BRIEFING

IPIS Briefing December 2021 – January 2022: Grievances, Governance and Gold in the eastern DRC

The IPIS briefing offers a selection of articles, news and updates on natural resources, armed conflict, Business & Human Rights and arms trade.  Every month, an editorial and related publications shed a light on a specific topic in IPIS’ areas of research.

In focus: Grievances, Governance and Gold in the eastern DRC.

In the news: DRC: 51 people sentenced to death over 2017 murder of two UN experts; Customs exemptions in the DRC : Who gains what the Treasury loses?; Congo Hold-Up: on the trail of Joseph Kabila’s mystery company.

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This briefing is produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of IPIS and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.


IN FOCUS: GRIEVANCES, GOVERNANCE AND GOLD IN THE EASTERN DRC

By Brian Sabbe

On 25 November 2021 CODECO rebels attacked a mining camp in Djugu, Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The spokesman for the army in Ituri confirmed that two Chinese nationals were killed, and an unknown number of people were abducted. This attack came just three days after armed men kidnapped five Chinese miners and shot a police officer, in Mukera village in Fizi territory, South Kivu province. Looking at the recent history, these two incidents do not seem to be random. Local communities’ frustrations over foreign enterprises mining activities have been growing over the past years. The Chinese government already responded by advising its citizens to leave the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu and more specifically the districts of Bunia, Djugu, Beni, Rutshuru, Fizi, Uvira and Mwenga. Even warning those that do not seek safer havens: “will have to bear the consequences themselves”.  

Infrastructure-for-minerals deal : “the deal of the century”.  

The Chinese presence in the Congolese mining sector can be traced back to the infrastructure-for-minerals deal of 2008. In this deal, former Congolese president Joseph Kabila agreed with the Chinese government that it would build infrastructure in DRC for an estimated 6 billion dollars e.g. hospitals, schools, roads … In exchange, the Chinese would receive mining concessions worth 50 billion dollars spread over a period of 25 years.  

However, many of these promises have not, or only partially, been fulfilled. According to the Agence Congolaise des Grands Travaux (ACGT), only 356km of paved roads have been built, instead of the promised 3500km. Many buildings are still under construction, and only an estimated $900million has already been invested. Meanwhile China has consolidated its grip on the Congolese mining industry. According to John Kanyoni, vice-president of the country’s Chamber of Mines, almost 70% of the mine portfolio is in Chinese hands. This ‘Chinese hold’ on the mining sector largely relates to the industrial mining exploitations in the south of the country, in Haut Katanga and Lualaba.  

In eastern DRC, the mining sector is mostly artisanal, and the DRC mining code stipulates that artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is forbidden to non-Congolese individuals. Nevertheless, several Chinese companies managed to close deals with Congolese mining cooperatives to acquire access to artisanal or semi-industrial exploitations. These collaborations have been challenged by local communities, politicians and local armed groups. Complaints about these ‘Chinese operations’ include the lack of necessary permits, disregard of local communities and their ‘collaboration’ with Congolese security forces.  

The incident in Mukera, that led to the kidnapping of 5 Chinese nationals, is linked to the discontent of the local population. They had been informed that COMIDI, a mining cooperative, and the Chinese company Beyond Mining, would end their collaboration, leaving compensation for damaged fields unpaid. These complaints are not unique to a specific case but resurfaced regularly over the past years. Below, are just a few examples of some illustrative cases. 

The army as private security contractors 

The UN Expert Group reported mid-2021 that the Congolese army, FARDC, operated as security guards in two mines in Ituri. In one instance, the expert group had footage showing members of the 31st Regiment guarding sites and digging machines at the Muchacha Mining Complex, a Chinese mine affiliated with Kimia Mining Investment Sarl. A similar example was found in Djugu and Irumu territories where the Chinese company Gold Dragon Ressources RDC, deployed FARDC soldiers to prevent access to the mines. Three authorities charged with conducting routine checks at the mine testified before the UN Experts how FARDC soldiers had denied them access to the mine. 

These two examples demonstrate the illegal deployment of the army as security guards. It is in fact forbidden by law in Congo to deploy the army for guarding mines, let alone for those of foreign commercial companies. However, this is evidence of a more structural problem within the Congolese police and army. The army is often underpaid and receive their wages irregular, forcing undisciplined FARDC to seek additional income. Examples can be illegal taxation of mines and roadblocks or using their services and expertise for commercial actors. Something that Chinese mining companies gratefully take advantage of, especially in light of additional attacks by CODECO in recent months. 

Community grievances 

Mining operations can have detrimental effects on the environment and the living conditions of local residents. In September, people in Mwenga, South Kivu, took to the streets to protest against Chinese companies. As a member of a local civil society group, put it: « these Chinese are impoverishing the population ». Protesters say these companies’ activities are polluting crops, forests and rivers. Although the Chinese companies have promised to compensate the local population, little has allegedly been done so far. In addition, the demonstration was repressed by the local police who, according to witnesses, shot in the air to break up the demonstration.  

Secondly, the lack of transparency and mandatory documentation from several semi-industrial companies is also a thorn in the side of both Congolese citizens and state authorities. For example, last year nine Chinese and four Ugandans engaged in ‘illegal’ mining in the Mambasa territory and were  arrested. Although their illegal activities took only five days, in that short time they were able to cause irreversible damage to many hectares of forest and crops. As a FARDC colonel stated: « They have already started to exploit. There are all kinds of machines. It is unacceptable that foreigners can walk around in our country without a document on them ».  

Finally, Congolese stakeholders often complain that these companies do not report their production statistics. Provincial authorities stated for example that Gold Dragon Ressources RDC did not inform them about its gold production nor about the export destinations of the excavated gold. The lack of data makes gold production particularly susceptible to potential smuggling. The Group of Experts has already highlighted illegal gold smuggling networks in several reports. 

Growing Chinese awareness 

The local discontent over these companies’ shady activities have been elevated to the provincial and national level multiple times. A reoccurring problem, however, is the lack of enforcement of legislation. For example, as early as July 2016, the Governor of Ituri had suspended dredging activities in the province due to negative impacts on the environment, citing the Mining Code. However, the Group of Experts reported that Chinese company Kimia Mining was still using dredging activities to mine gold along the Ituri River. In addition, the company was further at fault for using the 31st  Brigade to protect their illegal activities. Finally, similar to the example with the Dragon Resource Group DRC, this company refused to hand over its statistics to the competent authorities. 

More recently, the Governor of South Kivu decided to close six Chinese-operated mines which were accused of “clear” and “multiple” violations. This decision is, however, the latest in a series of inconsistent decisions regarding Chinese mines in his province. A parliamentary commission of enquiry  found that the Governor had suspended Congo Blueant Minerals (CBM) in 2019. In March 2020 he lifted this suspension without consulting the competent authorities or with the original abuses being resolved. Only to impose a new suspension of several Chinese mines in August 2021. However, these actions are not only inconsistent, according to the National Minister for Mines, but the governor’s actions also exceeded his powers.  

Allegations of Chinese malpractice have been reported for several years by the UN Group of experts. However, Alain Foka’s documentary,En finir avec la traite négrière en Afrique”, has recently put extra pressure on both the Congolese and Chinese governments. In his documentary Foka captured human rights abuses, corruption and environmental damages. These violations were largely shared on social media. Following the documentary, a National Assembly committee visited Mwenga to investigate the allegations. It resulted in twelve recommendations that included prosecution of complicit authorities at both provincial and national level; banning police and FARDC from mining sites. 

Through local power-brokers, some Chinese companies try to gain access to the artisanal and small-scale mining that is normally exclusively reserved for the Congolese. This results in negative consequences for local communities whose livelihoods and environment are at risk, as well as for Chinese nationals who experience more violence. Partly thanks to Foka’s documentary, the Congolese government could no longer turn a blind eye to this situation. Moreover, the Chinese government has increasingly become aware of this.  

Hopeful signs in this regard are the parliamentary investigation committee as well as public support by the Chinese government in tackling illegal mining. Wu Peng, director-general of Department of African Affairs at China’s Foreign Ministry, expressed this support by stating that « The related companies will be punished and sanctioned by the Chinese government. The related authorities of Fujian and other provinces are conducting investigations and will take measures. We’ll never allow Chinese companies in Africa to violate local laws and regulations”. 

Source photo: https://saiia.org.za/research/china-powered-african-agency-and-its-limits-the-case-of-the-drc-2007-2019/


IN THE NEWS

BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

2021 Corruption Perceptions Index Reveals A Decade Of Stagnating Corruption Levels Amid Human Rights Abuses & Democratic Decline | 25 January 2022 | Transparency International

The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International shows that corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide, with 86 per cent of countries making little to no progress in the last 10 years.

Compliance and a Human Rights Strategy: Part 1 | 25 January 2022 | JD Supra

The compliance intersection with Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) continues to drive many initiatives in both the ESG realm as well as compliance. One of the key areas is in found in corporate Supply Chain, particularly around human rights, human trafficking and modern slavery.

The Growing Importance of ESG-Related Supply Chain Due Diligence | 24 January 2022 | Dechert LLP | JD Supra

There is an increasing legislative trend towards holding companies accountable for their own ESG practices as well as those of business partners within their supply chain.

Customs exemptions in the DRC : Who gains what the Treasury loses? | 21 January 2022 | Congo Research Group

Do you know how much money the Congolese state is losing because of customs exemptions? More than $630 million per year between 2011 and 2020. Slightly more than what the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) documented in 2020. Published this Friday, January 21, by the Congo Research Group (CRG), the report “Customs Exemptions in the DRC: Who Gains What the Treasury Loses?” (French only) shows that losses due to customs exemptions, which are often without justification, are much greater than was previously known. Our research also describes the concrete cases of certain companies that benefit from them.

Zimbabwe: Chinese Miner Engages Residents Over Dangamvura Mountain Quarry | 20 January 2022 | NewZimbabwe | AllAfrica

A Chinese mining company, Freestone Mines will consult local residents on its planned quarry mine operations earmarked at the deforested Dangamvura Mountain, NewZimbabwe.com can report. Last year, the Mutare City Council leased its 6,5-hectare stand situated surrounding Dangamvura Mountain to Freestone Mines.

Five myths about the German Supply Chain Act | 20 January 2022 | CMS Law-Now

The German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Supply Chain Act or SCDDA) has been passed. Its objective is to get companies to incorporate human rights and environmental protection into the entire supply chain.

The OECD Issues Updated Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance | 12 January 2022 | Paul Hastings LLP

On November 26, 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development adopted a revised Recommendation of the Council for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Paul Hastings previously detailed all of the revisions, noting that the revised Recommendation includes important new guidance on enhancing anti-corruption compliance programs and internal controls. In this post, we will expand on the details of the updates to Annex II, the Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance, with a focus on Section A, Good Practice Guidance for Companies (“Updated Guidance”).

They want to remove us and take the rock’, say Zimbabweans living near Chinese-owned mines | 7 January 2022 | The Guardian

As companies extract wealth, villagers say they see little benefit and are instead exploited in quarries, live in homes damaged by blasts and are unable to farm polluted land.

Congo Hold-Up: A Group of Indians in Spotlight for Illicit Money Transfers | 4 January 2022 | The Wire

A number of Indians helped operate a network used to transfer millions of dollars in cash from the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an investigation by ‘Congo Hold-Up’. In all, about US$350 million was collected in cash and transferred abroad and a substantial chunk went through companies managed and controlled by Indians.

How building a global registry on blockchain corrected critical flaws in the Kimberley Process | 4 January 2022 | YourStory

What the industry needed is a trusted, cloud-based, global system of record for precious stones such as diamonds to prove origin and ownership from the mine to the finger.

New ESG Due Diligence And Reporting Obligations (pdf) | 3 January 2022 | Bär & Karrer

As of January 1, 2022, the indirect counterproposal to the Responsible Business Initiative has been introduced in the Swiss Code of Obligations and a new criminal provision has been introduced in the Criminal Code. The board of directors and management of companies in Switzerland should analyse which new reporting and due diligence obligations are relevant for them, which reports they have to publish, and how they can mitigate the criminal liability risk of a breach of the reporting obligations.

Business and Human Rights – The Netherlands to Introduce Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation | 28 December 2021 | Mayer Brown | Lexology

On 6 December 2021, the Netherlands became the latest European government to announce plans to introduce mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) legislation at a national level, adding to a growing movement and proliferation of national HREDD laws. This puts the Netherlands in the company of the likes of France, Germany and Norway (which have enacted or adopted such laws) and Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, among others (which are progressing their own national HREDD laws).

Towards enforcement of the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation in Belgium | 24 December 2021 | Allen & Overy LLP | JD Supra

Although the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation no. 2017/821 of 17 May 20171 (the CMR) entered into force on 1 January 2021, there has been no sign of any national enforcement system in Belgium so far. The Belgian Government has now introduced a bill implementing the CMR before the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, which was made public on 21 December 2021.

Kimberley Process adopts words but not action, some say | 16 December 2021 | Jeweller Magazine

The recent Kimberley Process (KP) plenary has adopted a new framework of principles designed to guide the organisation through the next decades. Held in November by the host country and 2021 chair Russia, the plenary passed a declaration pushed by Russia that spells out the basics of “responsible diamond sourcing”.

Kimberley Process Adopts Framework For “Responsible Sourcing” | 7 December 2021 | JCK Online

While the recent Kimberley Process (KP) plenary didn’t make progress on one long-sought-after goal—widening the KP’s definition of conflict diamonds—it did pass a nonbinding declaration pushed by host country Russia that spells out the basics of “responsible diamond sourcing.”

U.S. blacklists DR Congo national linked to Israeli investor Gertler | 6 December 2021 | Reuters

The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on a Democratic Republic of Congo national it accused of providing support to Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler, part of a policy to target corruption in the central African country.

Coopération Sino-congolaise : la Sicomines tourne le dos à la campagne menée contre la Chine et appelle le gouvernement congolais à faire confiance à l’élan de développement déjà entrepris | 5 December 2021 | Actualite.cd

La Sino-congolaise des mines (Sicomines S.A), par le biais de ses services de communication, a fait une nouvelle mise au point par rapport aux enjeux de l’heure ce samedi 4 décembre. Elle annonce sa décision de se passer définitivement de la campagne menée depuis quelque temps par, dit-elle, “des occidentaux” contre la République de Chine. Dans la foulée, la Sicomines S.A appelle le gouvernement de la République Démocratique du Congo, à faire confiance à l’élan de développement déjà entrepris dans le cadre de ce partenariat dont le contrat est fait de manière “équitable”.

Congo Hold-Up: on the trail of Joseph Kabila’s mystery company | 5 December 2021 | RFI

A leak of millions of documents and transactions at BGFIBank reveals some of the activities of former President of Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila. Nineteen media outlets and five NGOs have investigated one of his lucrative companies, Port de Fisher, of which he became the majority shareholder in 2015.

Zimbabwe’s Chance to Shine | 3 December 2021 | Foreign Policy

Crafted through three years of negotiations, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was created in 2003 to curb the trade of diamonds by rebel and dissident government groups using gems to finance their insurrections. With the embers of civil war still smoldering in places, such as Angola, Libera, and Sierra Leone, the process was intended to reduce the trade of illegal diamonds on international markets.

Shell’s ‘corporate social responsibility’ in its intent to mine the Wild Coast is worse than greenwashing | 1 December 2021 | Mail & Guardian

Last-minute attempt to stop Shell’s oil exploration of whale breeding grounds | 1 December 2021 | The Guardian

Shell is proceeding with seismic testing that will materially harm Wild Coast Marine Protected Areas and proximate communities. By denying any responsibility for an inclusive or transparent planning process, it exposes its so-called corporate social responsibility as duplicitous.

NATURAL RESOURCES

La douane ivoirienne saisit 2 millions d’euros et 84 kg d’or sur deux passagers venant du Bénin | 28 January 2022 | RFI

Mercredi deux passagers partis de Cotonou ont été interpellés à Abidjan avec des centaines de milliers d’euros et des dizaines de kilogrammes d’or.

This Chinese Miner Could Kill the Battery Metals Boom | 25 January 2022 | Bloomberg

If you’re thinking of investing in obscure battery materials to take advantage of the energy transition, there’s one company you should be watching right now: Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co.

Are Electric Cars the Solution? | 25 January 2022 | The Tyee

Fifty years ago the French political ecologist André Gorz explained that cars masquerade as solutions to the very problems they create. “Since cars have killed the city, we need faster cars to escape on superhighways to suburbs that are even farther away. What an impeccable circular argument: give us more cars so that we can escape the destruction caused by cars.”

The Uneven Renewable Energy Transition Playing Out in Africa | 24 January 2022 | MENAFN

The west coast of South Africa is a barren slice of inhospitable land at the bottom of the continent. Less than an hour driving outside Cape Town, the terrain radically transforms into a rugged and nearly alien landscape. Arid vegetation abruptly meets the frigid waters of the Atlantic ocean. This unlikely slice of Earth has become a backdrop for the global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

China’s Zijin Mining launches first lithium exploration project in DRC | 24 January 2022 | Reuters

China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd said on Monday it had officially launched its first lithium exploration project through a joint venture with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-owned firm Cominiere.

Zambia has more than copper, and offers unexplored potential | 19 January 2022 | The Africa Report

With billions of dollars worth of African gas, gold, copper and cobalt to hit the markets in 2022, industry players are focused on the next big deals. The election of a new government in Zambia in August 2021 has led to optimism that the country is the stand-out player in African minerals exploration for 2022.

China and lithium: why it’s time to retire the narrative of resource nationalism | 12 January 2022 | South China Morning Post

Electric vehicles and their upstream industries were big winners in the global economy in 2021. The growth of China’s electric vehicle industry has been particularly impressive; following a market expansion of 180 per cent in the first 10 months of the year, it now accounts for about half of global EV sales.

Sourcing Minerals for Africa’s Energy Transition | 11 January 2022 | Energy, Capital & Power

Africa represents the second-largest mineral industry in the world, with many countries from the continent relying on mineral exploration and production to stimulate economic growth. Richly endowed with massive mineral reserves and ranking first in the quantity of several various mineral-types, the mineral industry contributes greatly towards Africa’s gross income.

Rare Earths: Fighting for the Fuel of the Future | 8 January 2022 | The Diplomat

While most Americans are familiar with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the causes leading up to the surprise attack are much less understood. Japan’s rapidly expanding global ambitions were threatened when the United States, for geopolitical reasons, imposed export restrictions on a critical raw material that the Empire was unable to domestically and autonomously source: oil. Out of desperation, Japan felt compelled to secure a crucial supply chain through proactive violence. The global consequences were devastating.

How Guinea’s mineral wealth can be used to benefit ordinary people: here’s a to-do list | 6 January 2022 | The Conversation

Guinea is one of the world’s poorest countries. It’s ranked 160th out of 161 when it comes to health, 159th in education and 152nd in living conditions. Yet it is the world’s largest producer of bauxite and has the world’s largest reserves. Bauxite is used to make aluminium.

The myth and reality of alternatives for rare minerals in EV batteries | 6 January 2022 | GreenBiz

For years, commentators have been handwringing about the extraction practices, environmental and social harms, and corporate ownership of mining operations that contribute to clean energy technology, with a focus on cobalt, rare earths and other rare ingredients of the clean energy transition.

A New Dawn for Angola | January 2022 | Rapaport

In an unlikely location just under 600 miles east of Luanda, Angola is laying the foundations for its burgeoning diamond trade. By Western standards, Saurimo is a small town with a relatively quiet and laid-back atmosphere. Its quaint, somewhat undeveloped central district has a landmark church tower and colorful buildings that are a testament to its Portuguese influence, both past and present.

Senegal Seeks To Learn From Mistakes Of Other African Countries And Reverse ‘Resource Curse’ | 29 December 2021 | Eurasia Review

Senegal recently held a well-representative meeting to seek dialogue with a cross-section of the civil society leaders, experts from different economic sectors and both public and private business leaders for the management of revenues from the country’s oil and gas, hydrocarbons and energy resources in the country.

Dubai Can’t Shake Off the Stain of Smuggled African Gold | 28 December 2021 | Bloomberg

The UAE rejects any involvement in illegal practices. African exporters say tons of their gold goes missing in Dubai every year.

The African nation aiming to be a hydrogen superpower | 28 December 2021 | BBC News

So now finally, we’re on the map, » says Philip Balhoa about Lüderitz, a town in southern Namibia, where harsh desert meets pale ocean. The port town has previously benefited from diamonds and fishing booms, but now struggles with high rates of unemployment and aging infrastructure. A proposed green hydrogen project is set to be « the third revolution of Lüderitz, » says Mr Balhoa, a member of the town council.

Zimbabwean president welcomes Chinese miner’s acquisition of lithium mine | 25 December 2021 | CGTN

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday welcomed the partnership between Chinese company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and Australia-listed company Prospect Resources, under which the Chinese company will acquire Arcadia Lithium Mine.

China merges key rare earth producers | 23 December 2021 | Mining Technology

The Chinese Government has approved the merger of three government-owned rare earth miners into a state-owned giant, which will become the worlds largest producer of the resource.

George Forrest fusionne élevage et agro-alimentaire au Congo | 22 December 2021 | L’echo

L’homme d’affaires belgo-congolais fusionne ses activités d’élevage avec un groupe agro-alimentaire bien implanté en RDC. Objectif: faire émerger le potentiel du pays.

Diggers and Merchants: A Congolese copper digger (video) | 21 December 2021 | al Jazeera

Josué Mukeba, a copper digger in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stands up for diggers’ rights. “Diggers and Merchants”, by filmmaker Nelson Makengo, immerses us in a life of exhausting physical labour and brutal conditions.

Why are ‘rare earth elements’ China’s secret weapon? | 18 December 2021 | WION

‘War by other means’ is something nations employ on each other. Any action to cripple the economy of the adversary, such as sanctions, is one example.

Deep-Sea Mining Could Help Meet Demand for Critical Minerals, But Also Comes with Serious Obstacles | 16 December 2021 | U.S. Government Accountability Office

Deep below the sea lay critical minerals that are both high in value and demand. These critical minerals—such as cobalt, nickel, and manganese—are used in everyday devices like cellphones and cars. But they are hard to come by, and demand is expected to double or triple by 2030. Because of this demand, interest has turned toward the deep ocean seabed, which contains vast quantities of critical and other minerals. Today’s WatchBlog post looks at our new Science & Tech Spotlight on deep-sea mining—how it works and its challenges.

The Black Forest holds a secret to making electric cars greener | 16 December 2021 | Mining Weekly

In the valley alongside Germany’s Black Forest lies a potential solution to one of the most vexing issues facing Europe’s transition to sustainable transport. Some two miles underground is enough lithium for at least one-million electric vehicles a year, and one miner says it can tap those reserves at roughly half the cost of competing sources and without discharging greenhouse gases.

Qatar, Israel reach agreement on diamond trade | 15 December 2021 | al-Monitor

Qatar is not part to the Abraham Accords for normalizing ties with Israel, but this did not prevent it from reaching a bilateral agreement with Israel on the trade of diamonds.

Petra Diamonds Ltd – Framework Agreement in principle with Government of Tanzania | 13 December 2021 | Petra Diamonds | Marketscreener

Petra Diamonds Limited announces that it has reached an agreement in principle with the Government of Tanzania relating to the operations of the Williamson open pit diamond mine in Tanzania (the “Williamson Mine”), which recently resumed operations and sales, having been on care and maintenance since April 2020. The agreement with the Government of Tanzania has been reached with the view to establishing a sustainable future for the joint-venture between Petra and the Government of Tanzania, held through Tanzanian company Williamson Diamonds Limited (« WDL »).

Checkpoint ‘taxes’ make South Sudan one of the most expensive places to move goods | 13 December 2021 | The Conversation

Checkpoint economy: the political economy of checkpoints in South Sudan, ten years after independence | 13 December 2021 | DIIS-IPIS | IPIS vzw

When South Sudan became independent 10 years ago, oil revenues were supposed to fuel the economy of the world’s newest country. But shortly after, civil war resumed, oil prices plummeted, and the South Sudanese pound lost value.

Congo Hold-up: les affaires offshore de l’ancien gouverneur Moïse Katumbi | 8 December 2021 | RFI

Riche homme d’affaires et gouverneur de la province minière du Katanga de 2007 à 2015, Moïse Katumbi a poursuivi son business minier, alimenté en partie par des contrats publics, en le logeant dans de discrètes sociétés offshore. Une enquête de RFI avec Yann Philippin (Mediapart), PPLAAF et le réseau EIC.

Chinese infrastructure-for-minerals project in DRC derailed by high-level corruption | 6 December 2021 | Daily Maverick

The exposure of massive corruption in a major Chinese infrastructure-for-minerals project in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) embarrassed Beijing this week, just as it was boasting about its help to Africa at a meeting with the continent’s governments in Senegal.

Cameroon Deploys Military to Assist Rangers as Poaching Increases | 6 December 2021 | VoA

Cameroon has deployed its military forces to help rangers crack down on poachers on its eastern border with the Central African Republic. Cameroon wildlife officials say poaching is again increasing after pandemic restrictions saw a drop in the number of animals being killed. Officials say in the last week alone, poachers have killed at least eight elephants along the border.

How China wrested control of the Congo’s critical minerals | 6 December 2021 | The Strategist

China’s system of bankrolling its state companies may be entrenching great inefficiency in its economy but has delivered it unchallenged dominance in the critical minerals required for advanced technologies.

Congo state cobalt monopoly aims to start buying in January | 2 December 2021 | Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo’s state cobalt monopoly plans to start buying artisanal cobalt in January, its CEO Jean-Dominique Takis said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference, as the world’s biggest producer of the metal tries to ramp up revenue.

EACOP: Reaching alignment? | 2 December 2021 | The Citizen

Conceptually, a line is simple to understand; but is a line a good thing or a bad thing? Context is paramount, as illustrated by Tanzania’s Minister for Energy Hon. January Makamba when opening last weekend’s Tanzania Uganda Oil and Gas Symposium (TUOGC) whose primary focus was the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Mines : augmentation des diamants bruts de la RDC exportés vers Anvers | 2 December 2021 | MediaCongo.net

Les importations directes de diamants bruts de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) vers Anvers ont atteint 51,5 % en 2020. Ces importations étaient à 27 % en 2019, selon des informations fournies par le Centre mondial du diamant d’Anvers (AWDC), à l’occasion de la visite dans cette ville, fin octobre, de la ministre congolaise des Mines, Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi.

Uganda: UNDP, NFA Launch the Uganda Natural Resource Information System | 1 December 2021 | Nile Post News | AllAfrica

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Forest Authority (NFA) have launched the Uganda Natural Resource Information System (NARIS) designed to monitor and mediate deforestation throughout Uganda and protect the country’s forests and biodiversity.

Lutte contre la déforestation et le commerce illégal de bois : La PAFC annonce la création d’un schéma de certification unique dans le Bassin du Congo | 1 December 2021 | VivAfrik

Pour lutter efficacement contre la déforestation et le commerce illégal de bois, la Certification Forestière Panafricaine (PAFC) et le Programme de reconnaissance des certifications forestières (PEFC), avec le soutien de l’Association technique internationale des bois tropicaux (ATIBT), poursuivent leur engagement en faveur d’une gestion durable des forêts africaines. Cet engagement se traduit, aujourd’hui, par la mise en place d’un schéma régional de certification dans le bassin du Congo, qui vient renforcer l’offre existante.

Le Cameroun prépare un manuel pour mieux contrôler la circulation des pierres et métaux précieux aux frontières | 1 December 2021 | Investir au Cameroun

Le gouvernement camerounais a l’intention de renforcer le contrôle autour de la circulation des pierres et métaux précieux faisant l’objet de trafic illicite aux frontières du Cameroun. En effet, le ministre en charge de Mines (Minmidt), Gabriel Dodo Ndoke, vient d’annoncer au Parlement qu’un document y afférent est en cours de préparation.

« Congo Hold-Up », une chance pour la lutte contre la corruption | 1 December 2021 | HRW

La semaine dernière, les autorités en République démocratique du Congo ont confirmé avoir ouvert une enquête suite aux allégations de grande corruption rapportées par un consortium de médias et d’organisations internationales.

ARMS TRADE

Saisie d’armes au port de Conakry : les mis en cause sortent du silence | 24 January 2022 | Guinee360

Lors d’un contrôle de routine effectué par les services de douanes du Port autonome de Conakry, mercredi 19 janvier 2022, des armes de guerre en provenance de l’extérieur ont été découvertes dans une voiture se trouvant dans un conteneur. La découverte a été faite dans l’espace de dépotage appelé Burkina.

Cargaison d’armes saisies à Dakar : Omerta autour de munitions italiennes… | 22 January 2022 | Perspectives

Saisie de munitions à Dakar – Francesco Vignarca, coordinateur du réseau italien pour la paix et le désarmement | 20 January 2022 | DakarActu

Greek cargo ship held with ammunition on board in Senegal | 19 January 2022 | TradeWindsNews

La douane sénégalaise fait preuve, depuis le 17 janvier 2022, d’un minimum d’informations à propos du navire Eolika battant pavillon guyanais et porteur des trois conteneurs dont la marchandise -des cartouches- est estimée à plus de trois milliards de francs CFA (4,57 millions d’euros). Ce qui pourrait avoir sonné l’alerte chez plusieurs ONG sénégalaises et italiennes décidées à contraindre les deux gouvernements à jouer franc-jeu.

The menace of small arms, light weapons’ proliferation on Nigeria’s internal security | 17 January 2022 | The Street Journal

The proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a major source of concern in Nigeria today, due to the part it plays in the increasing rate of violence and insecurity in the country. Nigeria’s security situation appears to have worsened in recent times despite reassurances from President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies.

Nigeria’s auditor general flags missing police firearms | 4 January 2022 | Reuters

Nigeria’s police could not account for thousands of firearms, including 88,078 AK-47 rifles, an audit report published by the auditor general of the federation on Tuesday showed.

Nigeria-China Relations: Consolidating Uncommon Friendship for the Next Five Decades | 5 January 2022 | The Nation (Nigeria)

Diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China dates back to 1971 one year after African countries played a critical role in helping China re-join the United Nations amid protests from the United States.

Stronger measures required to halt arms influx | 3 January 2022 | Punch (Nigeria)

Nigeria is awash with illicit arms. From the daily assault of amply armed terrorists and criminals around the country to frequent arms seizures by security personnel, the reality of a society buckling under the threat of guns is palpable. The recent seizure of a container with arms hidden among used clothes at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos reinforces this. Urgently, the Federal Government needs to devise and implement stronger, effective policies to halt the importation, fabrication, trade, and possession of illegal arms.

Army of Mali has received tactical and armored vehicles to equip 16 companies | 10 December 2021 | ArmyRecognition

According to information published by the Official website of the Malian armed forces on December 3, 2021, the Malian army has received different types of wheeled armored vehicles from China, Russia, South Korea, and South Africa to equip 16 companies.

Officials strategise on arms control | 1 December 2021 | The Namibian

Security and judicial officials from different offices, ministries and agencies are meeting at Walvis Bay to strategise on arms control and disarmament. The three-day workshop, which started on Monday, will interrogate how Namibia can effectively prevent, combat and eradicate the dumping of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) and biological and chemical waste.

CONFLICT

DRC: 51 people sentenced to death over 2017 murder of two UN experts | 29 January 2022 | The Guardian

A military court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has sentenced 51 people to death, several in absentia, in a mass trial over the 2017 murder of two UN experts in a troubled central region.

Coup d’Etat au Burkina : Voici les raisons qui poussent le peuple burkinabè à soutenir le MPSR, selon Me Paul Kéré | 27 January 2022 | LeFaso.net

Pour Me Paul Kéré, le coup de force opéré le 24 janvier 2022 par le Mouvement patriotique pour la sauvegarde et la restauration (MPSR) pour s’emparer du pouvoir est la résultante des tueries massives et de l’occupation d’une partie du territoire national par des bandes armées qui y sèment la terreur. Dans la tribune qui suit, il invite tous les Burkinabè à apporter leurs pierres angulaires à la construction d’un nouvel ordre politique pour une véritable paix durable au Burkina.

US Aware of Allegations of Russian Links to Burkinabe Coup | 27 January 2022 | VoA

Reports that Russia is connected to this week’s coup in Burkina Faso have made their way to the Pentagon, though U.S. defense officials decline to say whether the allegations have merit.

EU warns Mali, Sahel states over use of Russian mercenaries | 26 January 2022 | The Associated Press

The European Union on Wednesday warned countries of the north African Sahel against hiring Russian mercenaries, and underlined that it stands ready to impose sanctions on anyone interfering with the transition to civilian rule in Mali.

Burkina Faso: A history of destabilisation by jihadist insurgencies | 25 January 2022 | France24

Attacks by jihadists linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State group have killed thousands and displaced an estimated 1.5 million people in Burkina Faso since 2015. Members of the army, critical of the government’s strategy for battling Islamist terrorism, detained the president and seized power on January 23. FRANCE 24 takes a look at how the security crisis unfolded.

How ISIS Is Violently Expanding Across Africa | 25 January 2022 | The National Interest

ISIS’ modus operandi—securing and metamorphosing pre-existing militant groups to serve as conduits for terror—has proven to be a successful strategy in Africa.

US trade pact suspensions: what it means for Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea | 25 January 2022 | The Conversation

Three African countries’ manufacturers have lost their tariff-free access to the US market this year. This follows the US decision in November last year to suspend Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The reason given for the decision was that it was in response to human rights violations and recent coups.

Mutinous soldiers announce overthrow of Burkina Faso president | 24 January 2022 | The Washington Post

Military officers have ousted the president of Burkina Faso, a group of soldiers announced Monday on state television, after steering a 36-hour uprising that toppled the third West African head of state in eight months.

Burkina Faso (1/3): la face cachée de l’effondrement de l’appareil sécuritaire | 24 January 2022 | Mondafrique

En seulement cinq années, le Burkina Faso est passé du statut de pays épargné par la menace terroriste qui secoue le Sahel à celui d’Etat au bord de l’effondrement, en raison de délitement de l’appareil sécuritaire et de la posture de déni des autorités du pays.

Le Burkina Faso déstabilisé par les violences jihadistes | 24 January 2022 | France24

Au Burkina Faso, depuis 2015, les attaques de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda et à l’organisation État islamique ont fait plus de 2 000 morts, civils et militaires, et contraint 1,5 million de personnes à fuir leur foyer. Ces derniers mois, une partie de l’armée n’a cessé de contester la stratégie et les moyens mis en place par le gouvernement pour lutter contre le terrorisme islamiste. Chronologie d’une crise sécuritaire qui a embrasé le pays sahélien.

Burkina-Faso, Mali… la Françafrique implose en 2022 | 24 January 2022 | Le Temps

Tentative de putsch militaire lundi à Ouagadougou. Enlisement des forces françaises au Mali où le gouvernement attaque ouvertement Paris. Le mandat d’Emmanuel Macron s’achève sur un incontestable échec africain

No easy answers to Lake Chad Basin’s security dilemmas | 24 January 2022 | ISS

It has been two decades since Mohammed Yusuf founded the group that became known as Boko Haram, and over a decade since its violent attacks reached the scale of an insurgency. Numerous events during this time have caused the group to evolve, including its split in 2012 and spread throughout the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) region in 2013. These changes have had varying effects on the crisis and the governments’ ability to find lasting solutions.

Rwanda : déstabiliser le Congo pour mieux le piller | 24 January 2022 | LVSL

Le Rwanda est souvent affiché comme un modèle de développement pour l’Afrique, mais la face sombre du régime est moins connue. Le régime de Paul Kagamé a mis fin au génocide des Tutsis en vainquant le gouvernement rwandais et les extrémistes hutus durant la guerre civile de 1994. Deux ans plus tard, l’armée de Paul Kagamé envahit l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) et y exporte le conflit. L’armée rwandaise, appuyée par ses supplétifs congolais, a commis des crimes de masse et a pillé les riches mines de la région, contribuant au décollage économique du Rwanda et à la déstabilisation, jusqu’aujourd’hui, des Kivus.

An embargo against the Malian people | 23 January 2022 | International Viewpoint

The two African regional bodies, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union), a grouping of countries that use the CFA franc as their currency, have decided to introduce sanctions against Mali. The reason given was the junta’s decision to extend the transition period by five years. The ECOWAS position is strongly supported, if not provoked, by France, which intends to continue to dictate its will on the course of the war in the Sahel.

UN probing alleged killings by CAR forces, Russia mercenaries | 22 January 2022 | al Jazeera

The United Nations is investigating the alleged killing of dozens of people in the Central African Republic last week by CAR forces and mercenaries with the Russian private military company Wagner.

Burkina police fire tear gas at protesters angry over mounting jihadist violence | 22 January 2022 | France24

Security forces fired tear gas at protesters barricading the streets and throwing rocks in Burkina Faso’s capital on Saturday, as anger grows at the government’s inability to stop jihadist attacks spreading across the country.

West raising red flags over Wagner’s expanding mercenary reach in CAR and other African nations | 21 January 2022 | Daily Maverick

Russia has established a strong military presence in the Central African Republic (CAR) over the past four years, clandestinely using dubious actors like the military company Wagner, which is allegedly close to President Vladimir Putin. Wagner has become the deniable vanguard of a major Russian push into Africa, many analysts believe.

Video of Child Militants Executing Nigerian Soldiers Raises Concerns | 21 January 2022 | VoA

A video released this week by the Nigerian terrorist group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) appears to show armed children executing two military officers. Security experts say the recruitment of Nigerian children into violent extremism is hampering efforts by authorities to end the insurgency.

Wagner’s dubious operatics in CAR and beyond | 21 January 2022 | ISS

Russia has established a strong military presence in the Central African Republic (CAR) over the past four years, clandestinely using dubious actors like the military company Wagner, which is allegedly close to President Vladimir Putin. Wagner has become the deniable vanguard of a major Russian push into Africa, many analysts believe.

Congo police detain suspects linked to Italian ambassador’s killing | 18 January 2022 | Reuters

Police in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have detained members of a group allegedly linked to the killing of Italy’s ambassador last year as well as more recent kidnappings of NGO workers, a provincial police chief said on Tuesday.

Insécurité: les terroristes font régner la terreur sur l’axe Niger-Burkina | 18 January 2022 | ActuNiger

Dans la nuit du vendredi 14 au samedi 15 janvier dernier, des individus armés venus en grand nombre et à bord de motos, ont attaqué le poste mixte des Forces de sécurité de Kobagué, situé à une dizaine de kilomètres au nord-est de Torodi, sur la route qui va de Niamey à la frontière burkinabé. Cette attaque qui est la dernière d’une longue série confirme l’emprise de plus en plus évidente, des groupes armés terroristes (GAT) dans cette zone frontalière du Burkina avec des conséquences assez désastreuses sur les conditions de vie des populations.

Mali junta seeks review of defence agreements with France | 18 January 2022 | RFI

Mali has asked France for a review of bilateral defence agreements against the backdrop of growing tensions between Paris and the ruling junta in Bamako, a French diplomat has said.

Human Rights Situation In Burundi Appalling Under Ndayishimiye | 17 January 2022 | Taarifa

Since President Evariste Ndayishimiye came to power in June 2020, the human rights situation in Burundi has made limited progress according to the 2022 global report on human rights in the world, released this Thursday, January 13.

Wagner Group continues to exert Russian influence in Africa | 17 January 2022 | DefenceWeb

The increasing presence of Russia’s Wagner Group in Africa underlined the Kremlin’s continued efforts to exert its influence on the continent in 2021.

Ituri : Un nouveau groupe armé signalé dans deux villages du territoire de Mambasa | 17 January 2022 | MediaCongo.net

Le territoire de Mambasa, dans la province de l’Ituri, attire de plus en plus des groupes armés traqués par les Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC).

China turns to PMCs to protect its workers and BRI investments in Africa | 14 January 2022 | DefenceWeb

Through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has placed tens of thousands of workers in Africa to build Chinese-financed BRI infrastructure projects across the continent. Now, in an effort to protect its workers, China is turning to private military contractors (PMCs).

Decade of Sahel conflict leaves 2.5 million people displaced | 14 January 2022 | UN News

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, the agency’s spokesperson, Boris Cheshirkov, informed that internal displacement has increased tenfold since 2013, going from 217,000 to a staggering 2.1 million by late last year.

UN: Piracy and Organized Crime Perpetuate Poverty in West Africa | 13 January 2022 | OCCRP

The scourge of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has led to costs upwards of US$1.9 billion a year for the nearly two dozen West African states which line it, according to a recent discussion at the United Nations Security Council.

SADC extends timeframe of military mission in Mozambique | 12 January 2022 | Daily Maverick

Southern African leaders have renewed the mandate of their military force fighting an Islamic State-affiliated insurgency in northern Mozambique. This will keep the mission going beyond 15 January when its mandate was due to expire.

Uganda: Top ADF Commander Captured in Congo | 12 January 2022 | Nile Post News | AllAfrica

A top Allied Democratic Forces commander has been captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Nile Post has learnt. According to reports, Benjamin Kisokorania was captured by the Congolese army at Uvira in the South Kivu province as he returned from neighbouring Burundi.

Attackers use Uganda-Congo army fatigues to raid DRC villages | 12 January 2022 | The Citizen

A joint Ugandan and Congolese military offensive is facing a new threat after attackers copied the official army fatigues of the troops to raid villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The two sides now think the idea is to turn locals against the armies and ruin the operation that has been touted a success.

Ituri: pour la milice FPIC, Thomas Lubanga et sa Task Force n’ont aucune leçon à donner | 12 January 2022 | MediaCongo.net

Dans un communiqué de presse rendu public le 10 janvier dernier et dont une copie est parvenue à buniaactualite.com, la milice dénommée Force patriotique et intégrationniste du Congo FPIC active dans le territoire d’Irumu, rejette toute implication de Thomas Lubanga et sa structure Task Force dépêchée en Ituri par la présidence de la République pour la sensibilisation à la paix.

Ituri : L’armée annonce l’arrestation « d’un chef spirituel et cofondateur » de la milice CODECO | 11 January 2022 | Politico.cd

Les forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) ont annoncé, lundi 10 janvier, l’arrestation d’un cofondateur et chef spirituel de taille de la milice Coopérative pour le Développement du Congo (CODECO), un groupe armé impliqué dans les violences terroristes et les massacres des civils depuis 2017 dans le territoire de Djugu, en province de l’Ituri.

Burkina-Mali-Niger : Sur les routes criminelles de la drogue au Sahel | 10 January 2022 | Mali24

Plusieurs types de drogues transitent par le Burkina Faso, le Mali et le Niger, avec pour destination l’Europe. Nourri à la mamelle des frontières poreuses et de l’insuffisance des moyens de lutte, ce trafic alimente le crime au Sahel.

Rising instability in Mali raises fears about role of private Russian military group | 10 January 2022 | The Conversation

Tensions are mounting in West Africa as Mali resists pressure from the region, the EU and US, to come up with a firm timetable on how civilian rule will be restored after two coups and a military takeover.

Onu-rapport : plus de 800 cas de violations des droits humains recensés en novembre 2021 en RDC | 10 January 2022 | Agence Afrique

Le Bureau conjoint des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme (BCNUDH) a publié un rapport dans lequel il fait mention de 801 violations et atteintes aux droits de l’homme répertoriées en novembre 2021 sur le territoire de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), souligne un communiqué publié vendredi 7 janvier sur le site Internet de l’ONU.

Uganda: 15 Members of New Rebel Group Charged Before Army Court, Remanded | 10 January 2022 | Nile Post News | AllAfrica

A total of 15 members of the new rebel group targeting police posts to rob guns have been arraigned before the General Court Martial in Makindye and charged with several offences related to rebel activities. Members of the Uganda Coalition Forces of Change (UCFC), a new rebel group recently attacked several police posts in Kassanda and Mityana killing four police officers and robbing their guns.

Organized Crime Perpetuating Instability, Violence, Poverty across West Africa, Sahel | 10 January 2022 | UN Security Council | ReliefWeb

Piracy and armed robbery at sea are costing Gulf of Guinea States $1.94 billion annually, with an additional $1.4 billion being lost in port fees and import tariffs, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today, as the 15-member organ explored ways to address recent security challenges in West Africa and the Sahel.

Hundreds killed in multiple gun raids in northwestern Nigeria | 9 January 2022 | France24

Gunmen in Nigeria killed at least 200 people in multiple raids this week in northwest Zamfara state, a government spokeswoman told AFP on Sunday. Clashes between herders and farmers over access to land has plagued northwest and central Nigeria for years, with some groups evolving into criminal gangs known as bandits who kill, loot and kidnap.

Ludo De Witte, le chercheur qui fait bouger les lignes en Belgique | 9 January 2022 | RFI

Qui est Ludo De Witte, auteur belge d’une retentissante enquête sur l’assassinat de Patrice Lumumba en 1999 ? Il a signé en octobre un nouveau livre sur le meurtre en 1961 du père de l’Indépendance au Burundi. Encore une fois, il a fouillé dans le passé colonial belge, pour cerner les responsabilités.

UPDF Operations in DRC taking the fight to ADF Terrorists | 8 January 2022 | Uganda Media Centre

Apologists for the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Islamist terrorists aren’t amused that the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) is in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) conducting military operations to sweep the terrorists out their safe sanctuary of twenty seven years. This time, the UPDF is in DRC with full consent, written and jointly signed agreement between the DRC and Uganda governments, and are in fact conducting joint operations against the terrorist and other negative forces.

Russia in Africa: mercenaries and predatoriness | 31 December 2021 | International Viewpoint

Russia’s return to Africa after the collapse of the Soviet Union dates from 2006. Since then, the rise of relations with the continent has been confirmed. It was symbolised by the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 and is now symbolised by the use of mercenaries from the Wagner company.

New rebel group declares big war on Museveni’s government | 29 December 2021 | WhisperEyeNews

Additional arrests of suspects linked to rebel activity made | 27 December 2021 | Uganda Police Force

8 suspects behind deadly attacks on police officers arrested. Two guns recovered | 21 December 2021 | Uganda Police Force

A new rebel group named Uganda Coalition Forces of Change (UCFC) has declared war on the Museveni led government citing dictatorship, violation of human rights tribalism, among others as reasons for its decesion to use force to take power.

Mali’s Military Government: Russia Sends Trainers, Not Mercenaries | 28 December 2021 | VoA

Mali’s military government has denied hiring Russian mercenaries from the controversial Wagner Group, which has been sanctioned by the European Union for rights abuses. France and 15 other Western nations last week condemned what they said was Russia’s deployment of Wagner fighters to Mali. Mali’s transitional government says it is only engaged with official Russian military trainers. Analysts weigh in on Russia’s military involvement in Mali as French troops are drawing down.

RDC : les hommes du colonel déserteur Makanika s’emparent de la localité de Kamombo à Fizi | 27 December 2021 | Actualite.cd

Les Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) s’affrontent depuis tôt le matin de ce lundi 27 décembre avec les miliciens de la coalition gumino-twigwaneho dirigée par le colonel déserteur Rukundo Makanika dans la localité de Kamombo, dans les hauts plateaux de Fizi (Sud-Kivu). Selon les sources sécuritaires dans la région, les assaillants ont attaqué plusieurs positions de l’armée à Kamombo.

RDC: deux bastions des rebelles ADF repris par les armées congolaise et ougandaise | 27 December 2021 | La Libre Afrique

Les armées congolaise et ougandaise, engagées dans des opérations conjointes contre le groupe d’origine ougandaise Forces démocratiques alliées (ADF) dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo ont annoncé vendredi avoir conquis deux importants bastions de ces rebelles à l’issue de « combats acharnés ».

Suicide bomber kills at least 8 at east Congo restaurant | 25 December 2021 | CNN

A suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Beni on Saturday, killing at least eight people as well as himself, officials said.

Arrival of Russian Wagner mercenaries in Mali condemned by European governments | 24 December 2021 | CNN

Sixteen European governments have issued a statement to « firmly condemn the deployment of mercenary troops » in the west African state of Mali.

How France lost Mali: failure to quell jihadi threat opens door to Russia | 23 December 2021 | The Irish Times

Nine years after liberation of Timbuktu from Islamists, mood in west African country is one of bitterness and anxiety.

La Russie en Afrique : mercenariat et prédation | 23 December 2021 | L’anticapitaliste

Le retour de la Russie en Afrique après l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique date de 2006. Depuis, la montée en puissance des relations avec le continent s’est confirmée. Elle a été symbolisée par le sommet Russie-Afrique à Sotchi en 2019 et l’est maintenant par le recours aux mercenaires de la société Wagner.

Ituri : 26 personnes tuées à Lidjo par des miliciens de la CODECO | 23 December 2021 | Radio Okapi

Vingt-six personnes ont été lâchement abattues la nuit de mercredi à jeudi 23 décembre par des miliciens de la CODECO à Lodjo dans le territoire de Djugu, en Ituri. Selon le chef du groupement Mabilindey, les victimes étaient dans un carré minier lorsque ces miliciens les ont surpris. Parmi elles, figurent des femmes.

Uganda Charges 15 With Terrorism in IS-Linked Bombings | 23 December 2021 | VoA

Uganda on Thursday charged 15 people with offenses including terrorism and aiding terrorism over their alleged roles in bombings in the country’s capital and elsewhere in October and November that left at least six people dead.

France: Russia is funding Wagner Group mercenaries in Mali | 23 December 2021 | The Associated Press

France on Thursday condemned the Malian transitional authorities’ decision to allow the deployment of the Wagner Group, and accused Moscow of funding the private military company’s use of mercenaries in the West African country.

Russian Guns-for-Hire Fill Void in Africa and Elsewhere as Western Militaries Pull Back | 23 December 2021 | The Wall Street Journal

Russian mercenaries have deployed to the African country of Mali, European governments said, opening a new front in a confrontation with the West at the same time as Moscow has gathered military forces around Ukraine.

Wagner au Mali : ce qui se joue | 23 December 2021 | Journal du Mali

Un éventuel déploiement du groupe de paramilitaires russes au Mali défraye la chronique depuis plusieurs semaines. Les autorités de la transition sont catégoriques : aucun contrat n’a été signé avec le groupe Wagner. Pour autant, le sujet est loin d’être clos et continue de susciter des réactions au sein de la communauté internationale. Jamais un rapprochement de Wagner avec un État en Afrique ou au Moyen-Orient n’avait été autant controversé. Au-delà des condamnations de principes, les enjeux d’un possible déploiement du groupe au Mali, transposés dans les arcanes des relations internationales, seraient tout autres.

Wagner Group: Russia’s International Influence Explained | 23 December 2021 | The Organization for World Peace

This week, the European Union imposed sanctions on Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization accused of committing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic and further afield. The EU said in a statement that Wagner had recruited, trained and sent independent military operatives to war zones around the world, fueling violence, as well as unlawfully stealing natural resources and intimidating civilians.

Groupe Wagner : Pourquoi l’UE s’inquiète-t-elle des mercenaires russes en Afrique centrale ? | 19 December 2021 | BBC News

Cette semaine, l’Union européenne a imposé des sanctions au groupe Wagner, une organisation mercenaire russe accusée de commettre des violations des droits de l’homme en République centrafricaine et ailleurs.

U.S. sanctions militia leader in Central African Republic | 18 December 2021 | Reuters

The U.S. government on Friday imposed sanctions on Ali Darassa, a militia leader in Central African Republic (CAR) whose forces it accused of murder, torture, rape and kidnapping.

Africa’s Coups and the Role of External Actors | 17 December 2021 | Africa Center for Strategic Studies

The recent rise in coups in Africa reflects a waning regional and international willingness to enforce anti-coup norms. Reversing the trend requires incentivizing democracy and consistently imposing real costs on coup makers.

En Centrafrique, l’UE suspend la formation de soldats à cause du groupe russe Wagner | 15 December 2021 | France24

L’Union européenne a annoncé mercredi mettre temporairement fin à ses missions de formation de soldats en Centrafrique. Celles-ci pourront reprendre quand l’UE aura reçu « l’assurance que les militaires centrafricains formés ne seront pas employés par les mercenaires de Wagner ».

Ituri : La communauté Hema plaide pour l’ouverture des enquêtes par la CPI sur les massacres à grande échelle | 15 December 2021 | Politico.cd

L’avocat de la chambre de conseil de la communauté Hema, Me Jospin Mateso Savo a plaidé pour l’ouverture des enquêtes sur les massacres à grande échelle en Ituri par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), lors d’une conférence de presse.

Le rejet de la France au Sahel : Mille et une raisons ? | 13 December 2021 | MaliWeb.net

Le récent blocage d’un convoi militaire français au Burkina et au Niger par de jeunes villageois illustre de façon spectaculaire l’ampleur du rejet massif de la France au Sahel (les images ont circulé viralement sur les réseaux sociaux en Afrique, suscitant un large enthousiasme).

EU hits Russian mercenary group Wagner with sanctions | 13 December 2021 | Reuters

Haro sur le groupe paramilitaire russe Wagner | 14 December 2021 | Le Point

The European Union imposed sanctions on Russian private military contractor Wagner Group on Monday as well as on eight individuals and three other energy companies in Syria, accusing the group of clandestine operations on the Kremlin’s behalf.

Atrocités au Sud-Kivu (RDC): un collectif d’avocats a rédigé des plaintes | 13 December 2021 | La Libre Afrique

Un collectif d’avocats représentant environ 70 victimes d’actes criminels dans les Hauts et Moyens Plateaux du Sud-Kivu en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) a rédigé plusieurs plaintes qui ont été déposées auprès de l’auditeur général et du Procureur de la République au Congo, ont expliqué vendredi deux membres du collectif, Bernard Maingain et Jean-Paul Shaka, lors d’une conférence de presse à Bruxelles.

Russia Makes Inroads Into Africa’s Sahel Region | 12 December 2021 | Eurasia

With renewed interest to uproot French domination, Russia has ultimately began its inroads into the Sahel region, an elongated landlocked territory located between north Africa (Maghreb) and west Africa region, and also stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

Mali: des groupes armés signataires de l’accord de paix dénoncent leur “exclusion” des assises nationales | 11 December 2021 | MaliWeb.net

Des groupes armés signataires d’un important accord de paix au Mali ont dénoncé vendredi leur “exclusion” des “assises nationales”, prévues à partir de samedi par la junte malienne, en préalable aux élections et à un retour des civils au pouvoir.

Mali: Enabling Dialogue with the Jihadist Coalition JNIM | 10 December 2021 | International Crisis Group

The Malian government has expressed willingness to explore dialogue with Islamist insurgents, some of whom have sent reciprocal conciliatory signals. Previous talks among communal leaders, militants and militiamen yielded several local ceasefires that eased suffering in rural areas. Yet no one has taken steps to prepare high-level negotiations.

Russian Mercenaries Threaten CAR Stability Over Alleged Civilian Abuses | 10 December 2021 | VoA

Russia’s influence in the Central African Republic is growing as the country grapples with insurgents, according to the International Crisis Group. The CAR government hired the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary contractor for security. But Wagner’s alleged rights violations against killing civilians, aid workers, and journalists have caused tensions with CAR’s western supporters and uproar at home.

Dozens die and thousands flee in West Darfur tribal fighting | 10 December 2021 | The Guardian

Tribal fighting has killed dozens of people over the past three weeks in three separate areas of Sudan’s West Darfur region and thousands of people have fled the violence, local medics have said.

Deadly clashes over scarce resources in Cameroon force 30,000 to flee to Chad | 10 December 2021 | UNHCR | ReliefWeb

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply concerned by renewed intercommunal clashes that erupted this week in Cameroon’s Far North region, displacing thousands inside the country and forcing more than 30,000 people to flee to neighbouring Chad.

ICC judges confirm war crimes charges against Central African Republic suspect Said | 10 December 2021 | Reuters

Judges at the International Criminal Court on Thursday confirmed war crimes and crimes against humanity charges levied by prosecutors against a former commander of the « Seleka » faction in Central African Republic.

Les djihadistes du Mozambique font bouger les lignes en Afrique australe | 9 December 2021 | La Libre Afrique

La tension est actuellement retombée d’un cran dans le nord du Mozambique dans la province de Cabo Delgado, riche en gaz, devenu l’une des cibles de prédilection de mouvements islamistes en Afrique.

RDC-Rutshuru : Le groupement Rugari se vide de ses habitants, les FARDC s’affrontent avec les miliciens Nyantura | 9 December 2021 | Actualite.cd

Les Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) s’affrontent depuis la soirée de mercredi 8 décembre 2021 avec les miliciens de la Coalition des mouvements Congolais (CMC) Nyantura dans le groupement de Rugari, en territoire de Rutshuru (Nord-Kivu). Selon les sources locales, les positions de l’armée ont été attaquées par les assaillants dans l’objectif de libérer un des leurs membres qui est détenu par l’armée.

South Sudan: Survivors describe killings, mass displacement and terror amid fighting in Western Equatoria | 9 December 2021 | Amnesty International | ReliefWeb

Dozens of civilians in South Sudan were killed and tens of thousands displaced amid fighting between armed groups in Western Equatoria state from June to October this year, Amnesty International said today, after carrying out an in-person investigation and interviewing dozens of survivors.

Terrorism: The Sahel-5 are turning to Russia | 9 December 2021 | Modern Diplomacy

With renewed interest to uproot French domination, Russia has ultimately began its inroads into the Sahel region, an elongated landlocked territory located between north Africa (Maghreb) and west Africa region, and also stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

Central African Republic: Dozens suspected of criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity remain at large | 8 December 2021 | Amnesty International

Dozens of persons suspected of criminal responsibility for crimes under international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity remain at large in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International in a briefing published today.

Burkina Faso’s security sector reform can no longer wait | 7 December 2021 | ISS | DefenceWeb

With violence at a peak, the country needs to coordinate its structures and adopt a new vision to ensure the safety of its citizens.

Une avancée des djihadistes vers Bamako est-elle possible ? | 7 December 2021 | MaliWeb.net

Plusieurs régions du Mali sont frappées par des attaques terroristes. Au point que la capitale, Bamako, n’est plus forcément hors de portée des groupes armés.

Traques des groupes armés en RDC : la MONUSCO a déjà reçu le feu vert pour utiliser la force | 7 December 2021 | Radio Okapi

La MONUSCO a déjà le feu vert de New-York [Conseil de sécurité] pour utiliser la force contre les forces négatives, actives dans la partie Est de la République démocratique du Congo. Le commandant de la force de la Mission onusienne, le lieutenant général Marcos De Sa Affonso Da Costa, l’a déclaré mardi 7 décembre, à l’issue de la signature, avec les FARDC, du document axé sur la directive concernant la conduite des opérations conjointes de traque des groupes armés.

Mercenaires russes au Mali : quelle est la position de la France ? | 7 December 2021 | Europe 1

Cela fait plusieurs mois que la présence de mercenaires russes au Mali suscite l’inquiétude des puissances occidentales. La France elle, s’oppose à Wagner, tant le groupe russe a laissé de mauvais souvenirs dans tous les pays où il est passé, notamment en République centrafricaine, en Libye ou encore au Mozambique.

RDC: Une ONG invite le gouvernement à s’activer pour la reconnaissance de droits fonciers des autochtones pygmées expulsés Parc de Kahuzi-Biega | 6 December 2021 | Actualite.cd

L’ONG Environnement, Ressources naturelles et Développement (ERND) appelle le Gouvernement congolais à reconnaître de possession de terres ancestrales des peuples autochtones pygmées ainsi que les communautés locales expliqués du parc national de Kahuzi-Biega au le sud-Kivu, dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo.

DR Congo: Limitations to ‘strictly military approach’ to stem violence, mission chief warns | 6 December 2021 | UN News

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo told the Security Council on Monday that “a lasting solution” to the violence “requires a broader political commitment to address the root causes of conflict.”

Coopération FARDC-UPDF : Bintou Keita souligne la nécessité de permettre à la MONUSCO de continuer l’appui à l’armée congolaise | 6 December 2021 | Radio Okapi

La cheffe de la MONUSCO, Bintou Keita, dit avoir pris note de la décision souveraine de la RDC d’amorcer des opérations militaires conjointes avec l’Ouganda au Nord-Kivu et en Ituri. Devant le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, lundi 6 décembre, elle affirme cependant avoir souligné aux deux états la nécessité absolue de mettre en place des mécanismes de coopération afin d’assurer la sécurité des casques bleus.

Beni : l’évaluation de l’état de siège devrait aboutir à améliorer les conditions des militaires (CEPADHO) | 6 December 2021 | Radio Okapi

L’évaluation de l’état de siège devrait servir de base pour améliorer les conditions de travail des animateurs et des militaires impliqués dans cette opération, afin de mettre définitivement fin à l’insécurité dans la région de Beni au Nord-Kivu.

U.S. Support for Conventional Weapons Destruction in the Horn of Africa | 2 December 2021 | Director for the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement Congressional Uxo Caucus | U.S. Department of State

Good afternoon. My name is Karen Chandler, and I am the Director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (or WRA) within the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. I am honored to participate in today’s UXO Caucus event.

Russia, Wagner Group, and Mali: How European fears weaken European policy | 2 December 2021 | ECFR

Europeans reacted sharply to the news of Wagner Group’s interest in Mali – and interviews suggest the company has been present in the country. But European states and the EU remain the dominant security and development player in the Sahel.

ACLED Regional Overview – Africa (20 – 26 November 2021) | 2 December 2021 | ACLED | ReliefWeb

Last week in Africa, demonstrators blocked a French logistics convoy in Burkina Faso; a suicide bombing attack by Al Shabaab militants targeted journalists in Somalia; and a deal struck between the military and the ousted prime minister sparked mass demonstrations across Sudan.

Five questions regarding Ugandan intervention in the eastern Congo | 1 December 2021 | Congo Research Group

Over the weekend, the Kivu Security Tracker reported on possible joint operations between the Ugandan and Congolese armies against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). RFI, AFP and Reuters then also reported on these operations. These news stories provoked a raft of questions, some of which I will try to answer here.

Mercenaries and private military security: Africa’s thin grey line | 1 December 2021 | ISS

Recent reports indicate the presence of the Russian Wagner Group in Africa, particularly in the Central African Republic (CAR), and its alleged imminent arrival in Mali. This raises questions about the resurgence of private military and security companies (PMSCs) on the continent.

ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CONFLICT

Drone Swarms In Ethiopia | 25 January 2022 | The American Conservative

Debates around armed drones tend to focus on the U.S.’s keen application of the hardware. Due to the war in Afghanistan, however, the armed drone cat has been truly let out of the bag. This now goes far beyond the scope of U.S. involvement, as the civilian casualties in Ethiopia’s ongoing conflict show.

How Abiy Ahmed Betrayed Oromia and Endangered Ethiopia | 25 January 2022 | Foreign Policy

A former government official recounts how the prime minister’s failed reform agenda paved the way for war in Tigray.

Evidence from civilian bombing in Ethiopia points to Turkish drone | 25 January 2022 | Politico

Newly obtained photographs of missile fragments provide the first material evidence that Ethiopia used a Turkish drone this month in an attack that killed 58 civilians sheltering in a school.

Ethiopian army planning to ‘eliminate’ Tigrayan forces -military official | 23 January 2022 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s military is planning to enter the Tigray regional capital of Mekelle and « eliminate » rebellious forces, a top military official said late on Friday amid diplomatic efforts to end conflict in the country’s north.

Tigray: The deliberate destruction of a health system | 18 January 2022 | Devex

In the basement of her home in the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Mekelle, in November 2020, Dr. Fana Gebrezgabher and her family hid as the city was shelled around them. Her neighborhood was hit, instantly killing four members of one family and two in another.

Getting to grips with Ethiopia’s ethnic and political violence is vital for stability | 17 January 2022 | ISS | DefenceWeb

Ethiopia’s 2018 transition failed to bring stability to the country. On the contrary, sporadic ethnic and political violence since then has brought the nation to its knees. And its war in the north with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that started in November 2020 has tipped the country into further crisis.

Ethiopia says WHO chief has links to rebellious Tigrayan forces | 15 January 2022 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry has called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate its leader for supporting rebellious forces fighting the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia: Tigray on brink of humanitarian disaster, UN says | 14 January 2022 | The Guardian

The Tigray region of northern Ethiopia stands on the edge of a humanitarian disaster, the UN has said, as fighting escalates and stocks of essential food for malnourished children run out.

Ethiopia at crossroads as drone attacks worsen Tigray crisis | 14 January 2022 | DW

While drone attacks kill dozens of people in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed continues to push for national dialogue to end the conflict. Will his plan succeed?

Ethiopia PM must end Tigray conflict, Nobel committee says | 14 January 2022 | Reuters

The committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize appealed on Thursday to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won the award in 2019, to halt the conflict unfolding in the country’s northern region of Tigray.

Ethiopia objects to alleged “misconduct” of WHO chief Tedros | 14 January 2022 | The Associated Press

The government of Ethiopia has sent a letter to the World Health Organization, accusing its Ethiopian director-general of “misconduct” after his sharp criticism of the war and humanitarian crisis in the country.

Blockade creates ‘hell’ in Ethiopia’s Tigray: WHO | 12 January 2022 | al Jazeera

A blockade preventing medicines and other life-saving supplies reaching Ethiopia’s Tigray has created “hell” in the war-ravaged region, and is “an insult to our humanity”, said the World Health Organization’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Air strike in Ethiopia’s Tigray kills at least 17, aid workers say | 11 January 2022 | Reuters

An air strike in the town of Mai Tsebriin Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray on Monday killed at least 17 people, mostly women, and wounded dozens, two aid workers told Reuters, citing local authorities and eyewitnesses.

UN reports record number of civilians killed in airstrikes across Ethiopia’s Tigray region | 31 December 2021 | RFI

Dozens of civilians have been reportedly killed over the past week in a barrage of air strikes in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region – the highest casualties recorded since October.

Ethiopie : au Tigré occidental, «un nettoyage ethnique est en cours» | 30 December 2021 | Liberation

Depuis plus d’un an, les Tigréens sont la cible d’une violence accrue et de discours haineux. Au point que de nombreuses voix s’alarment d’une dérive génocidaire dans l’ouest de la région.

Atrocities, War Expand Beyond Ethiopia’s Tigray | 30 December 2021 | VoA

What began as a conflict between the Ethiopian Federal government and a local military in late 2020, exploded into a civil war in 2021 that has forced two million people to flee their homes and left hundreds of thousands of people in famine-like conditions. The war continues expanding, with displacements, ethnic killings and mass rape in the increasingly devastated region.

In Ethiopia war, new abuse charges turn spotlight on Tigrayan former rulers | 28 December 2021 | Reuters

Ethiopian troops and their allies have driven back Tigrayan forces that had advanced on the capital. Reuters visited areas formerly held by the rebels and documented accounts of rapes and killings.

Pan-Africanism or impunity? The divisive Tigray crimes issue | 28 December 2021 | The East African

When Fijian diplomat Nazhat Shameem, the current President of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), decides to name the panel of experts to investigate alleged atrocities in Ethiopia, two things may happen: Blanket rejection of the team, denying it cooperation it needs to check violations in the country; or Ethiopia and Africa in general could be isolated on the sensitive issue of who has committed more atrocities in the Tigray war.

How Ethiopia’s Conflict Deepened in 2021 | 27 December 2021 | Foreign Policy

Ethiopia’s civil war, which began in November 2020, has escalated and taken multiple turns throughout 2021 as government forces battle rebels from the country’s former dominant party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). What was initially presented by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as a swift “police action” has turned into a protracted conflict involving the presence of troops from Ethiopia’s former enemy, Eritrea, and allegations and compelling evidence of war crimes committed by all parties.

Ethiopia to lose access to lucrative US trade program following CNN investigation | 24 December 2021 | CNN

The White House will eject Ethiopia from a trade program between sub-Saharan African countries and the United States over human rights violations, according to a statement Thursday.

US concerned over Iran, Turkey, UAE-supplied drones in Ethiopia war | 21 December 2021 | al-Monitor

The Biden administration has expressed increasing concern with foreign arms sales to Ethiopia amid the country’s brutal civil war, with particular focus on armed drones provided by Turkey and Iran.

The Daunting Obstacles to Peace in Ethiopia | 21 December 2021 | Council on Foreign Relations

Tigrayan forces’ withdrawal from regions beyond Tigray, framed as an olive branch to the Ethiopian state to end the warring parties’ conflict, is unlikely to have any meaningful effect in incentivizing peace.

Ethiopia crisis: Human Rights Council sets up international rights probe | 17 December 2021 | UN News

China votes ‘no’ on Tigray abuses probe by UN team, calls it interference in Ethiopia’s affairs | 19 December 2021 | South China Morning Post

Serious concerns over alleged severe human rights violations and abuses in Ethiopia should be investigated by an international rights probe, the Human Rights Council agreed in a vote on Friday.

Ethiopia: New wave of atrocities in Western Tigray | 16 December 2021 | Amnesty International

Amhara security forces are responsible for a surge of mass detentions, killings and forced expulsions of ethnic Tigrayans in the Western Tigray territory of northern Ethiopia, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.

Massacres, Rape, Siege: Why Israel Must Stop Its UAE Ally Aiding Ethiopia’s Atrocities | 15 December 2021 | Haaretz

The UAE is running a huge airlift arming an Ethiopian regime committing mass atrocities in Tigray. That inhumane adventurism is a strategic problem for Israel, too.

Ethiopia war: World heritage site Lalibela back in rebel hands | 13 December 2021 | BBC

Rebels from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region have retaken the historic town of Lalibela, witnesses have said. There was reportedly no exchange of fire as the town, a UN World Heritage site, swapped hands.

Ethiopia: Tigray Forces Summarily Execute Civilians | 9 December 2021 | HRW

Tigrayan forces summarily executed dozens of civilians in two towns they controlled in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region between August 31 and September 9, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. These killings highlight the urgent need for the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish an international investigative mechanism into abuses by all warring parties in the expanded Tigray conflict.

Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict threatens to break country apart | 8 December 2021 | DW

After more than a year of war in Tigray, Ethiopia’s ethnic divides now run deeper than ever. This will make it hard for the country to heal if peace ever comes.

Ethiopia accuses US and allies of ‘destructive’ approach | 7 December 2021 | al-Jazeera

Prime Minister’s spokesperson says accusations of illegal detentions by the government were ‘misguided’.

Ethiopia claims strategic gains despite TPLF denials | 7 December 2021 | DW

Ethiopian forces have recaptured two strategic towns, government says | 6 December 2021 | Reuters

Dessie and Kombolcha are now the front lines of the ongoing Tigray conflict. Ethiopian forces have claimed they have taken the key towns but Tigrayan forces say they made a planned withdrawal.

Peace Is Still Possible in Ethiopia. How to Avoid a Balkan-Style Catastrophe in the Horn of Africa | 6 December 2021 | Foreign Affairs

Ethiopia is sprinting toward calamity. Last week, as the rebel forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and their allies advanced toward the capital of Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed traveled to the frontline and vowed to lead Ethiopian troops into battle himself.

Abiy’s efforts to block external supplies to TPLF attract Mideast powers to conflict | 5 December 2021 | The East African

The desire by the Ethiopian government to seal off external access routes for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has attracted Middle East rivals to the Tigray war, adding outside influence to the year-long conflict.

Armed Raids in Northwest Ethiopia Fill Camps With Displaced | 3 December 2021 | Bloomberg

A conflict between two of Ethiopia’s northern states has intensified, with thousands of people in the western Tigray region forced to flee their homes or detained.

Human rights: Civilian suffering in Tigray | 3 December 2021 | Chatham House

Since the conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray Special Forces began 12 months ago, more than 50,000 people have sought refuge in Sudan. By August 2021, more than 1.7 million people were internally displaced in Tigray, while Afar and Amhara regional states have also been affected, with fighting continuing to expand in these regions.

Mass atrocities in Ethiopia expose the limitations of early warning tools | 2 December 2021 | The Conversation

Since conflict erupted in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, in November 2020, there have been widespread reports of atrocities in the region. Hundreds of massacres and attacks on civilians have been documented. Recently, the conflict has spread to other areas of the country. While all sides have been accused of atrocities, there is a clear difference in the scale of the atrocities committed by government-aligned forces against Tigrayan civilians.

The Horn Of Africa Heads Toward Apocalypse | 2 December 2021 | The American Conservative

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed went to the front to take control of the military. The dramatic maneuver won applause at home. In one video he is seen in khakis, promising viewers that “We won’t flinch till we bury the enemy and ensure Ethiopia’s freedom.”

Ethiopian Air Force destroys Tekeze hydroelectric dam in Tigray | 2 December 2021 | Garowe Online

Several areas in the Tigray region of Ethiopia could witness unprecedented blackouts for the next couple of months, following the destruction of the Tekeze hydroelectric power station, which serves many areas across northern Ethiopia.

Underinvestment, Corporate Greed and Lack of Oversight: The Scandal of Facebook’s Role in Ethiopia’s Conflict | 1 December 2021 | African Arguments

It is not news that Facebook – now Meta – can and does spread disinformation and hate speech, exacerbating division, discord and violence, and that extreme content is not a glitch, but rather integral to its algorithm-driven engagement and profit model. Examples from around the world are numerous. Neither is it new information that this dynamic is currently taking place in Ethiopia: civil society groups in the region have been urgently highlighting the issue since long before October 2021, when whistle blower Frances Haugen made headlines denouncing her former employer, including for their role in fomenting conflict in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Accuses Twitter of Pro-rebel Bias in Complaint | 1 December 2021 | VoA

Ethiopia has filed a complaint with Twitter accusing the social media giant of suspending accounts critical of Tigrayan rebels it has been fighting in a gruesome, year-long war, a government spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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