2 – 8 May 2013


As UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, comes to the end of her 9 day tour of the region she has reportedly re-emphasised the need to see the UN Intervention Brigade as a mere supplement to the true political work required to bring stability to the region. The M23 continues to posture over the Brigades imminent arrival, this week sending a letter to the Tanzanian State threatening to target the country’s troops if it proceeds with contributing forces to the multinational intervention force. Officials report that at least 519 M23 elements have reintegrated into the FARDC since May 2012.
In the DRC the UN enquiry into the events surrounding November 2012’s seizure of Goma by the M23 have now culminated in a report detailing widespread sexual violence by both the FARDC and the M23, with nearly 200 recorded case of rape and 13 arbitrary executions. Meanwhile in North Kivu the start of May saw heavy fighting in Pinga between the APLCS and NDC militias, with normality apparently restored by Saturday. In South Kivu a MONUSCO convoy was attacked by unknown assailants, killing one Pakistani peace keeper and sparking an investigation into the incident, whilst in Katangaarmed bandits are reported to be causing insecurity on the outskirts of the city with robbing’s and killings at night.
The Central African Republic continues to experience significant insecurity this week, as ministers met in Congo Brazzaville to discuss the restoration of stability in the country. In Ndjamena (Chad) Heads of State called for the creation of a special fund to finance transition to democracy in the CAR and Nicolas Tiangaye has reportedly appealed to France to support the Central African Multilateral Force to be deployed in a bid to secure Bangui.

Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

Recent news on conflict, security and arms trade across the Great Lakes Region. 
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

Uganda Official: Cooperation Key to Reducing LRA Activities | 2 May 2013 | Voice of America
Uganda’s foreign affairs minister says his nation and its neighbours are cooperating to battle the Lord’s Resistance Army in the East and Central African regions. “There has been a very good cooperation between the DRC, Uganda, the government of South Sudan and the government of the Central African Republic,” said Henry Okello Oryem, Uganda’s foreign minister. “We have already put in place a joint force led by a Uganda brigadier, in order for us to join together to flush out the LRA, or arrest them from the forest or the jungles of the Central African Republic.”

LRA Regional Update: Central African Republic, DR Congo and South Sudan (January – March 2013) (Quarter 1) | 7 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
The LRA continues to spread fear and pose a significant threat to civilians living in the affected areas of the DRC and the CAR. March 2013 saw a spike in incidents of presumed LRA attacks with 30 attacks in the DRC alone, more than any other month since January 2012.

UN Envoy for Great Lakes

Gun Not Primary Solution in DR Congo, Says UN Envoy | 2 May 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Grands Lacs: pour l’envoyée spéciale des Nations unies, la solution régionale n’est pas seulement militaire | 2 May 2013 | RFI
Only Political Solution Will Work in DRC | 3 May 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
The United Nations special envoy to the Great Lakes, Mary Robinson, has said that use of a strong military offensive against armed groups in the DR Congo should not be seen as complete solution to the crisis that has plagued the eastern parts of the country, but instead a supplement a political solution.

Kigali promet à Mary Robinson sa coopération pour appliquer l’accord-cadre d’Addis Abeba  | 2 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
UN envoy urges sustained political will for DR Congo peace framework | 3 May 2013 | UN News Centre
En tournée dans les Grands Lacs, Mary Robinson exhorte à la volonté politique pour mettre en œuvre l’Accord-cadre de paix | 3 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Kivu: le passage de Mary Robinson confirme l’engagement international | 3 May 2013 | Le carnet de Colette Braeckman
Mary Robinson, Special Envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes Region, urged leaders to keep working towards the success of the new eastern DRC peace plan, particularly amid what she sensed were mounting pressure and rhetoric in the country. Robinson encouraged the commitment of the Rwandan government to implement the Framework Agreement of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

H. E. Mary Robinson and H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Discuss “Framework of Hope” for the DR Congo | 6 May 2013 | African Union | allAfrica
Recently appointed United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Mary Robinson has met with the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to discuss collaboration and cooperation around her new role.

UN Envoy tells Security Council there is ‘renewed opportunity’ for DR Congo peace efforts | 6 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Région des Grands Lacs : l’Envoyée spéciale Mary Robinson présente au Conseil de sécurité son « cadre de l’espoir » | 6 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Mary Robinson rend compte de sa tournée dans les Grands Lacs au conseil de sécurité | 7 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
There are encouraging signs that the new push for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can succeed, Mary Robinson said today in her first briefing to the Security Council since taking her post as United Nations Envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes Region.

UN Intervention Brigade

‘UN Force Will Cause Anarchy in DRC’ | 2 May 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica
The protracted talks between the M23 and the DRC in Kampala were recently thrown into a crisis when the UN Security Council unanimously authorized a new “intervention brigade” for the volatile eastern part of the country. The M23 also splintered into several groups. However, the head of the M23 delegation at the talks, Rene Abandi, has said that the intervention force could throw the region into anarchy.

Le Burundi mettra l’aéroport de Bujumbura et des officiers à la disposition de la Brigade d’intervention au pays | 4 May 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
L’ancienne présidente irlandaise Mary Robinson, envoyée spéciale de l’ONU pour la région des Grands Lacs qui a sollicité « l’appui du Burundi au retour de la paix en RDC Congo », a reçu vendredi 03 du président Pierre Nkurunziza la promesse de la mise de l’aéroport international de Bujumbura et des officiers burundais à la disposition de la Brigade internationale onusienne en voie de déploiement dans l’Est de la RD Congo.

Tanzania brushes off Congo rebel threats ahead of new UN mission | 4 May 2013 | Reuters
The M23 have warned Tanzania they will target its soldiers if they join the UN intervention brigade aimed at neutralizing armed groups in the DRC, a Tanzanian cabinet minister said on Saturday.

Tanzania warns Congo’s M23 rebels to stop threats | 4 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
Stop Threatening Tanzania, Membe Warns M23 Rebels | 5 May 2013 | Tanzania Daily News | allAfrica
Brigade d’intervention: la Tanzanie demande au M23 de «cesser les intimidations» | 5 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Tanzania has said that M23 rebels must end threats over the country’s planned sending of troops as part of a UN force to tackle the insurgents. “This is intimidation, they must stop it,” Tanzanian foreign minister Bernard Membe told parliament. “If they provoke us, we will retaliate.”

UN sends force to look for a fight in Democratic Republic of the Congo | 5 May 2013 | The Guardian
Deployment of an intervention brigade is not peacekeeping but peace enforcement. If successful it will set a precedent.

M23 rebels in DRC prepare for battle with new UN force | 5 May 2013 | The Guardian
An M23 spokesman has said that the rebels will respond with full force to any attack by 3,000-strong ‘intervention brigade’.

Analysis: Congo rebels prepare to face U.N. force with mandate to attack | 6 May 2013 | Reuters
In forested hills in eastern Congo, rebels are honing their ambush skills to prepare to face a new United Nations force which has a mandate to go on the offensive.

RDCongo : la rébellion du M23 rejette une confrontation avec la force de l’ONU | 6 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
Le président du mouvement rebelle congolais M23, Bertrand Bisimwa, a rejeté lundi l’idée d’une confrontation entre son mouvement et la brigade d’intervention de la Monusco (Mission de l’ONU en République démocratique du Congo).

Is more force in the DRC more of the same? | 8 May 2013 | IRIN
The imminent deployment of a UN-backed 3,000-strong international force mandated to “neutralize… and disarm” all armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) marks a switch to a more belligerent international stance towards rebel militia, but has met with scepticism in some quarters.

Nord-Kivu: des députés invitent la population à bien accueillir la brigade d’intervention de la Monusco | 9 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
A group of national MPs staying in Goma on Wednesday called on the people of North Kivu to receive the intervention brigade MONUSCO soon to be deployed in the province to neutralize the armed groups. These MPs appointed by the National Assembly met with students of all universities in Goma. Leaders of civil society in the province as well as representatives of local communities also attended the meeting.

South African military flexes muscles ahead of Congo mission | 9 May 2013 | Reuters
South Africa’s air force showed off its military might on Thursday with precision bombing and helicopter gunships firing fusillades of rockets just days ahead of an unprecedented “peace enforcing” deployment to eastern Congo.

Is African peace keeping mission in DRC doomed to fail? | 9 May 2013 | Pambazuka News
With the recent loss of 12 South African troops in the Central African Republic and the US bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq, the extent to which an African peace keeping mission will meet a similar fate seems likely.


UN report on abuses by Congolese army in South Kivu and M23 in North Kivu

UNJHRO report on Human Rights violations by FARDC and M23 in Goma, Sake, and around Minova. 15 Nov – 2 Dec 2012 | 8 May 2013 | UNHCHR, MONUSCO | Reliefweb
Rapport du BCNUDH sur les violations des droits de l’homme à Goma, Sake et Minova. 15 Nov – 2 Dec 2012 | 8 May 2013 | UNHCHR, MONUSCO | Reliefweb
UN report confirms nearly 200 women and girls raped by Congolese troops, rebels | 8 May 2013 | UN News Centre
RDC : le HCDH accuse le M23 et les forces congolaises de violations graves des droits de l’homme dans les Kivus | 8 May 2013 | UN News Centre
RDC: l’Onu accuse l’armée et le M23 d’exactions contre les civils à Goma | 9 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were committed in November 2012 during fighting between government forces and the M23 over the town of Goma in North Kivu and during FARDC’s subsequent retreat to South Kivu province, a UN report has found. FARDC reportedly raped more than 102 women and 33 girls, some as young as six years old, as they fled the advance of M23 rebels in the country’s restive eastern region in November 2012, according to a joint UN report released today.

RDC: bilan des violations des droits de l’homme à Goma | 8 May 2013 | RFI
Viols, exécutions sommaires, pillages… Ce mercredi 8 mai, l’ONU a rendu public à New York et à Kinshasa un rapport d’enquête sur ces violations des droits de l’homme commises pendant la période où le M23 a attaqué la ville de Goma, en novembre 2012. De graves exactions ont été commises par les deux camps : par l’armée régulière lorsqu’elle s’est repliée de Goma vers Minova, et par le M23 qui a occupé Goma pendant dix jours.

DRC Abuses: UN Calls for ‘Credible’ Investigation | 8 May 2013 | Voice of America
UN: Girls as Young as 6 Raped in DRC | 8 May 2013 | Voice of America
The United Nations has released details of what it calls horrifying abuses committed by FARDC and M23 rebels after heavy fighting in eastern Congo in November 2012.  It documents nearly 200 cases of sexual violence and 13 arbitrary executions of civilians over a two-week period in North Kivu province. FARDC raped at least 97 women and 33 girls, some as young as six, after troops fled from advancing M23 rebels.

UN peacekeeper killed in South Kivu

Security Council, Ban call on DR Congo to investigate death of Pakistani peacekeeper | 8 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Ban condamne l’attaque d’un convoi de l’ONU en RDC qui a coûté la vie à un Casque bleu | 8 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Security Council Press Statement On Attack Against United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo | 8 May 2013 | UN Security Council | allAfrica
The Security Council joined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in condemning the targeted attack against a United Nations military convoy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) South Kivu province, and calling on the Government to launch an investigation into the incident, which resulted in the death of a Pakistani peacekeeper.

RDC : ouverture d’une enquête sur le meurtre d’un casque bleu à Walungu | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
An investigation was initiated to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the murder of a Pakistani MONUSCO peacekeeper on Tuesday, May 7 at Walungu (South Kivu).

RDC : deux personnes arrêtées après la mort d’un Casque bleu à Walungu | 9 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Deux personnes ont été arrêtées le 8 mai à Walungu, un village de l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), où un Casque bleu pakistanais avait été mortellement blessé, la veille, dans l’attaque d’un convoi des Nations unies. L’un des suspects serait connu de la police congolaise pour ses activités de “coupeur de routes”


DR Congo rebels demand ceasefire before new talks | 2 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
RDC : la rébellion exige un cessez-le-feu avant de reprendre les pourparlers (M23) | 2 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
The M23 rebel movement active in the troubled east of the Democratic Republic of Congo said Thursday it would only resume peace talks if the government signs up to a ceasefire.

RDC : le M23 exige un cessez-le-feu et nomme deux nouveaux administrateurs au Nord-Kivu | 2 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Le Mouvement du 23-Mars (M23) a exigé, le 2 mai, la signature d’un accord de cessez-le-feu avec Kinshasa avant de reprendre les pourparlers de Kampala. Cette annonce intervient deux jours après la nomination par la rébellion de deux nouveaux administrateurs dans les territoires de Nyirangongo et de Rutshuru, au Nord-Kivu. Un “acte de provocation”, selon la société civile locale.

RDC: polémique après l’installation d’une base du M23 près de celle de la Monusco | 2 May 2013 | RFI
Au Nord-Kivu, la Mission des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (Monusco) parle d’une accélération des redditions de membres du Mouvement du 23-Mars (M23) depuis début avril. La rébellion a installé récemment une base juste à côté d’une position des casques bleus à Kiwanja, dans le territoire de Rutshuru (au nord de Goma). Et pour la mission de l’ONU, c’est une façon pour le M23 de mieux surveiller ses hommes, de tirer sur ceux qui voudraient se rendre. La rébellion, elle, dénonce une « propagande ».

RDC : 519 rebelles du M23 ont déserté | 6 May 2013 | BBC Afrique
Certains de ces anciens rebelles interrogés par la BBC ont affirmé qu’ils étaient prêts à se battre contre les FARDC (les forces armées congolaises). Mais qu’ils n’étaient pas disposés à se battre contre la communauté internationale.

RDC: la rébellion du M23 a un an | 6 May 2013 | RFI
En un an, le M23 s’est forgé une place centrale dans le conflit en RDC | 6 May 2013 | RFI
Il y a un an naissait une nouvelle rébellion dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo. Le M23 ou Mouvement du 23 mars, en référence à un accord signé le 23 mars 2009 entre le gouvernement et l’ancêtre du M23, le CNDP (Congrès national pour la défense du peuple). Officiellement, c’est pour protester contre la non application de l’accord par Kinshasa que cette rébellion a vu le jour.

Le M23 continue de recruter et d’entraîner des adolescents | 9 May 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Au cours du point de presse hebdomadaire de la Monusco organisé mercredi à Kinshasa, le porte-parole militaire, le lieutenant-colonel Prosper-Félix Basse, a confirmé que le M23 continue toujours de recruter les adolescent dans le territoire qu’il occupe afin de les enrôler dans son groupe armé classé parmi les forces négatives.

Human rights Watch letter to Kabila

Letter to DR Congo President Joseph Kabila on Ending Impunity for Grave Human Rights Abuses | 8 May 2013 | Human Rights Watch
RD Congo : Lettre au président Kabila concernant l’impunité pour les auteurs de graves violations des droits humains | 8 May 2013 | Human Rights Watch
Dans une lettre ouverte au président Kabila – HRW déconseille tout accord Kinshasa-M23 | 9 May 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Human Rights watch have written to the Congolese government demanding an end to impunity for war crimes in eastern DRC.

Province Orientale

Isangi : des habitants cacheraient des engins non explosés pour les revendre à Handicap International | 3 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Province Orientale : destruction de trois engins non explosés retrouvés à Isangi | 4 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Three unexploded ordnance found in Isangi were destroyed on Friday by technicians from Handicap International under the supervision of MONUSCO. Civil society representatives have said that six other items of unexploded ordnance are kept by people who hope to cash in on this NGO’s activities.

Ituri: 4 civils arrêtés pour détention illégale d’armes et de munition de guerre | 6 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
FARDC arrested four people on Saturday night in Nyamavi. The chief of this village said that these men were being prosecuted for criminal conspiracy and illegal possession of weapons and ammunition. According to the military, the band wanted to attack three trucks carrying passengers from a cattle market.

North Kivu

Renewed violence hits Pinga in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo | 2 May 2013 | MSF | Reliefweb
Heavy fighting over the last few days in Pinga, a town in the conflict-afflicted North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has made it difficult for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to carry out vital medical work. Thousands of the town’s inhabitants have fled into the surrounding forests and eleven of MSF’s Congolese staff members are missing.

Nord-Kivu : le calme revient à Pinga après des affrontements entre deux groupes armés | 4 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The inhabitants of the town of Pinga have returned to their homes in Walikale territory, after clashes between two armed groups since Sunday, April 28. The Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) warlord, Janvier Kalahiri had dislodged the armed group called “Nduma Defence of Congo” (NDC) Sheka, though the NDC regained control of Pinga on Monday, April 29. The fighting took place in the absence of FARDC.

Nord-Kivu: des présumés rebelles du M23 accusés d’avoir abattu 2 personnes à Kiwanja | 5 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Suspected M23 rebels are accused of shooting two young woodcutters who were returning to their homes around 20 am local time in the city of Kiwanja, 75 km north of Goma on Wednesday. According to local sources, the incident occurred during an attempt by the rebels to plunder the Buturande neighbourhood.

Nord-Kivu : plus de 500 combattants du M23 ont déjà réintégré les FARDC, selon Julien Paluku | 7 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
At least five hundred nineteen M23 rebels have already reintegrated back into the Congolese army since May 2012. According to officials, many of these former rebels are directly reintegrated into FARDC from Bweremana, the 8th military region. North Kivu civil society spokesman, Omar Kavota, expressed concern about the groups infiltration of the FARDC.

RDC: au moins 27 groupes armés sont actifs au Nord-Kivu | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The province of North Kivu in eastern DRC has more than 27 armed groups. The provincial Minister of Territorial Administration and customary affairs of North Kivu, Valerian Mbalutwirandi gave these figures Tuesday, May 7 at the Provincial Assembly of North Kivu.

Nord-Kivu: 79 miliciens se rendent aux FARDC à Rwindi | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Sixty-nine rebel militiamen including six M23 rebels reintegrated into the FARDC on Tuesday at Rwindi, a town a few hundred kilometers north of Goma. According to Colonel Rama, Commander of 82 th sector FARDC, these militiamen from the Virunga Park will be transferred to Sake and Mubambiro to join the 8 th Military Region.

Rutshuru : la société civile déplore «une année de deuil» depuis l’occupation du M23 | 9 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The president of the civil society in Bwisha, Rutshuru territory has said that “the official occupation” of the M23 over the last year has plunged the population into a state of humanitarian instability that favors the creation of armed groups.

Nord-Kivu : les FARDC accusés d’avoir pillé plus 20 maisons à Kamandi | 9 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
FARDC soldiers looted twenty houses in Kamandi, 150 km north of Goma on Wednesday night, according to local sources. Panicked, the inhabitants took refuge in the bush, before returning to their homes Wednesday morning.

South Kivu

Sud-Kivu: une fillette de 12 ans tuée lors d’un échange de tirs entre des miliciens et les militaires | 4 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
A 12 year old girl was killed at Luvungi 50 km north of Uvira in the crossfire between a group of armed men and and the FARDC.

RDC : un casque bleu pakistanais tué au Sud-Kivu | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
A Pakistani peacekeeper was killed on Tuesday, May 7 in an attack against a MONUSCO  convoy in South Kivu. In a statement released the same day, the spokesman for the UN Secretary General, Martin Nesirky said a military convoy of peacekeepers was attacked by “unknown assailants.”

Sud-Kivu: 114 armes et plus de 6 000 munitions détruites à Kavumu | 9 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
One hundred and fourteen small calibre guns and more than six thousand rounds of ammunition were destroyed on Thursday May 9 in Kavumu (South Kivu) by UNMACC in coordination with the DDRRR section of MONUSCO. The weapons and ammunition were collected from foreign and Congolese ex-combatants.


Katanga: des hommes armés non identifiés créent l’insécurité à Lubumbashi | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Unidentified armed men were accused of creating insecurity in the city of Lubumbashi in Katanga. The bandits are said to roam during the late hours and hunt down peaceful citizens they encounter in the peripheral areas of the city, robbing and killing.

RCA sécurité et transition au centre de la réunion de Brazzaville | 3 May 2013 | RFI
Les chefs de la diplomatie de la Centrafrique, du Gabon, du Rwanda et du Tchad sont réunis depuis le 2 mai au Congo Brazzaville. Le ministre tchadien de la Défense et celui de l’Intérieur du Congo Kinshasa étaient également présents à ce sommet consacré à la crise en Centrafrique. Le président congolais Denis Sassou Nguesso et son homologue sud-africain, Jacob Zuma, devraient poursuivre les discussions aujourd’hui. Aucun ordre du jour précis n’a été fixé, mais il sera inévitablement question des moyens de ramener la sécurité en Centrafrique et de la feuille de route politique du pays.

L’Afrique centrale appelle la communauté internationale à soutenir la Centrafrique | 3 May 2013 | La Voix de l’Amérique
A l’ouverture à Brazzaville d’un sommet régional consacré à la Centrafrique, le président congolais Sassou Nguesso a réclamé un “soutien international vigoureux” pour le processus de transition à Bangui.

Au secours de la RCA | 4 May 2013 | Gabonews | allAfrica
Au cours d’une réunion hier à Ndjamena, au Tchad, les Etats d’Afrique centrale ont plaidé pour la création d’un fonds spécial soutenir le retour à la démocratie prévues au lendemain de la transition, après les 18 mois de transition.

Centrafrique: la feuille de route de la transition validée par les pays de la sous-région | 4 May 2013 | RFI
Les Etats d’Afrique centrale étaient encore au chevet de la Centrafrique, ce vendredi 3 mai. Au terme d’un sommet auquel a participé le président sud-africain Jacob Zuma, ils ont plaidé pour la création d’un fonds spécial pour permettre le « financement de la préparation et le déroulement des opérations électorales » prévues après la période de transition de 18 mois. L’arrivée de renforts pour la Fomac, la Force des Etats d’Afrique centrale, dont le quadruplement a été annoncé à Ndjamena le mois dernier, est prévue pour la fin mai.

Centrafrique : Bozizé visé par une enquête pour violations des droits de l’homme | 4 May 2013 | AFP | Jeune Afrique
Le parquet de Bangui a ouvert une enquête sur les violations des droits de l’homme commises par le président déchu François Bozizé et ses proches durant son régime et après le coup d’Etat qui l’a renversé le 24 mars, a annoncé le ministre de la Justice Arsène Sendé à la radio nationale samedi.

RCA: enquête ouverte contre l’ex-président François Bozizé pour violation des droits de l’homme | 4 May 2013 | RFI
Le parquet de Bangui vient d’ouvrir une enquête pour violation des droits de l’homme à l’encontre de l’ancien président centrafricain François Bozizé, renversé le 24 mars par les ex-rebelles de la Seleka. C’est ce qu’a indiqué le ministre centrafricain de la Justice, Arsène Sendé.

Central African Republic Rebels Planned More Coups: Zuma  | 6 May 2013 | Bloomberg
South African President Jacob Zuma said rebels who ousted his counterpart in Central African Republic were foreign-backed and planned to later topple governments in Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Centrafrique : la réforme de l’armée en marche | 6 May 2013 |
Après une réticence à la demande du président Michel Djotodia qui l’a nommé à la tête de l’armée nationale, le Général Jean-Pierre Dollo Waya a finalement accepté de prendre ses focntions. Il succède ainsi au vieux compagnon de François Bozizé, le Général Jules Bernard Ouandet.

Centrafrique : Nicolas Tiangaye sollicite l’aide de la France pour sécuriser Bangui | 9 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Le Premier ministre centrafricain, Nicolas Tiangaye, a annoncé, mercredi 8 mai, avoir demandé aux forces françaises présentes à Bangui d’appuyer la Force multinationale d’Afrique centrale (Fomac) pour sécuriser la capitale, où des troubles persistent depuis la prise de pouvoir par la coalition Séléka.

Refugee and IDP Reports

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on the status of refugees in the Great Lakes Region


Humanitarian reports

République Démocratique du Congo: Personnes déplacées et retournées (au 31 mars 2013) | 2 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Situation humanitaire en République Démocratique du Congo – Note d’information à la presse, 2 mai 2013 | 2 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

Bulletin d’information humanitaire – Province du Katanga N° 16/13 – 30 avril 2013 | 2 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province de Maniema N° 10/13, 30 avril 2013 | 2 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province Orientale N° 17/13, 30 avril 2013 | 2 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Nord-Kivu N° 15/13, 30 avril 2013 | 3 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’information humanitaire – Province du Katanga N° 17/13 – 7 mai 2013 | 7 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province de Maniema N° 11/13, 07 mai 2013 | 7 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Sud-Kivu N° 19/13, 8 mai 2013 | 8 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province de l’Equateur N° 12/13, 08 mai 2013 | 8 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Nord-Kivu N° 16/13, 07 mai 2013 | 9 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

Situation humanitaire en République Démocratique du Congo – Note d’information à la presse, 8 mai 2013 | 8 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

Congolese IDPs

Conflict cuts off civilians in DRC’s Katanga | 2 May 2013 | IRIN
Les civils isolés du Katanga | 5 May 2013 | IRIN
Tens of thousands of displaced people in the DRC’s Katanga Province have received little or no humanitarian aid in the months since having fled ongoing conflict.

Sud-Kivu: 600 déplacés de guerre en difficulté à Minova | 2 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Local authorities and activists have called on the government to provide humanitarian assistance in food and non-food items to six hundred war displaced in the town of Shanje in Minova territory, 115 km north -west of Bukavu (South Kivu).

DR Congo: UN food relief agency warns of ‘Triangle of Death’ | 3 May 2013 | UN News Centre
RDC : le PAM attire l’attention sur l’existence d’un «triangle de la mort » au Katanga, théâtre d’une crise alimentaire | 3 May 2013 | UN News Centre
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that the security situation remains volatile in the so-called “Triangle of Death” – the area between the towns of Pweto, Mitwaba and Manono, in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

RDC : le CICR cherche 10 millions USD pour renforcer son intervention dans l’Est | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) needs additional funding of 10 million U.S. dollars to increase its emergency aid to tens of thousands of people in need of help in eastern DRC.

Rwandan Refugees in the DRC

Not Safe for Rwandan Refugees to Return | 2 May 2013 | Inter Press Service
The Congolese government is demanding a comprehensive strategy for a lasting solution for the repatriation of 127,537 Rwandan refugees estimated to be in the country.

CAR refugees in the DRC

De plus en plus de réfugiés centrafricains dans les camps en RDC | 7 May 2013 | RFI
RDC: le nombre de réfugiés centrafricains a doublé en l’espace d’un mois à Zongo | 5 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The number of CAR refugees registered with UNHCR in a month has gone from 6 000 to 13 860 in the town of Zongo, 200 km north-east of Mbandaka (Equateur). According to a joint FARDC-MONUSCO mission carried out from 29 April to 1 st May, the town of Zongo also hosts military refugees with their dependents.

RDC : plus de 38 000 Centrafricains réfugiés en Province Orientale et en Equateur, selon Ocha | 9 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that 38,438 Central African refugees who fled insecurity in the CAR, are currently living in the DRC.


Humanitarian reports

Central African Republic Situation Report No. 14 (as of 3 May 2013) | 3 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
République centrafricaine Rapport de situation No. 14 (au 03 mai 2013) | 3 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Central African Republic: Humanitarian Crisis Snapshot (as of 07 May 2013) | 7 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

Nouvelle détérioration de la situation humanitaire en République centrafricaine, selon l’OCHA | 6 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Le Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires (OCHA) a annoncé lundi que la situation humanitaire en République centrafricaine (RCA) ne cessait de se détériorer et que la totalité de la population de ce pays – 4,6 millions de personnes – était désormais touchée par la crise.

Justice and Tribunals 

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on major trials and tribunals for crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region


Chebeya appeal case

Procès Chebeya – Notification des prévenus, la Cour rejette les préalables des parties civiles | 2 May 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Passant outre les préoccupations des conseils des parties civiles pour le vice de procédure dans la notification des prévenus fugitifs, la Haute Cour militaire vient d’aborder le fond de l’affaire Chebeya par l’audition du colonel Daniel Mukalay wa Mateso.

RDC: les avocats de la famille Chebeya espèrent l’inculpation du général Numbi | 8 May 2013 | RFI
Le procès en appel des policiers accusés de l’assassinat du défenseur des droits de l’homme Floribert Chebeya semble s’enliser à nouveau dans une bataille de procédure. Les parties civiles mènent une bataille pied à pied pour que ce procès ne puisse pas être cassé. Mardi s’est tenu une nouvelle audience de ce procès-fleuve.

Procès Chebeya – Surséance pour l’inconstitutionnalité des arrêts avant-dire-droit | 8 May 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Encore un couac dans l’affaire Floribert Chebeya. La Haute Cour militaire étant accusée par la partie civile d’avoir pris des décisions anti-constitutionnelles avec ses arrêts avant-dire-droit, la surséance a été décrétée en attendant que la Cour constitutionnelle tranche.

ICC trial against Bemba

Bemba Trial Stalls Due to Absence of Defense Witnesses | 3 May 2013 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Bozizé Soldier Says Rebels Committed Atrocities | 7 May 2013 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Bozizé Soldier Did Not Hear of Crimes By Bemba’s Militia | 8 May 2013 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica

Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

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


Natural resource revenue losses

Congo loses out on $1.4bn as mine assets sold cheap – Annan panel | 10 May 2013 | Reuters | Mining Weekly
The Democratic Republic of Congo lost at least $1.36-billion in potential revenues between 2010 and 2012 due to cut-price sales of mining assets to offshore companies, according to a panel led by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. Congo, among the most mineral-rich countries in Africa, has long been under fire for opaque resource deals, many involving offshore shell companies, and last year the International Monetary Fund halted planned loans. “No country better illustrates the high costs associated with opaque concession trading than the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the Africa Progress Panel said in a report released on Friday at the World Economic Forum Africa.

Global Witness report on conflict gold

New investigation from Global Witness reveals high-level military involvement in eastern Congo’s gold trade | 7 May 2013 | Global Witness
Global Witness’ investigation last month in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) revealed high-level military involvement in the region’s minerals trade. A briefing published today outlines findings from research carried out in DRC’s North and South Kivu provinces, Burundi and Rwanda in March and April 2013.

Global Witness says DRC’s army smuggling gold via Burundi | 8 May 2013 | Bloomberg | Mineweb
Global Witness has released a report saying that army officers from the DRC are smuggling gold through neighbouring Burundi to Dubai using false documents.

Timber exporting

WWF salue la mesure interdisant l’exportation du bois en RDC | 6 May 2013 |
Le gouvernement, à travers le ministre de l’Environnement, Conservation de la nature et Tourisme, a sollicité de la DGDA un gel de procédures à l’exportation des bois par tout exploitant, personne physique ou morale, à l’exclusion des entreprises détentrices des contrats de concession forestière.

RDC: environ 500 tonnes de grumes exportées frauduleusement depuis janvier à Kalemie
Asian operators are accused of fraudulently exporting timber since January, to a total of roughly 500 tons of logs from Kalemie, Katanga, through the Zambian port of Mpulungu. According to local sources, several shipments of logs have recently left the port of Kalemie to the Zambian port.

Gold in Province Orientale

Province Orientale : deux creuseurs abattus par des militaires dans une carrière d’or | 7 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Two miners were killed on Monday, May 6 by the military after a dispute over a few grams of gold in a career Baye in Bondo territory, more than 500 km north of Kisangani (Eastern Province). According to witnesses, the soldiers fired on the miners while they were still in a gallery. The district commissioner of Lower Uele has ordered an investigation.

Province Orientale : la révision du code minier préoccupe la direction de Kibali Gold mines  | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The revision of the mining code is dangerous for investors and for the people of Province orientale, said Director General of Kibale Mining Gold Mining Project, Louis Watum, on Wednesday during an exchange with officials. Louis Watum considered that any proposed revision of the mining code must comply with the tax and legal parameters that prevailed at the time when the investments were made.

Great apes

Kinshasa : les environnementalistes discutent de la survie de grands singes | 7 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
A workshop has been organised by the “conservation” section of the Department of Environment and Conservation,  to establish mechanisms of protection of the DRC’s great apes, including awareness raising and education.

Child labour in artisanal mines

Katanga : le gouvernement provincial veut mettre fin au travail des enfants dans les mines | 2 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The provincial Minister of Mines of Katanga, Mumba Gama has invited artisanal miners to join approved cooperatives. According to him, this measure will fight against the loss of school children leaving school to work in the mines, as the provincial government would withdraw approval from cooperatives would count children among their affiliates.

Hydro-power project in Virunga national park

Buffett Foundation Funds Hydro Plan in Congo Gorilla Park | 3 May 2013 | Bloomberg
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation will donate $5 million to help develop a hydro power project in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, home to a quarter of the world’s remaining endangered mountain gorillas.


Oil Refinery

Ugandan Govt Doubles Oil Refinery Funding to 35b Shg in 2013-14 | 6 May 2013 | Bloomberg
Finance Ministry comments in pre- budget document without giving total amount for construction of refinery.



Central African Republic, Venezuela face diamond export ban | 6 May 2013 | Reuters | Mining Weekly
The Central African Republic could face a ban on exports of its diamonds if the Kimberley Process (KP) initiative, set up to stem the flow of conflict diamonds, approves a suspension at a meeting on May 10, the head of the process said on Monday. Controls there have collapsed after a March coup, Welile Nhlapo, KP chairperson told reporters at a meeting of the World Diamond Council in Tel Aviv.

Elephant poaching

UN official alarmed over rising violence in Central African Republic nature reserve | 6 May 2013 | UN News Centre
République centrafricaine: l’UNESCO préoccupée par la montée des violences dans le parc national de Dzanga-Sangha | 3 May 2013 | UN News Centre
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has expressed deep concern over the rise of poaching, armed violence and destruction in the Central African Republic’s (CAR) Dzanga-Sanga National Park, which is on the agency’s World Heritage List.

Rebels Try to Rein in Poachers in CAR | 8 May 2013 | Voice of America
Unknown number of elephants feared dead at world heritage site | 9 May 2013 | BBC Sudanese poachers, taking advantage of the instability in the Central African Republic, have been hunting elephants in a protected area in the southwest of the country.  Rebel leaders in the capital have sent a message to the poachers demanding that they stop. The World Wildlife Fund says 17 poachers entered Dzanga-Ndoki National Park on Monday, and have been heard firing shots from within the forest since then.

Extractive Companies, Energy, Trade and Foreign Investment

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



Cobalt firms on DRC ore uncertainty, tight supply | 3 May 2013 | Reuters | Mining Weekly
Uncertainty about the availability of cobalt concentrates from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the world’s largest ore producer, is pushing up prices for the metal at a time the market is already tight due to low supplies, traders said.


PERENCO et Cabinda Gulf Oil Company envisagent de travailler en commun pour valoriser le gaz congolais | 4 May 2013 | ACP |
Le ministre des Hydrocarbures Crispin Atama a reçu les responsables des sociétés pétrolières PERENCO-Rép et Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOO/Chevron) qui lui ont présenté un projet commun de valorisation du gaz congolais brûlé jusqu’ici faute d’équipement approprié de traitement et de transport tel que celui dont dispose Cabinda Gulf Oil Company à laquelle sera fait recours.

Oil – Global Witness on revision of oil law

Oil law before Congo parliament fails to safeguard against corruption or environmental damage – Global Witness | 9 May 2013 | Global Witness
La loi sur les hydrocarbures devant le parlement de la RD Congo n’est pas en mesure d’arrêter la corruption ou les dommages environnementaux – Global Witness | 9 May 2013 | Global Witness
DR Congo draft oil law – March 2013 (in French)
Planned revisions to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s hydrocarbons law contain major flaws that could allow gross mismanagement of the country’s oil wealth and serious environmental impacts. The draft text, published by Global Witness today, is before the Congolese parliament, which is on the cusp of a large hike in oil production.

Chinese investment

RDC : le Premier ministre reconnaît un problème avec le partenariat chinois | 8 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo acknowledged on Tuesday, May 7, that here is a problem to discuss in depth with the Chinese partner, China Exim Bank. Since last April, rumors have said that the bank, which finances the construction of Chinese companies in the DRC would retract because of the risk to Chinese contracts after the Congolese government withdrew a guarantee made in 2008. Here the DRC is said to have offered mines to China for an ambitious infrastructure construction. This has now been withdrawn under pressure from the World Bank and the IMF.

Dan Gertler deals and IMF standoff

Congo Affidavit on Gecamines Deal May Allow IMF Loans to Proceed  | 9 May 2013 | Bloomberg
The DRC’s release of an affidavit explaining a mining deal by state-run Gecamines may allow the IMF to proceed with loans for the country, an official at the lender said. The IMF halted loans to Congo last year after the country failed to provide full details of ta deal with Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler. Gecamines Chairman Albert Yuma and Mines Minster Martin Kabwelulu signed an affidavit on May 7 detailing the 2011 transfer of 25 percent of Eurasian Natural Resources Corp.’s Comide copper and cobalt project.

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 
Kimberley Process

Central African Republic, Venezuela face diamond export ban | 6 May 2013 | Reuters | Mining Weekly
The Central African Republic could face a ban on exports of its diamonds if the Kimberley Process initiative, set up to stem the flow of conflict diamonds, approves a suspension at a meeting on May 10, the head of the process said on Monday. Controls there have collapsed after a March coup, Welile Nhlapo, KP chairperson told reporters at a meeting of the World Diamond Council in Tel Aviv.

Transparency and natural resource governance

New report highlights benefits of transparency, challenges of translating it into accountability, and the scope of EITI | 7 May 2013 | Global Witness
Diarmid O’Sullivan, Open Society Foundation research fellow and ex-Global Witness campaigner has released a report today on how transparency helps identify problems in the governance of natural resources, as well as the challenges in ensuring that this transparency leads to accountability.  The report discusses the role the EITI should play in enabling citizens to use data about payments made by companies to governments to ‘follow the money’.


Conflict minerals

Minerais de conflits – Des experts peaufinent des stratégies de lutte | 2 May 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Les conflits de l’Est de la RDC sont liés, entre autres, aux minerais que regorge cette partie du territoire. Pour mettre fin à des exactions massives contre des populations congolaises, Southern Africa Ressource Watch (SARW) organise, du 2 au 3 mai 2013, une conférence consultative sur les accords de paix et les minerais de conflits en RDC. Des politiques, des scientifiques et des acteurs de la Société civile y prennent part.

Congo’s Tin Idea | 2 May 2013 | Al Jazeera
A proposed programme by Dutch diplomat aims to end the violence that ‘conflict minerals’ have caused in South Kivu.

Conflict-Free in Canada | 3 May 2013 | Enough Project
The conflict-free movement is gaining momentum worldwide, with the newest development happening in Canada.  In March 2013, New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar introduced a comprehensive conflict-free mineral bill to the Canadian Parliament.  Bill C-486 requires companies to regularly report how they obtain their supply of minerals such as gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum.