Following last weeks UN Security Council resolution mandating a MONUSCO-based intervention brigade, concerns have been raised about causalities to troop contributing State forces – felt most acutely in South Africa, where President Zuma is currently under fierce scrutiny over the country’s involvement in the Central African Republic. Meanwhile, the M23 has continued to take a defensive stance towards the Security Council move, seeking to mobilise anti-brigade sentiment in North Kivu. Talks between the M23 and Kinshasa resumed in Kampala this week.
On the ground in the DRC, Province Orientale has continued to see considerable unrest with armed attacks by unidentified men in Itui and the recruitment of a youth militia by a well known local poacher in Faradje territory. This territory in particular has seen incursions by Lord’s Resistance Army fighters from the CAR and increased FARDC/MONUSCO patrols in an attempt to enhance civilian protection. In North Kivu, civil society has alleged sightings of Rwandan troops on Congolese territory, whilst the MRDC has stoked insecurity in Beni. In South Kivu the FARDC has launched an offensive against the Raia Mutomboki/Mukombozi coalition in a number of localities. The inquiry into the Bakata Katanga Mai-Mai raid on Lubumbashi continues, with four senior officials suspended, and poverty and lack of state authority in certain areas of Katangabeing highlighted as factors facilitating Mai-Mai insurgency.
In the Central African Republic AU LRA Task Force operations have been suspended due to political obstacles, though the relevant states have affirmed their continued commitment to the hunt for Kony and his militia. The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) summit in N’Djamena has rejected Michel Djotodia as the CAR’s national leader demanding the establishment of a transitional council – a demand to which the self-proclaimed President appears to have acquiesced. The rapid adoption of a transitional council ordinance has caused disquiet amongst civil society in the CAR, where diamond traders have this week reportedly confessed to funding Seleka rebels.
Uganda this week has seen contested assertions that the government has won its UK arbitration case against Heritage Oil, as the Tullow/Heritage litigation in the English High Court continues to illuminate further details of Tullow’s dealings in the oil-rich state.
Campaigners in Europe have hailed a victory this week as the EU is reported to have accepted ground-breaking new rules requiring companies working in the extractives and logging sectors to publish details of payments made to governments for access to natural resources.
Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region
Recent news on conflict, security and arms trade across the Great Lakes Region.
Arms Trade Treaty
Making the Arms Trade Treaty work in practice is the real challenge for Africa | 3 April 2013 | Institute for Security Studies
The immediate future of the ATT, in the case of Africa, is to find answers to the question on implementation. Each African states will have to evaluate what resources they have available and then determine what resources are needed to implement the treaty. Several states have been developing capacity on reporting on other related treaties and instruments. This article analyses the future of the ATT from the African perspective.
The Arms Trade Treaty – a Pan-African Global Policy Victory | 8 April 2013 | Think Africa Press | AllAfrica
Analysis piece discussing how African nations led from the front in helping establish a global arms trade treaty.
Russian arms trading to Africa
Arms Deals With Africa – From Russia With Love | 4 April 2013 | Think Africa Press | AllAfrica
As Russia maintains its status as the world’s second largest exporter of arms, it looks increasingly to Africa. As part of its foreign policy, Russian authorities have been strengthening military-technical cooperation with a number of African countries. These often include officer training and the sale of military equipment, though the details are rarely publicly available. As well as being an important area of business, some analysts also see Russia’s arms trade with African countries as being part of a broader strategy of gaining economic links and influence in the region. The arms trade in of itself is significant, but it can also feed into other arrangements beyond just military deals.
UN intervention brigade for the DRC
RDC : les préparatifs du déploiement de la brigade d’intervention sont très avancés, selon Roger Meece | 5 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, Roger Meece, has said that preparations for the deployment of the UN Intervention Brigade in North Kivu are very advanced, but that the political element of the solution to the crisis is being equally asserted.
War Feared Over New UN Force in DR Congo | 5 April 2013 | The Independent | AllAfrica
Article speculating that the deployment of South African and Tanzanian troops to combat negative forces in the DRC may spark regional conflict due to pre-existing tensions between the troop contributing countries and Rwanda, and the proposed force’s lack of preparedness to engage in anti-insurgency combat in jungle terrain.
Responses to Intervention force deployment in troop contributing states
TPDF On Peacekeeping Mission to DRC | 8 April 2013 | Tanzania Daily News | AllAfrica
The Tanzanian Ministry of Defence and National Service has responded to reports about the deployment of the army brigade to ‘fight’ M23 rebels by stating that Tanzania does not intend to send troops to fight the rebels but rather join other peacekeepers to help restore normalcy in the DRC. A 850 strong troop presence is due to be deployed from the country.
Nouvelle polémique au pays, après l’annonce de l’envoi de troupes en RDC | 8 April 2013 | RFI | AllAfrica
South Africa to Send Troops to Congo After CAR Withdrawal | 8 April 2013 | Bloomberg
South Africa has announced the deployment of troops for the MONUSCO brigade mandated by the UN Security Council amid severe criticisms over the country’s troop presence (and losses) in the CAR.
Brigade de la Monusco : Jacob Zuma appelé à s’expliquer sur l’envoi des militaires sud-africains | 8 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Following the loss of numerous soldiers in the CAR, President Zuma has been asked to explain his deployment of South African troops to join MONUSCO’s intervention brigade before his own national assembly. Concerns have been expressed about the very high risk of further deaths as a consequence of this deployment.
M23 response to UN intervention brigade for the DRC
M23 says it will ‘fight back’ against UN | 8 April 2013 | AlJazeera
The president of the Congolese rebel group, M23, says it will fight back against a new UN “intervention brigade” if it entered the M23 controlled areas.
Nord-Kivu: la société civile dénonce l’intox du M23 contre la Brigade d’intervention de la Monusco | 9 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Civil society in North Kivu has denounced the disinformation campaign being waged by the M23 against the deployment of the MONUSCO intervention brigade. According to a civil society spokesman this maneuver could prevent the return of peace to the country.
Nord-Kivu: des habitants de Nyiragongo fuient la marche contre la brigade d’intervention de la Monusco | 10 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Many people, mostly young, left Nyiragongo on Wednesday morning to find refuge in the Kabagana and Kabuhanga localities on the border between the DRC and Rwanda. Civil society sources indicate that these people refused to participate in a march against the deployment of the MONUSCO intervention brigade that had been organized by the M23 for Wednesday from Kibumba to Goma. It has been reported that after the departure of these people, the M23 canceled the march and rescheduled it for next Sunday.
Quand le M23 interpelle le parlement sud-africain | 10 April 2013 | RFI | AllAfrica
The M23 is reported to have sent a letter to the South African parliament to protest the announced participation of South African troops in the new rapid intervention brigade UN, threatening to fight back.
RDC : la Monusco condamne la campagne du M23 contre sa brigade d’intervention | 11 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
A MONUSCO spokesman has condemned the M23’s propaganda activities of recent days in seeking to organise civil society meetings in localities occupied by the force to call on local people to oppose the deployment of the intervention brigade.
Kampala talks resumed
RDC : le gouvernement et le M23 de nouveau à Kampala pour harmoniser l’accord final | 5 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Kampala ou lieu du blanchiment du M23 | 5 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
Reprise des négociations entre le gouvernement et le M23 à Kampala | 5 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
Stalled DR Congo talks resume amid hope and uncertainty | 6 April 2013 | East African | Relief Web
Kampala ou la reprise des pourparlers congolais | 8 April 2013 | Deutsche Welle | AllAfrica
Difficiles discussions Kinshasa et M23 | 10 April 2013 | BBC News
Talks in Kampala between the M23 and Kinshasa resumed on Saturday. Negotiations are stuck particularly on the issue of disarmament and dissolution of the M23.
Lord’s Resistance Army
US offers reward for Uganda warlord Kony | 4 April 2013 | AlJazeera
Reward Offered for Information on Kony | 3 April 2013 | New York Times
The United States’ War Crimes Rewards Programme has offered bounties of up to $5m each for fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and some of his top LRA aides.
Joseph Kony search suspended amid turmoil in Central African Republic | 9 April 2013 | The Guardian
Ugandan and American troops have suspended their joint hunt for war crimes suspect Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. The Ugandan military and the US state department separately announced last week that they had temporarily halted the search because of political turmoil in the CAR. A Ugandan army spokesman, told reporters that the hunt was on hold “until further notice” because rebel leaders in the CAR are refusing to co-operate with Ugandan troops stationed in the country.
Suspended Kony Hunt Worries Civilians | 5 April 2013 | The New Vision | AllAfrica
‘Continue Kony Hunt – Invisible Children | 7 April 2013 | RFI | AllAfrica
International and local civil society organisations operating in areas affected by LRA rebel activities in the CAR have appealed to Uganda and the US to remain committed to efforts aimed at ending threats by Africa’s longest armed rebellion after they suspended the four-year hunt operation, following a directive from the African Union and a request by coup leaders for foreign troops to leave the country earlier this week.
Fight against the LRA: The Ugandan troops will continue to play their role | 7 April 2013 | UN Regional Office for Central Africa
The Ugandan military and the AU have confirmed that the 2000 Ugandan soldier handover to the Regional Task Force of the African Union in charge of the “elimination” of the LRA will continue to play their role in this initiative, including in the CAR, in spite of the change of regime there.
Chad and CAR Coup
Ousted CAR President François Bozizé Says No Plans for Asylum | 4 April 2013 | RFI| AllAfrica
La RCA au cœur du sommet de N’Djaména, François Bozizé accuse le Tchad | 4 April 2013 | Radio Ndele Luka | Fondation Hirondelle
In an interview with RFI, François Bozizé has insisted that Chad was behind the recent coup in which he was overthrown, claiming that all the goods pillaged since the outbreak of hostilities has crossed the CAR’s borders with Chad or Sudan. Bozizé has said that he has made no asylum application in Benin.
South Africa and CAR
More Than 50 South African Soldiers Killed in Car Bangui Clash – Witness | 4 April 2013 | RFI| AllAfrica
Sources in Bangui indicate that more than 50 South African soldiers were killed in Central African Republic on 23 March, adding to suspicions that the South African government has not given the true death toll, originally stated to be 13.
South Africa to withdraw troops from CAR | 4 April 2013 | AlJazeera
S.Africa pulls troops from C.Africa after deadly firefight | 4 April 2013 | Africa Daily
South Africa has decided to pull its troops out of the Central African Republic because the deal under which they were deployed has become void with the fall of the government there, President Jacob Zuma has said.
Equateur – Les enjeux cachés de la présence des troupes sud-africaines | 9 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
There is reportedly a troop presence of South African forces in Equateur province in the DRC following withdrawal from the CAR.
US Policy on the DRC
Guest Blog: Time for Change in US Congo Policy | 5 April 2013 | Congo Siasa
A guest blog by Anthony Gambino, the former USAID director in the Congo, and Steve Weisman, the former staff director for the US House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Africa,concerning the need for smarter international engagement to deal with the continuing challenges in the DRC. Focusing on the US, the authors state that at the heart of the failure of US policy on the DRC is the Obama Administration’s first term failure to follow its own policy directives on democracy promotion. Despite considerable financial leverage (the US alone provided $700 million to the DRC in 2012), the US and other donors have squandered chances to address the Government’s low political legitimacy and the predatory nature of the Congolese state.
Demobilisation in the DRC
Demobilization in the DRC: Armed Groups and the Role of Organizational Control | 5 April 2013 | Small Arms Survey | Reliefweb
A new Small Arms Survey Issue Brief—Demobilization in the DRC: Armed Groups and the Role of Organizational Control—analyses disarmament and demobilization in the DRC between November 2004 and September 2011. It focuses on six armed groups, including the CNDP, and is based on interviews with low-level combatants, including rank-and-file troops and junior commanders.
Briefing: M23, one year on | 3 April 2013 | IRIN
Briefing : M23, un an après | 3 April 2013 | IRIN| Relief Web
Article outlining the position of the M23 a year since their formation in 2012, addressing the current humanitarian situation in North Kivu, the M23’s leadership. the fate of the Kampala talks and the current situation regarding international intervention in the region.
Survival in the DRC context
Neither war nor peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): profiting and coping amid violence and disorder | April 2013 | African Journal of Political Economy
The African Journal of Political Economy has published an issue entitled, “Neither war nor peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): profiting and coping amid violence and disorder”. It is edited by Miles Larmer, Ann Laudati and John F. Clark and appears a decade after a landmark double issue of the journal published in 2002 on the DRC crisis. It features articles from commentators such as Jason Stearns, Judith Verweijen, Ann Laudati, and Theodore Trefon. The current Special Issue focuses less than its predecessor on national and international political issues – although the Brieﬁng by Theodore Trefon provides signiﬁcant insight into this area. Instead, it seeks to show the ways in which some Congolese people, particularly in the east of the country, ﬁnd strategies to survive, cope and in some cases even to proﬁt from, the liminal socio-political environment in which they ﬁnd themselves.
DRC Widows Carry Heavy Burdens | 3 April 2013 | Voice of America
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, many widows of soldiers who were killed fighting rebel group M23 last year are trying to collect their husbands’ or partners’ pay, though none have yet received payment.
RDC: un groupe d’hommes armés insécurisent des villages à Aru | 4 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
A group of unidentified armed men have carried out multiple attacks on villages and FARDC positions for several days in Aru territory in Ituri, near the border with South Sudan. These men have reduced commercial traffic between the DRC and South Sudan. Local sources report that the men attacked the town of Rendo, last Tuesday, looting shops.
Province Orientale: la Monusco et les FARDC intensifient leurs patrouilles à Dungu et Faradje | 5 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Commander of the Moroccan MONUSCO contingent has said that both MONUSCO and FARDC have intensified military operations to secure the security and protection of civilians in Dungu and Faradje. Among these operations are motorized and foot patrols roaming areas particularly vulnerable to the abuses.
Province Orientale: une rébellion en gestation à Faradje, selon la société civile | 6 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
A youth militia is being recruited in Faradje territory more than 800 km northeast of Kisangani by infamous poacher, Iki Tabani, who is recruiting young people on the border with South Sudan for training in the Savana. FARDC are said to be aware of the situation.
Province Orientale: 5 villages de Faradje se vident suite aux attaques de la LRA | 8 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The inhabitants of five villages in Faradje, more than 800 km north-east of Kisangani have left their homes to seek refuge in neighbouring communities, fleeing repeated incursions by armed men identified as Ugandan LRA fighters. Such incursions have been taking place since the end of March, and the armed men are said to come from the CAR fleeing Seleka fighters. The people of Kudjuwa, Lidjo and Takiani are said to have gone to Faradje-center, whilst those of Nganzi and Ngbalanda are at the State office of Jabir.
Isangi : la population appelle la Monusco et des ONG à détruire les mines antipersonnel | 9 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The police, military and civil society in Isangi have called for MONUSCO and NGOs to destroy unexploded anti-personnel landmine ordnance identified for some time and search for other such ordinance. They made the call following the discovery of a shell at the Protestant mission in Yalikina, a busy neighbourhood of the city.
Mambasa: des hommes armés tuent une personne à Mabuo | 10 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Gunmen reportedly killed one person and wounded several others on Monday during a raid to the town of Mabuo, 150 km southeast of Mambasa. The inhabitants of this town accuse the attackers of raping three women, torturing forty people and looting. The assailants are reportedly deserters from the army and poachers.
Nord-Kivu : le président de l’assemblée provinciale dénonce le renforcement des troupes du M23 | 5 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Several dozen soldiers from Rwanda have crossed onto the DRC’s territory in the last three days to reinforce the M23 in North Kivu, announced the President of the Provincial Assembly of North Kivu during a press conference in Goma. According to him, these reinforcements seek a new attack on the city of Goma to force the government to give in to the M23.
Nouvelle entrée des soldats rwandais et ougandais à Rutshuru – Ière violation de l’Accord-Cadre d’Addis-Abeba | 5 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
Le Potentiel reports that members of civil society in North Kivu have stated that they have witnessed Rwandan and Ugandan troops crossing the Congolese border in Rutshuru territory in breach of the Addis Ababa agreement.
Nord-Kivu : le groupe armé fidèle à Hilaire Kombi contrôle cinq villages à Beni | 10 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
The rebel Mouvement pour la restauration de la démocratie au Congo (MRDC), loyal to General Hilaire Kombi, has announced having had control over five villages in Beni (North Kivu) for several days now. Civil society has confirmed this information though it is denied by the Congolese army.
Sud-Kivu: les FARDC attaquent les positions de Maï-Maï à Ngando | 8 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
FARDC launched an attack on the positions of the Raia Mutomboki and Raia Mukombozi coalition in Mwenga on Monday. Military sources have not stated the outcome of these confrontations, but they indicate that this is an operation to hunt for armed groups in this area. The army opened another front against the same militia coalition in the town of Chinda in Walungu on the same day.
Katanga : la société civile satisfaite des premières sanctions dans l’affaire de Bakata Katanga | 8 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Katangan civil society has reportedly said that it is “satisfied” with the suspension of the commander of the 6th military region of the FARDC and the Congolese provincial inspector of National Police, two weeks after the Katanga Bataka Mai-Mai raid on Lubumbashi.
Katanga: la misère favorise l’émergence des groupes Maï Maï au Nord, selon les députés provinciaux | 9 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Residents of several administrative entities in northern Katanga live in poverty and with an absence of State authority, creating a basis for the re-emergence of the Mai-Mai, stated MPs at a provincial meeting in Katanga.
DRC’s mining heartland a volatile ‘powder keg’ – lawmaker | 10 April 2013 | Mineweb
Growing unrest in
Democratic Republic of Congo’s copper-rich Katanga province risks scaring off investors and derailing its thriving mining sector, said the lawmaker heading an inquiry into a rebel attack on the provincial capital last month. “If nothing is done, Katanga is a powder keg and anything can happen,” Claudel Andre Lubaya, a legislator who is the rapporteur for the parliamentary commission for defence and security, said on Tuesday following a visit to Lubumbashi.
Congo Suspends Four Security Officials Over Katanga Violence | 10 April 2013 | Bloomberg
The DRC has suspended four top security officials for failing to prevent violence by the Bakata Katanga Mai-Mai separatist militia in Lubumbashi, which killed at least 15 people last month. Army and police commanders in Katanga were aware of the militia advance “but they did not understand the gravity of the situation,” said Claudel Andre Lubaya, head of a parliamentary commission investigating the attack.
Kasaï-Occidental : des hommes armés sèment la terreur dans la ville de Tshikapa | 9 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
There has been renewed insecurity in Tshikapa, 265 kilometers west of Kananga, for several days as gunmen regularly raid houses, robbing people of their property, especially traders. The police complain that they lack the logistics to fight against this insecurity. According to the victims, whilst armed, the bandits do not shoot. Their latest attack, two days ago, targeted the diamond purchase organisations, Solidarity and Anselm.
Parc de Salonga: 13 morts après un accrochage entre gardes-parc et habitants de Mpuluwote | 7 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Clashes occurred in Mong’eyase groupment in Bokungu territory killing thirteen people including ten children last Thursday. Salonga Park wardens are reported to have tortured and killed a poacher from the village of Mpuluwote in Lomela territory (Kasai Oriental), leading angry villagers to chase the rangers into a plantation located at the boundary between the Lomela and Bokungu. The rangers fired on their assailants and 50 houses were burnt during the clashes.
UPDF Commander Brig. Kankiriho Passes On | 8 April 2013 | New Vision | AllAfrica
A renowned UPDF officer, Brig. Patrick Kankiriho who led a military operation in the forests of Garamba in the DRC in 2008 has died.
ECCAS summit outcome
Regional Leaders Refuse to Recognize Rebel Head in Central African Republic | 3 April 2013 | The New York Times
African heads of State on Wednesday refused to recognize rebel leader Michel Djotodia’s self-appointment as president of Central African Republic, calling instead for the creation of a new transitional body to guide the country to elections.
Self-Proclaimed CAR President Accepts Transitional Council – Report | 5 April 2013 | AllAfrica
Michel Djotodia accepte les exigences du sommet de N’Djamena | 4 April 2013 | Afrik.com
New CAR Leader Accepts African Transition Plan | 4 April 2013 | Voice of America
The Prime Minister of Central African Republic, Nicolas Tiangaye, has announced that rebel leader, Michel Djotodia, has accepted the outcome of a regional Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) summit in N’Djamena on the country’s crisis. This outcome called for the election of a new interim president following last month’s coup. ECCAS leaders refused to accept Djotodia as president after the ousting of elected president Francois Bozize, and have reportedly agreed that a freshly elected council should take charge of the transition and play an executive role. This body is to vote for a transitional president who would serve for not more than 18 months.
Supreme Council of Transition
L’ordonnance portant création du CST contestée par plusieurs entités politiques et la société civile | 8 April 2013 | Radio Ndeke Luka | Fondation Hirondelle
The signing of the ordinance establishing the Supreme Council of Transition (CST) for the Central African Republic has invoked strong reaction from all sides, with civil society representatives, democratic opposition and the Central Union of Journalists contesting the configuration of the new body both in terms of procedures for establishment and the substantive content of the founding ordinance.
Seleka diamond funding
Des diamantaires reconnaissent avoir financé la Seleka | 10 April 2013 | RFI | AllAfrica
Key players in the diamond industry in the CAR have admitted to funding the Seleka rebels, with some even confessing to have been commissioned to sell diamonds over the border in Sudan.
Security situation in the CAR
As Security Council Meets On Central African Republic, UN Flies in Emergency Aid | 9 April 2013 | UN News Service | AllAfrica
First Flight of Emergency Relief Reaches CAR | 9 April 2013 | Voice of America
With the United Nations Security Council set to meet on the CAR on Tuesday, more than 23 tonnes of essential medical supplies and water tanks were delivered by the United Nations Children’s Fund to assist some 200,000 people.
Fragile Calm Returns to Bangui, CAR | 4 April 2013 | Voice of America
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports that calm has been restored to Bangui, though warns that the risk of looting and renewed fighting remains high.
Central African Republic: UN envoy briefs on ‘highly volatile’ situation | 9 April 2013 | UN News Centre
More than two weeks after armed rebels seized power, the political and security situation in the Central African Republic continues to be “highly volatile,” a United Nations envoy has said, stressing the need to restore the rule of law in the country.
Refugee and IDP Reports
Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on the status of refugees in the Great Lakes Region
Humanitarian Bulletins and reports
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province de Maniema N° 06/13, 02 avril 2013 | 2 April 2013 | OCHA
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Nord-Kivu N° 11/13, 2 avril 2013 | 2 April 2013 | OCHA
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province Orientale N° 13/13, 03 avril 2013 | 3 April 2013 | OCHA
Bulletin d’information humanitaire – Province du Katanga N° 12/13 – 02 avril 2013 | 2 April 2013 | OCHA
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Sud-Kivu N° 14/13, 3 avril 2013 | 3 April 2013 | OCHA
Urgent humanitarian needs in post-coup Central African Republic | 4 April 2013 | IRIN
Des besoins humanitaires urgents après le coup d’État en République centrafricaine | 7 April 2013 | IRIN | ReliefWeb
OCHA has reported that the people of Bangui are in critical need of humanitarian aid, including access to health and nutrition and clean water, and security and protection of civilians.
U.N.: 37,000 have fled Central African Republic | 5 April 2013 | CNN
The number of civilians who have fled from the Central African Republic since a conflict began there in December has risen to 37,000, the UNHCR said Friday. More than 30,800 of them have sought refuge in the neighbouring DRC.
Central African Republic Situation Report No. 5 | 5 April 2013 | World Food Programme
19th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi Begins in Rwanda | 8 April 2013 | Government of Rwanda| AllAfrica
Tuesday marked the beginning of the 100 days of remembrance as Rwandans and friends of Rwanda across the world commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi. This year’s commemoration theme is “Striving for self-reliance.”
Justice and Tribunals
Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on major trials and tribunals for crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region
ICC’s Bemba trial
Bemba Trial Resumes Next Week | 5 April 2013 | Bemba Trial Website| AllAfrica
Hearings in the trial of Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba will resume on Monday, April 8, most likely with the testimony of ‘Witness D04-21,’ who will testify via video link from an undisclosed location. The trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been on spring judicial recess since March 28.
Bemba Had ‘Elementary’ Military Knowledge but Troops Were Well-Trained | 5 April 2013 | Bemba Trial Website| AllAfrica
Jean-Pierre Bemba did not have the ability to single-handedly command his private militia, the ICC heard on Tuesday. According to a new witness, who testified under a pseudonym, the former vice president of Congo had an “elementary” military background that made it impossible for him to individually make major decisions related to military operations.
ICC’s Mathieu Ngudjolo acquittal
RDC: le procureur de la CPI demande l’annulation de l’acquittement de Matthieu Ngudjolo | 5 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has requested an appeal on the guilt of Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo, who was acquitted last December from charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Ituri in north eastern DRC in 2003.
Extractive Companies, Energy, Trade and Foreign Investment
Recent news on national and international extractive and energy companies and investment in the Great Lakes Region
Kipoi plant development progressing well, first output due mid-2014 | 9 April 2013 | Mining Weekly
About 60% of the bulk earthworks at copper producer Tiger Resources’ Kipoi Stage 2 solvent extraction and electrowinning plant development project, in the DRC, has been completed.
Heritage Says Arbitration Over Uganda Tax Claims Not Over | 4 April 2013 | Bloomberg
Heritage Oil, a U.K. oil and gas exploration company, rejected press reports that it had lost an arbitration case over tax claims by the government of Uganda, having slumped 7.1 percent to 165 pence, its steepest drop since August 9, after the New Vision newspaper earlier reported the company had lost the arbitration case: “Heritage is concerned to note that press comments attributed to the Ugandan authorities regarding the arbitral decision are inaccurate as well as being breaches of the requirement of confidentiality imposed upon both parties to the proceedings,” it said in the statement.
Market round-up: Heritage tumbles as investors take fright on tax row in Uganda | 4 April 2013 | The Evening Standard
Assistant commissioner for litigation at the Uganda Revenue Authority has told Reuters: “On the core question of the taxability of Heritage’s transaction with Tullow, the tribunal in London ruled yesterday that that had already been settled by the tax appeals tribunal here in Uganda [ruling against Heritage] and it was satisfied with that ruling.” According to Ugandan officials, therefore the London hearing as been found in Uganda’s favor; Heritage’s shares declined 5.6p to 173p on the news. However, other sources have said that only a partial judgement has been issued and that the arbitration case has yet to rule on whether a clause in a contract existed to ensure Heritage would not be liable for the capital gains tax.
How Uganda Triumphed in Oil Case | 8 April 2013 | East African Business Week | AllAfrica
Uganda has reportedly won a landmark $434m (over sh1.1 trillion) oil tax arbitration case in London against Heritage Oil and Gas Ltd. A three-member arbitration team is said to have ruled against the three core tax claims by Heritage top of which was contesting the decision by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to tax their $1.45billion transaction with Tullow Oil.
Heritage/Tullow litigation in the UK High Court
Oil – How Museveni Hired Bitature to Nail Tullow | 5 April 2013 | The Observer | AllAfrica
A tax dispute case between oil firms Tullow and Heritage has shone a huge spotlight on the larger role played by prominent Ugandan businessman Patrick Bitature in the conflict over taxpayers’ money. The UK High court has heard that Bitature was appointed by President Museveni as a key broker to exert pressure on Tullow Oil to pay over $404m in capital gains levy that the company owed the government over the acquisition of an oil block from Heritage.
Finance Boss Named in Tullow Oil Saga | 8 April 2013 | New Vision | AllAfrica
A director for tax policy in the Ministry of Finance has been named complicit in a proposed undocumented $50m Tullow Oil company payment at the heart of allegations of impropriety revealed during a court proceedings filed by Tullow Oil against Heritage that ended last week in London.
Day 2 – Tullow-Heritage Case | 9 April 2013 | The New Vision | AllAfrica
During court hearings that ended last week, allegations were made that Tullow Oil officials discussed a payment of an undocumented $50m instead of the $313million they eventually paid as Capital Gains Tax to the Uganda Revenue Authority. Transcripts for days 1 and 2 of the London hearing available via this link.
Archbishop Odama Warns Against Oil Curse | 9 April 2013 | New Vision | AllAfrica
The Ugandan Archbishop of Gulu, John Baptist Odama, has commended the church’s effort in ensuring that national resources are equitably distributed for the benefit of all Ugandans, but has stated that clearer laws on oil must be carved out.
Local Firms Asked to Partner With Foreign Oil Training Institutes | 9 April 2013 | The New Vision | AllAfrica
Abdul Kibuuka, the Tullow Uganda head of human resources, has said that local firms should partner with foreign training institutions to enable the country develop a critical mass of skilled personnel for the oil and gas industry.
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
EU transparency policy on extractives sector payments
EU agrees landmark anti-corruption law for global resource companies | 9 April 2013 | Global Witness
European Union reaches deal on historic oil and mining transparency law | 9 April 2013 | Publish What You Pay
European Union reaches deal on tough oil, gas anti-corruption law | 9 April 2013 | Reuters, Transparency International and Oxfam | BHRRC
The EU has today agreed ground-breaking new rules forcing oil, gas, mining and logging companies to publish details of the payments they make to governments for access to natural resources around the world. By providing millions of citizens in resource-rich countries with detailed information about the money generated by their natural resource sectors, the directive represents a watershed moment in the fight against corruption, and is seen as a major victory for campaigners after 15 years of fighting for these measures.
Mineral certification process
RDC : la société civile veut participer au processus de certification des minerais | 4 April 2013 | Radio Okapi
Twenty organizations of Congolese civil society have created a platform for monitoring the process of minerals certification. Spokesman for the new platform, Jean-Claude Katende, president of the African Association for the Defence of Human Rights (Asadho), said that the certification of minerals should reduce the movement of minerals from conflict zones in the DRC.
Minerals and mining
Le pays célèbre la Journée Internationale pour la sensibilisation au problème des mines et l’assistance à la lutte anti-mines | 8 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
On 4 April the DRC together with the other countries of the world celebrated the “International Day for the awareness of the problem of mines and assistance to mine action” proclaimed on 8 December 2005 by the United Nations.
La société civile apporte sa contribution à la consistance du projet de code des hydrocarbures | 8 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
A workshop analyzing the DRC’s corporate civil code of hydrocarbons under discussion in the Lower House of Parliament took place on 6 April 2013 at the Interdiocesan Centre of Kinshasa. Participants made relevant recommendations that the legislator should take into account prior to its adoption in the National Assembly.
Mining code revision
Révision du code minier – La société civile analyse en interne les propositions d’amendements | 9 April 2013 | Le Potentiel | AllAfrica
In anticipation of the revision of the mining code, organizations of civil society working in the mining industry met between 8 and 9 April 2013 at CEPAS to analyze the amendments made by all the parties involved in this process