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: The human rights impact of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
In the news: Global banks defy U.S. crackdowns by serving oligarchs, criminals and terrorists; WEF White Paper highlights human rights fragility in DRC’s artisanal mining sector; BHR Symposium: The Business and Human Rights Treaty in 2020–The Draft is “Negotiation-Ready”, but are States Ready?
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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: THE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT OF THE EAST AFRICAN CRUDE OIL PIPELINE
At a time when scientific consensus is clear on the need to abandon fossil fuels in order to limit global warming, the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments have signed final agreements on the construction of the region’s largest crude oil export infrastructure: the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
The 1,443 km-long heated pipeline – world-wide the longest of its kind – will connect oil deposits under and near Lake Albert (Hoima district, western Uganda) with export facilities on the Indian Ocean coast of Tanzania (Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port, Tanga region). To achieve this, infrastructure such as roads, dams, maintenance yards and a marine terminal will be constructed, as well as the underground pipeline. After years of negotiations and delays, and with French energy company Total now on board as main developer, EACOP construction is said to commence in 2021. Per day, ca. 230,000 barrels of crude oil are expected to flow through the pipeline. Seventy to eighty percent of this is intended for export.
The pipeline is expected to bring in significant revenue for the governments of Uganda and Tanzania, besides local employment, infrastructure, trade and overall socio-economic development. However, non-governmental organisations and experts fear that the impact on climate, environment and local communities are not adequately assessed and will not be properly addressed.
Environmental and human rights impact
As part of the EACOP project, a 296 km-long pipeline will traverse 10 districts, 25 sub-counties and 178 villages in Uganda. In Tanzania, the 1,147km long pipeline will cut across 8 regions, 25 districts and 231 villages.
Along this route, lakes Albert and Victoria (representing the water supply of millions of regional inhabitants) and a diverse range of precious ecosystems can be found, such as the Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda), Bugoma Forest (Uganda), Biharamulo Game Reserve (Tanzania), Ngongwa Busangi Forest Reserve (Tanzania), as well as local wildlife management areas, wetlands, river catchments and even coral reefs (off the coast of Tanzania). Some of these ecosystems will face “a bleak future” due to EACOP activities, while the impact on others is not sufficiently studied to develop effective mitigation measures. This is according to independent analyses of the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) of the Ugandan sector of the EACOP. Over the past years, ESIAs have been developed for EACOP work in Uganda and Tanzania with exactly the aim of ensuring minimal environmental and social impact and to propose mitigation measures where needed. In both countries this is a legal requirement for all development and investment activities. While these impact assessments have involved large-scale community consultations and cover a wide range of issues (e.g. ground- and surface water, air pollution, land acquisition, biodiversity and cultural heritage), they seem not sufficient to safeguard the rights of those affected.
In September 2020, Oxfam and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) published new reports on the social, environmental, cultural, and human rights risks of EACOP for communities located along the proposed pipeline corridor. These community-based impact assessments are the result of large-scale consultations with affected communities in both Uganda and Tanzania. One of the major issues found concerns land. Land is a crucial resource for rural communities, who mostly depend on it for their livelihoods and socio-economic development. Issues with land (resource) management and land disputes between communities and investors have been documented for many years in the region and are a common source of rights violations and conflicts. In order to build the pipeline, land will need to be acquired along the entire proposed route. This includes land used for human settlements, agriculture, grazing, fishing, small-scale gold mining (e.g. in Geita and Shinyanga regions, Tanzania), ecological conservation and sites of cultural/traditional importance. In the current EACOP scenario around 14,000 households will lose land, while over 500 households will need to be resettled.
According to Oxfam, a lack of information and communication leaves communities confused by the land acquisition process and the many delays in the project. Delayed compensations are already causing harm to livelihoods. For instance, many have been told to stop farming on the land that will be acquired by the EACOP, although no compensation has been paid to date. Moreover, cases of land grabbing have been reported, as speculators see opportunities for quick gains through compensations. Community members also worry about resettlement and the burden of finding new resources and livelihoods. The loss of culturally/traditionally-important resources (e.g. medicinal plants) and places (e.g. traditional lands) add to this worry. Women and indigenous groups face increased vulnerabilities and their voices are not always represented. As such, the threats to communities’ basic right to own property, to an adequate standard of living and to a healthy and clean environment seem not sufficiently taken into account by the EACOP developers, despite their commitment to respect human rights.
Examples from Tanzania
In February 2020, the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) of Tanzania cleared the ESIA submitted by the EACOP consortium, giving the all-clear to commence work on the Tanzanian sector of the project. In 2018-2019, Governance Links Tanzania (a Mwanza-based NGO that partnered with IPIS in its “Voices from Tanzania” series*) studied the ‘human rights issues to watch during the construction of the EACOP’. Potential negative impacts on land rights, access to justice, conditions of work and employment, adequate standard of living, community participation, rights of indigenous groups and environmental rights were thereby flagged. While several of these topics are included in Tanzania’s ESIA, more attention is still needed to the often-complex and specific local contexts that will be traversed. This is most certainly true for planned land acquisitions.
In Tanzania, the EACOP will mostly run through rural areas used for subsistence agriculture and pastoralism. Acquisition of farmland is assumed to reduce access to land for farming, livestock grazing and small-scale mining, which could potentially deteriorate existing land conflicts “as most land owners lack certificates of customary rights of occupancy”. As a mitigating measure, the EACOP proposes compensation according to Resettlement Action Plans and Livelihoods Restoration Programs. While this analysis is relevant, execution of these plans should be based on a thorough understanding of the complexity of land ownership and land-dependence in local agro-pastoralist communities. Kiteto district, a rural district in Manyara region (NE Tanzania), is one of the districts where EACOP works will be executed. The dominant ethnic groups in Kiteto are pastoralist or agro-pastoralist (Maasai). These indigenous communities have a strong connection to their natural environment, on which they depend heavily for their livelihood production, their resilience and their culture. Grazing lands are often communal, while homesteads are partly temporal. When faced with loss of land, these communities cannot easily diversify their livelihood strategies and to obtain fair compensation could prove challenging.
Ongoing “Voices from Tanzania” research by Pilot Light Development Organisation (a Tanzanian NGO representing Maasai communities in Arusha and Manyara regions) details further threats to Kiteto communities due to the EACOP. The construction of a pressure reduction station in the Talamai Open Area (Kitwai Game Controlled Area), e.g., is feared to destroy wet and dry season grazing areas, vegetation that prevents soil erosion, traditional medicinal plants (e.g. the talamai tree) and Maasai temporary homesteads (ronjo). The influx of large groups of workers causes concern about the loss of traditional values, promiscuous behavior, communicable and infectious diseases and violence against women. It also poses questions on waste management. One respondent in the study wondered “We Maasai don’t use paper or have food waste. Where will the waste go? Into our traditional wells (olmoti), forests, grazing areas and wetlands like Kimana?” Communities also expressed concern at the lack of community participation and consultation, despite this being a key pillar of the EACOP-proposed mitigation plans. In Kiteto district, affected communities and their leaders reported that there has been no official dialogue with EACOP, not since the first information seminars about three years ago.
Mandatory human rights due diligence
As with all large-scale infrastructure projects, construction of the EACOP will inevitably affect the basic rights of local communities. An in-depth knowledge of the local context, through community-based consultations, knowledge sharing and adequate information and communication campaigns, is – as shown above – indispensable to ensure that companies are doing better in preventing human rights harm or mitigating this harm more adequately. Making human rights due diligence – i.e. the process and steps needed to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for negative human rights impacts – a mandatory business practice, instead of a voluntary one, is another option to ensure that human rights are adequately considered in companies’ activities.
Companies’ responsibility to respect human rights (through due diligence processes) is one of the pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. At present, few business enterprises comply with human rights due diligence principles, although many have committed to respect internationally recognized human rights standards. Several national governments have already issued legislation to make human rights due diligence mandatory in (certain) supply chains or industries. This is not the case in Uganda nor in Tanzania. With its headquarters in Paris, Total is however subject to France’s mandatory human rights due diligence law: the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law. In January 2020, several NGOs filed a complaint against Total for its shortcomings in implementing measures to tackle environmental and human rights harm in Uganda due to its EACOP infrastructure work. The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Nanterre found that it was not the right venue to hear such a complaint. Total maintains it has a sufficient Vigilance Plan identifying all risks involved in its operations.
Also at the level of the European Union and the United Nations initiatives for binding instruments for human rights due diligence are under development. To be truly effective, these instruments will have to include options for sanctions and enforcement and provide sufficient guarantees for access to justice, especially for the most vulnerable communities affected by corporate human rights harm.
* The “Voices from Tanzania” series supports local field-based studies into business and human rights topics in Tanzania and are part of IPIS’ ongoing project on “Improving monitoring, research and dialogue on Business and Human Rights in Tanzania”
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline | https://eacop.com
Mitigation measures required as Uganda paves way for oil production | 20 September 2020 | New Vision
Environmentally friendly chemical alternatives should be used during production and waste should be handled appropriately.
What the crude oil pipeline means to Tanzania | 17 September 2020 | The Citizen
Tanzanian authorities have one month in which to conclude and sign the Host Government Agreement (HGA) with upstream firms involved in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. The country expects billions of dollars from the joint project with Uganda.
An oil pipeline planned in East Africa could cause irreversible damage | 17 September 2020 | Lifegate
A crude oil pipeline planned in East Africa sets global climate action backwards while directly impacting millions of people and the local environment.
Uganda and Tanzania to build East Africa’s first major oil pipeline | 14 September 2020 | The Africa Report
Uganda and Tanzania have signed a deal to build East Africa’s first major oil pipeline. It comes just two days after Kampala signed a host government agreement with French oil giant Total.
With a New Pipeline in East Africa, an Oil Company Flouts France’s Leadership on Climate | 10 September 2020 | The New Yorker
Our tight focus on America as it fights the slide into authoritarianism this fall is right and good, but it does allow dismal developments in the rest of the world to pass by with too little notice. These developments range from the poisoning of Vladimir Putin’s main rival to the acceleration of China’s campaign against the Uighur Muslim minority to the rapid moves to start construction on one of the planet’s ugliest infrastructure projects, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, or EACOP.
Uganda’s Planned Pipeline Threatens Communities, Oxfam Says | 10 September 2020 | Bloomberg
Uganda’s planned oil pipeline will result in more than 12,000 families losing their land and the development threatens sensitive ecosystems, according to research by Oxfam International.
The East African Crude Oil Pipe Line | 10 September 2020 | Albertine Watchdog
Uganda’s oil was first discovered in 1938, but it is in recent years that oil production has truly come into sight. Full-scale oil production is not expected to start any soon in 2021, but oil is already central in the country’s long-term planning agenda, as well as a prominent political issue. Contracts have been signed, companies have moved in, legislation is being passed, and Uganda’s government is presenting a vision of a country transformed by oil.
Companies must take action to respect the rights of communities at risk in East Africa’s oil frontier | 9 September 2020 | Oxfam
In research released today alongside FIDH and partner organizations, Oxfam highlighted the major risks of oil projects led by French energy giant Total in Uganda and Tanzania, which would require over 12,000 families to lose land and endanger sensitive and vital ecosystems.
Uganda: Locals impacted by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline face uncertainty over delayed and inadequate compensation | 12 July 2020 | NTV Uganda | B&HR Resource Centre
Hundreds of residents who are supposed to be relocated as a result of the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline face an uncertain future. The pipeline will snake through a number of districts in Uganda for 900 miles before it dumps crude at the Tanzanian Indian ocean Port of Tanga. But locals we spoke to in the districts of Kakumiro and Mubende claim firms in charge of compensation have gone silent after carrying out what they claim was a flawed valuation exercise…
A Major Oil Pipeline Project Strikes Deep at the Heart of Africa | 21 May 2020 | Yale Environment 360
Despite the global plunge in oil prices, a major pipeline that would carry oil 900 miles across East Africa is moving ahead. International experts warn that the $20 billion project will displace thousands of small farmers and put key wildlife habitat and coastal waters at risk.
Total acquires interests in East African Crude Oil Pipeline | 24 April 2020 | World Pipelines
Total and Tullow have entered into an Agreement, through which Total shall acquire Tullow’s entire interests in Uganda Lake Albert development project including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
African Development Bank strongly rebuts claims that it plans to provide financial support to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project | 18 April 2020 | African Development Bank
The African Development Bank has become aware of an inaccurate news article stating that the institution plans to provide financial support to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project.
Activités de Total en Ouganda : le tribunal judiciaire de Nanterre se déclare incompétent | 30 January 2020 | Ouest France
Le tribunal judiciaire de Nanterre s’est déclaré, ce jeudi 30 janvier 2020, incompétent pour juger le dossier relatif aux activités de Total en Ouganda. Des ONG accusent le groupe pétrolier ne pas prendre en compte les impacts de deux méga-projets sur les populations et l’environnement.
Financing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a big mistake | 28 January 2020 | The Daily Maverick
At a time when the international scientific community is telling us the world cannot absorb new fossil fuel developments if we are to tackle the climate crisis, Uganda and Tanzania are planning to construct a highly controversial oil pipeline that threatens to destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands and threaten extensive ecosystems with incomparable biodiversity.
Environmental and social impact assessment report – non-technical summary | January 2019 | Total East Africa Midstream BV | EACOP
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will transport oil from the delivery point in Hoima District, Uganda, to a storage tank facility in Tanga District and a nearby offshore tanker loading platform, on the East African coast of Tanzania. Potential impacts, positive and negative on the economy, people, and environment in Uganda have been described and assessed for many features considered to be valued and important to society.
IN THE NEWS
BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Transparency in supply chains – modern slavery: holding business and public bodies to account | 25 September 2020 | Mayer Brown
On 22 September 2020, the UK Government published its response to the 2019 “Transparency in supply chains consultation” (the Government Response) and set out new measures to hold businesses and public bodies to account for tackling modern slavery. The Government Response reflects a growing trend to reinforce transparency on steps taken to identify and mitigate modern slavery in supply chains. There are already public disclosure requirements entrenched in laws in the UK, Australia and California. Public disclosure requirements have also been proposed in Canada and Hong Kong.
EU mandatory human rights due diligence law takes shape | 25 September 2020 | Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Earlier this year we reported on a European Commission proposal to introduce mandatory human rights due diligence legislation for the EU. The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs has now published a draft report which includes the text of a proposed Directive, giving a sense of the shape a final legislative instrument could take.
Symposium Exploring the Crime of Ecocide: Accountability for Environmental Destruction–Ecocide in National and International Law (Part I) | 25 September 2020 | Opinio Juris
The destruction of natural resources for the sake of profit has become the norm. To counter this, the crime of ecocide is a powerful tool through which corporations and states can be held accountable for activities that disturb the delicate balance of the web of life and thereby impact current and future generations.
Many Companies Struggle to Comply with Conflict Mineral Reporting Rules | 25 September 2020 | Newsecuritybeat.org
“The exploitation of the mining and trade of conflict minerals in the eastern DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] has contributed to instability, violence, displacement of people, and severe human rights abuses,” says the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in its annual report, Conflict Minerals: Actions Needed to Assess Progress Addressing Armed Groups’ Exploitation of Minerals. The report examines a sample of filings from 1,083 companies that submitted conflict mineral disclosures required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019.
Increased Business and Human Rights Risks and Regulations for Companies Operating in the Netherlands | 25 September 2020 | Volterra Fietta
On 18 September 2020, the Dutch Socio-Economic Council recommended that the Netherlands enact a mandatory human rights due diligence. This is one of the many recent business and human rights developments of which companies that do business in the Netherlands need to be aware.
How the FinCEN Leaks May Affect the Jewelry Business | 24 September 2020 | Jckonline.com
This week, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) announced it had received a massive leak of thousands of suspicious activity reports (SARs) submitted to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
UN watchdog: ‘Staggering’ $36M embezzled in South Sudan | 24 September 2020 | SpectrumNews
The United Nations commission on human rights in South Sudan says “a staggering $36 million” has been misappropriated by government officials and senior politicians since 2016 as widespread corruption continues to drain the world’s youngest nation.
High court ruling over titanium mining empowers communities | 24 September 2020 | BusinessDay
A groundbreaking and power-shifting high court ruling on September 11 places the interests of affected communities at the centre of decision-making processes regarding proposed mining projects and affirms their right to say no.
Minerais de la RDC : la coalition « Tous pour la RDC » indexe les rapports de Global Witness ! | 24 September 2020 | mediacongo.net
Congo Nursing Or Bashing : “Pour qui travaille reellement Global Witness?” (pdf) | 23 September 2020 | Tous pour la RDC
A propos du rapport “Congo Nursing or Bashing pour qui travaille reellement Global Witness?” | 25 September 2020 | Tous pour la RDC
« Pour qui travaille réellement Global Witness ? », s’interroge la Coalition « Tous pour la RDC » qui vient de rendre public une analyse de 56 pages, faites par des Organisations de la Société civile congolaise.
Fairtrade Foundation calls on UK companies to back greater due diligence of global supply chains | 23 September 2020 | Confectionary Production
The Fairtrade Foundation has called on British companies to increase their efforts to tackle human rights violations within global supply chains, including the cocoa sector, reports Neill Barston.
Business and human rights: Navigating the legal landscape – a joint report with UN Global Compact | 23 September 2020 | Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Since the introduction of the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights in 2011, business and human rights have become increasingly intertwined. By articulating the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, the Guiding Principles acted as a catalyst for the concretisation of human rights principles into binding legal obligations around the world. From the UK’s Modern Slavery Act to the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law, several jurisdictions have now introduced legislation or regulation requiring companies to report on, and in some cases address, the human rights risks and impacts of their global supply chains. Similar legislation is on the horizon in many more jurisdictions, including at an EU level.
Illicit DRC gold: London Bullion Market must do more to stop it | 23 September 2020 | The Africa Report
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) must do more to combat an illicit trade in gold mined in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says Joanne Lebert, executive director of the Canadian conflict minerals research group IMPACT.
South Africa: Groundbreaking Court Judgment On Mining and Community Rights | 22 September 2020 | GroundUp | AllAfrica
The Umgungundlovu community, located in Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape, has won an important case in the Gauteng High Court that enables communities to meaningfully consult with companies that want to conduct mining operations in areas where they live or work.
Africa: U.S. Treasury Department Abandoned Major Money Laundering Case Against Dubai Gold Company | 21 September 2020 | ICIJ | AllAfrica
After three years of digging, investigators in the United States had accumulated a mountain of evidence that they believed sealed the case against Kaloti Jewellery Group, one of the largest gold traders and refiners in the world.
Dirty money pours into the world’s most powerful banks | 20 September 2020 | Buzzfeed
Global banks defy U.S. crackdowns by serving oligarchs, criminals and terrorists | 20 September 2020 | ICIJ
FinCEN Files: The art of evading sanctions | 24 September 2020 | DW
A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins. And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it.
UK: new “world-leading” deforestation and ecosystem supply chain law | 18 September 2020 | Global Policy Watch
The UK Government recently announced that it is developing legislation that would make it illegal for large businesses operating in the UK to use certain commodities that have not been produced in line with local laws, and require in-scope companies to conduct due diligence to ensure that their supply chains are free from illegal deforestation and ecosystem change. A failure to comply could result in significant fines (the precise levels of fines are yet to be determined).
WEF White Paper highlights human rights fragility in DRC’s artisanal mining sector | 17 September 2020 | Mining Weekly
Human rights abuses associated with artisanal cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are highlighted in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) ‘Making Mining Safe and Fair: Artisanal cobalt extraction in the DRC’ White Paper, published in September.
Traceability, due diligence system implemented for Côte d’Ivoire artisanal gold | 16 September 2020 | Mining Weekly
Natural resources organisation Impact and the European Union (EU) have successfully implemented a traceability and due diligence system from mine site to the international market for artisanal gold from Côte d’Ivoire as part of the Just Gold project.
Cobalt can be sourced responsibly, and it’s time to act | 16 September 2020 | Swissinfo.ch
Electric vehicle sales are booming. With many European governments subsidising electric vehicle purchases and more calls for a “green recovery” or to “build back better” after Covid-19, this trend is likely to accelerate.
An Influential Guide Connecting Anti-Corruption and Business and Human Rights | 15 September 2020 | Paul Hastings LLP
New due diligence laws force companies to rethink human rights and anti-corruption compliance | 15 September 2020 | The FCPA Blog
Building on a foundation set by the UN Human Rights Working Group and consistent with a detailed white paper published TRACE International, two major business associations—the Business Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC also known as “Business at the OECD”) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE)—recently issued a guide to assist businesses in connecting anti-corruption and human rights.
The EU Human Rights Due Diligence Legislative Initiative and the Business and Human Rights Treaty | 11 September 2020 | Paul Hastings LLP
Earlier this year, the Commissioner for Justice of the European Union announced that next year the Commission will present a legislative initiative compelling companies to conduct human rights due diligence throughout their operations and supply chains, with accompanying enforcement and civil liability provisions. Because the jurisdictional breadth of the initiative is likely to be expansive, including companies doing business in the EU regardless of where they are domiciled, the impact will have global repercussions.
BHR Symposium: Bolstering Human Rights within International Economic Agreements–Reconciling Two ‘Separate Regimes’? | 10 September 2020 | Opinio Juris
On the 6th of August 2020, the Chair-person Rapporteur of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises concerning human rights (OEIWG) presented the second revised draft of the legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises (second revised draft). According to the report of the fifth session of the OEIWG, the second revised draft is prepared based on the discussion held during the fifth session of the working group, the annexes to the report, submissions sent by States and other stakeholders, and views shared during informal consultations organized by the Chairperson Rapporteur. At the same time, some stakeholders have commented that the second revised draft still requires improvements.
BHR Symposium: The Requirement to Practice Due Diligence–A Floor Not a Shield | 10 September 2020 | Opinio Juris
One of the innovative contributions of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by consensus within the Human Rights Council in June 2011, was to include the practice of human rights due diligence as part of businesses’ responsibility to respect human rights — the so-called “second pillar” of the GPs. The message then was clear: companies cannot merely abstain from conduct that might lead to human rights violations; they must also proactively seek to inform themselves about the impacts of their activities, and act on the basis of that information to mitigate any negative impacts.
RAID statement on its research at Petra Diamonds’ Williamson Mine in Tanzania | 9 September 2020 | RAID
This statement is published in response to a press release by Petra Diamonds on 9 September informing its shareholders of a legal claim by UK lawyers, Leigh Day, on behalf of human rights victims and a letter RAID sent to the company on August 29 raising further human rights concerns. RAID is a UK based non-governmental organisation that exposes corporate abuses and human rights violations, partnering with those harmed to hold companies to account. We have been researching human rights issues at Petra Diamonds’ Williamson Mine since September 2019, following alerts by other international NGOs and local activists.
Statement regarding allegations of human rights abuses at the Williamson Mine in Tanzania | 9 September 2020 | Petra Diamonds
Petra Diamonds Limited states that a UK-based law firm, Leigh Day, has filed claims in the High Court of England and Wales against Petra and Williamson Diamonds Limited (“WDL”), the operator of the Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania that is owned 75% by Petra and 25% by the Government of Tanzania. The claims are understood to have been filed on behalf of 32 anonymous individuals in relation to alleged breaches of human rights at the Williamson mine. The claims are understood to allege that Petra and WDL are liable for human rights violations, personal injuries and deaths suffered by these anonymous individuals at and surrounding the mine, arising from the mine’s security operations.
BHR Symposium: The Business and Human Rights Treaty in 2020–The Draft is “Negotiation-Ready”, but are States Ready? | 8 September 2020 | OpinioJuris
The Second Revised Draft (2020 Draft) marks an important step in negotiating a business and human rights (BHR) treaty. In comparison to the Zero Draft and the Revised Draft (2019 Draft).
Analysing the Draft UN Treaty on business and human rights | 8 September 2020 | The Daily Star
Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are active in some of the most dynamic sectors of national economies with the capacity to assert a positive influence in fostering development. Some of those enterprises make real efforts to achieve international standards by improving working conditions and raising local standards of living conditions.
OPINION: European companies should stop putting profit over people and planet | 8 September 2020 | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre | Thomson-Reuters
European companies have been linked to human rights and environmental abuses worldwide and our research shows they are not doing enough to end it.
Tesla Joins Cobalt Group That Supports Artisanal Congo Miners | 7 September 2020 | Bloomberg
Tesla Inc. is backing a new initiative to support informal cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo as carmakers and miners seek to reassure customers about ethically mined supplies of the battery metal. The company joined the fledgling Fair Cobalt Alliance, according to an updated list of members on the group’s website.
BHR Symposium: Global Supply Chains–Where Art Thou in the BHR Treaty? | 7 September 2020 | Opinio Juris
Global supply chains affect every aspect of our lives. It is hard to overstate the impact of supply chains on the economy and people’s lives. Trade, production, investment, employment relations and labour itself have drastically changed with the growth of supply chains. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that approximately 80% of international trade can now be linked to the global production networks of multinational enterprises. The International Trade Union Confederation estimates that 60% of global trade in the real economy depends on the supply chains of 50 corporations, which employ only 6% of workers directly but rely on a hidden workforce of 116 million people. Crucially, companies that source through supply chains do not generally have legal responsibilities towards workers at suppliers and subcontractors in the same way as they do towards their own employees.
Regulatory compliance in the global supply chain | 7 September 2020 | Pinsent Masons
Building a more resilient supply chain provides the opportunity to re-think and adjust supply chain management practices while considering regulatory risks and compliance measures.
A Closer Look At Apple’s Official Human Rights Policy & What It Says | 7 September 2020 | ScreenRant
Apple recently published an official human rights policy. Annual audits show steady improvement, but will this actually change anything?
How to beat the lack of data on illicit outflows draining Africa of capital and tax | 29 September 2020 | UNCTAD
Africa could gain $89 billion annually by curbing illicit financial flows, UN says | 28 September 2020 | UNCTAD
Economic Development in Africa Report 2020: Tackling Illicit Financial Flows for Sustainable Development in Africa (Report) | September 2020 | UNCTAD
Africa loses at least $40 billion each year from the underinvoicing of commodity exports from the continent, according to the latest comprehensive data available. The size of trade gaps varies by country, but is relatively consistent by commodity group, with gold exports representing 77% of the total, followed by diamonds (12%) and platinum (6%).
DRC: Moïse Katumbi reclaims ownership of NB Mining | 29 September 2020 | The Africa Report
The ex-governor of DRC’s Katanga has emerged as the winner of the legal showdown with NB Mining executive Pascal Beveraggi. Now that the drawn-out court battle is over, Moïse Katumbi’s employees have reclaimed the company’s premises in Lubumbashi.
Illegal Gold Smuggling Choking Legitimate Markets in the DRC | 23 September 2020 | OCCRP
A Canadian non-governmental organization urged the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbors to crack down on the illicit mining and trade of gold which has been robbing citizens of millions of dollars in taxes every year. Just a small fraction of the 15-22 tons of gold mined in the DRC every year is officially declared and legally exported.
The bloody diamonds of Congo | 21 September 2020 | Fair Planet
Despite numerous spirited efforts to tame the illicit gold trade in Democratic Republic of Congo, including international sanctions of illegal traders, businessmen and companies that have adversely been mentioned in mineral smuggling, businesses are still thriving and the unlawful trade continues unabated.
L’exportation du bois en grume sera interdite début 2022 en afrique centrale | 21 September 2020 | Agence Afrique
Les ministres en charge des Forêts, de l’Industrie et de l’Environnement des pays d’Afrique centrale ont validé, vendredi dernier, lors d’une rencontre par visioconférence, une décision portant interdiction d’exporter le bois sous forme de grumes par tous les pays du bassin du Congo, et ce à partir du 1er janvier 2022.
Les forêts tropicales d’Afrique de plus en plus menacées, aux oubliettes | 19 September 2020 | VivAfrik
Malgré le rôle crucial que jouent les forêts tropicales d’Afrique, elles sont de plus en plus menacées par l’activité humaine notamment la production agricole. Celles-ci regorgent la biodiversité, abritent au moins 100 millions de personnes et jouent un rôle vital dans la lutte contre le changement climatique. Suffisant pour asseoir une coopération urgente est nécessaire visant à éliminer la déforestation des chaînes d’approvisionnement en matières premières.
L’or de la RDC exfiltré illicitement à travers les pays voisins, selon une ONG canadienne | 19 September 2020 | VoA
Illicit Gold Trade Thrives with Impunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo | 17 September 2020 | The Guardian (Nigeria)
Le commerce illicite de l’or de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) via le Rwanda et l’Ouganda, continue de prospérer malgré les efforts visant à assainir le secteur, déplore IMPACT.
RDC : les FARDC exigent le retrait des militaires et policiers déployés dans les sites miniers en Ituri | 15 September 2020 | Actualite.cd
Les Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) veulent renforcer aussi la discipline dans leurs rangs en Ituri où elles font face aux violences armées notamment dans les territoires de Djugu et Irumu.
Burkina Faso’s wildlife reserves have become a battle zone, overrun by militants and poachers | 13 September 2020 | The Washington Post
The land used to be a tourist magnet, a haven for elephants and lions. Now park officials in the West African nation of Burkina Faso say extremists have turned wildlife reserves into a battlefield, targeting rangers and exposing endangered animals to poachers. “One of my colleagues was killed right in front of me,” said Brahima Kabore, 34, a ranger in the country’s east.
Saisie de grands singes vivants sortis illégalement de RDC au Zimbabwe | 11 September 2020 | VoA Afrique
Au moins 26 grands singes vivants, illégalement sortis de République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ont été saisis au Zimbabwe, où quatre trafiquants présumés ont été arrêtés, ont indiqué vendredi les autorités des deux pays, qui étudient la possibilité de rapatrier les singes.
Sahel : Comment éviter que l’or ne serve au financement du terrorisme ? | 9 September 2020 | Les Echos des Faso
Les chiffres font froid dans le dos. 70 milliards ! Eh oui. C’est la rondelette somme que les terroristes ont engrangée dans les attaques contre les sites miniers au Burkina Faso depuis 2016. L’Observatoire économique et social du Burkina est parvenu à ces estimations au terme d’une étude commanditée par le gouvernement pour mieux comprendre le phénomène. Comme on peut aisément le constater, le terrorisme est un business bien lucratif pour certains burkinabè qui n’hésitent pas à le financer via des sociétés de transfert d’argent ou des ONG. Pendant que des centaines de personnes en meurent, le terrorisme constitue une échelle d’ascension sociale et économique pour une catégorie d’acteurs qui ont tout intérêt à ce que les attaques ne prennent jamais fin. Le ver est bien dans le fruit. Il faut impérativement l’en extirper.
Illegal gold rush threatens wildlife in pristine Zimbabwe national park | 5 September 2020 | RFI
Hundreds of illegal gold panners invaded Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani National Park last month, on the back of the Covid-19 lockdown and worsening economic conditions. Their presence threatens a pristine mountain ecosystem that is home to rare wildlife, residents claim.
Gilded aspirations: Illicit gold flows to India (Report) | 20 August 2020 | Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
India’s socio-economic realities have evolved significantly over the past four decades, particularly as far as attitudes to wealth accumulation are concerned. Gold is today no longer negatively associated with crooked businessmen, but rather positively with the consumerist aspirations of middle-class India. It is used to project enhanced family status at events such as the ‘great Indian wedding’, and is perceived as a high-return investment and a hedge against inflation.
A Rough Cut Trade: Africa’s Coloured-Gemstone Flows to Asia (Report) | 31 July 2020 | Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
The coloured gemstone sector is an international trade linking supply countries in Africa and traders in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia. Today, there are more than 50 source countries and over a hundred gemstone varieties. In 2015, a conservative estimate of the global annual market for rough coloured gemstones – the term used to describe uncut, unpolished stones – valued the sector at between US$17 billion and US$23 billion.
Sudan launches mass disarmament campaign with bang in the desert | 29 September 2020 | Yahoo News
Sudan’s army launched a disarmament campaign Tuesday to seize all illegal weapons in a country left awash with guns after decades of civil war, by blowing up 300,000 firearms.
Sale Helps Put Eyes In The Sky | 21 September 2020 | Africa Defense Forum
The United States has sold six MD 530F helicopters to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) that can engage in attack, scout and close air support missions for the East African nation.
Besides Mali, Russia Keenly Interest in 5-Nation Sahel Group | 21 September 2020 | IndepthNews
Russia’s alleged involvement in the political change on August 18 in Mali, a former French colony with the fractured economy and breeding field for armed Islamic jihadist groups (some of which are reportedly aligned with Al Qaeda and ISIS), demonstrates the first drastic step towards penetrating into the G5 Sahel in West Africa. The G5 Sahel are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
Africa: The big rip-off in arms deals | 18 September 2020 | DW
Africa’s armies are kitting out: The US and Europe, in particular, spend big to support countries on the continent in the war on terror. That has drawn corrupt arms dealers to the scene.
Following the money: The use of the hawala remittance system in the Yemen–Somalia arms trade (Report) | 17 September 2020 | Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
The ubiquity of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Yemen, as well as centuries-old cultural and commercial ties with Somalia, has made Yemen the primary source for illicit arms among Somali importers. Consignments of small arms and ammunition from Yemen cross the Gulf of Aden in a matter of hours to the northern coast of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in northern Somalia. The port city of Bosaso, Puntland’s largest city and commercial capital, is the financial epicentre of the illicit trade. Arms from Yemen fuel the ongoing civil conflict in Somalia, and many are believed to be transported on throughout the broader East Africa region.
Kenya Urges Region to Join Forces in Fight Against Arms Trade | 9 September 2020 | CapitalFM | AllAfrica
Kenya has urged East African member states to fulfill their obligations in the war against the proliferation and prevalence of illegal firearms in the region. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, who spoke during the launch of the African Union amnesty month on voluntary surrender of illicit firearm, underscored the need for member states to play their part and ensure the illicit guns trade is suppressed.
How Putin’s favorite mercenaries are using secretive operations to tip the balance in Africa | 9 September 2020 | Business Insider
In 2014, Russia’s little green men spearheaded the invasion of Crimea and foray into eastern Ukraine. Today, it’s mercenaries from the Wagner Group who are implementing Russia’s foreign policy in Africa and the Middle East.
L’insécurité au Mali : Les armes de guerre comme des cacahuètes ! | 7 September 2020 | MaliActu.net
Le Mali connait une crise de sécurité depuis 2012. Une situation qui a favorisé le trafic et le vol des armes. Il est aujourd’hui facile de voir faufiler les armes, souvent celles de guerre dans les mains des simples citoyens. Toute chose qui donne l’occasion aux délinquants de tous les acabits d’en faire usage pour porter atteinte à la quiétude et vie des paisibles citoyens. Pour preuve, le 26 et 28 Août dernier à Faladiè, les éléments de la brigade de Recherches du 15ème Arrondissement ont saisi 2 pistolets mitrailleurs (PM) avec crosses rabattables, avec 2 chargeurs garnis de 24 munitions et 1 pistolet Mitrailleur de marque AK 103 avec 1 chargeur garni de 5 munitions. Aussi, le 29 du même mois, le commissariat de police de Mopti a saisi 3 armes de guerre type AK47. Ces saisies ne sont que la face visible de l’iceberg. Cela, tellement que le phénomène est grandissant.
Libya: UN decries ‘blatant’ arms violation, confirming Russian military support for Haftar | 3 September 2020 | DailySabah
Russia steps up support for private military contractor in Libya: U.N. Report | 2 September 2020 | Reuters
As the U.N. warns of an arms buildup and violations of an arms embargo in Libya, where a fragile cease-fire was introduced last month, the misery of the Libyan people has been compounded by a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Dans le cadre de sa mission de lutte contre, les trafics illégaux d’armes, les narcotrafiquants, les bandits de grands chemins et d’autres formes de banditisme dans notre pays, le poste de contrôle de Diallabougou dans la région de Koulikoro, a procédé à son traditionnel contrôle des compagnies de transports. Conséquences : deux (02) trafiquants d’armes ont été appréhendés avec six (06) armes Pistolets-Mitrailleurs (PM) saisies dans les cars Diarra Transport et d’Air Faso.
Could China Weaponize Ports In Africa? | 30 September 2020 | Africa Defense Forum
Weaponizing the Belt and Road Initiative (Report) | 8 September 2020 | Asia Society Policy Institute
Influence and Infrastructure: The Strategic Stakes of Foreign Projects (Report) | 22 January 2019 | Center for Strategic and International Studies
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a sprawling strategic infrastructure program, has been viewed with skepticism since its unveiling in 2013. Through the years, the seeds of doubt have grown as numerous developing countries agreed to billions of dollars in loans that have proven difficult to repay.
Children Of The Gun: Ending the Use of Child Soldiers Will Require Sustained Commitment to Reintegration | 24 September 2020 | Africa Defense Forum
The Idgwi island boy was not a good student. He didn’t listen to his parents or teachers. At age 13, he traveled to Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu province, to visit his older brother. While there, members of the National Congress for the People’s Defence (CNDP) drove up in a car, stopped him and asked him for identification.
Plusieurs civils congolais massacrés dans la région de Béni | 24 September 2020 | VoA Afrique
Au moins cinq civils ont été tués dans une attaque attribuée au groupe Forces démocratiques alliées (ADF) d’une localité de la région de Beni dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, a-t-on appris jeudi de sources locales.
ICJ Arranges for Expert Opinion on Reparations in DRC v. Uganda | 22 September 2020 | American Society of International Law
On September 22, 2020, the International Court of Justice announced that it intends to obtain an expert opinion under Article 67(1) of the Court’s Rules, in the case concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda).
Illegal routes sealed off as KDF digs trenches on Ethiopian border | 22 September 2020 | The Standard
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have dug a trench and filled it with a razor wire at the main border with Ethiopia in Moyale in an effort to tame smuggling in the area. The areas the army are digging trenches are the ones used by smugglers to bring in foreigners, contraband goods and drugs, officials said.
Inside CIA-backed secret anti-terrorism operation in Kenya | 22 September 2020 | The Star
A CIA-backed paramilitary police unit uncovered by Declassified UK – known as the Rapid Response Team (RRT) – is at the heart of US efforts to combat terrorism in Kenya.
Trafics au Sahel (1) – 60 ans pour conquérir le pouvoir | 22 September 2020 | MondAfrique
Trafics au Sahel (2) – Les narco-djihadistes n’existent pas | 24 September 2020 | MondAfrique
Dans une interview en deux parties à Mondafrique, Guillaume Soto-Mayor, l’un des meilleurs spécialistes français de la criminalité organisée au Sahel, raconte comment, en soixante-ans de professionnalisation et d’ancrage territorial, les trafiquants ont désormais conquis le pouvoir.
Nord-Kivu : Des combattants NDC-R rendus à l’armée cités dans le pillage au marché Kabaya | 22 September 2020 | Actualite.cd
Les miliciens de NDC-R aile Gilbert Bwira en août dernier aux Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) et cantonnés à Rumangabo sont cités dans le pillage dimanche dernier des plusieurs boutiques au marché Kabaya, à 50 Km au nord de Goma, dans le territoire de Rutshuru.
A Deadly Enigma: The Ideology Driving the Allied Democratic Forces Remains Mostly a Mystery | 21 September 2020 | Africa Defense Forum
The proliferation of armed groups in Africa’s second-largest country has destabilized the nation for decades, but an incident in December 2017 brought renewed attention to the dangers present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
‘Ethnic Stacking’ Fuels Coups | 21 September 2020 | Africa Defense Forum
Long-serving dictators have many tricks to help them hold onto power. One is a process known as “coup-proofing,” or building armed forces that will not rebel. Political scientist Philip Roessler said leaders attempt to coup-proof a regime in three ways.
La Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Mme Azoulay, a condamné vivement l’assassinat de 2 employés de l’Institut congolais pour la conservation de la nature (ICCN) perpétré le 17 septembre 2020 au niveau du poste d’Adusa à l’entrée de la Réserve de faune à okapis, bien inscrit sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO, en République démocratique du Congo.
Cameroon soldiers jailed for killing women and children | 21 September 2020 | BBC
Four Cameroonian soldiers have been sentenced to 10 years for their roles in shooting dead two women and two children in 2015. The killings were captured on a video that circulated in 2018, which showed the victims being hooded and shot.
Ethiopia charges opposition figures with terrorism | 20 September 2020 | BBC
Prominent opposition figures are among 24 people charged with terrorism in Ethiopia. The charges were laid in connection with a wave of ethnic unrest which followed the killing of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa, leaving more than 150 people dead in late June.
Report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia (A/HRC/45/52) | 18 September 2020 | UNHRC | ReliefWeb
The Independent Expert notes the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to improving the situation of human rights in the country and to ensuring the enjoyment of all human rights by all, including by addressing security threats and protecting civilians from harm in a manner that respects international humanitarian law and human rights, strengthening accountability and the rule of law, including for sexual and gender-based violence, and guaranteeing freedom of expression and association. Despite its efforts, however, significant gaps remain in these areas.
Crimes de guerre en République centrafricaine : un ex-officier arrêté et incarcéré en France | 18 September 2020 | Le Monde
Eric Danboy Bagale, un Centrafricain de 41 ans, est poursuivi notamment pour « complicité de crimes contre l’humanité » et « complicité de crimes de guerre ».
Les rebelles de RED-Tabara revendiquent une série d’attaques en terre burundaise | 18 September 2020 | VoA Afrique
“De dimanche matin jusque dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi, des combats ont opposé les résistants de RED-Tabara à l’armée et à la police aux ordres du pouvoir, ainsi qu’aux miliciens Imbonerakure du parti CNDD-FDD dans les provinces de Bujumbura rural (ouest), Rumonge (sud-ouest) et Bururi (sud). Le bilan est de 28 soldats et policiers et 15 miliciens tués et 40 blessés”, a annoncé à l’AFP l’un des porte-paroles de ce groupe rebelle burundais, Patrick Nahimana.
Burundi: New Government, but no progress in sight on the human rights front | 17 September 2020 | UNHRC | ReliefWeb
UN report ‘extremely concerned’ about Burundi’s new leader | 17 September 2020 | The Associated Press
Following the 2020 presidential, legislative and local elections, the fifteen-year presidency of Pierre Nkurunziza came to a close and a new era under President Évariste Ndayishimiye began. The resulting new policy shifts, appointments, and public statements by the new Government show more cause for concern and warning than promise.
Burundi: le président fait face à des incursions armées | 17 September 2020 | DW
L’accalmie après l’arrivée au pouvoir d’Evariste Ndayishimiye a été de courte durée. Des incursions de groupes armés se sont multipliées ces dernières semaines. D’après des informations concordantes, ces groupes armés seraient venus depuis fin août du Sud-Kivu, dans l’est de la RDC, via le lac Tangayika.
Niger: Fear of terror — and the military | 16 September 2020 | DW
The recent discovery of 71 bodies in six mass graves in Niger is not an isolated incident. In the Sahel region countries, soldiers repeatedly violate the rights of civilians.
Daughter of Hotel Rwanda dissident criticises Belgium’s response to arrest | 15 September 2020 | The Guardian
The alleged rendition and detention of a Rwandan human rights activist has prompted only a tepid political response from his adopted home of Belgium, according to the activist’s daughter, who said it called into question the value of European citizenship for political prisoners.
Ituri : les miliciens de la CODECO incendient 10 maisons à Babunya et emportent 170 vaches | 14 September 2020 | Radio Okapi
Les miliciens de la CODECO ont incendié une dizaine de maisons dimanche 13 septembre au village de Babunya à une dizaine de kilomètres au nord de Bunia. Plus 170 vaches ont été emportées la même journée aux villages de Kikoga et Mbetsi au sud de Bunia.
‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero declines to plead to terrorism charges | 14 September 2020 | Reuters
Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, declined to plead to all the 13 charges facing him in court on Monday, demanding he be allowed to plead to each separate count.
Six civils tués par un groupe armé non identifié dans la province de Kayanza | 11 September 2020 | VoA Afrique
Six civils ont été tués et trois blessés dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi dans la province de Kayanza, dans le nord du Burundi, au cours d’une attaque attribuée à un groupe armé non identifié, selon l’administration.
MONUSCO head denies logistic support for armed groups in DRC | 11 September 2020 | DefenceWeb
The senior civilian UN representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) denounces “fanciful rumours” the UN mission is providing logistic support to armed groups in the volatile eastern part of the central African country.
Suspected militia fighters kill dozens in DR Congo’s eastern Ituri province | 11 September 2020 | France24
Fifty-eight people have been killed in attacks in a restive province of eastern DR Congo, local officials said on Thursday, blaming a notorious militia. Large numbers of the population have fled following the attacks in Irumu, a territory in the province of Ituri, provincial interior minister Adjio Gidi told AFP.
Mozambique. Des djihadistes s’emparent de deux îles proches d’un important projet gazier | 11 September 2020 | Ouest France
Des djihadistes se sont emparés de deux îles de l’océan Indien dans le nord du Mozambique, menaçant le trafic maritime dans une région où un projet d’exploration gazière offshore de plusieurs milliards de dollars est en cours de développement, ont affirmé vendredi des habitants.
Tanzania: Pentagon Think Tank Accuses Tanzania’s Magufuli of Political Repression | 11 September 2020 | Daily Nation | AllAfrica
Tanzania’s “democratic experiment” is imperiled by repressive laws and political violence being carried out by the country’s ruling party, a think tank affiliated with the US Defence Department warned on Tuesday.
Djugu : Un acte d’engagement unilatéral signé par les miliciens CODECO de Lipri et Gutsi | 11 September 2020 | Politico.cd
La délégation des anciens seigneurs de guerre envoyée en Ituri par le président de la république démocratique du congo Félix Antoine Tshisekedi poursuit bel et bien sa mission de négociation avec différentes factions de la milice CODECO dans le territoire de Djugu afin de les persuader à déposer les armes et d’adhérer au processus de la paix .
Central African Republic Seeks Justice for Rural Victims of Sexual Violence | 10 September 2020 | Reuters | AllAfrica
Restoring court operations in rural parts of the war-torn Central African Republic is vital to tackling sexual violence and ensuring victims can seek justice, a top government official said, as the coronavirus pandemic fuels gender-based abuse.
Rwanda: Rusesabagina Was Forcibly Disappeared | 10 September 2020 | HRW
The government of Rwanda’s arrest of a prominent critic of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) amounted to an enforced disappearance, a serious violation of international law. Rwanda should immediately grant the government opponent, Paul Rusesabagina, access to legal counsel of his choosing, confidential consultations, and regular contact with his family. They should allow him promptly to exercise his right to challenge the legality of his arrest, represented by legal counsel of his choosing before an independent tribunal applying international human rights norms.
Chad’s Counterterrorism Support Abroad Drives Repression and Discontent at Home | 10 September 2020 | Just Security
Seven years after Chadian troops first entered northern Mali to support French forces in battles against an array of competing armed groups, Chad is as internally troubled as it is regionally influential. Its enthusiastic role as an “important and valuable counterterrorism partner” in the “global war on terror” has taken thousands of its forces to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria, and brought it international favour as well as funding, training, and equipment for its well-traveled military. Meanwhile, Chad has proved a “stable” host for more than 450,000 refugees from the region’s many ongoing conflicts.
Why a proposed Horn of Africa bloc could destabilise the larger region | 8 September 2020 | The Conversation
Relations in the Horn of Africa are complex and complicated. They are characterised by deeply ingrained rivalries between Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia in a conflict-ridden region. For decades, it has been known for civil war, conflict, and poor economic development.
UN urged to intervene in case of detained Hotel Rwanda dissident | 8 September 2020 | The Guardian
Lawyers for Paul Rusesabagina have called on a UN investigator to immediately intervene in the case of the human rights activist – and inspiration behind the film Hotel Rwanda – who is being detained in Rwanda and is alleged to face a “serious risk of torture”.
RDC: l’impatience des miliciens prêts rendre les armes | 7 September 2020 | Le Point
quel prix rendre les armes en Ituri et au Kivu ? Les miliciens prêts à saisir la main tendue du président de la République démocratique du Congo menacent de s’impatienter faute d’obtenir leurs garanties habituelles: argent, amnistie et intégration dans l’armée.
‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero Denied Legal Rights, His Foundation Says | 7 September 2020 | Bloomberg
Rwandan authorities have held Paul Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager who sheltered people during the nation’s 1994 genocide, incommunicado after abducting him, according to his foundation.
Rwanda: le président Paul Kagame dément que Paul Rusesabagina ait été kidnappé | 7 September 2020 | RFI
Le président rwandais Paul Kagame a démenti que Paul Rusesabagina, le héros du film «Hôtel Rwanda», ait été kidnappé. «Permettez-moi d’éliminer le mot kidnapping parce que ce n’était pas le cas. Rusesabagina en attestera de lui-même, a déclaré Paul Kagame dans une interview diffusée par des médias d’État. Il n’y a eu aucun acte répréhensible dans le processus de son arrivée ici».
Le héros d’« Hôtel Rwanda » serait revenu de son plein gré à Kigali, selon le président Kagame | 7 September 2020 | Le Monde
Selon la famille de Paul Rusesabagina, l’ex-directeur de l’Hôtel des mille collines aurait été kidnappé aux Emirats arabes unis, où il vivait en exil.
Libyan families file US lawsuit accusing LNA leader Haftar of war crimes | 7 September 2020 | DefenceWeb
Libyan warlord faces legal action in US for alleged war crimes | 4 September 2020 | The Guardian
Two Libyan families filed a civil lawsuit in a US federal court late on Thursday accusing Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), of war crimes, human rights abuses and torture during a 2016-2017 offensive to seize a key Libyan district, a court filing showed.
RDC-CODECO : déçu par l’incursion des miliciens à Bunia, Jean Bamanisa les appelle au respect de l’acte d’engagement pris par eux-mêmes | 7 September 2020 | Actualite.cd
Le gouverneur de la province de l’Ituri s’est enfin exprimé au sujet de l’incursion vendredi dernier des miliciens de la Coopérative de développement du Congo (CODECO) à Bunia. Dans une déclaration faite à Kinshasa où il séjourne, et parvenue à ACTUALITE.CD ce lundi 7 septembre, Jean Bamanisa Saidi, qualifie cette incursion à Bunia d’une violation de leurs propres engagements pour la paix. Il les prévient que l’armée congolaise ne tolérera pas pour une nouvelle fois pareil agissement.
RDC-Rwanda: Kagame s’exprime sur le rapport Mapping | 6 September 2020 | Actualite.cd
Paul Kagame s’est brièvement exprimé sur les accusations des crimes commis par l’armée rwandaise. Au cours d’un échange avec ses compatriotes, il a botté en touche et est revenu sur la position qu’il a toujours défendue pointant du doigt la responsabilité de certains pays occidentaux et de la communauté dite internationale.
Rwanda Hints It Tricked ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Dissident Into Coming Home | 6 September 2020 | The New York Times
President Paul Kagame said that the arrested critic Paul Rusesabagina, now facing terrorism charges, was not kidnapped from Dubai but had been lured to Rwanda in a “flawless” operation.
RDC-Bunia: suite au silence de Kinshasa sur l’incursion des miliciens CODECO, le député Gratien Iracan demande à Félix Tshisekedi de choisir entre le peuple iturien et leurs ennemis | 6 September 2020 | Actualite.cd
Le député national Gratien Iracan de Saint-Nicolas dénonce le silence de Kinshasa sur l’incursion des miliciens CODECO le vendredi dernier dans la ville de Bunia, chef-lieu de la province de l’Ituri. Il demande au président de la République, Félix Tshisekedi , en sa qualité de Commandant suprême des forces armées de choisir entre la population de l’Ituri et leurs ennemis.
‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero Denied Access to Lawyer, Supporters Say | 5 September 2020 | Bloomberg
Supporters of the man portrayed in “Hotel Rwanda” say Rwandan authorities have denied a lawyer access to Paul Rusesabagina nearly a week after the outspoken government critic was paraded in handcuffs and accused of terrorism.
Niger mass graves: Army accused of executing over 70 civilians | 5 September 2020 | BBC
Niger probe: Soldiers executed dozens of civilians | 5 September 2020 | DW
Niger’s national human rights commission has accused the army of executing dozens of civilians during counterinsurgency operations. It said it had discovered more than 70 bodies in six mass graves in Tillaberi in the north-west of the country, an area affected by jihadist violence.
DR Congo prisoners dying from hunger, says NGO | 5 September 2020 | Eyewitness News
At a prison in Bunia, the capital of northeastern Ituri province, two inmates died this week bringing the total number of casualties there to 17 since April, according to the prison’s director, Camille Nzonzi.
RDC: 20 militaires condamnés pour viol dans l’Est | 4 September 2020 | La Libre Belgique
Vingt militaires et un policier congolais ont été condamnés pour viol dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo, en proie aux violences depuis 25 ans, selon le verdict du tribunal militaire obtenu vendredi par l’AFP. « C’est un signal fort pour les commandants de l’armée congolaise« , a estimé le président du tribunal qui a rendu ce verdict jeudi dans la province du Sud-Kivu, Alain Gionganga Lwanzu.
Renewed Violence in DRC’s Kasai Region Could Trigger Mass Displacement, UN Says | 4 September 2020 | VoA
The U.N. refugee agency warns that renewed violence and tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai province could trigger a new wave of mass displacement. More than 24,000 people in troubled Kasai province have fled violent attacks and gross human rights atrocities in the past month. UNHCR says people have continued to flee even after a period of uneasy calm.
Uprooting extremism | 3 September 2020 | DefenceWeb
The Sahel’s harsh terrain is fertile ground for recruiting youths. Groups and governments must offer alternatives. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy for the Sahel, said the region’s governments must spend a significant amount on their growing security threats, leaving little for issues affecting young people. The problem is compounded, Sellassie told The Associated Press, because drug traffickers work with armed groups and terrorists who exchange safe passage for money.
Paul Rusesabagina’s arrest shows there’s no space for critical voices in Rwanda | 2 September 2020 | The Conversation
Paul Rusesabagina, who saved hundreds of Rwandans during the genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed – and saw his story made into the Hollywood film, ‘Hotel Rwanda’ – has been arrested by Rwandan authorities who allege “terror related offences”.
Paul Rusesabagina arrêté et accusé de terrorisme par Kigali | 31 August 2020 | VoA Afrique
Les autorités rwandaises ont déclaré lundi avoir arrêté Paul Rusesabagina, l’homme qui a été salué comme un héros dans un film hollywoodien sur le génocide de 1994.