Government (Monrovia) - Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at AllAfrica.com

Africa/EU Reinforce Partnership‎
Cameroon Tribune by Richard Kwang Kometa
Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at AllAfrica.com

Tripoli Declaration: economic ties revived‎
Radio Netherlands by Ruben Koops - Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Tripoli Declaration / 3rd Africa EU Summit
European Council - Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted by APO. Excerpt:
On Sudan, we emphasise the urgency and importance of ensuring that all elements of the CPA, including those concerning Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, are implemented in a timely, peaceful and credible manner, in particular the referendum on South Sudan whose results should be accepted by all.

Furthermore, we encourage all parties to progress with the post referendum issues. In this context, we welcome the leadership of the AU in close cooperation with the UN as well as the support provided by the AUHIP led by President Mbeki, and by IGAD. We welcome in particular the progress made and agreements reached on the framework regarding outstanding CPA issues. Our cooperation will continue to build on our common values and goals in pursuit of good governance, democracy and the rule of law. We firmly condemn all unconstitutional changes of governments which, alongside bad governance, are one of the main causes of instability.
Saudi Arabia - Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Sends Cable of Congratulations to President of Central African Republic
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at ISRIA

Sudan boycotts Africa-EU summit
Sapa-AFP - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at Mmegi

International war crimes court urges Central African Republic to arrest Sudan's al-Bashir
AP - Wed, 01 Dec 2010, 8:09 am ET /Reprinted at www.canadaeast.com

ICC asks Central African Republic to arrest Bashir on visit
DPA - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 8:22 am ET /Reprinted at EARTHtimes.org

Central African Republic must arrest Omar al-Bashir during visit
Amnesty International - Wed Dec 1, 7:48 am ET

Sudan's Bashir cancels CAR trip amid ICC pressure - Summary
DPA - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at EARTHtimes.org

African Union backs Sudan's Bashir
Mail & Guardian - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Key political risks to watch in Congo-FACTBOX
Reuters by Katrina Manson- ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted by Forexyard

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