BRIEFING

23 – 29 May 2013

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EDITORIAL

Following hostilities between the M23 and the Congolese army that are claimed to have taken nearly 20 lives in eastern DRC, this week saw much diplomatic movement in the region. Ban Ki-moon and Jim Yong Kim’s three day tour of the Great Lakes saw the implementation of a ceasefire between the warring parties in Mutaho for the delegation’s arrival in Goma, where the UN Secretary General stated that the MONUSCO intervention brigade should be operational within a month or two. Moving on to Kigali and then Kampala Ban Ki-moon called on all parties to work in close collaboration to resolve the Congo crisis as Jim Yong Kim made clear that a $1 billion aid package to the region was contingent on inter-state cooperation in resolving the security situation.

The three day tour culminated with the 21st summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, which marked 50 years of the regional political bloc’s existence. The security situation in the DRC topped the agenda of discussions. Tanzanian president, Jakaya Kikwete called upon the Rwandan and Ugandan authorities to negotiate with the FDLR and ADF-Nalu rebels, respectively – a call met by sharp criticism from Rwanda.

In North Kivu, hostilities between FARDC and the M23 have created significant internal displacement with calls from humanitarian and human rights agencies for parties to ensure respect for civilians in the region. Demonstrations and calls for security assistance in Beni due to a soaring number of kidnappings in the locality since the start of the year have triggered police deployment and promises of a military operation to disarm militias operating in the area. Inter-tribal conflict on Lake Edward has left several wounded and the security vacuum left after troop redeployment to reinforce FARDC forces near Goma had briefly seen localities around Lubero falling under Mai-Mai and FDLR control. In South Kivu, inter-ethnic clashes in which members of the Banyamulenge community have been targeted for alleged collaboration with the M23 saw 40 wounded in Bukavu. Inter-ethnic tensions also seem to have escalated in Bujumbura, Burundi, this week with clashes between Tutsi youths and police over the return of property to Hutu proprietors.

Finally, as the Security Council called on regional actors to continue their efforts to eradicate the Lord’s Resistance Army following a UN Secretary General report on international efforts to tackle the LRA since the Central African Republic’s coup, the CAR itself has been suspended from the Kimberly process.

 

 

Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

Recent news on conflict, security and arms trade across the Great Lakes Region. 
Ban Ki-moon and Jim Yong Kim tour of the Great Lakes Region

UN SG to convene a meeting to review the status of the implementation of the Framework-Agreement | 23 May 2013 | MONUSCO
During his joint visit to Kinshasa on 22 May 2013 with the President of the World Bank Group, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said he would convene a meeting in May 2013 to review the progress made thus far by the Framework-Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region.

RDC : Ban Ki-Moon est arrivé à Goma | 23 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, arrived this Thursday morning in Goma on the last leg of his visit to the DRC, where he started the day with the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. A lull was observed in Mutaho for the purposes of the visit.

UN Chief Goes to Eastern DRC After Clashes | 23 March 2013 | Voice of America
M23 rebels announce ceasefire for UN chief’s Congo visit | 23 March 2013 | Reuters
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon flew into the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Thursday, just hours after a halt in fighting between rebels and government troops.
Rebel group M23 had announced a temporary cease-fire before Ban arrived in Goma, the capital of war-torn North Kivu province. Congo’s government says 19 people were killed in three days of fighting between the army and M23 north of the city.

DR Congo: In Goma, Secretary-General hails regional accord as ‘best chance for peace in years’ | 23 March 2013 | UN News Centre
Congo has chance for peace, U.N. ready to enforce: Ban | 23 March 2013 | Reuters
Arriving today in restive eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all the leaders of Africa’s Great Lakes region to throw their support behind a recently-signed peace accord which aims to ensure security, as well as development, for the long-troubled country.

La visite de Ban Ki-Moon est un signal fort aux ennemis de la paix en RDC, selon des députés | 23 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
National MPs from the presidential majority and the opposition believe that Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to the DRC is a strong signal to the enemies of peace in this country. They met with Ban Ki-moon in Kinshasa, to discuss security issues with him.

UN Chief and World Bank Head in Rwanda | 23 March 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim have arrived in Rwanda today.
A statement from the Office of the Government Spokesperson says Ban and Kim’s visit to Rwanda is part of a regional tour which will also take them to Mozambique, DR Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Femmes et enfants ont le droit d’être en sécurité, en tout temps et en tous lieux, dit Ban à Kigali | 23 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Lors de l’inauguration d’un centre d’excellence pour la lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes et aux enfants, à Kigali, au Rwanda, Ban Ki-moon a rappelé jeudi le droit de ces derniers d’être en sécurité, en tout temps et en tous lieux, « par temps de guerre ou de paix, à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de leurs maisons, à l’école, qu’ils soient riches ou pauvres ».

We Failed in Rwanda, Says Ban Ki-Moon | 24 March 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Ban Ki-Moon – « Nous avons échoué au Rwanda » | 24 March 2013 | Hirondelle News Agency | allAfrica
The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has acknowledged his organisation’s failure to quell the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over one million lives.

Grands Lacs: Ban Ki-Moon demande à Kagame «d’user de son charisme politique pour la paix» | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Ban Ki-Moon has called upon Rwandan Head of State, Paul Kagame, “to use his political charisma for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region.” The Secretary General of the UN arrived in Kigali on Thursday from Goma. On Wednesday he began his tour in Kinshasa as part of the implementation of the Framework Agreement for Peace in Eastern DRC, signed on 24 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Nord-Kivu: la société civile se dit déçue « du bref passage » de Ban Ki-Moon à Goma | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Civil society in North Kivu has stated that it is “deeply disappointed by the brief passage” of Ban Ki-Moon, through Goma, stating that the UN Secretary General was to receive the various segments of the population to better understand the situation in the province beset by armed groups for more than two decades but that he did not reserve enough time to listen and understand the situation.

UN Secretary General Ban Says Congo Has Best Chance for Peace | 24 May 2013 | Bloomberg
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Democratic Republic of Congo has the “best chance” to stop further conflict in the east provided its government and regional actors fulfill a commitment to peace. He stated that the Addis Ababa agreement represents “the best chance for peace in many years” for eastern Congo … All parties should live up to their responsibilities and success will be attained.”

Continuing push for Great Lakes peace, UN chief in Uganda after visit to Rwanda | 24 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today thanked the Government of Uganda for its contribution to peace and security in Africa, travelling alongside World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on a first-of-its-kind visit to support a recent peace accord and promote economic development in the Great Lakes region.

En Ouganda, Ban Ki-moon se dit «confiant dans l’avenir de l’est de la RDC» | 24 May 2013 | RFI
Ban Ki-moon, le secrétaire général des Nations unies, termine ce vendredi 24 mai sa tournée dans la région des Grands Lacs par une visite en Ouganda, où se tiennent toujours les pourparlers de Kampala, au point mort depuis des semaines. Le secrétaire général des Nations unies a affiché sa confiance dans une résolution de la situation dans l’est de la RDC.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim Conclude Historic Mission to Africa’s Great Lakes Region, Pledge Commitment to Implement Peace, Security and Economic Development | 24 May 2013 | World Bank, UN
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on Friday ended a three-day historic mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, pledging that both of their global organizations will work closely together to bring peace, security, and economic development for the Great Lakes region that has for so long not experienced the fruits of prosperity.

The Framework Agreement: A good start? | 25 May 2013 | Congo Siasa
Ban Ki-Moon, Jim Kim, and Mary Robinson came to the Great Lakes region this week, visiting Kinshasa, Goma, and Kigali. Their visit was supposed to provide impetus to the Framework Agreement (otherwise known as the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework, PSCF) signed in Addis Abeba on 24 February 2013.

Première réunion entre Kabila, Kagamé et Museveni pour mettre en oeuvre un plan de paix en RDC | 26 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Au lendemain de la célébration du cinquantenaire de l’Union africaine (UA), les dirigeants des pays de la région des Grands Lacs se sont réunis, dimanche 26 mai, à Addis-Abeba pour mettre en œuvre un accord de paix pour l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ravagé par les milices. Une première depuis la signature de l’accord-cadre en février dernier.

RDC: les Forces acquises au changement regrettent de ne pas avoir rencontré Ban Ki-Moon | 27 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Political opposition parties have accused the head of MONUSCO, Roger Meece, of not having facilitated a meeting between members of the opposition and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, during his visit to Kinshasa on Wednesday 22 May.

African Union Summit 

The future of intra-state conflict in Africa | 23 May 2013 | Institute for Security Studies
As Africa celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, the continent’s future looks brighter than ever before. Africa is no longer portrayed as chronically poor, uniquely prone to the onset of violence and warfare and of marginal importance to the global economy. The new narrative is one of economic growth, positive development prospects and greater stability in a polycentric world order.

50 ans de l’UA : le sommet des indésirables | 24 March 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Plusieurs chefs d’État du continent seront absents du sommet des 50 ans de l’Union africaine, les 26 et 27 mai, à Addis Abeba. Parmi eux, le Centrafricain Michel Djotodia, dont le pays est suspendu de l’organisation panafricaine.

Joint efforts critical to achieve peace in eastern DR Congo – UN chief | 26 May 2013 | UN News Centre
La situation dans l’est de la RDC est un des défis majeurs du futur de l’Afrique, dit Ban en Ethiopie | 26 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed that African countries have a “historic opportunity” to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and underlined that joint efforts will be critical to stabilize the region.

Great Lakes Security Accord Reviewed at AU Summit | 26 May 2013 | Voice of America
African leaders from the Great Lakes region met Sunday at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa to discuss progress bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Security is high on the summit agenda, as is a proposal that could be a game-changer for the International Criminal Court case against Kenya’s president.

UA: pas de paix durable en RDC sans négociation globale, selon le président tanzanien | 26 May 2013 | RFI
Le 21e sommet de l’Union africaine s’est ouvert ce dimanche 26 mai, à Addis-Abeba en Ethiopie, au lendemain des célébrations des 50 ans de la création de l’OUA. Le président tanzanien, Jakaya Kikwete, a profité de l’occasion pour livrer sa vision de la feuille de route à tenir en vue d’une résolution durable de la crise dans l’est de la RDC. Pour lui, la brigade d’intervention des Nations unies n’aura aucun impact si le dialogue ne s’ouvre pas entre les différents protagonistes, y compris entre le Rwanda et les FDLR et entre l’Ouganda et l’ADF-NALU.

African Union to Establish Emergency Military Force | 27 May 2013 | Voice of America
African leaders create emergency military force | 27 May 2013 | Reuters
L’Union africaine annonce la création d’une force d’intervention rapide | 27 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
The African Union says it will establish an emergency military force to deal with conflicts and rebellions on the continent. The rapid reaction force, called the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), would serve as an interim measure until the planned African Standby force is fully operational.

Addis Ababa Framework Agreement for Peace

Congo, Rwanda Must Commit to Peace for World Bank’s $1 Billion | 23 May 2013 | Bloomberg
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the lender’s $1 billion pledge to Africa’s Great Lakes region obliges countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to adhere to a peace accord signed in February.

Accord d’Addis-Abeba : première réunion des pays signataires en marge du sommet de l’UA | 26 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Eleven African heads of state who signed the Addis Ababa peace agreement on eastern DRC met this Sunday, May 26, in the Ethiopian capital on the side-lines of the fiftieth anniversary of the Organization of African Unity. Joseph Kabila held in camera discussions with Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni though no concrete announcement was made.

Grands Lacs : le président tanzanien invite Kigali et Kampala à dialoguer avec leurs rebelles | 27 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
RDC : François Mwamba salue l’appel du président tanzanien au Rwanda et à l’Ouganda | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Tanzania President Says Negotiations Only Solution in East Congo | 27 May 2013 | Bloomberg
President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania has called upon Rwanda and Uganda to negotiate with FDLR and ADF-Nalu rebels. On Monday, May 28, Francois Mwamba, the new coordinator of the monitoring mechanism for the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement for Peace, welcomed Kikwete’s  proposal.

UA: le Rwanda ne négociera pas avec les «génocidaires» des FDLR | 27 May 2013 | RFI
Lors d’une réunion à huis clos au sommet de l’Union africaine à Addis-Abeba, le président tanzanien, Jikaya Kikwete, a plaidé pour un dialogue régional global, en vue d’une résolution durable de la crise en RDC. Il a notamment défendu l’idée d’une ouverture des négociations entre le Rwanda et ses ennemis des FDLR. Dans une interview accordée à RFI, la réponse de la ministre rwandaise des Affaires étrangères, Louise Mushikiwabo, a été cinglante : «C’est aberrant».

Rwanda Irked By Kikwete’s Sympathy for FDLR | 28 May 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo has described a statement made by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete that Rwanda should sit at a negotiation table with the FDLR – a rebel group operating in eastern Congo – as “abhorrent” and “shocking”, setting the Rwandan Government’s message straight that negotiations with the group are not an option.

‘Kikwete’s Remarks On FDLR Shocking’ | 29 May 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Remarks made by President Jakaya Kikwete on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been described as “aberrant” and “shocking”.

L’Union africaine s’implique dans les Grands Lacs | 28 May 2013 | Le carnet de Colette Braeckman
L’Union africaine utilise la carotte et le bâton et pousse Museveni et Kagame à discuter avec leurs opposants.

RDC : à Goma, on ne croit pas à une solution négociée entre Kinshasa et le M23 | 28 May 2013 | RFI
Après Mary Robinson, l’envoyée spéciale de Ban Ki-moon pour la région des Grands Lacs, c’était au tour du président tanzanien, lors du sommet d’Addis-Abeba, d’appeler à des négociations entre gouvernements et groupes rebelles de la région, notamment entre Kinshasa et le M23. Le gouvernement et les rebelles doivent donc reprendre les pourparlers de Kampala. A Goma, la capitale du Nord-Kivu, on ne croit pas trop à une solution négociée, alors que la brigade d’intervention des Nations unies est en train de s’installer.

Kigali accuse le Président tanzanien de soutenir les auteurs du génocide des Tutsis | 29 May 2013 | Hirondelle News Agency | allAfrica
Le président tanzanien, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, qui a préconisé dimanche l’ouverture d’un dialogue entre le gouvernement rwandais et les rebelles des Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), est accusé, à Kigali, de soutenir les auteurs du génocide des Tutsis de 1994.

Kampala talks

Pourparlers de Kampala: le gouvernement de la RDC dit attendre la proposition finale de la médiation | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The coordinator of the National Monitoring Mechanism for the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, has said that blocking the Kampala talks between the M23 and the Congolese government can not be attributed to it. He has explained that the Congolese government expects a final mediation proposal to end the talks.

Nord-Kivu: la société civile dissuade le gouvernement de poursuivre le dialogue de Kampala | 27 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Civil society in North Kivu has expressed its opposition to the continuation of negotiations in Kampala between the Congolese government and the M23. They have also requested the deployment of troops to insecure areas like Beni where they allege that 200 kidnappings have taken since the beginning of the year.

MONUSCO Intervention Brigade

RDC: à Goma, Ban Ki-moon promet une intervention directe de l’ONU dans «un à deux mois» | 23 March 2013 | RFI
RDC: Ban Ki-moon à Goma pour défendre la future brigade d’intervention | 23 May 2013 | RFI
Le secrétaire général des Nations unies, Ban Ki-moon, est à Kigali ce jeudi 23 mai, dans le cadre de sa tournée dans les Grands Lacs. Il y rencontre le président Kagame. Mais le point fort de cette journée a été son passage à Goma, en RDC, d’où il a annoncé que la brigade d’intervention censée neutraliser les groupes armés sera opérationnelle « dans un à deux mois ».

Ban Ki-Moon : la brigade d’intervention devrait être opérationnelle dans deux mois | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The MONUSCO Intervention Brigade should be operational in a month or two stated Ban Ki-Moon, stated on Thursday, May 23, at a press conference in Goma, North Kivu. He has asserted his belief that these troops can help return stability to the region.

RDC: l’Union européenne souhaite « un déploiement rapide » de la brigade d’intervention | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The EU has stated that it wants to see the rapid deployment of the MONUSCO intervention brigade and has condemned threats against the forces of peace in the DRC.

RDC: pour Mary Robinson, la brigade d’intervention doit être «une force de prévention» | 24 May 2013 | RFI
À l’issue de la tournée de Ban Ki-moon en RDC, au Rwanda et en Ouganda, l’ancienne présidente irlandaise a accordé une interview exclusive à Bruno Minas, correspondant de RFI. Mary Robinson, envoyée spéciale du secrétaire général des Nations unies pour les Grands Lacs plaide pour une résolution de la crise par le développement et se félicite de l’engagement financier de la Banque mondiale : «On a maintenant un milliard de dollars, cela change beaucoup de choses».

RDC : Ban Ki-Moon aurait dû donner le feu vert à la brigade d’intervention (société civile) | 25 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
La Société civile du Nord-Kivu, dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo, a regretté samedi que le secrétaire général de l’ONU n’ait pas donné, durant sa visite en RDC, le coup d’envoi des opérations de la brigade d’intervention de l’ONU chargée de combattre les groupes armés de la région.

Brigade onusienne en RDC: l’Afrique du Sud va venir faire du «baby-sitting» | 25 May 2013 | RFI
Nosoviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, la ministre sud-africaine de la Défense, a affirmé vendredi 24 mai que les soldats sud-africains allaient « baby-sitter » les Congolais dans le cadre de la brigade onusienne qui doit être déployée en République démocratique du Congo, en raison de l’incurie de l’armée de Kinshasa face à la rébellion du M23.

«Baby-sitting» de l’Afrique du Sud en RDC: l’opposition parle d’injure, le gouvernement relativise | 26 May 2013 | RFI
« C’est une injure pour le peuple congolais », crie l’opposition. « Cela nous importe peu », dit de son côté le gouvernement de la RDC. Ces réactions font suite aux propos tenus vendredi 24 mai par la ministre de la Défense sud-africaine Nosoviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Celle-ci avait déclaré que les soldats sud-africains allaient « baby-sitter » les Congolais dans le cadre de la brigade onusienne qui doit être déployée dans le pays.

Ban Ki-moon salue l’évolution des missions de maintien de la paix de l’Onu | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
In a statement issued on the International Day of Peacekeepers on Wednesday 29 May, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon welcomed the evolution of peacekeeping  “with the emergence new threats and new challenges. ” In particular, he referred to the deployment of the MONUSCO intervention brigade in the DRC, as well as unmanned aerial systems and unarmed groups.

La Brigade d’intervention de la Monusco, une première dans les missions de maintien de la paix | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
“This is the first time a UN force clearly has a mandate to conduct offensive operations to disarm rebel groups,” said the military adviser to Ban Ki-moon for peacekeeping operations, General Gaye Babagar about the MONUSCO intervention brigade. On the international Day of Peacekeepers, General Gaye said that the creation of the intervention brigade is a ” development that reflects the complexity of the situations in which UN staff operate today “.

Logistics, South African caution delay Congo combat force | 28 May 2013 | Reuters
Deployment of a unique new U.N. combat force, billed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a peace enforcer for eastern Congo, is being delayed by logistical difficulties and reticence from troop contributor South Africa.

Brigadier General James Mwakibolwa: New method of combating violence in the DR Congo | 29 May 2013 | MONUSCO
“The Force Intervention Brigade is something very positive,” Brigadier General James Aloizi Mwakibolwa said. “The soldiers who are coming in are very professional. They are trained and instructed specifically on this mission and on how they have to perform.”

UN Affirms Commitment to Fighting Rwandan Rebels in Congo | 29 May 2013 | Voice of America
The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, has reaffirmed its commitment to neutralizing the armed groups that operate in the east.  The mission was responding to concerns that a Tanzanian-led U.N. “intervention brigade” currently deploying in the DRC might not be committed to taking on the Rwandan rebel group FLDR.

RDCongo: la brigade d’intervention de l’ONU opérationnelle mi-juillet | 29 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
La brigade d’intervention de l’ONU chargée de combattre les groupes armés dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) devrait être opérationnelle mi-juillet, a indiqué mercredi le patron des opérations de maintien de la paix Hervé Ladsous.

RDC : le gouvernement se dit déterminé à appuyer la Brigade d’intervention de la Monusco | 29 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
On Wednesday, 28 May, the Congolese vice minister of international and regional cooperation, Dismas  Magbengu  Swana, welcomed the deployment of the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade hailing it to be “an eloquent proof of the UN’s adaptation to new challenges facing the international community.”

UN report on Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and on the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas | 29 May 2013 | UN Security Council
Rapport du Secrétaire général sur les activités du Bureau régional des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique centrale et les régions touchées par l’Armée de résistance du Seigneur (S/2013/297) | 29 May 2013 | UN Security Council
Report of the Un Secretary General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and on the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected.

Security Council urges regional cooperation to tackle Lord’s Resistance Army threat | 29 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Le Conseil de sécurité satisfait du plan de mise en œuvre de la stratégie contre l’Armée de résistance du Seigneur | 29 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Demanding that Lord’s Resistance Army end all attacks, Security Council calls for full implementation of Regional Strategy in Central Africa | 29 May 2013 | UN Security Council
Concerned that lingering instability in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) following a power grab by rebels has stalled operations to neutralize the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Security Council today urged regional actors to cooperate on all fronts to tackle the dual crises.

Ban on cluster bombs

African Leaders Condemn Ongoing Use of Cluster Bombs | 25 May 2013 | Voice of America
Thirty-six African countries have formally condemned the use of cluster bombs and urged all of Africa to join a global ban on the deadly weapons.

Great Lakes network against sexual violence

Lutte contre les violences sexuelles et basées sur le Genre – Un réseau de journalistes et communicateurs des Grands Lacs se met en place | 23 March 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Du 13 au 14 mai à Bujumbura (Burundi), s’est tenu, sous les auspices de la conférence de la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL), l’atelier de validation de la stratégie régionale de communication contre sur les violences sexuelles et basées sur le Genre (VSBG).

Security cooperation DRC-Zambia

Zambia, DRC Partner to Solve Border Problems | 24 May 2013 | Times of Zambia
Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed that defence and security services must strengthen joint operations along the borders to address mutual security concerns.

La RDC et la Zambie décident de renforcer la sécurité le long de leur frontière commune | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The DRC and Zambia have pledged to strengthen cooperation between their defense and security operations to combat smuggling and theft of vehicles along their common border. The two countries also agreed at the end of the 8th session of their Joint Standing Committee to work together to address the issue of 14,000 refugees and 15,000 Congolese asylum seekers staying in the Zambian territory.

DRC 

Congolese security sector reform

Stars and Stripes Op-ed: More U.S. can do to reform Congolese military | 23 March 2013 | Enough Project
Op-ed, written by Retired Army Col. Rick Orth.
The Congolese military has again been accused of significant human-rights abuses, including mass rape. Recently, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office released a report concerning abuses by the Congolese Army (FARDC) as it retreated from advancing M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2.

Human Rights in the DRC

Annual Report 2013. The state of the world’s human rights. Democratic Republic of the Congo | 23 May 2013 | Amnesty International
Rapport 2013. La situation des droits humains dans le monde. République démocratique du Congo | 23 May 2013 | Amnesty International
La RDC épinglée par Amnesty international | 28 May 2013 | Afrikarabia
The already precarious security situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) deteriorated gravely due to the proliferation of armed groups, including the newly formed March 23 group, easy access to ammunition and weapons and violations by the Congolese armed forces. Both armed groups and government security forces threatened, harassed and arbitrarily arrested human rights defenders, journalists and members of the political opposition.

Province Orientale

DDR/RR to sensitize LRA combatants through “Helicopter-Messaging” | 23 May 2013 | MONUSCO
Le DDRRR sensibilise les combattants de la LRA à l’aide d’hélicoptères | 23 May 2013 | MONUSCO
The Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration, and Resettlement (DD/RRR) division of MONUSCO initiated a new sensitization strategy early this month aimed at persuading the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) in Orientale Province, to surrender to MONUSCO voluntarily.

Isangi: des affrontements entre les habitants de 4 villages ont fait 2 morts | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Clashes between residents of four villages in the territory of Isangi (Eastern Province) have left two dead, several injured andothers displaced over the last three weeks. One hundred houses have also been destroyed or burned. In a statement, the administrator of the territory said that the clashes have been caused by land disputes.

North Kivu

Top Humanitarian Official calls for protection of civilians | 23 March 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Humanitarian Coordinator Moustapha Soumaré is calling for all parties to respect international humanitarian law after three people were killed and 14 wounded by shells dropped north-west of the city of Goma on 22 May.

Nord-Kivu : Human Rights Watch déplore les violations des droits humains à Mutaho| 23 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
HRW has noted with regret the massive displacement following renewed clashes between the FARDC and the M23, urging the warring parties to prevent violations of human rights.

Combats entre FARDC et M23 : le CICR appelle les protagonistes à épargner les civils | 23 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The ICRC has asked the M23 and the FARDC to spare civilians during fighting. The two groups were in clashes since Monday, May 20, in Mutaho hills, before observing a truce. The ICRC has urged the warring parties to respect at all times, international humanitarian law and to distinguish between the public and fighters.

Trêve entre FARDC et M23 : le trafic routier reprend entre Goma et Rutshuru | 25 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The traffic between Goma and Rutshuru resumed on Thursday, May 23 due to a truce between the M23 and the FARDC. Since last Monday, carriers could no longer enter this stretch because of violent fighting between the two groups at Mutaho, about ten kilometers from Goma. Since Wednesday evening, the M23 declared a truce “to facilitate the visit of the UN Secretary General” Ban Ki-Moon, in Goma.

Nord-Kivu: journée ville morte à Oïcha et Mbau contre la recrudescence des enlèvements | 25 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
A  ghost town action was observed in the localities of Oïcha Mbau and Beni since Saturday morning, with shops, stores, and schools closed. The population has met the call for the observance of three days of dead city, initiated by civil society in Beni territory to protest against the increase in kidnappings in North Kivu.  One hundred and sixty people are said to have been kidnapped since the beginning of the year.

Nord-Kivu: les violences entre deux clans font 6 morts à Bukununu | 26 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Clashes occurred for three days between Bamate and Batangi clans killing six people, wounding a dozen and leading to two hundred houses being burned in Bukununu and Lunyasenge on the west coast of Lake Edward (North Kivu). According to local sources, the conflict was caused by traditional power wrangles between these two clans who have been vying for power since 1976.

Nord-Kivu: Richard Muyej annonce le déploiement d’une unité spéciale de la police à Beni | 26 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Interior Minister, Richard Muyej, announced the deployment of a special police unit in the territory of Beni on Monday, which has been plagued by militia attacks for several weeks. He also announced an imminent military operation to disarm all armed groups active in this area.

Congo warlord says will not back down from U.N. brigade | 27 May 2013 | Reuters
M23 Rebels in DRC Say They Can Hit Goma Airport | 28 May 2013 | Voice of America
The rebel group M23 in the Democratic Republic of Congo has repeated its call for a ceasefire after last week’s fighting outside the city of Goma. The rebels have also warned that in their current position they can easily target Goma airport.

RDC: des gestes de solidarité en faveur de l’armée après les combats contre le M23 | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The people and civil society in North Kivu have made further gestures of solidarity with the FARDC in its last battle against the M23 in Mutaho last week, with women in political parties, community groups and civil society in North Kivu giving military officials in Goma an envelope of 1000 dollars to support the military positioned on the front line.

Goma: les familles victimes des tirs d’obus demandent l’aide des autorités | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Families whose homes were damaged, Wednesday, May 22 in Goma, during fighting between the army and the M23 Mutaho (North Kivu), living in difficult conditions. Sources on site indicate that seven of these households live in host families and seek assistance from the provincial government.

Lubero : les FARDC récupèrent plusieurs villages contrôlés par les Mai Mai | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Many villages and localities occupied by the Mai-Mai in Lubero have fallen under the control of the FARDC following an operation conducted from Monday, May 27 with a view to restoring the authority of the State in Lubero. Last week, the Mai-Mai and FDLR occupied several villages in Lubero after the withdrawal of FARDC troops to Mutaho to fight the M23.

Nord-Kivu: MSF se dit contraint de suspendre ses activités dans 2 camps de déplacés | 23 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
MSF say that they have been forced to  “briefly” suspend their activities in IDP camps Mugunga 3 and Bulengo in North Kivu due to clashes between FARD and the M23 in Mutaho. A press release issued on Wednesday indicates that six shells landed in the area of the Mugunga camps, wounding four people who have been transferred to hospital.

South Kivu

Sud-Kivu: 41 blessés après des échauffourées à Bukavu | 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Clashes occurred on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 May in the Nguba district in Bukavu. Forty-one people were wounded, according to the government spokesman Lambert Mende. The confrontations were triggered when three students from the Banyamulenge community were attacked and accused of being in league with the M23. In protest, members of this community attempted to demonstrate before being dispersed by police. A group of bikers and students attacked the protesters, resulting in clashes between the two groups.

Bukavu: les échauffourées avaient pour but de déstabiliser la province, selon le gouverneur | 25 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Government of South Kivu has reported clashes on Friday in Bukavu. These clashes are said to be the result of a misunderstanding between youths of the Nguba quarter of the Ibanda municipality. Authorities claim that the incident was “a sabotage aimed at providing the enemies of peace with an excuse to pose the threat of war in South Kivu.” Provincial authorities have indicated that any author of this kind of crime will be systematically brought before the competent authorities.

Sud-Kivu: Vital Kamerhe appelle toutes les communautés à la tolérance | 27 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The president of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC), has condemned incidents in Bukavu last Friday, May 24 when inter-ethnic unrest saw about forty people wounded. He has called upon all communities in South Kivu to embrace the values ​​of reconciliation, tolerance and acceptance of others.

Sud-Kivu : le ministre de la Défense demande aux groupes amés de déposer les armes | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Defence Minister, Alexander Luba Ntambo, has asked armed groups in South Kivu to lay down their arms and surrender to the FARDC. “If there are armed groups and leaders of armed groups who feel that it’s time to go, they are welcome,” he said in Bukavu.

Sud-Kivu : deux milices s’engagent à ne plus attaquer les FARDC à Shabunda | 29 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The administrator of Shabunda, Daniel Eleko Nsala, announced on Tuesday, May 28, that he has signed an agreement with militia leaders of the Raïa Mutomboki and Yakutumba militias. According to him, the two armed groups have pledged not to attack  FARDC positions in the territory and have renounced all forms of violence against civilians.

Katanga

Katanga : des militaires contrôlent des dépôts des mines à Mulungwishi | 26 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
The soldiers of the Republican Guard control five mineral deposits in eight mining facilities Mulungwishi, 150 kilometers from Lubumbashi (Katanga), complained an Inspector from the division of the mining on Sunday.

Katanga: les FARDC tuent 3 miliciens Maï-Maï à Shamwana | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Three Mai-Mai died on Sunday, May 26, during a confrontation with FARDC in Shamwana, 150 km south-east of the territory of Manono (Katanga). Sources on site say four soldiers were injured in the skirmish.Local civilian authorities have expressed concern at the resumption of hostilities in this part of Katanga .

Uganda

Police siege on Daily Monitor newspaper

Uganda Police Siege Enters Fourth Day as Forces Snub Court | 23 May 2013 | Bloomberg
Uganda’s police continued a siege at the offices of the Daily Monitor, the East African nation’s biggest independent daily newspaper, for a fourth day as the authorities snubbed a court order to remove the cordon. The publication’s offices in the capital, Kampala, have been blockaded since May 20 as security officers search for a letter alleging a plot to assassinate people opposed to President Yoweri Museveni being succeeded by his son, said Alex Asiimwe, the newspaper’s managing director.

UDPF unrest

Enter the Muhoozi generation | 24 May 2013 | Africa Confidential
It is no coincidence that the armed forces announced their most sweeping round of promotions in over a generation just as the political furore around General David Sejusa (aka David Tinyefuza) was exploding. (Subscription required).

Talking Tinyefuza | 24 May 2013 | Africa Confidential
Senior army officers are falling out over a succession plan which favours President Museveni’s son, Brigadier Kainerugaba Muhoozi. The raid by armed police on the Daily Monitor offices in Kampala on 20 May has deepened the political crisis. The newspaper had published a private letter from a dissident military officer about claims that President Yoweri Museveni’s government planned to assassinate its opponents. At the centre of the crisis is the growing belief among politicians that Museveni wants to install his son, Brigadier Kainerugaba Muhoozi, as the country’s next president. Museveni’s final term in office, after three decades in power, ends in 2016. (Subscription required).

Rwanda

Interview with Kagame

Paul Kagamé : “Le Rwanda n’a pas été fait pour moi” | 27 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
RDC, France, opposition, gouvernance, CPI… L’homme fort de Kigali s’explique. Tout en laissant ouvert le débat sur son retrait (ou non) du pouvoir en 2017.

Burundi

Ethnic violence in Bujumbura

Burundi: les conflits fonciers provoquent des émeutes sur fond de tensions ethniques | 29 May 2013 | RFI
Au Burundi, la tension monte autour des conflits fonciers nés des différentes guerres interethniques qui ont secoué ce pays à plusieurs reprises. Pour la première fois depuis des années, un quartier de la capitale du Burundi a été la scène d’émeutes aux relents ethniques prononcés.

CAR

Sudanese rebel incursions

Centrafrique: la ville d’Obo attaquée | 25 May 2013 | RFI
En Centrafrique, la zone est connue pour avoir été le théâtre de plusieurs actions de la LRA, l’Armée de résistance du Seigneur, mais hier, vendredi 24 mai au matin, ce ne sont pas les hommes de Joseph Kony qui ont attaqué la ville d’Obo à l’extrême sud-est du pays. RFI a pu joindre un employé d’une radio communautaire sur place. Il évoque un groupe armé venu du Soudan du Sud.

Congo Brazzaville deployment

Brazzaville va déployer en “urgence” 200 militaires à Bangui | 27 May 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
Le Congo va déployer dans “l’urgence” quelque 200 militaires à Bangui, capitale centrafricaine en proie à l’insécurité depuis le coup d’Etat du 24 mars qui a porté la rébellion de la Seleka au pouvoir, a annoncé lundi le président Denis Sassou Nguesso à Brazzaville.

AU deliberations on CAR

Sommet de l’UA: la question centrafricaine s’invite à Addis-Abeba | 27 May 2013 | RFI
Parmi les dossiers abordés au sommet de l’Union africaine à Addis-Abeba, la Centrafrique. Un mini-sommet s’est tenu à l’ambassade du Tchad, hier dimanche 26 mai, et ce, en l’absence de tout représentant du pays puisque celui-ci est suspendu des instances de l’organisation. Comment rétablir la sécurité dans ce pays livré aux bandes armées depuis des mois ? Pas de nouvelle réponse mais les mesures déjà décidées ont été confirmées, à savoir l’augmentation des effectifs de la force de la CEEAC et la reconstruction d’une armée et d’un Etat.

Islamisation of the CAR?

Centrafrique: Michel Djotodia nie toute islamisation du pays | 28 May 2013 | RFI
Le président de transition Michel Djotodia poursuit ses tentatives pour rassurer les leaders religieux sur les présumés projets d’islamisation du pays que certains lui prêtent. Lundi 27 mai, il a reçu tous les leaders des églises évangéliques et protestantes à Bangui, après avoir reçu les catholiques la semaine dernière. Son message est clair : la Centrafrique est un pays laïc et le restera.

Security

Rebels and Govt Forces – the Case of CAR | 28 May 2013 | Vanguard | allAfrica
Opinion
The Ten Year Government of Francis Bozize fell to rebel incursion like a pack of cards. What does that tell us? It tells us that a straw cannot be transformed into steel by reinforcing it with steel bayonets.

République centrafricaine : La Commission de consolidation de la paix préoccupée par la détérioration de la situation | 29 May 2013 | UN News Centre
La Commission de consolidation de la paix des Nations Unies a exprimé mercredi sa profonde préoccupation face à la détérioration de la situation en République Centrafricaine, comme en témoignent l’insécurité, les conditions humanitaires précaires, les violations des droits de l’homme, l’augmentation des cas de violence sexuelle et le recrutement d’enfants soldats.

Refugee and IDP Reports

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

DRC 

Humanitarian Reports

Plan d’action humanitaire 2012 : rapport annuel d’activités | 23 May 2013 | UN Country Team in DR Congo | Reliefweb

RDCongo – Sud-Kivu : Zones prioritaires d’intervention humanitaire (au 22 mai 2013) | 24 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

UNHCR D.R.Congo Fact Sheet 30 April 2013 | 28 May 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb

Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province de Maniema N° 13/13, 21 mai 2013 | 27 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’information humanitaire – Province du Katanga N° 19/13 – 21 mai 2013 | 27 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province Orientale N° 20/13, 21 mai 2013 | 27 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Sud-Kivu N° 22/13, 29 mai 2013 | 29 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province Orientale N° 21/13, 28 mai 2013 | 29 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Katanga N° 20/13, 28 mai 2013 | 29 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

IDPs in the Kivus

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-Wha Kang, to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo [EN/FR] | 24 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Time to end the horrors of this man-made emergency – ASG Kang in North Kivu | 28 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Senior UN humanitarian official urges end to ‘horrors’ in eastern DR Congo | 28 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Situation humanitaire en République Démocratique du Congo – Note d’information à la presse, 29 mai 2013 | 29 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Lamenting the immense suffering of the people in North Kivu and other parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where violence “has gone on for too long,” a senior United Nations relief official touring the region today called for an end to the fighting.

RDC : dans la zone de Goma, les déplacés pris entre deux feux | 23 May 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Goma : 5 000 déplacés de Mutaho délocalisés vers Sotraki et Buhimba | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
More than 5,000  persons displaced from Mutaho, Kibati, Mudja and Kanyaruchinya (North Kivu) were relocated from Monday, May 27th to sites at Sotraki and Buhimba about ten kilometers west of Goma by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other humanitarian actors in order to improve their living conditions.

Burundi 

Humanitarian reports

UNHCR Burundi – Fact Sheet, April 2013 | 23 March 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
UNHCR Burundi – Fact Sheet, avril 2013 | 23 March 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb

CAR

Humanitarian reports

UNHCR Operation in CAR: Fact Sheet – 22 May 2013 | 24 March 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
Central African Republic: Situation Report No. 17 (as of 24 May 2013) | 25 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
République Centrafricaine : Rapport de situation No. 17 (au 24 mai 2013) | 25 May 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

Justice and Tribunals 

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

ICC and Africa

What Rwandans Say About Tanzanian President’s Comments On FDLR Suggesting Peace Talks | 29 May 2013 | News of Rwanda | allAfrica
African Union accuses ICC of ‘hunting’ Africans | 27 May 2013 | BBC Africa
UA: la CPI accusée de racisme | 27 May 2013 | BBC Afrique
UA: la situation dans la région des Grands Lacs et le rôle de la CPI au centre des débats | 27 May 2013 | RFI
The African Union (AU) has accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) of “hunting” Africans because of their race.

 DRC

Bemba trial

RDC : Jean-Pierre Bemba retenu depuis cinq ans à la prison de la CPI| 24 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba has been detained for five years at the Scheveningen prison in The Hague, the Netherlands. He was arrested in 2008 in Belgium, where he then resided, and forty days later transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba, charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR in 2002 and 2003, lasted nearly three years.

Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

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

African natural resources

African Progress Panel Urges Leaders to Exploit Resources | 23 March 2013 | Voice of America
As the African Union celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding, a group of respected leaders and activists led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is urging African leaders to maximize the continent’s natural resource potential.

Africa’s natural resources can fuel economic transformation – UN report | 27 May 2013 | UN News Centre
Africa must tap into its agricultural, mining and energy resources to boost its economic growth, argues a new report released in Morocco today by the United Nations and its partners.

Pipeline poker | 25 March 2013 | The Economist
East Africa is in danger of throwing away part of its new-found oil wealth.

DRC 

Tin smelter in North Kivu

Nord-Kivu: la fonderie d’étain implantée à Sake compte raffiner plus de 50 tonnes par an | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
FR: La fonderie de traitement d’étain implantée il y a quelques mois à Sake dans le territoire de Masisi (Nord-Kivu) aura une capacité de raffinage de plus de cinq cent cinquante tonnes par an. C’est ce qu’a annoncé lundi 27 mai, la directrice de cette entreprise, Yvette Mwanza. Selon elle, son usine a déjà reçu toutes les autorisations pour l’exploitation des minerais dans le Masisi. Elle affirmé que le démarrage de ses activités est prévu « dans les prochains jours », sans plus de détails. L’implantation de cette usine est une première dans le grand Kivu et aura un impact économique et social pour la population de Masisi mais aussi de la province, estime Yvette Mwanza. ENG: A tin smelter treatment established a few months ago at Sake in Masisi territory (North Kivu) will have a refining capacity of more than five hundred and fifty tons per year. This was announced Monday, May 27, the director of this company, Yvette Mwanza. The plant has reportedly already received all the permits needed for the exploitation of minerals in Masisi and is expected to commence work “in the coming days”.

Child labour in artisanal mines

Child miners speak – Key findings on children and artisanal mining in Kambove DRC May 2013 | 23 May 2013 | World Vision | Reliefweb
The brutal reality of children working in mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the focus of a new report by World Vision, released today. Child Miners Speak offers insight into the dirty, dangerous and degrading lives of more than 50 children working at an artisanal copper and cobalt mine in the country’s Katanga province.

Minister of Mines

Mines minister Kabwelulu in firing line| 28 May 2013 | Africa Mining Intelligence
Mines minister Martin Kabwelulu seems to have walked straight into a storm. The object of a motion of censure by an opposition legislator, Germain Kamdinga, in early May, Kabwelulu will find himself in the crosshairs of many other MPs in the coming weeks and particularly after the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative suspended Democratic Republic of Congo. (Subscription required)

Poaching

RDC: les éléphants d’Afrique Centrale en voie de disparition, selon une étude du WWF | 28 May 2013 | Radio Okapi
Two thirds of elephants have disappeared in recent years in the DRC. The head of communications for protected species of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has stated during a conference on sustainable forest management in Central Africa,held in Cameroon. Based on the results of a study conducted by the WWF, he demonstrated that elephants in the Congo Basin have become an endangered species because of poaching in the area.

Uganda

Illegal gold mining

Uganda losing millions in illegal gold mining | 29 May 2013 | New Vision
Uganda is losing millions of shillings due to the illegal gold mining trade mushrooming across the country, New Vision has established. The reports come at a time when gold exports are dwindling leading to hefty revenue losses to the country.

Deforestation

Norway Pledges Funds for Forests | 23 March 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
Uganda loses nearly 100,000 hectares of forest cover annually through encroachment, exposing the population to the risks and costly consequences of climate change.

CAR

CAR suspended from Kimberley Process

CAR Suspended From World Diamond Body | 27 May 2013 | Reuters | Voice of America
Central African Republic has been suspended from the Kimberley Process, a global watchdog set up to halt the trade in ‘conflict diamonds,’ after a rebel coalition seized power there in March, a diplomatic note said on Monday.

Le ministre centrafricain des Mines déplore une décision «pénalisante» et «aberrante» | 28 May 2013 | RFI
Erve Gotron Djono Habba, ministre centrafricain des Mines et du Pétrole, parle d’une décision « injuste ». La situation du pays sera de nouveau examinée lors de la prochaine session du processus, du 4 au 7 juin prochain, à Kimberley en Afrique du Sud.

Eli Izhakoff supports decision to temporarily suspend the CAR from KPCS | 29 May 2013 | DiamondWorld
Kimberly has aked industry members to ensure that until further notice, rough diamonds from the CAR are not handled and or traded.

CAR timber for Chadian oil?

Le pétrole tchadien troqué contre le bois centrafricain ? | 25 May 2013 | Afrik.com
Bientôt, le pétrole tchadien fera l’objet de troc contre le bois centrafricain, selon le scénario monté entre Djotodia ét Deby, en vue du relèvement de la situation socio-économique de la RCA, après avoir été sauvagement pillée par les douloureux événements qui viennent de secouer le pays.

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

Cobalt and copper

DRC’s Confidence in Cobalt Export Ban May be Misplaced | 23 March 2013 | Cobalt Investing News
At the beginning of April, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) banned exports of copper and cobalt concentrates, giving companies operating in the country just 90 days to clear out their inventories. The reason? The country wants to encourage miners to refine and process the metals within the country’s borders.

Cobalt Buyers Prepare for Tax on DRC Concentrate Exports | 27 May 2013 | Cobalt Investing News
MetalBulletin published a list of 10 things that were highlighted at last week’s Cobalt Development Institute conference, noting that most cobalt buyers in China do not believe that a ban on the export of cobalt concentrates will be introduced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, buyers are preparing for a tax on exports that could drive up costs for the entire industry.

Africo Resources Ltd.: Resource Assessment NI 43-101 Technical Report Completed on the Kalukundi Copper and Cobalt Project in the DRC | 23 May 2013 | Africo Resources Ltd. | Marketwired
Africo Resources Ltd. reports that further to its news release dated April 10, 2013, AMEC E&C Services Inc. has completed the NI 43-101 Technical Report on the resource assessment on the Kalukundi copper and cobalt project located in the DRC.

Copper reserves at Sicomines’ DRC mine less than hoped | 24 May 2013 | Reuters | Mineweb
Copper reserves at a mine owned by Sicomines, a miner at the centre of a $6 billion resources for infrastructure deal between China and Democratic Republic of Congo, have fallen more than 30 percent short of expectations, a senior Congolese official said.

Sicomines to Begin Copper Output in 2015 as Reserve Estimate Cut | 24 May 2013 | Bloomberg
Sicomines, a joint venture between a group of Chinese companies and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Gecamines SA, will start production of copper in 2015 after it cut proven reserves by a third, a Congolese official said. The venture, which is part of a $6 billion minerals-for-infrastructure deal between China and Congo, has discovered 6.8 million metric tons of proven copper reserves, according to Moise Ekanga, executive secretary of the Office for the Coordination and Monitoring of the Sino-Congolese Program. Sicomines said in 2009 it had found about 10 million tons of proven copper and 600,000 tons of cobalt reserves.

Ivanplats sticks to target regardless of cost | 28 May 2013 | Africa Mining Intelligence
African Minerals Barbados Limited (AMBL), a joint venture in which Ivanplats, a Toronto-listed firm that holds 95% alongside the Congolese government’s 5%, has every intention of pushing through its project to produce copper concentrates at Kamoa in Katanga. (Subscription required).

Gertler asset scandal

Gertler’s assets multiply | 24 May 2013 | Africa Confidential
Pressure is mounting on international mining companies in Congo-Kinshasa to reveal more about their dealings with offshore companies linked to Dan Gertler International. This follows the start of an investigation in April by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation’s operations in Congo-Kinshasa and Kazakhstan. (Subscription required).

Hydropower

DRC confident $12bn power plant will proceed by 2015 | 28 May 2013 | Bloomberg | Mineweb
The Democratic Republic of Congo will be ready to build the 4,800 megawatt Inga III hydroelectric plant by 2015, after two failed attempts to kick-start the $12 billion project, Minister of Energy Bruno Kapandji said.

Voith of Germany Signs $74 Million Deal With Congo Power Utility | 27 May 2013 | Bloomberg
Voith GmbH, a German engineering company, signed a deal worth more than $74 million with Democratic Republic of Congo’s electricity utility to refurbish part of the Inga 1 hydropower site, Energy Minister Bruno Kapandji said. The closely held company, based in Heidenheim, will refurbish two generating plants of Societe Nationale d’Electricite, or SNEL, that produce a combined 110 megawatts of power, Kapandji said by phone from Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, on May 24. Kinshasa, Bandundu city and the provinces of Bas Congo and Katanga will benefit from the increased output, he said.

Chinese operators

Feuilleton du site minier de Shamitumba au Katanga | 23 March 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
La justice congolaise sacrifiée sur l’autel du protectionnisme et de l’impunité au préjudice de Huachin Mining sprl.

Gold: Chinese told to stop| 28 May 2013 | Africa Mining Intelligence
The Cooperative Miniere de Developpement (COMID), a Chinese firm that operates in the Iruma area of Democratic Republlic of Congo, was ordered by the Oriental Province government to stop all gold exploration activities. (Subscription required).

Uganda

40 firms interested in Uganda’s refinery | 28 May 2013 | New Vision
Over 40 firms have expressed interest in the construction and operation of a proposed $3.2b refinery project, the acting minister of energy and mineral development disclosed yesterday.

Rwanda

Kigali | 28 May 2013 | Africa Mining Intelligence
Rajesh Mehta, boss of Rajesh Export Ltd., plans to invest dozens of millions of dollars in exploring for gold in Rwanda in coming years. (Subscription required).

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 

Publish What You Pay welcomes extractive industries transparency announcement by UK and France | 23 May 2013 | PWYP International
Global civil society coalition Publish What You Pay welcomed today’s announcement by the UK and French governments that they will join the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a voluntary multi-stakeholder approach to greater transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries launched by Tony Blair in 2002.

New Standards Approved for Extractive Industries | 23 March 2013 | Voice of America
New performance standards have been announced (5/23) for oil, gas and mining companies, requiring them to be much more transparent in their business dealings.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative approved the new performance standards at a meeting in Sydney, Australia. Created in 2003, the initiative includes government, business and civil society representatives.

DRC

Dangers of Dodd-Frank Act for DRC | 23 March 2013 | OSISA
Comment by Mvemba Dizolele.
Section 1502 of the US Dodd-Frank Act seeks to bring peace to eastern Congo by regulating mineral trade through U.S. law, cleaning up the supply chain and reducing militias’ access to financial means. The spirit of this law supposes that such a regulation would de facto curb the violence and human rights abuses. This campaign, however, has a serious weakness. Proponents of 1502 built their case on an erroneous premise that claimed that minerals were either the source or at the center of the conflict. Cutting militias’ access to mines will lead to peace, the argument goes.

Tenke Fungurume Mining reçoit un prix pour son programme d’eau potable pour les communautés locales en RDC | 24 May 2013 | Tenke Fungurume Mining | mediacongo.net
Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM), une filiale de Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, a été honoré cette semaine par un panel de juges de renom international pour son programme d’eau potable et d’assainissement du milieu en faveur des populations des cités de Fungurume et de Tenke, dans la province du Katanga, en République Démocratique du Congo.

ENRC’s answer following our invitation to respond to the complaint filed by RAID against ENRC relative to its activities in Democratic Republic of Congo| 28 May 2013 | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
“We do not intend to comment on the specifics of the complaint publicly at this stage other than to say that ENRC takes its social responsibilities extremely seriously and is committed to acting in accordance with all relevant laws and applicable international guidelines and to upholding human rights.”

Uganda

Oil Firm Props Up Bunyoro Schools | 27 May 2013 | East African Business Week | allAfrica
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), has given students in Bunyoro Kingdom a Ush23 million (nearly$7000) incentive to study hard and help raise education standards in this oil-rich region.

CAR

CAR suspended from Kimberley Process

CAR Suspended From World Diamond Body | 27 May 2013 | Reuters | Voice of America
Central African Republic has been suspended from the Kimberley Process, a global watchdog set up to halt the trade in ‘conflict diamonds,’ after a rebel coalition seized power there in March, a diplomatic note said on Monday.

Le ministre centrafricain des Mines déplore une décision «pénalisante» et «aberrante» | 28 May 2013 | RFI
Erve Gotron Djono Habba, ministre centrafricain des Mines et du Pétrole, parle d’une décision « injuste ». La situation du pays sera de nouveau examinée lors de la prochaine session du processus, du 4 au 7 juin prochain, à Kimberley en Afrique du Sud.
Eli Izhakoff supports decision to temporarily suspend the CAR from KPCS | 29 May 2013 | DiamondWorld
Asks industry members to ensure not that until further notice, rough diamonds from the CAR are not handled and or traded.

 

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