BRIEFING

8 – 14 August 2013

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EDITORIAL

As Martin Kobler took the reins as Ban Ki Moon’s Special Representative for MONUSCO this week, civil society representatives orchestrated a number of “dead city” strike actionsthroughout North Kivu in a bid to pressure the peacekeepers to launch offensive operations against armed groups throughout the province. There are reports of torture and poor detention conditions for those detained by the M23 and Monday saw thedefection of high-ranking ex-CNDP commander, Colonel Richard Bisamaza, with 60 soldiers, said to be headed to join the rebel group’s ranks. In South Kivu six armed groups have reportedly expressed the will to reintegrate into the Congolese army, as heavy fighting took place between the FARDC and the Yakutuma Mai-Mai in Baraka, Fizi territory. On 26 July an artisanal mine in Museke, Katanga,  saw a landslide said to have killed around 80 miners, whilst in Pweto territory an as-yet-unnamed human rights investigator has been summarily executed at home by the Bakata Katanga. The DRC is now only days away from the start of the much anticipated national dialogue, due to commence next week.

The UN Secretary General has said that the Central African Republic is suffering a total breakdown in law and order. France has intimated its intent to advocate the deployment of a strong regional force in the country, expressing concerns about its potential somaliaisation.

Rwandans long settled in Tanzania have faced expulsion this week in the wake of the revocation of their refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention’s cessation clause.

Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

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

Natural resource geopolitics at centre of African conflicts | 9 August 2013 | Mining Weekly
Natural resource geopolitics were at the centre of understanding why Africa had become a battleground affected by conflicts that were marginalising Africans and preventing them from reaching their full potential, Southern African Liaison Office (Salo) board member Richard Smith said last month at the Building Regional and International Consensus workshop, hosted by Salo, in Pretoria.

DRC 

Civil society actions calling for MONUSCO offensive operations

La Monusco cherche l’appui des notables de Masisi et Rutshuru | 8 August 2013 | L’Avenir | Digitalcongo.net
La mission onusienne a invité Eugène Serufuli et Oswald Mukengi pour qu’ils sensibilisent leurs populations de ne pas s’en prendre à la Monusco.

RD Congo: la Société civile du Nord-Kivu veut faire pression sur les forces de l’ONU | 9 August 2013 | RFI
Des associations et organisations du Nord-Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), ont décrété trois jours de deuil à partir de ce vendredi 9 août. La fédération d’ONG Société civile du Nord-Kivu entreprend cette action en mémoire des personnes tuées par les groupes rebelles et pour pousser la brigade d’intervention de la Monusco (Mission de l’ONU pour la stabilisation de la RDC) à mener une action offensive pour protéger les civils, comme le prévoit son nouveau mandat.

Goma : la population exige à la société civile des actions de plus grande envergure | 10 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
The population of Goma have asked civil society to take action on a larger scale with a view to restoring security in North Kivu. A segment of the population still threatens to manifest to pressure MONUSCO into launching offensive operations against the M23, and find an urgent solution to the security problems in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo.

Nord-Kivu: deuxième journée «ville-morte» ce dimanche à Oïcha | 11 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Goma : les activités tournent au ralenti à cause de la « journée ville morte » | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Several towns in Beni observed “dead city” days on Saturday and Sunday to denounce insecurity in their country and call upon MONUSCO and FARDC to launch offensive operations. According to reliable sources, socio-economic activities were virtually paralyzed during these two days, including in Oïcha, capital of Beni. Goma too saw a dead city day on Tuesday, 13 August.

Brigade d’intervention de la MONUSCO – Des interrogations persistent sur ses capacités réelles | 10 August 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica

Did MONUSCO prevent Congolese army from attacking? | 13 August 2013 | Congo Siasa
A slight correction––I mentioned in the previous blog post that the UN mission had never prevented the Congolese army from attacking the M23, contrary to popular perception in Goma. I was wrong.

RDC: un député du Nord-Kivu arrêté après des propos critiques contre les autorités et la Monusco | 13 August 2013 | RFI
RDC: lourde peine pour le député du Nord-Kivu qui a critiqué les autorités et la Monusco | 14 August 2013 | RFI
En RDC, le député national du Nord-Kivu de la majorité présidentielle, arrêté dimanche 11 août à Goma et transféré à Kinshasa, a été condamné à trois ans de prison ferme. Les propos de Mohindo Nzangi Musubao sur une radio de la place et sa mise en cause des autorités et de la Monusco n’ont apparemment pas été appréciés.

Addis Ababa Agreement

The UN conundrum in the Congo: Is it a carrot or a stick? | 12 August 2013 | Congo Siasa
For the first time in years, there is a credible peace process in the offing for the Congo, one that addresses issues that the transition (2003-2006) never did. As discussed on this blog before, the Framework Agreement signed on 24 February 2013 promises a means to address two key divers of conflict: the weakness of the Congolese state, and cross-border meddling between the Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in the DRC

Martin Kobler, le nouveau chef de la Monusco, a pris ses fonctions | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
“We have a responsibility to serve the Congolese people and help them get out of the shadow of a vicious conflict that has lasted too long,” said Martin Kobler, the new Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in the DRC (MONUSCO) on Tuesday, Aug. 13, upon taking up his functions.

Prise de fonctions ce matin du nouveau Représentant spécial du SG de l’ONU en RDC, Martin Kobler | 13 August 2013 | MONUSCO | Reliefweb
Martin Kobler, est arrivé ce matin au quartier général de la Mission de l’ONU pour la Stabilisation en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO) pour sa prise de fonctions en tant que Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies dans le pays.

Didier Reynders visit to the DRC

Didier Reynders débute dimanche une visite de trois jours en RDC | 9 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
RDC : Didier Reynders en visite d’évaluation de l’accord d’Addis-Abeba | 11 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Didier Reynders appelle les pays des Grands Lacs à soutenir les efforts de paix en RDC | 12 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Didier Reynders began a three-day visit to the DRC on Sunday. This will be his fourth visit to the DRC since his arrival in Foreign Affairs. He is expected to reaffirm the need to implement the framework agreement signed in February in Addis Ababa. Besides the Addis Ababa agreement, national and economic development consultations are among the items on his agenda. During his visit he praised the internal reforms undertaken by the Congolese government and the national consultations that should take place “in the coming days.”

Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN for the Great Lakes region

Mary Robinson: «Je n’ai aucun autre agenda personnel que celui d’aider la RDC à retrouver la paix» | 8 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
UN envoy says her only agenda is helping restore peace to Africa’s Great Lakes region | 9 August 2013 | UN News Centre
Grands Lacs : « Je n’ai aucun autre agenda personnel que celui d’aider la RDC à retrouver la paix », affirme Mary Robinson | 9 August 2013 | UN News Centre
“I fully support resolution 2098 in its entirety. I have no other personal agenda than to help the DRC to find peace”, said the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN for the Great Lakes region, Mary Robinson on Thursday. Some Congolese have considered Robinson’s position on the resolution of the crisis in eastern DRC ambiguous.

M23

RDC : la pornographie, nouvelle arme de Kinshasa contre le M23 ? | 11 August 2013 | Afrik.com
La rébellion du M23 a accusé le gouvernement de brouiller sa radio Dignité FM en utilisant des émissions pornographiques pour les discréditer aux yeux de la population.

Congo’s National Army and M23 Rebel Group, Most Powerful Armed Actors in Eastern Congo | 13 August 2013 | Enough Project
The M23 rebel group and the Congolese national army – currently the two most powerful armed actors in eastern Congo – pursue their interests through a set of relationships with other armed groups, reveals a new Enough Project infographic and accompanying table.

The Recent Fighting in Eastern Congo and Its Implications for Peace | 13 August 2013 | Enough Project
On Sunday, July 14, 2013, fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 rebel group resumed on the outskirts of Goma in eastern Congo, with each side blaming the other for initiating the hostilities. This field dispatch explores the recent fighting and lays out the implications for peace in the region.

FARDC and human rights abuses

Can the DRC army stop abusing human rights? | 12 August 2013 | IRIN
Stamping out human rights abuses by the army in the Democratic Republic of Congo entails more than classroom training sessions, according to analysts, who recommend a wide range of ambitious reforms.

Province Orientale

Province Orientale: les militaires accusés de rançonner la population sur l’axe Bunia-Kisangani | 8 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Soldiers are accused of extorting money from and brutalizing truckers and traders along the Bunia-Kisangani highway. According to reliable sources, the men in uniform invaded villagers’ fields and seized firewood that was for sale.

Province Orientale : plus de 150 cas des violences sexuelles enregistrés à Faradje en une année | 12 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Over one hundred and fifty cases of sexual violence were recorded between July 2012 and July 2013 in the territory of Faradje, the president of local civil society, Jean-Pierre Mogo Lombi, said on Sunday. The majority of victims are young mothers whose ages vary between ten and fifteen years.

Ituri: les chefs coutumiers de Walendu Bindi appellent à la pacification de cette collectivité | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Customary authorities from Walendu Bindi have denounced armed activism in the community district of Ituri and advocated for its pacification. They told a MONUSCO delegation in Bunia that the presence of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) has hindered the development of this part of the country.

Province Orientale: 20 détenus se sont évadés de la prison de Basoko en une semaine | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Sources indicate that twenty prisoners have escaped from Basoko prison in the last seven days. Other official sources speak of the escape of only ten inmates. Civil society deplores the decay of this prison facility, which it says can no longer accommodate prisoners.

North Kivu

Mots clés: cachot , Détention , M23 , Nyirangongo , prisonniers , Rutshuru | 8 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
The people of Rutshuru and Nyirangongo have accused the M23 of holding prisoners in poor conditions in which detainees lack of food, and others suffer torture or violence of various kinds.

MSF suspends medical activities in Pinga, Democratic Republic of Congo after threats to staff | 9 August 2013 | MSF | Reliefweb
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been forced to suspend medical activities in the town of Pinga and its immediate surroundings in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after a targeted threat to the safety of its humanitarian staff.

Nord-Kivu – Des groupes armés s’affrontent pour les impôts à Bunagana | 12 August 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Dans la province du Nord-Kivu, le village de Bunagana, situé entre les frontières de la RDC et de l’Ouganda, est devenu ces derniers temps, le théâtre des affrontements entre les différents groupes armés encore actifs dans cette partie du pays.

Nord-Kivu : 300 personnes fuient les combattants FDLR au village de Ngerere | 12 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
More than 300 people left the village of Ngerere on Saturday, August 10 in a bid to flee the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who settled there.

Nord-Kivu : le colonel Bisamaza des FARDC fait défection avec une soixantaine de soldats  | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
RDC: défection d’un commandant de l’armée nationale | 13 August 2013 | La Voix de l’Amérique
The acting commander of the first sector of the FARDC in Beni, Colonel Richard Bisamaza (ex-CNDP), and sixty soldiers as well as some officers, defected on Monday evening, August 12. The deserters took a large amount of ammunition before retiring in the bush Samboko, a village located about 90 Kilometers northwest of Beni.

South Kivu

Sud-Kivu: 6 groupes armés d’Uvira souhaitent intégrer les FARDC | 9 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Six armed groups operating in the territory of Uvira in South Kivu have expressed their willingness to integrate into the FARDC “to defend the fatherland.” These include the groups of Major Fudjo, of Bede Colonel Nyerere, of the MPDC of Kashologosi and two other vigilante groups active on the Lemera plateau and in the highlands of Masango.

Sud-Kivu : des combats opposent les FARDC aux miliciens Yakutumba à Fizi | 9 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Heavy fighting between the FARDC and the Hallelujah militia group loyal to self-proclaimed General William Amuli Amisi alias Yakutumba has been taking place  since the night of Thursday, August 8 in the territory of Fizi. Officials from the Army assure that the situation is now under control but those in Baraka indicate that fighting continues in the areas of Katanga, Malinde and Sebele. The same sources say four militiamen captured two Burundian rebels.

Sud-Kivu : les FARDC ont repris le contrôle des localités occupées par des miliciens à Fizi  | 10 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
The 10th Military Region announced that the localities of Fizi territory once occupied by the Hallelujah militia are again under the control of FARDC. According to the army, rebels loyal to the Mai-Mai General William Amuli Amisi alias Yakutumba fled to Nyanza forest after violent clashes with the 1004th Regiment of the FARDC.

Sud-Kivu : affrontements entre FARDC et miliciens Maï-Maï à Baraka, 4 morts | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Heavy fighting with heavy weapons and machine guns commenced early Tuesday morning between the FARDC and the Mai-Mai Yakutumba in the town of Baraka in Fizi. Civilian and military sources say a preliminary assessment of casualties indicate four militiamen killed and five wounded civilians.

Katanga

Katanga: Fighting for DR Congo’s cash cow to secede | 11 August 2013 | BBC Africa
After a well-known warlord escaped from prison in Katanga, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s most stable province has been terrorised for the last year by a group demanding independence for the mineral-rich region.

L’ONU condamne le meurtre d’un défenseur des droits de l’homme dans la province du Katanga en RDC | 13 August 2013 | UN News Centre
La Mission des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO) a exprimé mardi sa préoccupation face à l’exécution arbitraire le 7 août 2013, dans le territoire de Pweto, province du Katanga, d’un militant des droits de l’homme, par des éléments présumés des Maï Maï Bakata Katanga.

Congo Rebels Execute Human-Rights Worker in Katanga Province | 14 August 2013 | Bloomberg
Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s copper-rich Katanga province murdered a human-rights investigator who criticized their movement for committing abuses against civilians, the United Nations mission in Congo said. Armed men from the secessionist Kata Katanga group forced their way into the victim’s house on Aug. 7 in Pweto territory in eastern Katanga before killing him, said the director of the UN’s joint human-rights office in Congo. MONUSCO wouldn’t release the victim’s name or organization for security reasons.

Rwanda

Rwanda examining extradition ex-M23 leaders

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Discusses DRC Extraditions, Fdlr and Evicted Rwandans From Tanzania | 8 August 2013 | Government of Rwanda | allAfrica
“Rwanda is abiding by international standards but the process takes time,” said Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo at a press briefing held this morning. She was responding to a question about a request for extradition from the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for four former members of the M23 group who sought refuge in Rwanda earlier this year.

Rwanda Invites DR Congo Justice Minister Over Extradition Request | 8 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has invited his Congolese counterpart to Kigali to discuss Kinshasa’s request for extradition of Congolese citizens formerly of the M23 rebel group.

Will Rwanda Extradite M23 Officials? | 12 August 2013 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye says that the extradition of four M23 officials to Congo will be done legally and not politically after confirming that Rwanda had responded to the DRC government’s request for extradition of the four officials. The four wanted officials are former M23 chairman Jean-Marie Runiga and military commanders Baudouin Ngaruye, Eric Badege and Innocent Zimurinda.

Burundi

Agathon Rwasa: «Je dois parachever la lutte que j’ai commencée depuis plusieurs décennies au Burundi» | 12 August 2013 | RFI
Agathon Rwasa vivait clandestinement depuis trois ans. L’ancien chef rebelle des Forces nationales de libération (FNL) a réapparu à Bujumbura au Burundi la semaine dernière.

CAR

Security

Crise en Centrafrique : Hollande s´inquiète, le Quai s’agite | 9 August 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Le 30 juillet, au Quai d’Orsay, une réunion était consacrée à la Centrafrique. Alertée par plusieurs sources sur la situation de crise dans le pays, la France espère convaincre le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies de muscler la force sous régionale.

Inquiétude des observateurs face à la situation humanitaire et sécuritaire en Centrafrique | 9 August 2013 | RFI
La faillite de la Centrafrique | 9 August 2013 | Afrik.com
En République centrafricaine (RCA), la situation humanitaire et sécuritaire est toujours aussi critique.

Central African Republic in chaos, says UN chief Ban Ki-moon | 10 August 2013 | BBC Africa
Centrafrique: Ban Ki-moon épingle la Seleka et demande des sanctions | 11 August 2013 | RFI
Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Central African Republic (S/2013/470) | 12 August 2013 | UN Security Council | Reliefweb
UN chief Ban Ki-moon says the Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered a “total breakdown of law and order” since rebels seized power in March.

Central African Republic’s children ‘abused and recruited’ | 13 August 2013 | BBC Africa
More than 100,000 children in the Central African Republic are facing sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups, Save the Children has warned.

Bozize

François Bozizé sur RFI: «Si l’occasion se présente, je souhaite reprendre le pouvoir» | 10 August 2013 | RFI
Deposed Central African Republic president eyes return to power | 10 August 2013 | Reuters
François Bozizé prêt à revenir | 10 August 2013 | BBC Afrique
Deposed former Central African Republic (CAR) President Francois Bozize still nurtures ambitions of returning to power, he told French media, ending months of silence since he was ousted by rebel forces in March.

Le Tchad dément toute implication dans la chute de l’ex-président centrafricain Bozizé | 11 August 2013 | RFI
Bozizé «n’a de leçons à donner à personne», estime le porte-parole de la présidence | 13 August 2013 | RFI
C.Africa leader vows to fight spread of weapons, rebuild nation | 13 August 2013 | AFP | Reliefweb
Pour ses 53 ans, la RCA brûle des armes… | 13 August 2013 | La Voix de l’Amérique
Central African Republic’s interim leader Michel Djotodia promised Tuesday to fight against the spread of weapons in the country, still suffering the aftermath of a coup earlier this year. In an address to the nation on the 53rd anniversary of independence from France, Djotodia said the government had “taken measures to restore security”.

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 No. 23/13, 30 juillet 2013 | 12 August 2013 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb

IDPs

RDC: des milliers de déplacés dans l’est ont « urgemment » besoin d’assistance, selon Ocha | 8 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has announced that thousands of people displaced in mid-July due to attacks by the Ugandan ADF-Nalu rebels in Kamango are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Refugees

Nord-Kivu: 33 familles congolaises ayant fui au Rwanda rentrent dans deux jours, selon le CNR | 8 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Thirty-three Congolese refugee families in Rwanda will return to the DRC in two days, said the Permanent Secretary of the National Commission for Refugees (CNR), Berthe Zinga Ilunga, following a mission to Mkamira, Rwanda. These families, who had left the territory of Nyiragongo during the latest clashes between the army and the M23 had refused to adopt “refugee” status in Rwanda.

Uganda

1,500 Rwandese Flee to Uganda | 13 August 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica
Tension is reigning high along the Uganda -Tanzania border, after hundreds of Rwandan refugees, some armed, crossed into Rakai district.

Rwanda

Rwandan Refugees in Uganda

Over 40 Refugees Repatriate From Uganda, Congo | 8 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Forty-two Rwandan refugees early this week repatriated from Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midmar).

1,500 Rwandese Flee to Uganda | 13 August 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica

Rwandan Refugees in Tanzania

Govt Reassures Tanzanians As Kikwete Kicks Out Rwandans | 8 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Rwandans Expelled From Tanzania Being Resettled in Kirehe District | 8 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Tanzanians who live or travel to Rwanda should do so freely and comfortably with no fear of persecution, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo has emphasised amidst the ongoing expulsion of Rwandans from Western Tanzania.

More Returnees Received As Tanzania Clamps Down On Rwandans | 10 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Tanzanie: expulsions d’immigrés illégaux rwandais | 11 August 2013 | RFI
It’s Fate of the Banished for Rwandans Expelled By Tanzania | 12 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
More than 500 Rwandans who had lived in Tanzania for years yesterday arrived at the Rusomo border post in Rwanda, leaving behind their families and properties in mainly Karagwe region.

CAR

Humanitarian situation

Insecurity Increasing Hunger in Central African Republic | 8 August 2013 | WFP | allAfrica
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling-up operations in the Central African Republic (CAR), amid increasing concerns that ongoing insecurity is fuelling hunger among people who have fled their homes and farms.

Forced displacement from CAR continuing amid widespread lawlessness | 13 August 2013 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
Central African Republic: UN agencies provide aid amid widespread lawlessness | 13 August 2013 | UN News Centre
Le déplacement forcé de populations depuis la République centrafricaine se poursuit, selon le HCR | 13 August 2013 | UN News Centre
Thousands Flee Lawless Central African Republic | 13 August 2013 | Voice of America
United Nations humanitarian agencies today voiced deep concern over the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), where hundreds of thousands of people continue to be affected by lawlessness and insecurity, and widespread fear is reported among residents.

Justice and Tribunals 

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

 DRC

Appeal for the creation of an International Criminal Tribunal for the DRC

RDC: 52 femmes pour la création d’un TPI contre les viols comme arme de guerre | 11 August 2013 | RFI
RDC: pétition pour un tribunal | 12 August 2013 | BBC Afrique
RDC : appel international à la création d’un tribunal pénal international | 12 August 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Laisser la RDC sans TPI «serait une discrimination à l’égard de la femme congolaise» | 12 August 2013 | RFI
52 personnalités féminines ont appelé à la création d’un Tribunal pénal international pour juger les crimes commis en RDC, notamment les viols.

Rwanda 

French genocide prosecution

Génocide: la justice française doit statuer sur la demande d’extradition d’un ex-colonel rwandais | 12 August 2013 | RFI
Rwanda : le tribunal de Douai se penche sur l’extradition de l’ancien colonel Serubuga | 13 August 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Génocide: la justice française renvoie en septembre son avis sur l’extradition de l’ex-colonel rwandais | 13 August 2013 | RFI
La justice française a renvoyé au 12 septembre prochain la décision d’extrader ou non l’ancien colonel rwandais Laurent Serubuga. Recherché par les juridictions du Rwanda pour son rôle présumé dans le génocide de 1994, le militaire avait été arrêté en juillet dernier en France.

Rwanda examining extradition ex-M23 leaders

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Discusses DRC Extraditions, Fdlr and Evicted Rwandans From Tanzania | 8 August 2013 | Government of Rwanda | allAfrica
“Rwanda is abiding by international standards but the process takes time,” said Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo at a press briefing held this morning. She was responding to a question about a request for extradition from the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for four former members of the M23 group who sought refuge in Rwanda earlier this year.

Rwanda Invites DR Congo Justice Minister Over Extradition Request | 8 August 2013 | The New Times | allAfrica
Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has invited his Congolese counterpart to Kigali to discuss Kinshasa’s request for extradition of Congolese citizens formerly of the M23 rebel group.

Will Rwanda Extradite M23 Officials? | 12 August 2013 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye says that the extradition of four M23 officials to Congo will be done legally and not politically after confirming that Rwanda had responded to the DRC government’s request for extradition of the four officials. The four wanted officials are former M23 chairman Jean-Marie Runiga and military commanders Baudouin Ngaruye, Eric Badege and Innocent Zimurinda.

Burundi

Burundian États-généraux celebrated

Etats généraux de la justice au Burundi: pour la population, il y a urgence à agir | 9 August 2013 | RFI
Burundi: fin des états-généraux de la justice, l’heure du bilan | 10 August 2013 | RFI
Depuis lundi, quelque trois cents personnalités burundaises étaient réunis au centre du Burundi, dans la ville de Gitega, au chevet d’« un grand malade » : la justice de ce pays pour les premiers états-généraux consacrés à la justice.

Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

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

Natural resource geopolitics at centre of African conflicts | 9 August 2013 | Mining Weekly
Natural resource geopolitics were at the centre of understanding why Africa had become a battleground affected by conflicts that were marginalising Africans and preventing them from reaching their full potential, Southern African Liaison Office (Salo) board member Richard Smith said last month at the Building Regional and International Consensus workshop, hosted by Salo, in Pretoria.

DRC 

Artisanal mining

Province Orientale: les orpailleurs de Banyali kilo accusés de détruire l’écosystème | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
Customary authorities in the communities of Banyali kilo and Walendu Tatsi in Ituri have denounced the method of artisanal gold mining commonly called “under current”, saying it destroys the environment. The miners have been said to be draining rivers and demolishing entire hills. At a meeting with Ashanti Gold Kilo (AGK) on Saturday authorities demanded the abolition of this method.

« Plus ou moins 80 personnes mortes lors d’un éboulement survenu dans la carrière artisanale de MUSEBE » | 8 August 2013 | Le Centre pour la Justice et la Réconciliation(CJR), Humanisme et Droits Humains(HDH), Nouvelle Dynamique Syndicale(NDS) et Justicia ASBL
On 26 July 2013 at 7pm, a landslide occurred at the artisanal gold mine site of Musebe located in Nyunzu on the border with the province of Maniema, roughly 300 km from Kalemie in Katanga province. The mine has been accessed by tens of thousands of people from different backgrounds who come to exploit gold and cassiterite. Around 80 people are believed to have died in the event. Communique de Presse Conjoint N° 002/2013 available on request.

Bisiye tin mine 

Walikale – Le site minier de Bisiye déclaré libre des conflits | 10 August 2013 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
La lutte contre le recrutement des jeunes dans les groupes armés à Walikale (Nord-Kivu) passe aussi par la réouverture des activités minières dans ce territoire. Cet avis émane du député national Juvénal Munubo, impliqué dans le processus de qualification du site minier de Bisiye.

Uganda

Oil

Justice Ogoola Advises On Robust Oil Laws | 8 August 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica
Justice James Ogoola, the chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), has advised that Uganda must tread carefully in the remaining stages of oil development to avoid a resource curse.

New Risks to Uganda’s Oil | 9 August 2013 | The Independent (Kampala) | allAfrica
Since 2006 when its commercial oil discoveries were announced, Uganda has been preparing to join the ranks of the newest oil producing countries in the world. Seven years down the road (and more to come), no commercial oil has been produced yet.

Oil Land – MPs Demand for Fair Compensation | 13 August 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
MPs on the infrastructure committee have asked the Government to ensure fair compensation for the people living in the gazetted area for Uganda’s oil refinery.

Hydropower

Museveni to Preside Over Karuma Ground Breaking | 12 August 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to lay a foundation stone at the proposed 600 megawatts (MW) Karuma hydro power project on Monday.

Karuma Dam Project to Come Online By 2018 | 13 August 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
“The issue of electricity and energy is critical for Uganda and everyone should support this project as it will increase power supply for investments and agriculture production” said Eng. Irene Muloni. Construction is expected to commence next month and the dam will come online by 2018.

Forests

Museveni Orders Forest Evictions | 11 August 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
President Yoweri Museveni has directed the immediate eviction of encroachers currently occupying the Kyenjojo forest reserve, saying they must leave the forest before the Government uses the relevant organs to effect the eviction.

Rwanda

Are Commercial Banks Blind to Mining Sector Potential? | 12 August 2013 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
Inadequate funding is limiting the potential of the mining industry to become Rwanda’s major export earner and source of much-needed foreign currency.

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

Extractive companies

Randgold still one of best gold performers despite big profit fall | 8 August 2013 | Mineweb
No writedowns, no exploration cuts and a rising production profile keeps Randgold Resources among the more successful gold miners, despite large fall in Q2 profits.

ENRC founders could sell some international assets | 8 August 2013 | Reuters | Mineweb
The founders of Kazakh miner ENRC, bidding to buy out minority investors and take the group private, said on Wednesday they could sell some international assets, reversing a costly expansion drive that took the group to Africa and Brazil.
ENRC’s jewel outside Kazakhstan is its copper operation in Democratic Republic of Congo – these mines, some acquired in a controversial 2010 deal after they were confiscated from a rival miner, have been the focus of overseas spending and are not expected to be up for sale.

Banro Announces Q2 2013 Financial Results | 13 August 2013 | Banro Corporation | Marketwired
Banro Corporation today announced its financial and operating results for the second quarter of 2013.

Ivanplats Announces Financial Results and Review of Operations for the Second Quarter of 2013 | 12 August 2013 | Ivanplats Limited | Marketwired
Ivanplats Limited today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013.

Uganda

Oil

Sun Africa Injects U.S.$50 Million in Albertine Graben Development | 8 August 2013 | New Vision | allAfrica
The high demand for multi services needed in the Oil exploration areas has prompted a Democratic Republic of Congo company, Sun Africa to stake up to $50m (shs129b) in infrastructural development in the Albertine Graben.

Hydropower

One Year On – Bujagali Doubles Power Supply | 8 August 2013 | The Observer (Kampala) | allAfrica
Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL) has increased Uganda’s power generation capacity by 44 per cent, almost doubling the country’s electricity supply over a year since it was officially switched on, BEL’s General Manager John Berry has said.

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 

DRC

EITI

Guest post: Mining transparency in the Congo–Cautious optimism despite strong headwinds | 8 August 2013 | Congo Siasa
A few months ago, the DRC got suspended from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

China & EU transparency laws

China Dialogue on the impact and benefits of EU transparency laws on listed Chinese companies | 8 August 2013 | China Dialogue | Global Witness
PetroChina, Sinopec and other Chinese companies will be required to reveal payments made to overseas governments as a condition of their listing on European and US stock exchanges. Making public the payments made by extractive companies could be a major step in tackling corruption in resource-rich countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, ranked at the bottom of the UN Human Development Index, says the campaign group Global Witness.

Other

Congolese National dialogue

Democratic Republic of Congo to open national dialogue next week | 9 August 2013 | Reuters
RDC: une concertation nationale encore difficile à mettre en place | 11 August 2013 | RFI
Thomas Luhaka : “Dans les conditions actuelles, l’opposition ne participera pas aux concertations” | 12 August 2013 | Jeune Afrique
Democratic Republic of Congo will start talks next week aimed at easing a political standoff in the capital and ending remote rebellions, with the leader of neighbouring Congo Republic taking some form of mediating role.

Concertations nationales: nomination des membres du secrétariat technique | 13 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
The Presidents of the Congolese Senate, Leon Kengo wa Dondo, and the National Assembly, Aubin Minaku, jointly published a list of eighteen members of the technical secretariat for the Presidium of national consultation on Thursday.

RDC: un nouveau gouvernement attendu après les concertations nationales, selon Léon Kengo | 10 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
National consultations will begin next week in Kinshasa, announced Leon Kengo Senate President, during a meeting with the political opposition in Kinshasa. The Presidium of the forum is said to have met all the requirements raised by the opposition, including that of making resolutions that come out from these consultations in the form of a new government program.

Concertations nationales: la majorité et l’opposition boudent la démarche de Kengo | 11 August 2013 | Radio Okapi
On Saturday, August 10, President of the Senate, Leon Kengo wa Dondo, announced the establishment of a new government that will come from the national consultations. This announcement created a stir in the Presidential majority, with government member, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari expressing surprise.

Ugandan Public order bill

UN rights experts call on Uganda to repeal new bill restricting public assembly | 9 August 2013 | UN News Centre
Three independent United Nations experts today called on the Government of Uganda to repeal a new bill that places restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and to prepare a new version that complies with the country’s international human rights obligations.

Rwandan Green Party unable to run in parliamentary elections

Green Party Registered, Plans to Contest for Parliamentary Elections | 9 August 2013 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) yesterday issued a certificate of registration to the Democratic Green Party, making it the 11th political party in the country.

Rwandan opposition party registers days before September vote deadline | 10 August 2013 | Reuters
Rwanda: le Parti démocratique vert officiellement reconnu | 10 August 2013 | RFI
Rwanda’s Democratic Green Party has been officially recognized as a political party after years of what it calls government obstruction and faces a race against time to field candidates for next month’s election.

Rwanda opposition party to sit out vote after late registration | 12 August 2013 | Reuters
Rwanda’s Democratic Green Party said on Monday it will sit out September’s parliamentary election after the electoral commission took three years to register it, finally doing so just days before the deadline.

Dispatches: Rwanda’s Green Party registered at last – but what does it really mean? | 12 August 2013 | Human Rights Watch
Latest development: The Green Party has announced that it will not be able to participate in the 2013 parliamentary elections because of the tight deadline but that it will prepare for future elections.

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