BRIEFING

18 – 24 April 2013

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EDITORIAL

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) met on Thursday to follow up on the regional block’s roadmap for transition in the Central African Republic (CAR). At the conference, attended by the CAR’s Prime Minister, ECCAS reportedly agreed to deploy a 2,000 strong force to assist the authorities to restore order in the currently unstable capital of Bangui. South Africa has apparently expressed its readiness to provide troops to this contingent.
Meanwhile, relations between Rwanda and the DRC remained strained over UNHCR plans for Rwandan refugees soon to be subject to a cessation clause under the 1951 Refugee Convention that which could see then either repatriated back to Rwanda or integrated into host communities. Rwanda has reportedly offered to issue these individuals with national passports to allow them to remain in their host communities, whilst the DRC is said to have blocked moves to issue these persons with the nationality of their host communities. Officials have urged for dialogue between the two States on this issue.
The M23 this week has rejected claims that it has reintegrated 450 rebel soldiers from a faction that split from the group and fled to Rwanda. In North Kivu 30 persons have been kidnapped, whilst in Rutshuru 6 deaths have been reported at the hands of the Nyatura militia who have also secured agreement from local leaders in South Kivu that locals will make regular food donations to the group in order to desist the persistent extortion of food and money from inhabitants. FARDC positions in the South Kivu town of Chishadu have been attacked by rebels, whilst in Katanga a spontaneous popular self defence force has reportedly driven back Bakata Kantanga rebels from their locale, killing 12 of their number.
The natural resource sector in the DRC also appears to have taken prominence this week with the DRC being temporarily suspended from the Extraction Industry Transparency Initiative for failing to produce validation reports in compliance with EITI standards particularly as regards full disclosure and reliability of figures. Stakeholders have been given 12 months to secure compliance with the initiatives standards in line with a list of the corrective actions required. Failure to do so may ultimately result in the DRC’s delisting from the initiative.
Meanwhile, miners and the Katangan regional authorities are reacting to a governmental regulation banning the export of copper and coltan from the DRC in a bid to add value to these chains by securing its processing in the DRC. It is claimed that Katanga currently lacks the capacity to process such minerals in country. An increase in opportunistic artisanal mining in Katanga appears to have precipitate a landslide, sparking fears of further such events, whilst FARDC troops have been accused of involvement in illicit gold mining in Province Orientale. Meanwhile the DRC and Angola and confirmed their plans to develop a shared oil block in the Zone of common interest between the two States.

Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

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

M23

RDC: le M23 nie avoir réintégré des combattants de sa faction dissidente réfugiée au Rwanda | 19 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
In a statement released on Thursday the leadership of the M23 has denied reintegrating 450 fighters of a breakaway faction that fled to Rwanda after splitting from the rebellion in March. An AFP report published on Wednesday relayed that several media had reported this group’s reinstatement as part of the militia citing M23 military spokesman, Vianney Kazarama.

Locals Refuse to Protest for Rebels | 24 April 2013 | IPS | allAfrica
The M23 have now twice had to cancel demonstrations in protest against the UN’s intervention brigade with residents in the areas they seek to mobilise refusing to take part or fleeing the vicinity. M23 has orchestrated forced protest marches, rallies, and a five-day blockade of 11 vehicles belonging to MONUSCO in Rutshuru, in protest against the force. Security analysts state that locals have been more concerned with hastening the reintegration of the APCLS into the FARDC, viewing the M23 as an occupation force from which they wait to be liberated.

UN Intervention force

Le pays attend une ONU moins ‘timide’ | 24 April 2013 | IPS | allAfrica
As the first South African troops should begin arriving in the DRC at the end of April as part of the UN mandated intervention force, governance experts welcome the new MONUSCO mandate.

Lord’s Resistance Army

’60 Minutes’ Documents Successes and Challenges of Anti-LRA Operations | 23 April 2013 | Enough Project
Article discussing a fifteen-minute segment on the current affairs programme 60 Minutes, which covers the scope of atrocities that continue to be committed by Joseph Kony and the LRA, as well as the momentum gained during recent anti-LRA operations.

Kony a Good Man, Says LRA Captive | 24 April 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica
Article outlining the experiences of a former LRA captive recently repatriated to her community following her release by the LRA after 16 years in captivity.

DRC 

Human Rights in the DRC

Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo | 19 April 2013 | US Department of State | allAfrica
This year’s US Department of State report on the human rights situation in the DRC reports that the three most important human rights issues for 2012 were: armed conflict in the East that exacerbated an already precarious human rights situation, particularly with regard to sexual- and gender-based violence; the lack of an independent and effective judiciary; and impunity throughout the country for many serious abuses, including unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, rape, and arbitrary arrests and detention.

EU Security sector reform support mission news

Newsletter EUSEC Congo No. 2, April 2013  | 23 April 2013 | European Union | Reliefweb
Newsletter from the Mission de conseil et d’assistance de l’UE en matière de réforme du secteur de la sécurité dans le domaine de la Défense en RDC.

Province Orientale

Province Orientale : l’auditorat militaire de l’Ituri a rouvert le dossier contre Cobra Matata | 19 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Ituri garrison’s military prosecutor has reopened the case against Cobra Matata, militia leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri (FRPI), on Thursday.  Cobra Matata is accused of crimes against humanity for rape, murder, looting and torture from November 2012 to March 2013 in twenty localities in Irumu. The military prosecutor justified reopening the case by reference to the militia leader’s non-compliance with his commitments to disarm.

Environs 369 victimes des Mai Mai Simba auditionnées à Mambasa en Ituri  | 22 April 2013 | MONUSCO
From 24 to 29 March 2013, a team from MONUSCO and the Joint United Nations Office for Human Rights collaborated with the Military Prosecutor of Ituri, undertaking a fact-finding mission in the territory of Mambasa, some 219 km south of Bunia. The mission sought to investigate possible violations of human rights committed by the Mai Mai Simba militia headed by Paul Sadala alias “Morgan”, as well as the extent of sexual violence by armed groups in the area.

North Kivu

La situation sécuritaire est préoccupante au Nord-Kivu, selon l’ambassadeur de l’ONU Nicolas Chapdelaine | 18 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Following a two-day mission to North Kivu, the Canadian diplomat and member of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping, Nicolas Chapdelaine, has described the humanitarian and security situation in the province as “concerning”, saying it requires concerted action by the international community.

Nord-Kivu: des hommes armés enlèvent 30 personnes à Mamundioma | 20 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped thirty people (men and women) in the locality of Mamundioma on Friday, about fifty miles north-east of the town of Beni (North Kivu). Local civil society argues that personnel from Mamundioma clinic are among those abducted and taken to an unknown destination.

Nord-Kivu: une personne tuée dans des manifestations après la mort d’un chef de quartier | 21 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The inhabitants of Kirumba city in Lubero took to the streets to protest against the death of the chief of the Kikimba district  who was shot and killed the previous evening by gunmen, who also injured another person. Several demonstrators were shot and wounded after the intervention of the police, and a student was killed. after a group of protesters tried to attack the home of a Congolese army staff member in the Kikimba neighbourhood.

Kitshanga: 2 meurtres font craindre la résurgence d’un conflit interethnique | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Violent protests took place in Masisi on Monday as Hutus protested against the killing of two members of their community, accusing members of the Hunde community of being the perpetrators of these murders. Some politicians and traditional leaders fear a resurgence of ethnic conflict in the area.

Nord-Kivu: 6 personnes tuées à Rutshuru par des hommes armés | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Gunmen identified as being Nyatura militiamen killed six people and wounded five others on Monday in an armed attack in Rutshuru center (North Kivu). Among the victims, two died at a roundabout, two in the market place and the last two died of their wounds in hospital.

South Kivu

Sud-Kivu: deux milices attaquent des positions FARDC à Chishadu | 24 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Since Wednesday early morning two militias have been attacking the positions of 1002th regiment of the Congolese army in the town of Chishadu, South Kivu. Sources on site indicate that the militias are composed of men under deserter Colonel Albert Kahasha alias Foka Mike and some men under Maheshe. The people of Chishadu and those of the surrounding villages are hiding in their homes.

Sud-Kivu: les notables de Mufunyi Shanga organisent des collectes pour nourrir des miliciens | 24 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
A group of notables from Mufunyi Shanga in Kalehe territory (South Kivu) have decided to organize food drives among the population in aid of the Nyatura militia group and the Alliance for a free and sovereign Congo (APCLS). The decision was taken at a meeting with representatives of the militias and the inhabitants of seven villages in Mufunyi Shanga. The decision was reportedly taken to avoid conflicts with these militia and quell the significant extortion to which local inhabitants have been subjected from the armed groups.

Katanga

La crise oubliée du ” Triangle de la mort ” en RD Congo : Les défis de la protection des civils au Katanga | April 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb
Produced by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Protection en RDC group in the DRC, this report examines the challenges of protecting civilians in the mining province of Katanga, making a number of recommendations to the Congolese authorities, MONUSCO, donors and humanitarian actors.

The Quest for the Autonomy of Mining DRC Province | 19 April 2013 | IPS
Article outlining the background and cause behind the Mai-Mai Katanga uprising on 23 March and stating that militia interviews confirm that the rebels are motivated towards secession by large mining royalties that are not reflected in standards of living in the province. It outlines different civil society perspectives on solutions to the secession movement with some actors suggesting a need for further dialogue and others for the strengthening of the national security services to oust rebel forces.

Katanga : 12 miliciens Bakata Katanga tués par une force d’auto-défense populaire à Moba | 20 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The inhabitants of the surrounding villages of Mbuyu grouped into a popular self-defense force on Sunday and pushed back the Mai-Mai secessionist militia, Katanga Bakata. This militia had launched an attack against the village, located 120 km from Moba (Katanga). Toll of the clashes were twelve dead on the side of militiamen, including their Commanders. The strength of popular self-defense force pushed the secessionists to the boundary between the territories of Manono and Pweto. Witnesses say that many items looted by the militiamen were recovered after the clashes.

Affaire Bakata Katanga: 3 défenseurs des droits de l’homme exilés | 19 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Congo-Kinshasa: Au Katanga, trois acteurs de la société civile partent en exil | 21 April 2013 | RFI | allAfrica
Three human rights activists from Lubumbashi have fled abroad to escape the death threats they report receiving since the publication of their report on the Bakata Katanga militia’s entry into Lubumbashi on 23 March. The report, published on 26 March, quoted people who they believe are the sponsors of the Bakata Katanga. The document implicated the president of the provincial assembly, the governor of the Central Bank of Congo, and General John Numbi, the police chief suspended since the assassination in 2010 activist of human rights Chebeya.

Uganda

Uganda, Sudan Enter Arms Race | 19 April 2013 | The Independent (Kampala) | allAfrica
Article suggesting that the budget increase in Uganda’s military expenditure even amidst global and regional defence cuts might be the latest indication of President Museveni’s strategy to fasten his grip on power and his influence on the region. It states that in the national Budget Framework Paper, the defence budget is Shs1,045.9 billion representing a 10% increment from last year’s Shs 946 billion, and that the UDF’s spending outstrips that of any other national army in the region. The article suggests that rising antagonisms between Sudan and Uganda appear to be occasioning a regional arms race.

Central African Republic

Nicolas Tiangaye visit to Europe

Le Premier ministre demande une aide urgente à l’UE | 23 April 2013 |RFI | allAfrica
The CAR Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye has appealed to the EU in person to continue its development aid to the country but also for urgent funds to assist in restoring peace and the humanitarian situation in the CAR, where a quarter of the population of Bangui have reportedly fled to the bush due to insecurity in the city.

UN Political Affairs mission to the CAR

UN official, visiting Central African Republic, calls for end to abuses, disorder | 22 April 2013 | UN News
Visiting region, top political official assures Central African leader of UN engagement | 21 April 2013 | UN News
During a visit to the Central African Republic, Jeffrey Feltman, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs appealed for urgent efforts to establish security and end abuses against civilians, while reiterating international calls for a full return to constitutional rule. Meeting with CAR’s Prime Minister in Douala, Cameroun, he assured the CAR of the UN’s continued support for transitional political agreements and humanitarian efforts.

Radio Ndeke Luka (RCA), 23.04.2013 : L’ONU, préoccupée par la crise en RCA, lance un appel de fonds international | 23 April 2013 | Fondation Hirondelle
On 22 April 2013, UN Political Analyst Jeffrey Feltman expressed concern about the continuing security and human rights situation in the CAR. He called on all actors, including Seleka to ensure the safety of humanitarian actors to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, stating that the looting of NGO offices and interruption of humanitarian assistance have devastating effects on hundreds of thousands of people.  He also reiterated the call by the UN, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)and other partners for a return to constitutional order, though requested the international community to continue to assist the country with the resources needed to secure humanitarian needs.

Analysis of coup

Central African Republic: the hidden hands behind ‘yet another good coup’ | 17 April 2013 | Pazumbuka
An analysis of the factors that produced the recent coup d’etat in the Central African Republic and outlining the interests of France, the US and neo-colonial African forces in the country.

ECCAS action on the CAR

Une réunion des pays d’Afrique centrale sur la Centrafrique sans Michel Djotodia | 18 April 2013 | RFI | allAfrica
A follow up meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was held on Thursday, 18 April in N’Djamena, Chad. The meeting was due to follow up on the regional block’s roadmap for transition in the Central African Republic. The new president Michel Djotodia was not invited, though the conference was attended by Nicolas Tiangaye, the Central African Prime Minister. The CAR has requested from the FOMA an additional 1,000 men to secure stability in Bangui, though was expected they might get half this number.

Central African Republic neighbours to send 2,000 troops | 19 April 2013 | BBC News
Radio Ndeke Luka (RCA), 19.04.2013 : La CEEAC légitime Djotodia et promet l’envoi de 2000 soldats de la FOMAC en RCA | 19 April 2013 | Fondation Hirondelle
The Central African Republic’s neighbours have agreed to send an extra 2,000 troops to help restore security following last month’s rebel takeover. The move was agreed at a regional summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in Chad, whose president described CAR as a “wound in the heart of central Africa”.

Zuma Ready to Redeploy Army to Central African Republic | 24 April 2013 | Bloomberg
South Africa is ready to send troops back to Central African Republic a month after suffering its worst military casualties since the end of apartheid in clashes with rebels. The government is reportedly waiting for a formal request from regional leaders and the rebel Seleka alliance that controls the Central African Republic to send soldiers as part of a multinational peacekeeping force, confirming that a verbal appeal to this effect had already been made.

Refugee and IDP Reports

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on the status of refugees in the Great Lakes Region
La situation des refugies centrafricains en Equateur préoccupe les Nations Unies |  22 April 2013 | MONUSCO | Reliefweb
MONUSCO, the congolese national police and UN agencies have assessed the humanitarian situation of CAR refugees in Zongo. They have confirmed a CAR military presence which the UNHCR has no mandate to protect. These persons were therefore relocated for support from congolese authorities though many of these soldiers were lost during the transfer to Worobe Mole and Wenze, with only 33 of 72 soldiers arriving.


DRC 

Humanitarian Bulletins and reports

Province du Sud-Kivu/RD Congo : Bulletin humanitaire provincial – Mars 2013 |  March 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Nord-Kivu N° 14/13, 23 avril 2013 | 23 April 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb

Humanitarian Maps

DRC – Maniema: The fall-out of insecurity (17 April 2013) [EN/FR]  | 17 April 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb
DRC: Katanga (as of 22 Apr 2013) | 22 April 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb

Uganda

Uganda pilots mobile courts for refugees | 23 April 2013 | IRIN | Reliefweb
Uganda’s government and the UNHCR have launched a pilot mobile court system to improve access to justice for victims of crimes in Nakivale, the country’s oldest and largest refugee settlement. The magistrate’s court, whose first session began on 15 April, will hear cases of robbery, land disputes, child rape, sexual and gender-based violence, attempted murder, and murder. The project aims to benefit some 68,000 refugees and 35,000 Ugandan nationals in the settlement.

Rwanda

Status of Rwandan Refugees 

Ministerial meeting reviews timeline for solving Rwandan refugee situation | 19 April 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
African countries hosting large numbers of Rwandan refugees and Rwanda itself have reiterated their commitment to resolving the protracted Rwandan refugee situation in line with a Comprehensive Strategy that was announced by UNHCR in October 2009 for the reintegration and repatriation of Rwandan refugees. The above link provides a summary of what was said by the UNHCR at the Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva this week.

Government to Issue Passports for All Rwandan Refugees | 19 April 2013 | News of Rwanda | allAfrica
The Rwandan government has reportedly told a UNHCR conference reviewing the status of Rwandan refugees living in different countries that it will provide them with national documents so they cease to be called “refugees”. The UNHCR and countries hosting Rwandan refugees agreed in December 2011 that the refugees would no longer be called so after June 31, 2013. Among the options provided was repatriation back to Rwanda and local integration in host countries.

La RDC refuse de signer un accord sur le statut des réfugiés rwandais | 22 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Congolese government has refused to sign an agreement on the cessation of status of Rwandan refugees on its soil. The governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, who attended the UNHCR’s meeting in Pretoria to address this topic on behalf of the DRC, has said that the DRC is concerned that Rwanda could one day say that these persons are no longer refugees in the DRC thus allowing them to automatically claim Congolese nationality.

Rwanda Clarifies DRC Position On Cessation Clause | 23 April 2013 | News of Rwanda | Reliefweb
Rwanda has dismissed media reports suggesting that the DRC does not approve of the implementation of the cessation clause, which removes refugee status for Rwandan refugees all over the world. The DRC’s North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku reportedly told MONUSCO’s Radio Okapi that the DRC had rejected resolutions in which Rwanda renewed its desire to have all refugees returning home or remaining in host countries as nationals not refugees as it would automatically turn the Rwandan refugees into Congolese.

Le HCR dit ne pas avoir le mandat d’octroyer la nationalité congolaise aux refugiés rwandais  | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Head of the UNHCR’s DRC delegation has stated that the UNHCR lacks the authority and the mandate to grant Rwandan refugees living in the DRC Congolese identity, following rumours among Congolese groups that it would do so. He urged the governments of the DRC and Rwanda to enter into dialogue to find a solution to the problem of Rwandan refugees living in the DRC.

Central African Republic 

Humanitarian Bulletins and reports

Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre : Bulletin Humanitaire – avril 2013 | 22 April 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb
République Centrafricaine Rapport de situation No. 12 (au 19 avril 2013) | 19 April 2013 | OCHA | Reliefweb

Justice and Tribunals 

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on major trials and tribunals for crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region
Witness Insists Bemba Did Not Command Troops | 23 April | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Prosecutors have contested the testimony of a former insider in Jean-Pierre Bemba’s group, who testified that the accused did not issue orders to his troops during operations in the CAR, claiming that Central African authorities commanded and controlled the troops.

 DRC

RDC: les 8 personnes poursuivies pour le meurtre de 9 casques bleus en Ituri réclament un procès | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Eight years after their arrest and detention in Makala Central Prison, the eight persons charged for the killing of nine Bangladeshi peacekeepers in Ituri in 2005 have called for the opening of their trial. Their lawyer has requested that the military court now inform his clients on their fate.

Uganda 

Ugandan Leader Lashes Out at ICC | 20 April 2013 |Institute for War and Peace Reporting
During a speech delivered to a packed stadium on the edge of Nairobi on 9 April, Museveni congratulated Kenya for “rejecting blackmail” by the International Criminal Court, ICC. He went on to accuse western leaders of using the Hague court to “install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like”. The article states that analysts are divided on the significance of the Ugandan leader’s remarks. Are they a genuine reflection of growing African opposition to the court, or should they be seen simply as an attempt by Museveni to win political support across the East Africa region?

Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

Recent news on issues relating to natural resource extraction and governance in the Great Lakes Region.

DRC 

Gold 

Province Orientale : les agents de service des Mines accusés de détourner les recettes de taxes | 22 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The provincial Minister of Mines, Paulin Odyane has accused mining service agents and the authority in charge of revenues from Province Orientale of embezzling taxes paid by gold traders for three years. According Odyane Paulin, these agents use printed counterfeit value to recover their profits from these taxes, to the sum of $100 and $150 per merchant. The provincial Minister of Mines has suspended the collection of taxes from the mining sector until new printed value controlled by the new provincial government is available.

Province Orientale : les négociants d’or plaident pour l’ouverture de comptoirs d’achat en Ituri | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Cooperative of gold traders in Ituri (Coonori) have asked for the establishment of trading houses in this district of the Eastern Province. The last of the three remaining trade houses closed seven months ago after a burglary. The gold traders argue that this hinders the traceability of gold in this region. Gold traders have raised their concerns during a meeting with the provincial Minister of Mines in Bunia.

Province Orientale: des hommes en uniforme exploitent de l’or à Bondo  | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Uniformed men have been reported to be exploiting gold in the territory of Bondo. These men claim that  FARDC’s 9th military region has been running the gold quarry called “Matundu” for nearly three weeks and that they are acting under the orders of the military authorities. The commander of the 9th Military Region, General Kifwa denies any connection with the men in uniform, asking the local authorities to track down these men. According to several eyewitness accounts, the men in uniform are heavily armed and have whipped uncooperative miners.

Kalemie: 3 creuseurs d’or meurent dans un éboulement de terre à Nyunzu | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Three people were killed after a landslide on Monday at an artisanal gold mine at Musebe, 136 km northwest of Nyunzu (Katanga). The landslide reportedly occurred as the site has been attracting more and more miners, now estimated at tens of thousands of people, including military diggers. Civilian authorities in Nyunzu fear the resurgence of an epidemic of landslides in the mining site.

Katanga : des élèves abandonnent les cours pour exploiter de l’or à Nyunzu | 24 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
For nearly a month, schools in Nyunzu (200 km west of Kalemie) have been empty because students are flocking to undertake artisanal gold mining in a new Musebe quarry. On site, the civil authorities require parents to take responsibility, and even teachers are reported to have joined the students in mining for gold.

Oil

Sonangol, Cohydro of Congo Reach Agreement on Offshore Oil Block | 22 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Sonangol EP, Angola’s state oil company, and Cohydro of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo will develop a shared oil block off the coast of the two countries, Congolese Oil Minister Crispin Atama said. The nations each control half of the block, which is in a so-called zone of common interest that overlaps with part of Angola’s block 14 in the Atlantic Ocean.

Congo, Angola Offshore Oil May Flow in 36 Months, Minister Says | 23 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Sonangol EP, Angola’s state oil company, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Cohydro may begin production from a shared offshore oil block in 36 months, Congo’s Oil Minister Crispin Atama said.

« Oil of DR Congo » réduit l’écart dans l’industrie pétrolière entre l’Ouganda et la RDC | 24 April 213 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
The DRC is seeking to close the exploitation gap between itself and Uganda regarding the cross border oil under Lake Albert with the “Oil of the DRC” programme that seeks to start the second seismic acquisition phase in respect of the country’s revenues.


Uganda

Corruption Charges Mar Oil Sector  | 23 April 213 | East African Business Week | All Africa
Article stating that much is being made of the oil sectors potential to develop Uganda but that the biggest challenge Uganda has to face is corruption, which risks undermining such development. The article highlights that there are countless cases concerning corruption in court and an overwhelming number of commissions of inquiry on the issue. The article goes on to outline the dissatisfaction with Uganda’s recently passed oil laws expressed by those seeking to prevent corruption in the oil sector.


Rwanda

Gov’t, Mining Fraternity Move to Improve Sector | 23 April 213 | The New Times | All Africa
The Rwandan government and the mining fraternity have come up with a set of resolutions to counter the bottlenecks such as illegal mining and environmental degradation, which are still persistent in the sector. This article outlines some of the current challenges faced by the sector and some of the government actions being taken to remedy such issues.

Extractive Companies, Energy, Trade and Foreign Investment

Recent news on national and international extractive and energy companies and investment in the Great Lakes Region

DRC

Diamonds

A sea change in diamond trade | 23 April 2013 | Africa Mining Intelligence
The revival of the national gem producer Miniere de Bakwanga is stalled and the DRC’s small-scale diamond gem business is now struggling as well. For want of an agreement with the Congolese government, which doesn’t want to sell even a minimum of 30% in MIBA to Mwana Africa, a firm headed by Kalaa Mpinga – who already controls 20% of the company – will not invest heavily in the state-owned concern.

Gold

Canada Stocks Climb as Mining Companies Rally With Gold | 18 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Ivanplats (IVP) Ltd. jumped 7.1 per cent to C$3.17 after the company said planned development of its Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo will not be affected by a ban on exports of cobalt and copper concentrates announced by the country last Wednesday.

Kibali Gold starts a year ahead of schedule | 23 April 2013 | Africa Mining Intelligence
The Kibali Gold sprl joint venture which is 45% owned by Randgold Resources (the operator), 45% by AngloGold Ashanti and 10% by Societe Miniere de Kilo Moto (SOKIMO) is to begin mining gold by the end of 2013.

Province Orientale: la société chinoise Comid accusée d’exploitation illégale de l’or à Irumu | 23 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
An order of the provincial government suspending the activities of the mining cooperative, Cooperative Development (ComID), entered into force this weekend. It is alleged that the Chinese company “illegally exploited gold” in Irumu – Centre, Walu and the Talolo river, respectively 60, 55 and 45 km south of Bunia. The ComID does not have the legal documents authorizing the operation gold in the territory of Irumu, according to the provincial governor. This decree also mentioned the destruction of the environment by the company, including widening the bed of the Talolo river and pollution of its waters.

ENRC

ENRC Co-Founder Machkevich May Form Group to Bid for Miner | 19 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Glencore International Plc has in the past expressed interest in ENRC assets. Commentators believe that the commodities trader and mining company might also be interested in ENRC’s operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Freeport-McMoRan Profit Beats Estimates as Copper Sales Rise | 18 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s first-quarter copper sales rose 15 per cent to 954 million pounds, higher than forecast, because of increased output and sales from the company’s Tenke Fungurume mine in the DRC.

Uganda

Total Sees Progress With Uganda on Lake Albert Oil Development | 25 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Total SA (FP), along with partners Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) and China National Offshore Oil Corp., have yet to reach an agreement with Uganda on a billion-dollar oilfield development in the Lake Albert Basin.  Nevertheless, Museveni’s office said on April 15 that Cnooc and Total had agreed to build a 30,000- barrel-per-day refinery, an increase from previous plans to start with a 20,000 barrel-per-day facility. Uganda favors upgrading the refinery to a daily capacity of 60,000 barrels because of growing demand, though oil companies are opposed to the expansion, according to the government. The refinery remains a sticking point between the parties.

Regulation, Compliance and Corporate Social Responsibility

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on legal and reputational issues relating to businesses operating in the Great Lakes Region 

Increased transparency surrounding smelters

HP, Sandisk Publish the Names of Their Smelters, a Significant Step for Cleaner Supply Chains | 22 April 2013 | Enough Project
This week, HP and SanDisk published their lists of smelters, following Philips’ publishing of its smelter list in November 2012. HP’s list includes 195 smelters, and SanDisk has 261 smelters. Publishing the names of the smelters is important because it puts pressure on them to get audited. Enough project states that previously such smelters were an opaque part of the supply chain, sourcing corrupt or conflict minerals from various sources and hiding this information.

DRC

 EITI suspension of the DRC

Democratic Republic of the Congo temporarily ‘suspended’ | 18 April 2013 | EITI
Congo Suspended From Mining-Transparency Initiative for 1 Year | 18 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Congo-Kinshasa: Le secteur minier pointé du doigt pour son manque de transparence | 19 April 2013 | RFI
Le secteur minier pointé du doigt pour son manque de transparence | 19 April 2013 | RFI | allAfrica
The DRC has been suspended from the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative. Since it became an EITI Candidate in 2008, the DRC has completed two EITI Validations. The EITI Board concluded that the country has made significant progress towards improving transparency and accountability over the last five years but that it has nevertheless found that the quality of its EITI Reports did not yet meet all requirements in the EITI standard, particularly regarding full disclosure and assurance of the reliability of the figures. The Board has identified corrective actions to be implemented in the next twelve months necessary to reach EITI Compliant status and stated that the suspension can be lifted when the Board is content that the agreed corrective actions have been completed satisfactorily.  If the suspension is in effect for more than one year, beyond 17 April 2014, the Board will consider delisting the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which means that it would lose its status as EITI Candidate and would no longer be considered an EITI implementing country.

Mining laws

Congo’s Copper Producers Warn Against Sea Change in Mining Laws | 18 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s biggest copper producer after Zambia, urged the government to reconsider proposed changes to the mining code and end a ban on exporting mineral concentrates. The amendments “call into question the basis on which mining operators and investors decided to come to Congo,” Marcel Malengo, managing director of African Minerals (Barbados) Ltd., the Ivanplats Ltd. (IVP) unit that runs the Kamoa copper project, said at a conference in Kinshasa. The government could boost its revenues if it adhered to the code in place, he said.

Copper export ban

Katanga : la Fec plaide pour un sursis de l’interdiction d’exporter des minerais concentrés | 19 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Federation of Enterprises of Congo (FEC), Katanga section, has argued that the order of the Minister of Mines, prohibiting the export of copper concentrates and cobalt is not currently being implemented. FEC Katanga has said that in the current context it is difficult for mining companies to process minerals locally because of the deficit in power and lack of infrastructure for local processing.

DRC copper export ban will have no real impact on operations – Tiger | 18 April 2013 | Mining Weekly
Toronto- and Sydney-listed Tiger Resources on Friday said there will be no material impact on its operations or the continued sale of copper concentrate from its Kipoi copper mine, in the Katanga province, in the DRC, after Kinshasa banned the export of copper and cobalt concentrates in a bid to encourage miners to process and refine copper concentrates in-country to secure the value-add economic benefits of beneficiation and refining for the nation.

Katanga province governor rejects copper/cobalt export ban | 18 April 2013 | Mineweb
Congo’s Katanga Governor Snubs Export Ban on Copper Concentrate | 18 April 2013 | Bloomberg
The governor of Congo’s copper mining province, Katanga, said on Thursday he will not enforce a newly imposed ban on the export of copper and cobalt concentrates, putting him on a collision course with the central government. The mines and finance ministers signed a directive this month giving companies 90 days to clear their stocks of concentrate before the ban comes into effect, after which processing would have to be done in the DRC. Katanga province said it will not implement a government ban because it doesn’t have capacity to process all the ore itself.

Forestry regulation

TIE – N’sa Mputu annonce un « contrôle forestier renforcé aux frontières et aux portes de sortie »  | 24 April 213 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
The Congolese Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism, Bavo N’sa Mputu Elima, (also 2nd Vice President of the Executive Committee of the EITI DRC), has announced that controls on forests, including entries and exits, have been strengthened in order to reduce fraud and better manage statistics on the volumes of exported forest products from the DRC.

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