Many countries, including the UK, are reconsidering relations with and aid to Rwanda and Uganda following links to human rights abuses by M23 rebels in the DRC over the last six months. Meanwhile the USA and Belgium have suspended military cooperation with Rwanda.
Rwanda and Uganda themselves have had strong reactions over such possible claims in the UN Group of Experts’ report on DRC.
In October Victoire Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces opposition party (FDU-Inkingi), was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by the High Court of Kigali for “conspiracy against the country through terrorism and war” and “genocide denial”. The trial has increasingly been criticised by a number of observers for irregularities.
The DRC is considering plans to raise the State’s stake in mining projects from five percent to thirty percent. This proposal will be negotiated with mining companies, the World Bank, and the IMF.
A treaty to regulate the global arms trade has won the backing of an overwhelming majority of states. 157 governments at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament in New York voted on Wednesday in favour of finalising the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) next March.
A potentially landmark case for corporate accountability ended last week. Judicial relief in Canada for victims of the Kilwa massacre will not be possible; the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal the case.
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
Africa: Global Arms Trade Treaty a Step Closer After Resounding Vote | 7th November 2012 | Amnesty International | allAfrica
A historic treaty to regulate the global arms trade has won the backing of an overwhelming majority of states in a move Amnesty International called a potential victory for human rights worldwide. In the biggest show of support so far, 157 governments at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament in New York voted on Wednesday in favour of finalizing the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) next March.
LRA efforts doomed
Hunting the LRA in Central Africa | 9th November 2012 | VoA
Uganda Efforts to Capture Warlord ‘Destined to Fail’ | 9th November 2012 | VoA
An advocacy group says the Ugandan Army’s quest to apprehend Joseph Kony and other senior leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, is destined to fail unless the number of troops deployed increases and they are provided with better logistical and intelligence information.
Explosions at munitions sites
Twenty-five years of unplanned explosions at munitions sites | November 2012 | Small Arms Survey
Between 1987 and 2012 some 425 events involving unplanned explosions at munitions sites were recorded. The Small Arms Survey has released online detailed findings from its Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) database, providing information on each of the 425 events recorded between 1987 and October 2012. These events took place in 91 states.
Database by Geneva Call for IHL and HRL
Africa: Accountability – Holding Armed Groups to Their Word | 12th November 2012 | IRIN | allAfrica
Johannesburg — A new database by the Swiss-based NGO Geneva Call collating current and past armed groups’ attitudes towards international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (HRL), could be used to hold them accountable. “This resource is a unique collection of humanitarian commitments made by armed non-State actors (ANSAs). These commitments have been made in different forms: unilateral declarations or statements, internal rules and regulations, and agreements with governments, inter-governmental and humanitarian organizations,” says the NGO.
Codes of conduct in armed groups
Codes of Conduct within Insurgent Armed Groups | November 2012 | Small Arms Survey
Armed groups, whatever their objectives, tend to rely on similar mechanisms to control their fighters. These include a recruitment process that aims to provide the group with the appropriate quantity and quality of personnel; a socialization process for new recruits (such as through oaths and initiation rituals); and the elaboration of internal regulations—such as codes of conduct— and their dissemination among the rank and file.
Security council gives armed groups in Masisi 15 days to disarm
Le conseil de sécurité du Nord-Kivu donne aux groupes armés de Masisi 15 jours pour déposer les armes | 10th November 2012 | Radio Okapi
The Security Council of North Kivu launched, on Friday November 9th, a fifteen-day ultimatum to all armed groups in the territory of Masisi to disarm and integrate the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC). The Chief of Staff of the Army, the brigade commander of the 8th military region, the provincial chiefs of police, and the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) attended the council chaired by the Governor of the province Julien Paluku.
MONUSCO requested in Mitwaba
Katanga : l’ONG Justicia demande à la Monusco de déployer des casques bleus à Mitwaba | 13th November 2012 | Radio Okapi
MONUSCO peacekeepers have been requested in Mitwaba to defend against abuses by the Mai-Mai militia.
CNDP to M23
From the CNDP to M23 | 12th November 2012 | Congo Siasa
Last week, we published a report on M23, tracing its roots back through the CNDP to deeper history. What is the take home message from the report?
Insecurity in South Kivu
Congo-Kinshasa: Les rivalités entre groupes armés, source d’insécurité au Sud-Kivu | 12th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Workshop on women, peace and security
Un engagement fort pour la mise en œuvre de la Résolution 1325 du Conseil de Sécurité | 12th November 2012 | MONUSCO | Reliefweb
The Congolese Government, MONUSCO and the UN ran a workshop on the effective implementation of the DRC Council Resolution 1325 of the UN Security on women, peace and security.
Officers trained in Kasaï Occidental
Training of 300 Congolese officers in Kasaï Occidental | 8th November | Monusco
The second session of a six-month basic training in community policing techniques began this Tuesday, 6 November 2012 in Kananga, the provincial capital of Kasaï Occidental with 300 officers of the Congolese National Police (PNC), including 53 women.
DDR training in Goma
DDR/RR conducts training and sensitization in Goma | 12th November 2012 | MONUSCO | Reliefweb
The Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration, and Resettlement (DDR/RR) Division of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) ended a two-day refresher training program on sensitization as wells as its operations in the country.
Southern Masisi executions
Mass arbitrary execution of civilians, including dozens of children, in Southern Masisi, Eastern DRC | 14th November 2012 | Monusco
A UN investigation into the human rights situation in southern Masisi in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has revealed that at least 264 civilians, including 83 children, were arbitrarily executed by armed groups in more than 75 attacks on villages between April and September this year.
Congo-Kinshasa: Selon la Monusco – Le M23 continue de recruter des mineurs dans ses rangs | 13th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
M23 continues to recruit children into their ranks according to Roger Meece.
Fifteen day ultimatum for armed groups
Congo-Kinshasa: Guerre au Nord-Kivu – Un ultimatum de 15 jours lancé aux groupes armés | 13th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
According to the results of a summit in North Kivu, all local armed groups have fifteen days ultimatum to choose between FARDC integration or demobilization in order to put an end to conflicts in the province, particularly in Masisi territory.
Uganda closes DRC border
L’Ouganda ferme sa frontière avec la RDC | 13th November | BBC News
Uganda has closed its main border crossing with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is a reaction of the Ugandan authorities, furious at having been implicated in a UN report, are accused of supporting the rebellion of M23 in eastern DRC.
UN panel of experts report alleges that Uganda supports M23
Uganda: UN Betrayed Uganda, Says Minister Oryem | 13th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
Uganda feels “gutted” and “betrayed” by a UN panel of experts’ leaked report which alleges that the country supports M23 rebels fighting the Democratic Republic of Congo government, foreign affairs state minister Okello Oryem has said.
Ugandan police chief distances self from M23
Uganda Police Chief Distances Self From M23 | 7th November 2012 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
Uganda’s Inspector General of Police has denied any involvement with the M23 rebels, describing allegations labeled against him by UN Group of Experts on Congo not only fictitious but also extremely outrageous and offensive.
Uganda route to the sea
Uganda in Frantic Search for Alternative Sea Route | 7th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
Uganda’s private sector and the Government are in frantic discussions to enable an alternative route through Dar es Salaam away from Mombasa as a safeguard against possible interruptions from post-election violence from Kenya.
Uganda Demands UN Retract Congo Accusation
Uganda Demands UN Retract Congo Accusation | 7th November | VoA
Ugandan officials met this week with members of the U.N. Security Council, refuting a U.N. report that accused Uganda of supporting rebels in Congo, and threatening to pull Ugandan peacekeepers out of Somalia. The Ugandan government is optimistic about the results.
Ugandan army pursuing LRA
Chasing the Lord’s Resistance Army – Challenges faced by Ugandan soldiers pursuing the Lord’s Resistance Army | 9th November 2012 | Reliefweb
The Ugandan army has deployed approximately 1,500 soldiers to South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Chasing the LRA
Challenges in Hunt for the LRA | 9th November 2012 | Enough Project
New Field Dispatch: Chasing the Lord’s Resistance Army | 9th November 2012 | Enough Project
As the Enough Project’s LRA field researcher, I embedded with the Ugandan troops in August to get an up-close view of their challenges, and to find out what more is needed to end the LRA and bring the senior LRA commanders to justice.
Rwandan religious leaders speak out against UN reports
East Africa: Religious Leaders Petition United Nations Over DRC | 10th November | The new Times | allAfrica
M23: Rwandan religious leaders questioned the credibility of the UN report accusing the country | 11th November 2012 | Radio Okapi
Representatives of religious denominations of Rwanda rejected the findings of the UN experts’ reports, accusing the country of supporting the rebellion of M23 raging in eastern DRC since May. In a letter to the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, the representatives of the Catholic, Muslim, Protestant and Evangelical questioned the integrity of the experts, the methodology used, and said that the findings of the reports are based on insufficient evidence.
Belgium suspends military cooperation with Rwanda
Rwanda: Soutien au M23 – La Belgique suspend sa coopération militaire avec le Rwanda | 12th November 2012 | RFI | allAfrica
Rwanda: La Belgique tourne le dos au Rwanda | 13th November 2012 | Prosperity | allAfrica
Belgium has suspended its military cooperation with Rwanda on the grounds that Kigali was blamed for its support to the rebellion of M23 in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
UK’s aid to Rwanda
Relations with Rwanda must be urgently reviewed | 8th November | Guardian
Andrew Mitchell: ‘restoring Rwanda aid not the act of a rogue minister’ | 8th November | Guardian
UK still gathering evidence ahead of aid to Rwanda decision | 13th November | Guardian
Rwandan aid: Greening to reflect ‘very carefully’ before continuing UK support | 13th November | BBC News
Andrew Mitchell, the former international development secretary, has insisted that the decision to restore £16m in aid to Rwanda was a collective one and not the action of a “rogue” minister.
COMESA talks to Rwanda
East Africa: Comesa Officials Consult Rwanda Over DRC’s Crisis | 10th November 2012 | The New Times | allAfrica
A delegation of seven officials from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are in the country to get Rwanda’s side of the story about the on going crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Refugee and IDP Reports
Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on the status of refugees in the Great Lakes Region
UNOCHA and UNHCR Humanitarian reports
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province du Nord Kivu N° 40/12, 6 novembre 2012 | 7th November 2012 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Rapport de Situation Humanitaire sur la République Démocratique du Congo – 9 novembre 2012 | 9th November 2012 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
UNHCR Burundi bulletin spécial sur Mtabila No. 5 | 12th November 2012 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
Bulletin d’Information Humanitaire – Province de Orientale N° 41/12, 7 novembre 2012 | 8th November | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Rapport de Situation Humanitaire sur la République Démocratique du Congo – 9 novembre 2012 | 9th November | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Humanitarian camps on outskirts of Goma
Opérations humanitaires auprès des populations déplacées à l’est de Goma, en RDC | 9th November | Reliefweb
Tens of thousands of people are living in camps on the outskirts of Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The photographs below were taken Mungunga 1, west of Goma, and Kanyaruchinya (or Kibati) north, two camps of displaced people who have fled the violence:
Justice and Tribunals
Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on major trials and tribunals for crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region
Congo-Kinshasa: Local Communities Divided On the Question of Reparations in the Lubanga Case | 7th November | Lubanga Trial Website | allAfrica
A commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists on the Lubanga Trial reparations.
Bemba trial updates
Central African Republic: Bemba’s Eleventh Witness Concludes Testimony | 8th November 2012 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Central African Republic: Witness 48 Cross-Examined in Closed Session | 7th November 2012 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Congo-Kinshasa: Jean-Pierre Bemba lance un appel en vue de «sauver la patrie en danger» | 12th November 2012 | RFI | allAfrica
Ingabire sentenced in “marred” trial
On Tuesday 30 October 2012, Victoire Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces opposition party (FDU-Inkingi), was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by the High Court of Kigali for “conspiracy against the country through terrorism and war” and “genocide denial”. FIDH denounces the numerous irregularities tainting the fairness of Ingabire’s trial.
Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region
Recent news on issues relating to natural resource extraction and governance in the Great Lakes Region.
Uganda: ‘Timber Tax Evaders Undermine Sustainable Trade’ | 13th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica A
new report has warned that if the underpayment of taxes currently estimated at 50% on imported timber from DR Congo to Uganda continues illegal logging will escalate leading to further destruction of forests.
Mineral investment ranking
DRC escapes bottom ten ranking for mineral investment | 9th November 2012 | Mining Weekly
Currently, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is chaotic, with a weak central government of questionable legitimacy, violence in the eastern regions of the country and instability emanating from local rebel movements and neighbouring countries, says research and advocacy organisation Good Governance Africa CEO John Endres. But, according to the Fraser Institute’s ‘Survey of Mining Companies 2011/12’, the DRC is no longer in the bottom ten countries ranked for mineral investment.
Women’s role in mining chains
Congo-Kinshasa: Situation précaire de la femme dans les chaînes d’exploitation minière | 12th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
According to a study conducted by the Office of MONUSCO in August 2011, the impact of artisanal exploitation of natural resources on the empowerment and advancement of women and the girl in the DRC, specifically in Kasai Occidental, is unsatisfactory.
“Conflict-free” tags help revive Congo minerals trade | 8th November 2012 | Reuters
‘Conflict-free’ tags help revive DRC minerals trade | 9th November 2012 | MineWeb
‘Conflict-free’ tags help revive Congo minerals trade | 9th November | Reliefweb
Miners clustered in a muddy riverbed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo watch as a bag of tin ore is weighed on scales hung from a shovel and then sealed with a small plastic tag. The simple “bag and tag” initiative could allow mineral exports from Congo’s violent east to flow legally again for the first time since a U.S. law targeting conflict minerals largely brought the trade, a mainstay of the economy, to a standstill.
Oil management law
Uganda: Oil Exploration – Minister’s Wings Clipped | 13th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
Parliament has significantly clipped the powers of the minister in the proposed oil resource management law. As the debate continues on the provisions of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2012, some functions were handed over or shared between the minister and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda.
Oil advice from ADB
Uganda: Kaberuka Tips Uganda On Oil | 8th November 2012 | The Independent | allAfrica
The president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, has advised Uganda to exploit her oil and natural gas resources in an optimal manner if the country is to avoid repeating the mistakes the first generation African oil and gas producers like Nigeria have made over the last four decades.
Oil refinery compensation
Uganda: Many Could Miss Out On Oil Refinery Compensation | 6th November 2012 | The Observer | allAfrica
More than half of the residents that live around the area where government intends to build an oil refinery might miss out on compensation, or walk away with peanuts, because they do not have the relevant documentary evidence of ownership.
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
Protection for vulnerable groups affected by business activities
Africa: UN Experts Call for More Protection of Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups Affected By Business Activities | 4th November | UN News | allAfrica A
United Nations expert body has called on States and business enterprises to address the heightened risk of vulnerability, discrimination and marginalisation of groups and communities whose human rights are affected by business activities across the world.
Anvil mining case ends
No justice in Canada for Congolese massacre victims | 5th November 2012 | Mines and Communities
In a decision that represents the end of any judicial relief in Canada for victims of the Kilwa massacre, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal brought in the case against Anvil Mining by The Canadian Association against Impunity (CAAI), an organization representing survivors and families of victims of the 2004 Kilwa massacre.
Corporate take-over of African food security
The corporate take-over of African food security | 8th November 2012 | Pambazuka
Corporate interests have hijacked African food and agricultural policy. They are behind a new green revolution for the continent that is pushing a capital-intensive approach with farms, supply chains and expanding international markets. This approach is a step backward to concepts of food security prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, Africans will remain hungry.
DRC mining code changes
DRC to negotiate mining code changes | 7th November | MineWeb
DRC Mine Stake Increase Plan to Involve Miners, IMF | 8th November | Cobalt Investing News
Democratic Republic of Congo’s plans to sharply raise the state stake in mining projects is a proposal that will be negotiated with mining companies and also consulted with the World Bank and the IMF, a senior mines ministry official said on Wednesday.