1 – 7 January 2015

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On the 2nd of January the official ultimatum date issued by the ICGLR and SADC for FDLR rebels to voluntarily disarm expired. When asked about the plight of civilians when operations will be launched, Special Representative Moustapha Soumare said that mechanisms have been put in place to support this process. Jason Stearns reported that, almost immediately, the UN and Congolese army launched military operations, not against the FDLR, but against the FNL – Burundian rebels who have several small bases in the Rusizi Plain in South Kivu – as a means to clear the ground for a broader offensive against the FDLR in the coming days.

On the 3rd of January, the FARDC and MONUSCO took back control over the town of Abya, to the north-east of the town of Beni (North Kivu) after heavy fighting with ADF rebels. According to the commander of the operation “Sokola II” General Muhindo Akili Mundosi, five rebels were killed and four others wounded during the clashes, which took place within Virunga National Park. On the 4th, General Mundosi reported the regaining of Mavume, under operation “Sokola I”.

Three armed attacks by suspected rebels of the LRA have been recorded in the last four days last year in Dungu. Civil society have called for deployment of the army in the Garamba National Park.

In a report which has not yet been officially released, The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon recommends a 10% reduction in the military strength of MONUSCO. According to Agence France Presse, Ban Ki-moon made this recommendation in a report to the Security Council in view of the renewal of the mandate of MONUSCO in March.

The leader of the (FRPI) – Banaloki Matata, alias Cobra Matata – was arrested on Friday, January 2 by the FARDC. Matata was transferred to Kinshasa on the 5th. Meanwhile, Dominic Ongwen, a top commander in the LRA was reportedly captured on the 5th January by the Seleka rebel group in CAR, and is now in the custody of the US forces working with African troops in the region.

Around 100 fighters were killed last week by Burundi’s army in forests, around 50 kilometres north of Bujumbura. Burundi’s army have revealed that rebels, who have suffered heavy losses in recent battles with the army, had planned a major offensive to destabilise the country ahead of elections later this year. On the 6th, five men dressed in army fatigues tied up the CNDD-FDD (the ruling party) supporters in eastern Burundi before killing them. They then went to the CNDD-FDD office in Gisuru, near the border with Tanzania, and burned the party flag.

The diamond mining sector saw a tragedy on January the 3rd in Bipemba, Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental), when three people were trapped in a collapsed tunnel. However, Nigerians adversely affect by the oil industry gained a victory. Oil giant Shell agreed to pay out $84m to with residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta for two oil spills in 2008 and 2009.

IPIS’ Latest Publications

IPIS Insights: The Arms Trade Treaty. Prospects and Challenges as it “enters into force” | December 2014 | IPIS
In this IPIS Insight, the author outlines key developments in the making of the Arms Trade Treaty. He argues that the ATT represents a paradigm shift in addressing the way that international law on arms transfers because for the first time in history universal human rights obligations have been codified alongside other international standards to form binding rules to regulate conventional arms transfers. Nevertheless, as the author explains, the ATT is not a panacea. It is also outlined why it is significant for its future potential that the inception of the treaty in its modern form arose from civil society, which continues as an active partner with champion states in developing the treaty regime.

IPIS insights: Diamonds in the Central African Republic | December 2014 | IPIS
This IPIS Insight will elaborate on IPIS’ findings in its recent report, Mapping Conflict Motives: the Central African Republic – the latest in our conflict mapping series. It gives some insight into the modes of exploitation used by armed groups in the CAR to profit from diamonds and the role these stones have played in the complex and shifting dynamics that characterise the on-going crisis, both in the east and west of the country. It will then briefly consider the KP’s role in this context.

Mapping Conflict Motives: the Central African Republic | November 2014 | IPIS
In this study, IPIS analyses the conflict dynamics in the Central African Republic (CAR) since the outbreak of the latest crisis in September 2012 up to September 2014. The analysis specifically looks into the motivations and interests of the main conflict parties, Seleka and anti-balaka, and the influence and interests of neighbouring countries. The report covers the following key questions. What is the background of the conflict parties Seleka and anti-balaka, and how are they structured? Which strategic interests do they prioritise, or ignore? What do they want to achieve? Do their actions correspond to their rhetoric? What has been Chad’s, Sudan’s and Cameroon’s influence on the CAR conflict, and what have been their interests in it? Together with the report, a web map of the area of focus has been published and is available at The web map presents various layers, which can be toggled on or off, including information on security incidents, areas under control of armed groups, natural resources, and a number of other features. The map is an integrated part of the research methodology and has been a crucial source for IPIS’ analysis. Also have a look at the Infographic, at La traduction en français sera disponible prochainement.

The Adverse Human Rights Risks and Impacts of European Companies: Getting a glimpse of the picture | October 2014 | IPIS
This report presents the findings of a study undertaken by IPIS and commissioned by the European Coalition for Corporate Justice on the extent to which European companies are identified in concerns about adverse human rights risks and impacts. Gathering concerns raised regarding the human rights risks and impacts of companies listed on the UK’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC 40 and the German DAX 30, the study finds that around half of these companies have been identified in allegations or concerns regarding adverse human rights risks and impacts reported on between 2005 and early 2013. Many of these risks and impacts relate to operations outside the European Union, with the most severe often alleged to occur in countries in which rule of law and institutions are weak.

The Adverse Human Rights Risks and Impacts of European Companies: Getting a glimpse of the picture. Annexes | October 2014 | IPIS
This Annex accompanies the report that presents the findings of a study undertaken by IPIS and commissioned by the European Coalition for Corporate Justice on the extent to which European companies are identified in concerns about adverse human rights risks and impacts.

Mapping Conflict Minerals: Eastern DRC (2013-2014) | 31 October 2014 | IPIS
In collaboration with the Congolese mining cadastre (CAMI), mining service SAESSCAM and representatives from local civil society organisations, IPIS organised a series of field visits to monitor artisanal mining activities and the involvement of armed groups and criminal networks in mineral exploitation and trade. This resulted in the publication of an interactive web map providing information on e.g. the on-site presence of armed groups and criminal elements within the Congolese army (FARDC) and their activities, as well as indicators of the relative importance of the mining site. It shows the location of 150 trading centres and nearly 1100 mining sites in Eastern DRC. An accompanying report provides an analysis of the data collected by the local teams between March 2013 and March 2014 as presented by IPIS on its web map. It analyses the most striking findings, focussing on developments surrounding security and how they have impacted on Eastern DRC’s artisanal mining sector. Finally, the report also explains how the map can be used to assess risks in mineral supply chains.

Supply Chains and Transport Corridors in East Africa ❘ June 2014 ❘ IPIS and TransArms-Research
Transport infrastructure plays a key role in boosting a country or region’s economic development. IPIS and TransArms have ascertained on several occasions that the underdevelopment or degeneration of transport infrastructure is a problematic issue across a number of African countries and regions. This report analyses the current logistics situation in Eastern Africa, and the logistic challenges faced by various actors in that region. It is based on desktop research, and interviews and data collected by the authors during several field missions to East and Central Africa. At the time of writing, however, logistic and other challenges to cost-efficient trade and overall economic development are yet to be addressed. Further research and policy actions to effectively tackle current shortcomings are much needed. A strategy relying on a piecemeal approach (e.g. on ad hoc investments in infrastructure) is likely to result in a ‘quick fix’ to ship raw materials out of the African continent rather than in an effort to boost sustainable economic development.

De Belgische ontwikkelingssamenwerking en fragiele staten: een kloof tussen beleid en praktijk? ❘ May 2014  11.11.11 i.s.m. IPIS
Zo goed als de helft van de Belgische middelen voor ontwikkelingshulp gaat naar partnerlanden waar de overheid niet de capaciteit, wil en/of legitimiteit heeft om de publieke zaken efficiënt te beheren, voor veiligheid te zorgen en om de bevolking uit de armoede te halen. Omdat traditionele hulprecepten in deze ‘fragiele staten’ op hun limieten stuiten, is er de laatste decennia een internationaal beleid ontwikkeld dat een blauwdruk voorstelt voor een gedifferentieerde aanpak om deze landen te ondersteunen in het traject richting meer weerbaarheid. De Belgische ontwikkelingssamenwerking onderschrijft de internationale engagementen over fragiele staten die hieruit ontstonden, zoals de fragiele staten principes (FSP’s) en de New Deal. In 2013 werd er een Belgische strategienota voor fragiele situaties goedgekeurd. Positief is dat België zich, ondanks de moeilijke context, rond dit thema blijft engageren – zowel op internationaal beleidsniveau als binnen haar eigen ontwikkelingsbeleid.

Conflict and security

Recent news on conflict, security and arms trade across the Great Lakes Region. 


U.N. wants fewer but better performing troops in Congo | 5 January 2015 | Reuters U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommends in a report reducing the number of peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of the Congo by nearly 10 percent while making it more effective when it comes to protecting civilians from armed groups. A strategic review of the United Nations Congo mission (MONUSCO), obtained by Reuters on Monday, was submitted to the 15-member Security Council and is dated Dec. 30.

Congo: Rebels Under Attack | 5 January 2015 | New York Times
United Nations and Congolese troops launched airstrikes and a ground offensive on Monday against remnants of a Burundian rebel group based in an eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a United Nations military spokesman said.

DR Congo: Wanted rebel’s troops instill fear | 6 January 2015 | Human Rights Watch
Congo-Kinshasa: Step up Efforts to Arrest Wanted Rebel, Says Rights Group | 6 January 2015 | AllAfrica
Congo-Kinshasa: Wanted Rebel’s Troops Instill Fear – 4 Years Since Arrest Warrant, Sheka Still At Large | 6 January 2015 | AllAfrica
Congolese authorities should intensify efforts to arrest and bring to justice a rebel commander whose troops have committed vicious killings, mass rapes, mutilations, and child abductions in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. On January 6, 2011, Congolese judicial authorities issued an arrest warrant for the Mai Mai militia leader Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka for crimes against humanity for mass rape, but he remains at large.

Attacks in Beni, eastern Congo. Part 2: Violence continues, authorities launch gradual response | 6 January 2015 | Enough Project
On the morning of October 31st, a gruesome discovery undermined expressions of good intention made by government and MONUSCO authorities to local populations. As many as 48 bodies were found in the region. After nearly two weeks of reprieve in violence, this further fuelled civilian discontent that had been smouldering throughout the month.

Joseph Kabila confirme la tenue d’élections provinciales en 2015 | 01 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le chef de l’Etat Joseph Kabila a respecté la tradition, en adressant mercredi 31 décembre dans la soirée à la nation congolaise ses vœux pour la nouvelle année 2015. A travers son message radiotélévisé, le président de la République a annoncé l’organisation, cette année 2015, des élections locales, municipales et provinciales ainsi que du recensement. Il  a passé aussi en revue les grands événements qui ont marqué 2014.

Dans le grand flou de 2015  | 01 January 2015 | Afrikarabia (blog)
Révision constitutionnelle, élections locales, glissement du calendrier électoral, M23, FDLR, massacres à répétions à Beni, économie en croissance mais sans recette… l’année 2015 est pleine de défis et d’incertitudes pour la République démocratique du Congo (RDC). La RDC s’engage dans l’année 2015 sans grande visibilité. Sur le plan politique, économique ou sécuritaire, l’année qui vient, continue de rimer avec instabilité. Pourtant, le président Kabila a terminé 2014 avec deux annonces importantes : la formation attendue depuis 13 mois d’un gouvernement de cohésion nationale et la confirmation de la tenue des élections locales, municipales et provinciales pour la fin 2015. Mais ces déclarations ne lèvent pas le voile sur les intentions du président congolais pour 2016, alors que la Constitution actuelle lui interdit de briguer un troisième mandat.

Désarmement des FDLR: fin de l’ultimatum de la SADC et de la CIRGL | 02 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
L’ultimatum lancé par la CIRGL et la SADC aux rebelles rwandais des FDLR pour désarmer volontairement expire ce vendredi 2 janvier. Passé ce délai, des opérations militaires devraient être lancées pour les désarmer de force. Interrogé sur le sort des civils quand ces opérations seront lancées, le représentant spécial adjoint du secrétaire général de l’Onu et coordonnateur des activités humanitaires en RDC, Moustapha Soumaré, a déclaré que des mécanismes ont été mis en place pour accompagner ce processus.

International Envoys for the Great Lakes Region call for decisive actions against the FDLR | 02 January 2015 | MONUSCO
2 January 2015, marks the expiration of the six month grace period granted by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the full and unconditional surrender and demobilization of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Rebels in Congo Face Military Action After Missing Arms Deadline | 02 January 2015 | Bloomberg
Rwandan rebels operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo may face military action to end their 15-year rebellion after failing to meet today’s deadline to voluntarily disarm and surrender. The ethnic Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda was given a six-month extension in July by African regional bodies, including the Southern African Development Community, and the United Nations to lay down their weapons.

Les opérations militaires contre les FDLR vont débuter «à tout moment», selon le général Wafy | 03 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
«A tout moment et n’importe où, les opérations militaires pour désarmer  par force les rebelles de FDLR,  Forces  démocratiques  pour la libération du Rwanda, vont commencer », a déclaré ce samedi 3 janvier à l’aéroport  de Goma le représentant spéciale adjoint  du Secrétaire général de l’Onu en RDC chargé des opérations dans l’Est du pays, le général  Abdallah  Wafy. Pour ce responsable de la Monusco, après le constat fait la veille par les envoyés spéciaux et le gouvernement congolais, il n’y a pas d’alternative à l’option militaire, qui va être mise en œuvre. Il rassure également  que des dispositions vont être prises pour que les populations civiles soient protégées.

La MONUSCO et l’armée lancent une offensive contre les rebelles burundais des FNL | 05 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Décidée fin 2014, une opération militaire conjointe Monusco-armée congolaise a été lancée lundi contre les rebelles burundais des Forces nationales de la libération (FNL), actifs dans le Sud-Kivu. Rien à voir avec les derniers affrontements au Burundi, selon la mission onusienne en RDC. “Ce matin [5 janvier], à 6 heures 30, des hélicoptères d’attaque de la brigade d’intervention des Nations unies ont ouvert le bal à Ruhoha, localité située à environ 25 km à l’est d’Uvira, où des positions des rebelles burundais des Forces nationales de libération (FNL) étaient préalablement identifiées”. Joint au téléphone par Jeune Afrique, le lieutenant-colonel Félix Prosper Basse, porte-parole militaire de la Mission de l’ONU en RDC (Monusco), a précisé que l’offensive s’inscrit dans le cadre du mandat de la Monusco pour “neutraliser tous les groupes armés dans l’est de la RDC”.

En l’absence de reddition complète des rebelles, l’ONU se prépare à des opérations militaires | 05 January 2015 | UN News
Alors que les rebelles des Forces démocratiques pour la libération du Rwanda (FDLR) n’ont pas respecté l’échéance du 2 janvier pour leur reddition complète, la Mission des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO) se prépare à des opérations militaires, a indiqué lundi un porte-parole de l’ONU.

RDC : l’ONU et ses partenaires appellent à agir militairement contre les FDLR | 2 January 2015 | Reliefweb
International Envoys for the Great Lakes Region call for decisive actions against the FDLR | 2 January 2015 | Reliefweb
Rwanda: Government of Rwanda Statement On Need for Urgent Military Action Against FDLR | 2 January 2015 | AllAfrica
RDC : option militaire contre les FDLR ? | 5 January 2015 |
Today, 2 January 2015, marks the expiration of the six month grace period granted by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the full and unconditional surrender and demobilization of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Le chef milicien Cobra Matata mis aux arrêts | 02 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le chef milicien de la Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI) Matata Banaloki, alias Cobra Matata, a été arrêté vendredi 2 janvier par des éléments du secteur opérationnel des FARDC. Des sources prochesde l’armée dans ce district indiquent que, sauf imprévu, le chef milicien devrait être transféré à Kinshasa samedi. Cette arrestation suscite des interrogations sur place en Ituri, où plusieurs s’inquiètent de la suite du processus de désarmement des miliciens, amorcé depuis novembre 2014 dernier, mais dont la vitesse a toujours été jugée lente.

La localité d’Aveba se vide de ses habitants après l’arrestation de Cobra Matata | 04 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La localité d’Aveba, en Ituri (Province Orientale), se vide depuis samedi 3 janvier de ses habitants, après la nouvelle sur l’arrestation du chef milicien de la Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI), Justin Banaloki alias Cobra Matata. Ce chef de guerre a été arrêté, vendredi dernier, par des éléments du secteur opérationnel des FARDC dans la localité de Délé, principale voie de sortie vers le Sud de la cité de Bunia.

Réunion mi-janvier des presidents d’Afrique austral sur la question des FDLR | 04 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Les présidents des pays d’Afrique australe se rencontreront à la mi-janvier pour décider des suites à donner au non-respect par les rebelles rwandais dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo de l’ultimatum fixé pour leur reddition. “L’ultimatum fixé par les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement (…) aux Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) pour leur désarmement, sous peine de représailles militaires, a expiré le 2 janvier”, a constaté dans un communiqué le président sud-africain Jacob Zuma.

Cobra Matata transféré à Kinshasa | 05 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le leader de la Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI), Justin Banaloki, alias Cobra Matata, a été transféré lundi 5 janvier dans la matinée à Kinshasa. Son transfèrement est intervenu trois jours après son arrestation à Bunia par le commandement militaire opérationnelle de l’Ituri pour crimes de guerre et crimes contre l’humanité. Le chef milicien a été transporté à bord d’un avion de la Monusco.

Ban Ki-moon recommande la réduction de la force de la Monusco | 07 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le Secrétaire général de l’Onu, Ban Ki-moon, recommande une réduction de 10% des effectifs militaires de la Monusco sur le territoire congolais, soit de 20 000 hommes à 18 000. Selon l’Agence France Presse, Ban Ki-moon a fait cette recommandation, le week-end dernier, dans un rapport qui, du reste, n’est pas encore publié mais transmis au Conseil de sécurité dans la perspective du renouvellement du mandat de la Monusco en mars prochain. «Il est recommandé de réduire les effectifs autorisés de la Monusco de 2 000 hommes », a indiqué Ban Ki-moon dans son rapport non encore officiellement publié.

Martin Kobler définit les priorités de la Monusco en 2015 | 07 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La Monusco se fixe trois priorités pour l’année 2015. Il s’agit des opérations militaires contre les rebelles rwandais des FDLR, du développement économique de l’Est du pays et de la mise en œuvre des accords d’Addis-Abeba. Le chef de la Monusco, Martin Kobler, l’a annoncé mercredi 7 janvier lors de la conférence hebdomadaire des Nations unies à Kinshasa. S’agissant de la traque des FDLR, Martin Kobler précise que la cible reste les combattants et non la population civile.

North Kivu

L’ONU et ses partenaires appellent à agir militairement contre les FDLR | 02 January 2015 | UN News
Alors qu’expire ce 2 janvier 2015 le délai de grâce pour la reddition des rebelles des FDLR en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), l’ONU et ses partenaires ont noté vendredi que les rebelles n’ont pas respecté cette échéance et ont appelé à agir militairement contre eux pour les neutraliser. La Conférence internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL) et la Communauté de développement de l’Afrique australe (SADC) avaient fixé ce délai de grâce de six mois pour la reddition et la démobilisation complètes et inconditionnelles des Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR).

Les FARDC et la Monusco délogent les ADF d’Abya | 04 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC), appuyées par la Brigade d’intervention de la Monusco, ont repris, samedi 3 janvier, le contrôle de la localité d’Abya, à environ 70 km au Nord-Est de la ville de Beni (Nord-Kivu), après de violents combats avec les rebelles ougandais des ADF. Selon le commandant  de l’opération «Sokola II», général Muhindo Akili Mundosi, 5 rebelles ont été tués et 4 autres blessés pendant ces affrontements qui se sont déroulés en plein parc national des Virunga.

Les FARDC et la Monusco délogent les ADF de Mavume | 05 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) appuyées par  la Brigade d’intervention de la Monusco ont pris le contrôle de  Mavume (Nord-Kivu) dimanche 4 janvier en fin d’après-midi après de violents combats avec les rebelles ougandais de l’ADF. Selon le commandant de l’opération « Sokola1 », général Muhindo Akili Mundosi, un rebelle a été tué et plusieurs effets de ravitaillement des combattants ougandais ont été récupérés pendant les combats.

Human Rights Watch réclame l’arrestation du chef milicien Cheka | 06 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Dans un communiqué publié mardi 6 janvier à Goma (Nord-Kivu), Human Rights Watch réclame l’arrestation du chef de guerre Ntabo Taberi Cheka, dont la milice Nduma défense of Congo (NDC) est accusée de plusieurs exactions contre les populations civiles dans cette province. Pour cette organisation internationale de défense des droits de l’homme, un « simple mandat d’arrêt ne suffira pas à contraindre un chef rebelle comme Cheka à cesser de commettre des atrocités ».

Le départ de l’armée de Walikale inquiète la population | 06 January 2015 | Afrikarabia (blog)
Une ONG congolaise dénonce « l’abandon » par l’armée congolaise (FARDC) d’une partie du territoire de Walikale (Nord-Kivu), entraînant la fuite de la population.

Four reasons military operations against the FDLR will have limited success | 06 January 2015 | Congo Siasa (blog)
The deadline provided by the United Nations, the ICGLR and SADC for the FDLR to demobilize expired on Friday. Almost immediately, the UN and Congolese army launched military operations ––not against the FDLR, but against the FNL, Burundian rebels who have several small bases in the Rusizi Plain in South Kivu. The UN said that this attack was a way of clearing the ground for a broader offensive against the FDLR in the coming days.

Les FARDC et la Monusco poursuivent la traque des ADF | 07 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les opérations conjointes FARDC-Monusco  contre les rebelles ougandais des ADF actifs dans le territoire de Beni (Nord-Kivu) se sont poursuivies mardi 6 janvier. Le général Jean Baillaud, commandant par intérim des forces de la Monusco, et le général Étienne Kasereka, commandant adjoint en charge des opérations de la 3e zone de défense des FARDC, ont visité quelques positions sous contrôle de l’armée et des casques bleus. Ces derniers sont déterminés à neutraliser définitivement les ADF, a réaffirmé le général Baillaud.

South Kivu

Martin Kobler, Chief of MONUSCO, applauds successful FARDC-MONUSCO operations against FNL  | 05 January 2015 | MONUSCO
“The joint operation FARDC-MONUSCO against FNL is a strong signal for all armed groups, including the FDLR: the only way toward peace is through voluntary disarmament,” recalled Martin Kobler. FARDC troops backed by MONUSCO’s attack helicopters and the Force Intervention Brigade took control of the FNL main bases in Ruhoha, 25 km east of Uvira in South Kivu province.

Les FARDC et la Monusco délogent les rebelles FNL de leurs bases à Ruhoha | 05 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les forces de la Monusco et l’armée congolaise ont récupéré ce lundi 5 janvier toutes les bases militaires contrôlées par les rebelles burundais du Front national de libération (FNL) à Ruhoha dans le Sud-Kivu. Le porte-parole militaire de la Monusco, colonel Félix Basse, l’a déclaré à Radio Okapi. Il a indiqué que ces bases ont été récupérées au terme d’une opération conjointe offensive lancée dans la matinée.

La Mission de l’ONU affirme sa détermination à combattre tous les groupes armés | 06 January 2015 | UN News
Le chef de la Mission des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO), Martin Kobler, s’est félicité mardi du succès conjoint des forces armées congolaises (FARDC) et des troupes de la MONUSCO contre les rebelles du Front national de libération (FNL) dans la province du Sud-Kivu.

Province Orientale

Trois attaques armées attribuées à la LRA à Dungu | 02 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Trois attaques armées perpétrées par des présumés rebelles de la LRA ont été enregistrées les quatre derniers jours de l’année dernière à Dungu. La société civile de ce territoire de la Province Orientale plaide pour un déploiement de l’armée dans le parc national de la Garamba, où se seraient retranchés ces rebelles ougandais.


‘Scores dead’ in Burundi clashes | 4 January 2015 | Al Jazeera
At least 100 people have been killed after a cross-border attack against the central African nation of Burundi from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), AFP news agency reports quoting a military source. A general in the Burundian army, speaking on condition of anonymity on Sunday, said the raid by the unidentified group had been thwarted after five days of heavy fighting in the border area north of the capital Bujumbura.

97 People Killed in Burundi Fighting Between Troops, Rebels | 5 January 2015 | New York Times
Days of fighting between Burundi troops and rebels who entered the Central African country killed 97 people, mostly rebels, Burundi’s government said Monday.

Rebels ‘planned offensive’ ahead of Burundi elections | 5 January 2015 | Reliefweb
Rebels in Burundi, who have suffered heavy losses in recent battles with the army, had planned a major offensive to destabilise the country ahead of elections later this year, the army said Monday. Over 100 fighters were killed last week by Burundi’s army in forests some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital Bujumbura.

Des centaines de rebelles défaits par l’armée burundaise | 5 January 2015 |
Plusieurs centaines de rebelles armés ont attaqué le Burundi la semaine dernière. L’armée du pays a annoncé ce dimanche les avoir anéanti. Après près de cinq jours d’affrontements, l’armée burundaise a annoncé ce dimanche avoir « anéanti » un groupe armé de plusieurs centaines de rebelles dans le nord-ouest du pays.

War-weary Burundians fear fresh violence as polls approach | 6 January 2015 | Reliefweb
People in Burundi’s hilltop village of Rwesero know well the impact of war after decades of conflict, but fear of fresh violence is growing after rebel battles ahead of elections this year. In the hills around Rwesero last week, Burundi’s army clashed with well equipped rebel fighters, with soldiers claiming some 100 insurgents were killed. The army has said the rebels had planned a major offensive to destabilise the country ahead of elections due in May and June.

La Mission d’observation électorale au Burundi a officiellement commencé à travailler | 03 January 2015 | UN News
Le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, Ban Ki-moon, s’est félicité que la Mission d’observation électorale des Nations Unies au Burundi (MENUB) ait officiellement commencé à travailler le 1er janvier 2015. Mandatée par la résolution 2137 (2014) du Conseil de sécurité, la Mission est dirigée par l’Envoyé spécial du Secrétaire général, Cassam Uteem, de l’île Maurice, a rappelé le porte-parole du Secrétaire général dans un communiqué de presse publié vendredi soir.

Une centaine de morts dans les affrontements entre forces de l’ordre et rebelles | 04 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Plus de cent rebelles qui ont affronté les forces de l’ordre dans le nord-ouest du Burundi pendant cinq jours ont été tués, a annoncé dimanche une source militaire, affirmant que le groupe a été anéanti. “Après cinq jours d’opérations militaires non stop, le groupe armé qui a attaqué le Burundi a été anéanti par les forces de l’ordre, (…) nous avons tué 105 malfaiteurs et quatre ont été capturés sur un total de 121 hommes entrés dans la province de Cibitoke (nord-ouest du Burundi) depuis la RDC mardi, a annoncé à l’AFP un général de l’armée sous couvert d’anonymat. Nous avons saisi également un mortier de 60 mm, cinq lance-roquettes, des mitrailleuses et plus de cents fusils.”

L’armée ne dévoile pas l’identité du groupe rebelle impliqué dans une attaque dans le Nord | 05 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
L’armée burundaise a organisé lundi une conférence de presse, une semaine après l’attaque dans le nord-ouest du Burundi d’un groupe rebelle en provenance de la RDC. Mais elle n’a pas levé le voile sur le mystère qui entoure ce dernier. Ceux qui espéraient que la conférence de presse de l’armée burundaise leur permettrait d’en savoir plus sur l’attaque de la semaine passée d’un groupe rebelle dans le nord-ouest du Burundi vont être déçus. Les assaillants, en provenance de République démocratique du Congo (RDC) voisine et interceptés par les forces de l’ordre à une cinquantaine de km au nord de la capitale Bujumbura, comptaient “atteindre la forêt de Kibira et s’y installer”, a expliqué lundi 5 décembre le porte-parole de l’armée, le colonel Gaspard Baratuza.

Climat sécuritaire tendu à six mois de la présidentielle | 06 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Alors que les zones d’ombre persistent autour de la récente attaque de Cibitoke, qui a fait plus de 100 morts parmi des rebelles non identifiés dans le nord-ouest du Burundi, trois militants du parti au pouvoir ont été assassinés dans l’Est. Les autorités soupçonnent des membres de l’opposition… Opposition et pouvoir se regardent désormais en chiens de faïence, se soupçonnant mutuellement de préparer des coups bas.

Burundi CNDD-FDD supporters shot dead in bar | 6 January 2015 | BBC News
Three ruling party activists have been shot dead by gunmen in a bar in eastern Burundi, police say. Five men dressed in army fatigues tied up the CNDD-FDD party supporters before killing them on Sunday night. They then went to the CNDD-FDD office in Gisuru, near the border with Tanzania, and burned the party flag. Party spokesman Onesime Nduwimana blamed “the extremist fringe of the opposition” bent on sabotaging elections due later this year.


Man claiming to be LRA commander surrenders in Central African Republic, U.S. says | 6 January 2015 | Reuters
A man identifying himself as Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army, gave himself up to U.S.-African forces tracking the guerrilla group in the Central African Republic, the State Department said on Tuesday. The United States is trying to verify whether the man in its custody is Ongwen, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Fighter Defects, Citing Ties to the Fugitive African Warlord Joseph Kony | 6 January 2015 | New York Times
A man claiming to be a senior commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, the ruthless renegade guerrilla organization in central Africa led by Joseph Kony, the fugitive warlord, has surrendered to a joint military task force of the United States and the African Union, a State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday in Washington.

Top Kony ‘aide’ surrenders to US forces | 7 January 2015 | Al Jazeera
A man claiming to be one of the top commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army has surrendered to American forces in the Central African Republic, a US official has said. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that a man saying he was senior LRA leader Dominic Ongwen had defected, and was in the custody of US forces deployed in the hunt for Kony in the CAR.

Senior Lord’s Resistance Army commander surrenders to US troops | 7 January 2015 | The Guardian
A senior commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army – the brutal insurgent force which has terrorised a swath of central Africa – has surrendered to American forces. Uganda’s military confirmed on Wednesday that Dominic Ongwen was in the custody of US special forces in Central African Republic.

Centrafrique : la période de transition prolongée de six mois | 7 January 2015 |
La période de transition a été prolongée de six mois en Centrafrique, qui ne connaît toujours pas d’accalmie, malgré le départ de Michel Djotodia remplacé par Catherine Samba-Panza. La Présidente de transition, Catherine Samba-Panza, a indiqué, ce mardi, dans un communiqué, le prolongement de six mois de la période de transition en Centrafrique, rapporte Anadolu Agency.

Striving for peace in CAR | 7 January 2015 | IRIN News
Civil society and religious organisations in the Central African Republic are working to rebuild trust and harmony in a country fraught with ethnic and religious animosity since the overthrow of President François Bozizé in March 2013.

LRA rebel Dominic Ongwen surrenders to US forces in CAR | 7 January 2015 | BBC Uganda’s military has confirmed that a senior commander in the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) movement has been taken into custody by US forces. The army spokesman told the BBC that soldiers had visited Dominic Ongwen, who was being held in the Central African Republic, to identify him.

L’armée ougandaise confirme la reddition en Centrafrique d’Ongwen, l’un des chefs de la LRA | 07 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Profile: Dominic Ongwen of Uganda’s LRA | 7 January 2015 | BBC
Sans attendre la confirmation de Washington, l’armée ougandaise a annoncé mercredi que Dominic Ongwen, l’un des principaux chefs de l’Armée de résistance du Seigneur (LRA) de Joseph Kony, s’est rendu aux forces spéciales américaines en Centrafrique. Considéré comme l’un des premiers commandants de la l’Armée de résistance du Seigneur (LRA), Dominic Ongwen a mis fin à sa lutte armée. Le chef rebelle, recherché par la justice internationale, s’est rendu à des militaires américains en Centrafrique, a rapporté, mardi 6 janvier, la diplomatie américaine.

La transition officiellement prolongée jusqu’à août 2015 | 05 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Le président congolais et médiateur dans la crise centrafricaine, Denis Sassou Nguesso, a donné son accord pour un prolongement de six mois de la transition, censée initialement s’achever en février. Censée prendre fin en février, la transition centrafricaine va être prolongée de six mois.

Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Held in Central Africa | 07 January 2015 | Bloomberg
A senior commander of the militant Lord’s Resistance Army that has operated in central Africa for three decades is in custody after surrendering, Ugandan Deputy Chief of Defense Forces Charles Angina said. U.S. military forces detained an individual claiming to be a defector from the LRA who identified himself as Dominic Ongwen, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday in Washington. Ongwen is among at least four LRA commanders, including the group’s leader, Joseph Kony, wanted since 2005 by the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity and war-crimes charges.

Humanitarian news

Non-comprehensive overview of humanitarian news & events, including refugee and IDP issues.


13 Int’l Humanitarian NGOs threaten to withdraw from Rutshuru following insecurity | 07 January 2015 | MONUSCO
In the territory of Rutshuru, International Humanitarian NGOs threaten to interrupt their activities if nothing is done to ensure their security. They made this declaration in a joint communiqué published a few days ago in the Rutshuru – centre. This firm stand is consecutive to the deterioration of the security situation in this territory. The provincial governor has reassured his humanitarian partners that the Congolese government will do everything in its power to ensure the security of this area. In a joint message dated last week, 13 International Humanitarian organizations explained that they have already been victims, a few weeks ago, of several incidents including holdups and attacks on their convoys by armed men. As a result, some of their staff members lost their lives.

Justice and Tribunals

Selected articles on criminal justice proceedings regarding crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region.
Suspect in U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya, Tanzania, dies before NY trial | 3 January 2015 | Reuters
A suspected al Qaeda figure alleged to have helped plan the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya has died in New York just days ahead of his scheduled trial, his son and the prosecutor said on Saturday.

Discovery of witness’s mutilated body feeds accusations of state killings | 6 January 2015 | The Guardian
The gruesome murder of a man who had been due to testify in the international criminal court (ICC) trial of Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, has fuelled accusations that the government is orchestrating the killing of witnesses. Ken Wafula, a human rights activist who has been campaigning for justice for the victims of the killings, rapes and displacement that gripped Kenya following the disputed 2007 presidential election, accused the government of targeting witnesses.

Natural resource exploitation, governance and trade

Minerals, energy (oil & gas, hydro and solar), poaching, logging, foreign investment, trade, environmental issues.


2 morts dans un éboulement de mine de diamant à Bipemba | 04 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Deux personnes sont mortes, samedi 3 janvier, ensevelies par la terre dans la commune de Bipemba à Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental). Des témoins ont indiqué qu’il s’agirait des creuseurs de diamant dans les parcelles résidentielles, qui seraient coincés dans les galeries souterraines, après l’effondrement de la mine. Le drame est survenu au quartier Tshitandayi, l’un de trois où des jeunes creuseurs sont de plus en plus à la recherche du diamant dans les parcelles résidentielles, ont poursuivi ces témoins.

Regulation, voluntary initiatives, and CSR

Selected articles on legal and voluntary initiatives relating to natural resources and good governance.


Uganda has little to show for African trade agreements with the US | 2 January 2015 | The Guardian
When Uganda recruited more than 1,400 women from rural villages and took them to the country’s capital, Kampala, in 2002, the east African state dreamed big. The women were told that they would work in a textile firm, which would export clothes made in Uganda to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), generating a lot of revenue for the country. They were promised good pay, better working conditions and a “bright future”.

Uganda: High Cost of Botched Contracts | 7 January 2015 | AllAfrica
In five years, Uganda has been scarred by some of the worst corruption scandals, and government seems powerless to stem the rising tide of thieving. The fierce wrangling over two huge contracts among top government officials, including ministers caps 2014. The controversy over the Shs 165bn Mukono-Katosi road and the $8.5bn standard gauge railway (SGR) has gathered storm with allegations of bribery, inflated costs, and ghost contractors coming to the fore.

Uganda: Cyber Security and Internet Freedoms – Finding the Balance | 7 January 2015 | AllAfrica
In a world where children as young as 15 months are speaking on phone and playing computer games, there is growing concern about protecting young people from adverse effects buried in the great opportunities presented by the internet. In that respect, Uganda recently hosted an African conference on online child protection at Speke Resort Munyonyo. Frank Kisakye was at Munyonyo and now discusses some of the issues that emerged.


Nigeria : Shell contraint de verser 80 millions de dollars après une fuite de pétrole | 7 January 2015 |
La compagnie pétrolière anglo-néerlandaise Shell a été contrainte de verser près de 80 millions de dollars de dédommagement à 15 600 habitants de la ville de Bodo, dans le sud du Nigeria, au terme de trois ans de bataille juridique. En 2008, une fuite de pétrole a dévasté la région.

Shell announces £55m payout for Nigeria oil spills | 7 January 2015 | The Guardian  The mud stinks and the crabs caught in the swamps around the town of Bodo in the Niger delta still smell of light crude oil. But the 15,600 Ogoni farmers and fishermen whose lives were devastated by two large Shell oil spills in 2008 and 2009 will be celebrating on Wednesday as the company’s Nigerian subsidiary announces a £55m settlement.



RDC : Kabila déjà en campagne dans le Katanga | 5 January 2015 |
Le président de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), Joseph Kabila, serait-il déjà en campagne ? C’est la question qu’ont dû se poser les habitants du Katanga, province du sud, qui ont vu débarquer à Lubumbashi, ce lundi, le chef de l’Etat accompagné d’une cinquantaine de députés et sénateurs du Katanga, en provenance de la capitale, Kinshasa, rapporte Radio Okapi.


Burundi: UN Chief welcomes launch of electoral monitoring mission | 3 January 2015 | Reliefweb
Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the launch of the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi, which officially started its work on 1 January 2015 as mandated by Security Council resolution 2137 (2014). The UN Electoral Observation Mission (also known by its French acronym MENUB) is headed by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Mr. Cassam Uteem of Mauritius.

IPIS Recent Publications

Boundary spanning: moving towards strategic stakeholder engagement | 3 February 2014 | IPIS
By Anna Bulzomi
To address complex human rights impacts, companies need to move away from responding to crises and work with communities towards creating shared value.

IPIS Insights: The 2nd Annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva 2013 | January 2014 | IPIS
From the 2 – 4 December 2013, IPIS attended the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights. The Forum was established by the Human Rights Council and is under the guidance of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. IPIS’ researchers Gabriella Wass and Anna Bulzomi offer some insights into topics at the Forum that struck them as particularly interesting.

Practice What You Preach: Theory and Practice of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)’s Stakeholder Engagement Plan in Chad | 9 January 2014 | IPIS
The past decade has seen a staggering increase in Chinese investment flows in Africa, leaping from USD 392 million in 2005 to USD 2520 million in 2012. Chinese Government officials often describe the burgeoning Sino-African ties as ‘win-win partnerships’, emphasizing how their ‘non-interference’ policy truly allows African countries to choose their own development path.
Against this background, doubts may arise with regard to the environmental and social standards applied by Chinese companies conducting business overseas, especially in post-conflict states with poor human rights records and inadequate governance structures. The case discussed in this paper concerns the operations of the Chadian branch of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Business, Human Rights, and Uganda’s Oil – Part II: Protect and Remedy: Implementing State duties under the UN Framework on Business and Human Rights | December 2013 | IPIS
The following is the second in a series of four reports exploring business and human rights issues in Uganda’s oil sector. This series is a collaboration between IPIS vsw and ActionAid Uganda.
In accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, this second report assesses the duty of the Ugandan, British, French and Chinese States to prevent, investigate, punish and redress human rights abuse by businesses.

In search of clean water: human rights and the mining industry in Katanga, DRC | 27 November 2013 | IPIS
Today, around 1,8 billion people in the world do not have access to safe water. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most water-rich country in Africa, 51 million people lack access to potable water; only 26% of the population has access to safe drinking water. This is one of the lowest access rates in the world.
In the Katanga province, rich in cobalt and copper, some industrial mining companies operate provoking significant pollution of water sources, seriously affecting the local population. Although there is a lack of comprehensive data available, several studies conducted by local civil society show environmental, health and socio-economic negative effects.

IPIS Insights: Kimberley Process: observations from the sidelines. Part I | 21 November 2013 | IPIS
Ten years after the launch of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) this paper is the first in a two part series providing an overview of where the Kimberley Process and international efforts to combat the trade in conflict diamonds currently stand. It will analyse some of the present challenges facing the system and some of the potential solutions on the table.

Travail des enfants dans le site minier d’exploitation artisanale de Bisie en territoire de Walikale. Une crise oubliée en République Démocratique du Congo | 19 November 2013 | Prince Kihangi Kyamwami
Plus de deux décennies après l’entrée en vigueur de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant (1989) en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), la situation des enfants dans le territoire de Walikale demeure critique.

Ambushed in Bangkok? The U.N. Panel on North Korea and the case of the IL-76 “4L-AWA” | 14 November 2013 | IPIS/TA
This new IPIS/TA report explains why the conclusion of the latest United Nations report on North Korea sanctions, about an arms flight grounded in Thailand, is not supported by facts, but based on a misalliance of wrong and misleading information, gleaned both about the cargo aircraft, its flight and the entities involved, together with erroneous interpretations of standard aviation practices made by the UN Panel of experts on North Korea.

Analysis of the interactive map of artisanal mining areas in Eastern DR Congo | 12 November 2013 | IPIS
In August 2009 the ‘International Peace Information Service’ (IPIS) published a first map of militarised mining areas in Eastern DR Congo. By 2012, the international interest in the issue had grown but the map was out-dated. To find a structural solution, IPIS sat down with the Congolese mining cadastre (CAMI) and agreed to set up a permanent system to monitor artisanal mining activities and the involvement of armed groups in the mineral exploitation and trade. A first version of the resulting map has been published at It shows the location of nearly 800 mining sites and 85 trading centres, including information about armed groups presence and involvement, and the scale of the mining activity. The map includes at least 410 cases of illegal taxation by armed groups or the Congolese army.

‘Conflict Minerals’ initiatives in DR Congo: Perceptions of local mining communities | 12 November 2013 | IPIS
The exploitation of minerals is an important source of income for many communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Yet this mineral wealth also plays a significant role in the continuation of insecurity in parts of the country.
Over recent years, several domestic, regional and international initiatives have been developed to address the so-called ‘conflict minerals’ problem and the high level of informality in the DRC’s artisanal mining sector. These initiatives have provoked varying reactions regarding their impact on local livelihoods.
This report aims to provide insight into the impact of initiatives on the livelihood strategies of local communities in the DRC, based on field research in a wide range of mining areas; and document the perceptions of local stakeholders of these initiatives and their impacts.

IPIS Insights: Why businesses should assess human rights impacts from the outset of projects. SOCO International Oil Company in Virunga National Park, DRC | 26 August 2013 | International Peace Information Service (IPIS)
SOCO International, a British oil company, is prospecting for oil in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park – a World Heritage Site. For the past year, their presence has been criticised for putting a fragile environment at risk. However, more recently, their impact on human rights has also been questioned. In this Insights IPIS looks at why it is so vital for companies to employ rights-respectful processes, such as those advised in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, from the very beginning of the prospection stage.

Strijd tegen conflictmineralen: sleutel tot conflictresolutie in Oost-Congo? | 25 July  2013 | IPIS (Internationale Spectator)
De PDF van dit artikel is met toestemming van de redactie overgenomen uit de ‘Internationale Spectator, Clingendael Magazine voor Internationale Betrekkingen’, uitgegeven door de Koninklijke Van Gorcum, te Assen namens het Nederlands Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen ‘Clingendael’ te Den Haag.

Business, Human Rights, and Uganda’s Oil. Part I: Uganda’s oil sector and potential threats to human rights | 25 July 2013 | International Peace Information Service (IPIS) – ActionAid International Uganda
The following report is the first of a series of four collaborations between IPIS Research and ActionAid International Uganda. The series sheds a light on the oil sector in Uganda, its possible impact on human rights, and how government, companies, and civil society can best enable a positive bond between oil and the welfare of the Ugandan people.IPIS Insights: The EU draft law on conflict minerals due diligence: a critical assessment from a business & human rights standpoint  30 April 2014 ❘ IPIS
On the 5th of March 2014, the European Commission proposed a responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones. The proposal took place within a specific and timely context. As IPIS has long documented, the exploitation of natural resources can have adverse human rights impacts. Businesses operating in conflict-affected or fragile regions should therefore ascertain whether their direct operations or their business relationships with other parties, including through their supply chains, have fueled or funded conflict and/or human rights abuse.

Business & Human Rights in Uganda: What’s on the Agenda? | 12 March 2014 | IPIS
A few days after attending the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, IPIS Business & Human Rights Analysts Anna Bulzomi and Gabriella Wass boarded a plane to Kampala, Uganda, to run a two-day training with ActionAid Uganda for businesses and NGOs on “What does business & human rights mean, and how can we bring about a healthy relationship between the two?” This document summarises some thoughts and observations from our 19 participating organisations, as well as providing snapshots of the current relationship between business and human rights in Uganda.

IPIS Insights: Pentagon Accidentally Arms Al Qaeda Affiliate | 20 February 2014 | IPIS
A confidential report to the UN Security Council last week revealed that some of the weapons and ammunition to the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces appears to have been diverted to the Al Qaeda affiliate known as Al Shabaab.

Mapping Conflict Motives: the Sudan – South Sudan border (2012-2013) | 5 February 2014 | IPIS
In “Mapping Conflict Motives: the Sudan-South Sudan border”, IPIS analyses the conflict dynamics in the wider border area spanning Sudan and South Sudan. The analysis specifically looks into the motivations and interests of the parties involved in the interstate, intrastate and local conflicts in this area. Together with the report, a series of maps of the area of focus is available at

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