BRIEFING

27 June – 3 July 2013

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EDITORIAL

As Roger Meece’s MONUSCO mandate came to an end this week, details of the UN’s DRC Group of Experts report to the UN Sanctions committee have been reported in the press. The report is said to include indications that whilst the M23 is still receiving some assistance from Rwanda, support for the group is weakening. The report further appears to implicate FARDC soldiers in the smuggling of gold and tin from South Kivu.
In North Kivu the strengthening of M23 positions around Goma have caused displacement and stirred concern about a rumoured M23 assault on the city, triggering calls for calm by the local authorities and reassurances from MONUSCO. Attacks against civilians by Mai-Mai combatants under the command of Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka in Walikale have caused concern, whilst a Mai-Mai attack on Kangwayi Prison in Beni saw 4 deaths and the release of 244 prisoners. Ugandan ADF/NALU rebels have captured localities north east of Beni following intense fighting with the FARDC that has seen 16 dead. Civil society in the region has expressed fears that the group may attack Beni and Oicha, reporting the strengthening of positions around these two cities. In Province Orientale the FRPI has denied claims that Ugandan intelligence personnel are among their ranks, whilst in South Kivu a sizable militia contingent awaiting integration into the FARDC have been left without supplies, prompting them to request permission to tax locals.
In the Central African Republic six people have died and 25 have been wounded following clashes between civilians and Seleka rebels in Bangui. Human Rights Watch has reported the commission of atrocities against civilians in rural areas surrounding Bangui by the Seleka militia.
In the US, the Securities Exchange Commission has been struck a blow following a district court ruling on its disclosure rules under section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC was ruled to have misinterpreted the section in drawing up regulations to implement the law. Accepting arguments concerning the public disclosure of payments and its impact on competition in the oil industry, the court concluded that reports should go privately to the SEC and not be made available to the public.

Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

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

US anti-poaching plan

ThinkProgress: Obama Launches Anti-Poaching Task Force | 2 July 2013 | Enough Project
Obama Announces New U.S. Focus on Wildlife Trafficking | 2 July 2013 | Inter Press Service
President Barack Obama on Monday announced a series of new initiatives to combat spiking levels of international poaching and draft a new national plan on wildlife trafficking, an industry that has grown so significantly in recent years that the president now calls it an “international crisis”.

Obama wildlife trafficking plan may also boost security | 3 July 2013 | Reuters
A White House plan to curb illegal trafficking in rhino horn, elephant tusks and body parts from other endangered wildlife could have the side benefit of helping to stabilize parts of Africa plagued by insurgent groups, military and political analysts say.

DRC 

UN Group of Experts interim report

Exclusive: Fearing death, Congo’s ‘Terminator’ fled with help of family | 28 June 2013 | Reuters
Facing defeat by a rival rebel and fearing death at the hands of Rwandan troops, Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda quietly slipped into Rwanda on a small path with a single escort to turn himself in at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, according to a U.N. report.

Analysts: Rwandan Support for Congo’s Rebels Waning | 1 July 2013 | Voice of America
Le nouveau rapport des experts onusiens banalise le « soutien continu mais limité » du Rwanda au M23 | 3 July 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
United Nations experts say support for the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo is waning, but that the group is still getting some help from Rwanda.

RDC : le M23 et les FDLR seraient très affaiblis, selon les experts de l’ONU | 1 July 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Moins forts mais toujours dangereux ? | 2 July 2013 | Deutsche Welle | allAfrica
Selon un rapport provisoire du groupe d’experts de l’ONU sur la RDC, le Mouvement du 23-Mars et les Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), deux rébellions rwandophones antagoniques qui opèrent dans l’Est du pays, ont été très affaiblies par de récentes tensions internes et des désertions.

DRC’s army smuggling minerals in east Congo, UN experts | 2 July 2013 | Bloomberg | Mineweb
Congo’s Army Smuggling Minerals in East Congo, UN Experts Say | 2 July 2913 | Bloomberg
An interim report to the UN Sanctions Committee is reported to have said that FARDC soldiers control a gold mine in South Kivu province and are impeding efforts to resume legal exports of tin ore from Congo’s largest mine in North Kivu province. Inner City Press, a New York-based investigative journalism organization, published a draft report due to to be released later this month on its website on June 29.

UN report on implementation of Framework Agreement

Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region (S/2013/387) | 28 June / 3 July 2013 | UN Security Council | Reliefweb
A report submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2098 (2013), in which the Council requested the submission of a report on the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.

UN meeting on Great Lakes region

Kerry to Chair UN Meeting on Central Africa | 2 July 2013 | Voice of America
Kerry présidera une réunion sur les Grands Lacs à l’ONU fin juillet | 2 July 2013 | La Voix de l’Amérique
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council later this month aimed at strengthening efforts to achieve peace in Central Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Obama appeal to DRC neighbours

RDC: l’appel d’Obama | 1 July 2013 | BBC Afrique
RDC : Barack Obama appelle les pays voisins à cesser le soutien aux groupes armés | 2 July 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Le président américain Barack Obama, en voyage en Tanzanie, a appelé les pays frontaliers de la République démocratique du Congo à cesser de soutenir les groupes armés qui y opèrent.

Barack Obama appelle les voisins de la RDC à cesser d’aider les rebelles | 2 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Barack Obama has called on the countries bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo to stop supporting armed groups operating there during an address on Monday in Dar es Salaam. He also called on President Joseph Kabila to “do more and better” to reform the security forces in the country.

MONUSCO

Ban nomme Abdallah Wafy, du Niger, Chef adjoint de la mission de l’ONU en RDC, chargé de la composante « état de droit » | 27 June 2013 | UN News Centre
Ban Ki-moon a annoncé hier la nomination de Abdallah Wafy, du Niger, comme son Représentant spécial adjoint pour la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), où il sera à la tête de la composante « état de droit » de la Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en RDC (MONUSCO).

Roger Meece : « On a fait des progrès mais beaucoup reste à faire » | 27 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
The mandate of Roger Meece, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC ended on Thursday, June 27. He was replaced in that position by the German Martin Kobler. The former head of MONUSCO has said that he leaves the mission with a mixed sense of failure and optimism.

Roger Meece a fait ses adieux en tant que Chef de la Mission de l’ONU en RDC | 28 June 2013 | UN News Centre
Le Chef de la Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République Démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO), Roger Meece, a fait ses adieux après la fin de son mandat en tant que Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour la RDC, a annoncé vendredi la Mission.

M23

La Monusco accuse le M23 de tueries, pillages et enrôlements forcés au Nord-Kivu | 27 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
MONUSCO has accused the M23 from committing abuses against civilians in several areas of Rutshuru. The military spokesman, Colonel Felix Basse said Wednesday, June 26 that the rebel movement is guilty of killings, looting and forced conscription of young people. He states that the M23 regularly conducts cordon-and-search operations in which arbitrary arrests, killings and harassment against the civilians suspected of collaborating with militias are committed.

RDC: la Monusco accuse le M23 de commettre des exactions dans l’est du pays | 28 June 2013 | RFI
La Monusco, la Mission des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo, soupçonne les rebelles du M23 de commettre des exactions contre les populations civiles dans des localités du territoire de Rutshuru, dans l’est du pays. Une trentaine de paysans auraient été exécutés, soupçonnés d’avoir collaboré avec des groupes ennemis. La Monusco accuse aussi le M23 d’enrôler de force des jeunes pour remplacer ses hommes perdus dans de récents combats avec d’autres groupes armés.

RDC: la guerre de la désinformation bat son plein dans le Nord Kivu | 2 July 2013 | La Voix de l’Amérique
Les rebelles du M23 et Kinshasa se livrent à une bataille sans pareille en matière de désinformation, tandis que les troupes semblent se positionner des deux côtés dans l’est du pays.

Failed States Index

Why Herbst And Mills Are Wrong About Congo’s “Invisible State” | 27 June 2013 | African Arguments
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a failed state/The Democratic Republic of the Congo is falling apart/The Democratic Republic of the Congo does not exist.
By relying on tired clichés in yet another relentless description of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Herbst and Mills have created a climax for the usual headlines in contemporary analyses of the country.

Sexual violence

UNICEF and MONUSCO condemn rapes in South Kivu | 27 June 2013 | UNICEF, MONUSCO | Reliefweb
Senior UN officials condemn recent rapes of young girls in eastern DR Congo | 27 June 2013 | UN News Centre
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in DRC, Mr. Roger Meece and the Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Barbara Bentein are deeply concerned about recent cases of rape of young girls, in Kavumu–Lwiro axis, in South Kivu Province, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bas-Congo : 40 cas de violences sexuelles enregistrés en juin à Matadi | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
The commissioner of the Congolese National Police responsible for the protection of children and women as well as sexual violence in Bas-Congo, has said that cases of sexual violence are increasingly common in the city of Matadi. In the month of June alone, forty cases were registered in the city.

Independence Day

RDC: le 53è anniversaire de l’indépendance fêté dans la méditation à cause de la guerre dans l’Est | 30 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Congolese government has stated that no festivities will be held on National Independence Day in order to show solidarity with fellow Congolese citizens in the east who are still facing conflict.

Kasai-Occidental

Kasai-Occidental: 6 morts dans un conflit de gestion d’un lac à Dimbelenge | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Six people were killed and several others injured on Saturday, June 29, during a clash between Bakwa Lukusa and Bena Tshipidimba in the territory of Dimbelenge (Kasai Occidental). These two peoples have been fighting for years over the management of Lake Foi. Many people are said to have sought refuge in the bush to get away from the conflict.

Kasai-Oriental : les habitants de Bashandala et Nkwanga se disent victimes de tracasseries policières | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
The inhabitants of the localities Bashandala and Nkwanga in Kasai-Oriental have complained that they have been made victims of police harassment.

Province Orientale

Province Orientale: la FRPI dément la présence d’officiers ougandais dans ses rangs à Getty | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri (FRPI) has denied allegations by local authorities reporting the presence of Ugandan military intelligence officers in the ranks of the armed group. “No Ugandan officer is in the ranks of the FRPI” FRPIChief of Staff, Mbandu Adirodu colonel, told Radio Okapi.

Ituri : le bureau de la police saccagé après le meurtre d’une femme par un présumé policier | 3 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Protesters ransacked the police offices of Bahema Banywagi in Tchomia in Ituri in protest against the murder of a woman by a suspected policeman. According to witnesses, the victim was shot at her home the previous night. The police and army fired shots in the air to disperse the demonstrators, wounding one of them.

Ituri : un Chinois tué et un policier blessé dans une attaque contre leur embarcation | 28 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
A Chinese miner was shot and a Congolese policeman seriously wounded during an attack on their boat by armed men on the Ituri River, 60 km south of Bunia (Eastern Province).

North Kivu

MONUSCO strongly condemns serious violations by Mayi-Mayi Sheka in North Kivu | 27 June 2013 | MONUSCO
Fermeté de la MONUSCO face aux graves violations des Mayi-Mayi Sheka au Nord-Kivu | 27 June 2013 | MONUSCO
Continued attacks against civilians by Mai-Mai combatants, under the command of Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, in Walikale territory, North Kivu, remain a major concern for MONUSCO.

Nord-Kivu : la résidence de l’opposant Mbusa Nyamwisi perquisitionnée à Butembo | 27 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
The private residence of Congolese opposition leader MbusaNyamwisi was raided in Butembo on Thursday, June 27. Security sources reportedly state that the search was in response to reports that leaders of armed groups were present in the house, though Mr Nyamwisi’s political party, RCD / KML, has denounced the raid as a political strike against its national president.

Goma : les FARDC préparées pour protéger la ville | 27 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
MONUSCO military spokesman in Goma, Colonel Abdul Ndiaye, issued a statement on Wednesday intended to reassure the public over fears of clashes between the FARDC and the M23 akin to those of last November, stating that a defence plan is in place and being implemented and that corrections have been implemented in Goma’s security plan since last November’s events.

Nord-Kivu: des hommes armés sèment la terreur sur la route Luofu – Miriki | 28 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
Civil society in Lubero has denounced growing insecurity on the road between Luofo and Miriki, an agricultural service road about 200 kilometers north-west of Goma. 57 cases of human rights violations committed by armed men are said to have been registered in the area.

Goma: un député national apaise la population sur une éventuelle attaque du M23 | 30 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
National deputy, Nzangi Muhindo Butondo, has called for calm after rumours of a possible M23 attack on Goma, stating that the FARDC will no longer leave Goma to fall into the hands of the rebels.

Nord-Kivu : des rebelles ougandais de l’ADF/Nalu contrôlent deux localités près de Beni | 30 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
The localities of Mamundioma and Totolito have been under the control of Ugandan ADF / NALU rebels since the morning of Sunday, June 30th. The two localities are situated more than 45 kilometres north-east of Beni. According to local sources, these villages fell under the control of the rebels after three days of intense fighting between the rebel movement and the FARDC, which occasioned sixteen deaths.

Nord-Kivu : 4 morts et près de 250 évadés après une attaque contre la prison de Beni | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Four people were killed and two hundred and forty to four inmates escaped on Monday 1 July, during an attack by a Mai Mai group, on Kangwayi central prison in Beni. After an hour’s shootout between a hundred assailants and ten military and police officers responsible for the security of the prison, the militia were able to break down the doors and release prisoners. Among those killed, there were a soldier, a prisoner and two militiamen, according to military sources.

Nord-Kivu: les habitants de Kibati fuient un renforcement des positions du M23 | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
The people of Kibati fled their locality three days ago. Local sources indicate that these shifts follow the strengthening of M23 positions in this area. Those in the localities of Buvira, Zanga and Buyengwe in the Munigi groupment are also been reported to have been displaced.

Beni: la société civile redoute une attaque des rebelles ougandais contre plusieurs cités | 2 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Civil society in Beni has accused the Ugandan ADF / NALU rebels of preparing an attack against several cities in the country.Civil society leader, Teddy Kataliko, has stated that for three days the rebels have reinforced their positions around Beni and Oicha.

Nord-Kivu : les jeunes plaident pour l’accélération du déploiement de la Brigade de la Monusco | 3 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
In a statement released on Tuesday, July 2 in Goma, the provincial youth council in North Kivu requested the accelerated deployment of MONUSCO’s intervention brigade. The statement highlights that the security situation in this region is characterized by the activism of several armed groups operating in the five areas that make up North Kivu.

South Kivu

UNICEF and MONUSCO condemn rapes in South Kivu | 27 June 2013 | UNICEF, MONUSCO | Reliefweb
Senior UN officials condemn recent rapes of young girls in eastern DR Congo | 27 June 2013 | UN News Centre
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in DRC, Mr. Roger Meece and the Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Barbara Bentein are deeply concerned about recent cases of rape of young girls, in Kavumu–Lwiro axis, in South Kivu Province, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sud-Kivu: l’armée et la société civile vont en guerre contre les barrières illégales à Uvira | 28 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
The military has pledged to identify and remove illegal barriers in Uvira. The commander of the 104th FARDC branch, Colonel Patrick Opya made this pledge at a two-day workshop, organized by an NGO coalition that has identified 50 illegal roadblocks in the area.

Sud-Kivu : 1 500 miliciens en attente d’intégration demandent d’être ravitaillés en vivres | 3 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Self-proclaimed General William Amuri Amisi alias Yakutumba, and 1500 of his men have complained of not being resupplied with food for two weeks whilst gathering in Sebele in Fizi territory. A delegation from the armed group have asked the Fizi authorities for official permission to collect taxes to feed the militiamen awaiting integration into the army, though such authorization was refused.

Katanga

Katanga : au moins 50 meurtres enregistrés à Lubumbashi en 6 mois, selon la police | 27 June 2013 | Radio Okapi
At least fifty murders took place in Lubumbashi, Katanga, from January to June 2013, according to police sources. Of these murders, seventeen concern motorcycle taxi drivers, and in most cases the killers remain at large.

Katanga : la Fondation katangaise appelle les Bakata Katanga à renoncer à la lutte armée | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Katanga Foundation, a socio-cultural platform operating in Katanga, has called upon the Bakata Katanga militia to abandon their armed struggle and present their demands to the government.

Uganda

UDPF Reshuffle

Museveni reshuffles High Command | 28 June 2013 | Indian Ocean Newsletter | Africa Intelligence
President Yoweri Museveni convened a meeting of UPDF High Command in late May to deal out new cards among the Ugandan army.  Subscription required.

LRA Operation Commanders Changed | 1 July 2013 | Shabelle Media Network | allAfrica
President Yoweri Museveni has made changes within the UPDF field commanders serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as well as the AU Regional Intervention force against the LRA based in South Sudan.

CAR

Security

Central African Republic: Seleka Forces Kill Scores, Burn Villages | 27 June 2013 | Human Rights Watch
Rights group accuses Central African Republic rebels of abuses | 28 June 2013 | Reuters
RCA : HRW appelle à de sanctions contre les responsables d’exactions | 28 June 2013 | La Voix de l’Amérique
CAR Rebels Accused of ‘Rampant Abuses’ Against Civilians | 29 June 2013 | Voice of America
Members of the Seleka rebel coalition, which overthrew President François Bozizé of the Central African Republic on 24 March 2013, have targeted and killed at least 40 civilians, and intentionally destroyed 34 villages or towns since February. Human Rights Watch researchers in early June found extensive evidence of rampant abuses in largely rural areas outside the capital, Bangui.

Centrafrique: des combats dans la ville de Bangui | 28 June 2013 | RFI
Centrafrique: poussée de fièvre à Bangui | 29 June 2013 | RFI
Centrafrique : six morts dans de nouvelles violences à Bangui | 29 June 2013 | AFP | Jeune Afrique
Centrafrique: situation humanitaire et sécuritaire toujours difficile | 29 June 2013 | RFI
RCA: le président du MLPC appelle les autorités de la transition à sécuriser le pays | 30 June 2013 | RFI
Six personnes ont été tuées et 25 autres blessées vendredi soir à Bangui dans des heurts entre civils et hommes de la coalition Séléka, au pouvoir depuis fin mars en Centrafrique, a-t-on appris de source policière.

RCA: limogeage du général Mohamed Dhaffane, ministre et haut responsable de la Seleka | 30 June 2013 | RFI
Centrafrique: le limogeage de Mohamed Dhaffane justifié par son comportement | 1 July 2013 | RFI
Centrafrique: Mohamed Dhaffane, un ex-ministre ambitieux | 2 July 2013 | RFI
En Centrafrique, Mohammed Dhaffane, le ministre des Eaux et forêts du gouvernement de transition, et personnage central de la Seleka, est depuis le samedi 29 juin 2013, en état d’arrestation à Bangui. Il lui est reproché d’avoir préparé des actions de déstabilisation contre le régime.

Démarrage des opérations de désarmement, un début de solution sécuritaire à Bangui | 3 July 2013 | Radio Ndeke Luka | Fondation Hirondelle
Centrafrique : le désarmement de la séléka soulage à Bangui | 3 July 2013 | Afrik.com
Les éléments de la FOMAC ont démarré les opérations de désarmement  dans presque toutes les artères de la capitale centrafricaine à la recherche des armes, munitions et effets de guerre encore entre les mains des éléments de la Séléka. Les activités sont menées par une équipe mixte composée des éléments de Séléka, de la Gendarmerie, de la Police et de la Fomac.

Refugee and IDP Reports

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

DRC 

Humanitarian Reports

Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Maniema N° 18/13, 25 juin 2013 | 27 June 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Humanitarian Action in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Weekly Bulletin, 28 June 2013 | 1 July 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Nord-Kivu N° 23/13, 2 juillet 2013 | 3 July 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Sud-Kivu No 27/13, 3 juillet 2013 | 3 July 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Katanga N° 25/13, 03 juillet 2013 | 3 July 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province Orientale N° 26/13, 3 juillet 2013 | 3 July 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

Press coverage of humanitarian situation

Democratic Republic of the Congo: A mother’s worry | 1 July 2013 | IFRC | Reliefweb

Fleeing with What’s Most Important | 1 July 2013 | Inter Press Service
Fuir avec ce qui est plus important | 2 July 2013 | Inter Press Service

Combler le fossé entre les secours d’urgence et le développement en RDC | 1 July 2013 | IRIN

IDPs

Katanga : plus d’un million de personnes touchées par l’insécurité alimentaire aigüe | 1 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Reports indicate that more than one million two hundred thousand people in Katanga have been affected by acute food insecurity since the beginning of this year. These figures represent 10% of the rural population of the province, according to a survey conducted by FAO.

Uganda

Rwandan Refugees

Over 4000 Rwandans to Lose Refugee Status | 27 June 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
Over 4000 Rwandans refugees will lose their refugee status in Uganda on Sunday as the cessation clause affecting Rwandans who fled tumultuous events that blighted their country between 1959 and December 1998 comes into effect.

Rwanda

Rwandan Refugees

Over 4000 Rwandans to Lose Refugee Status | 27 June 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
Over 4000 Rwandans refugees will lose their refugee status in Uganda on Sunday as the cessation clause affecting Rwandans who fled tumultuous events that blighted their country between 1959 and December 1998 comes into effect.

Ending of refugee status for Rwandans approaching | 28 June 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
La cessation du statut de réfugié approche pour les Rwandais | 28 June 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
As end of refugee status approaches, UN working to ensure proper closure for Rwandans | 28 June 2013 | UN News Centre
UN Reaffirms Support to Returnees | 3 July 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
The United Nations refugee agency said today it is working closely with concerned Governments to bring to a proper closure the situation of Rwandans who fled their country before 31 December 1998, as the recommended end date for their refugee status approaches on Sunday.

Rwanda and DRC sets roadmap for Cessation Clause implementation | 28 June 2013 | Government of Rwanda | Reliefweb
171 Rwandan refugees return from DRC | 28 June 2013 | Government of Rwanda | Reliefweb

Les Rwandais du Congo perdent leur statut de réfugiés | 30 June 2013 | RFI
Plus de 8 000 Rwandais exilés au Congo-Brazzaville depuis 1997 perdent à partir de ce dimanche 30 juin leur statut de réfugié.

Rwanda Ready to Receive All Returning Refugees As Cessation Clause Comes Into Effect | 2 July 2013 | Government of Rwanda | allAfrica
Post-June Deadline – Why Refugees Should Still Return | 2 July 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Don’t Wait for Host Country to Take Action, Refugees Are Told | 2 July 2013 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
On Sunday, June 30, the cessation clause concerning Rwandan refugees came into effect. This means that Rwandans who fled the country between 1959 and 1998 have lost their refugee status across the world.

Burundi 

UNHCR Burundi – Fact Sheet, mai 2013 | 28 June 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb

CAR

Press coverage of the humanitarian situation

CAR Facing Food Crisis | 28 June 2013 | Voice of America

Centrafrique: situation humanitaire et sécuritaire toujours difficile | 29 June 2013 | RFI

Democratic Republic of the Congo: A mother’s worry | 1 July 2013 | IFRC | Reliefweb

Snapshot of child misery emerges from UNICEF missions in CAR | 2 July 2013 | UNICEF | Reliefweb
Central African Republic: UN assessment reveals worsening situation for children | 2 July 2013 | UN News Centre
L’UNICEF tire la sonnette d’alarme face à la détérioration de la situation humanitaire en République centrafricaine | 2 July 2013 | UN News Centre

Justice and Tribunals 

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

 DRC

ICC Bemba trial

Bemba to Testify in His Own Defense | 27 June 2013 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica

Rwanda 

First genocide trial in France

Rwanda/France – Génocide des Tutsis : la justice française ouvrira son premier procès en février 2014 | 28 June 2013 | Hirondelle News Agency
Rwanda: un présumé génocidaire pour la première fois devant la justice en France | 29 June 2013 | RFI
Pascal Simbikangwa sera bien le premier Rwandais poursuivi en France pour son rôle présumé dans le génocide de 1994. Le procès de cet ancien officier rwandais doit s’ouvrir le 4 février prochain devant les assises de Paris. Il est poursuivi pour  « complicité de génocide » et « complicité de crimes contre l’humanité ».

Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

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

US anti-poaching plan

ThinkProgress: Obama Launches Anti-Poaching Task Force | 2 July 2013 | Enough Project
Obama Announces New U.S. Focus on Wildlife Trafficking | 2 July 2013 | Inter Press Service
President Barack Obama on Monday announced a series of new initiatives to combat spiking levels of international poaching and draft a new national plan on wildlife trafficking, an industry that has grown so significantly in recent years that the president now calls it an “international crisis”.

Obama wildlife trafficking plan may also boost security | 3 July 2013 | Reuters
A White House plan to curb illegal trafficking in rhino horn, elephant tusks and body parts from other endangered wildlife could have the side benefit of helping to stabilize parts of Africa plagued by insurgent groups, military and political analysts say.

DRC 

Minerals

DRC to Export Stockpiled Minerals | 28 June 2013 | Voice of America
Minerals that were stockpiled in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo because of a ban on mining activities are now on their way to being exported, according to traders in the city of Goma.  The pressure group Global Witness says it is not clear that the stockpiled minerals have not funded conflict.

Land and minerals – resources for peace? | 27 June 2013 | International Alert | Reliefweb
International Alert, in partnership with the School of Global Studies at Sussex University and the Royal Commonwealth Society, held the fifth in its series of Peace Talks events, which was on the subject of “Congolese prospects.

Congo’s Army Smuggling Minerals in East Congo, UN Experts Say | 2 July 2913 | Bloomberg
An interim report to the UN Sanctions Committee is reported to have said that FARDC soldiers control a gold mine in South Kivu province and are impeding efforts to resume legal exports of tin ore from Congo’s largest mine in North Kivu province. Inner City Press, a New York-based investigative journalism organization, published a draft report due to to be released later this month on its website on June 29.

Deforestation

Province Orientale : la culture du tabac menace l’écosystème de la collectivité de Kakwa  | 2 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
Tobacco growing is reported to be responsible for the desertification currently threatening the community of Kakwa located in Aru territory. Many food crops and insect species will disappear, according to research conducted by Jean-Marie Nyolo Biotechnology engineer.

Timber trade

RDC: une cargaison illégale de bois wengé repérée en République Tchèque, selon Greenpeace | 4 July 2013 | Radio Okapi
A cargo of endangered timber species from the DRC has been found in a processing plant in the Czech Republic, according to a statement released by Greenpeace on 1 July.

Uganda

Oil

Is Uganda’s Oil Region Another Northern Uganda In The Making? | 26 June 2013 | African Arguments
A recent workshop on “the politics of oil and gas in East Africa” run by Makerere (Uganda) and Leeds (UK) universities, following a research visit to Uganda’s Hoima District, has revealed much that makes one wonder if the oil discovery in the Albertine region is not a twisted fortune.

Oil hunt in Ugandan national park tests Africa’s eco defenses | 27 June 2013 | Reuters
Murchison – Oil and Wildlife Find Balance | 2 July 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica
Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the majestic Nile river and boasts some of Africa’s wildlife treasures – elephants, lions and a rare giraffe sub-species.

Land-grabbing

Land Grabbing in Mubende-Neumann (article) | 1 July 2013 | Conflict of Laws.net

Rwanda

New mining taxes

Rwanda expects to double mining revenue on new tax | 28 June 2013 | Bloomberg | Mineweb
Rwanda’s government will almost double revenue from mining next fiscal year after the introduction of new taxes, said Evode Imena, the state minister in charge of the industry.

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

Mining 

Tenke shipment disruption, DRC ban may add fuel to cobalt rally | 27 June 2013 | MetalBulletin
Cobalt prices, already at their highest level in 12 months, could soar in the second half of the year on reduced supplies from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) miner Tenke Fungurume (TFM) and the lingering threat of a DRC export ban, sources suggest.

Oil 

Total menace d’annuler une prospection pétrolière en Ituri à cause de l’insécurité | 28 June 2013 | Radio Okapi | allAfrica
La société pétrolière Total menace de ne plus prospecter le bloc 3 du Graben Albertine à cause de l’insécurité qui règne dans la région de Getty en Ituri. Le responsable de ce projet, Bernard Leflaive l’a annoncé jeudi 27 juin au cours d’une rencontre avec les représentants des communautés locales de ce territoire de la Province Orientale.

Hydropower 

Will Congo’s Poor Benefit from World’s Largest Dam Project? | 27 June 2013 | International Rivers
Africa’s poorest nation, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), plans to build the world’s largest (and most expensive) hydropower dam, Grand Inga on the Congo River’s Inga Falls.

François Misser sur RFI: «Grand Inga apporterait une solution à l’Afrique toute entière» | 30 June 2013 | RFI
François Misser est journaliste, spécialiste de l’Afrique Centrale. Correspondant à Bruxelles de BBC Afrique, il vient de publier La saga d’Inga, l’histoire des barrages du fleuve Congo aux éditions de L’Harmattan.

Construction du barrage de Katende, le ministre Bruno Kapanji a séjourné au Kasai-Occidental | 2 July 2013 | Digitalcongo.net
Du lundi 24 au jeudi 27 juin 2013, quatre jours durant, Bruno Kapanji, ministre des Ressources hydrauliques et électricité a séjourné dans la province du Kasaï Occidental.

Kinshasa’s other white elephants | 2 July 2913 | Africa Energy Intelligence
With the attention of donors fixed on the Inga 3 dam, Congo president Joseph Kabila is making a strong pitch for power plants in other parts of the country. Subscription required.

Tiger achieves new monthly production record at Kipoi | 3 July 2913 | Mining Weekly
ASX-listed Tiger Resources set a new monthly production record at its Kipoi copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in June, when it produced 4 422 t of copper in concentrate from its heavy media separation (HMS) plant.

Uganda

Hydropower

Amama Mbabazi in China Over Oil, Karuma Dam | 2 July 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, who arrived in Beijing on Sunday, was due to hold talks on Monday with Fan Jixiang, the chairman of the Sinohydro Group that won the tender to build the 600MW Karuma hydropower dam in Kiryandongo district.

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

Kimberley Process still relevant – Nhlapo | 27 June 2013 | Mining Weekly
The Kimberley Process (KP), aimed at stemming the trade of conflict diamonds, was definitely still alive and strong, KP chair, and South Africa’s special representative to Africa’s Great Lakes Countries Welile Nhlapo said on Thursday.

Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1504

UPDATE 2-U.S. judge tosses SEC’s resource payment disclosure rule | 2 July 2013 | Reuters
United States District Court for the District of Columbia. American Petroleum Institute, et al., v. Securities and Exchange Commission and Oxfam America, Inc.
A U.S. judge tossed out on Tuesday a new rule requiring oil, natural gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, in a blow to U.S. securities regulators and human rights groups.

Court Takes Backward Step on SEC Extractives Disclosure Rules | 3 July 2013 | Revenue Watch | allAfrica
Revenue Watch, a non-profit policy institute promoting the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good, expressed its disappointment with the District Court’s ruling on Tuesday, July 2 in the American Petroleum Institute v. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) litigation.
The ruling vacates and remands to the SEC rules required by Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1504 calls for the SEC to issue rules requiring oil, gas and mining companies listed in the U.S. to disclose payments they make to governments. Section 1504 remains in place as law, but the remand means the SEC will need to determine the most effective way to implement the law following the Court’s ruling.

DRC

Tax enforcement

La DGDA affecte un agent à Kampala pour lutter contre la fraude fiscale | 2 July 2913 | Radio Okapi
The Congolese Directorate General of Customs and Excise (LDB) has assigned an officer to Kampala to allow for the better traceability of imported products this part of the country and reduce the incidence of tax evasion.

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