BRIEFING

IPIS Briefing August 2020 – Persistent violence in gold-rich Ituri Province, DR Congo : root causes and impact on local population

The IPIS briefing offers a selection of articles, news and updates on natural resources, armed conflict, Business & Human Rights and arms trade.  Every month, an editorial and related publications shed a light on a specific topic in IPIS’ areas of research.

In focus: Persistent Violence In Gold-Rich Ituri Province, Dr Congo: Root Causes And Impact On Local Population.

In the news: Africa’s (Modern) Slavery Problem; Pillage et massacres à l’est de la RDC : voici pourquoi Paul Kagamé est accusé; Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence: options of monitoring, enforcing and remedy under the future EU legislation.

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This briefing is produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of IPIS and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.


IN FOCUS:

PERSISTENT VIOLENCE IN GOLD-RICH ITURI PROVINCE, DR CONGO: ROOT CAUSES AND IMPACT ON LOCAL POPULATION

“Nineteen people killed by CODECO militiamen in Banyari Kilo” (Radio Okapi, 10/10/2020), is only one of many articles, recently published on recurrent killings in the Congolese gold-rich province of Ituri.  Since the end of 2017 deadly violence has flared up in Ituri, especially in its administrative territory of Djugu (and to a lesser extent also in the territories of Irumu and Mahagi), after a relatively long period of deceptive calm. According to UNHCR about 1.7 million people have been displaced in Ituri in the last 2 years: just between March and June 2020 alone about 400,000 persons left their homes because of the violence. International organizations such as United Nations and Human Rights Watch, reported more than 1,100 killings since December 2017, as well as cases of sexual violence, and large scale and systematic destruction of houses, schools and medical centers in villages in rural Ituri (especially in Djugu). Simmering, long-standing tensions between Hema and Lendu communities underlie the recent outbreak of violence: most victims are members of the Hema community, but also Lendu were killed or kidnapped. Soldiers of the Congolese army (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo or FARDC) and policemen (PNC) were killed in clashes with Lendu-militiamen, and army weapons were stolen. Elements of FARDC have reportedly attacked Lendu civilians in retaliation for attacks by Lendu militia.

Initially most assaults were attributed to unidentified Lendu youth militia, but later, authorities could link many of these attacks to an organization named “CODECO” (the name allegedly refers to the organization “Coopérative de Développement Economique du Congo”, originally founded in the seventies as a sectarian agricultural cooperative). Other militia claimed to be part of Union des Révolutionnaires pour la Défense du Peuple Congolais (URDPC), however it is assumed that this coalition is part of CODECO (in recent communications the organization uses the name URDPC/CODECO). According to a recent Crisis Groupreport, CODECO has recruited, trained and radicalized Lendu youths, using anti-Hema hate speech. When in Septmber 2019, CODECO leaders started talks with the government about disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), a dissident faction called Sambaza, decided to continue hostilities.

Gold mining

Ituri holds rich gold deposits, with its main mining area running from western Djugu territory, north into western Mahagi territory (including the mines of Mongbwalu and Djalasiga), and some important mines in the territories of Mambasa and Irumu (the Ituri mining sites are part of the Kilo-Moto gold belt). Depending on the sources, estimates on the number of miners digging for gold in Ituri range from 60,000 to 150,000. Djugu seems to be the territory with the highest number of artisanal miners, while members of the Hema community represent the largest group of miners. From the socio-economic perspective, artisanal gold mining is an important livelihood in Ituri, besides farming and animal husbandry, providing viable jobs in contexts where few profitable alternatives are available.

Root causes of the conflict

The long-lasting tension in Ituri is often characterized as an ethnic conflict between Hema and Lendu communities. However, although ethnicity is an undeniable factor, the conflict has important social and economic dimensions, with social inequality and competition over access to natural resources such as land and minerals, as the main conflict drivers.

Already in pre-colonial times Hema, originally pastoralists, established some political and economic dominance over Lendu, mainly agriculturalists. In order to optimize the colonial gold exploitation in the region around Kilo in present-day Djugu, Belgian colonial authorities created new tribal administrative entities, allowing them to rule more efficiently over local communities: Lendu and Hema were organized in separate chiefdoms, institutionalizing thus inter-group differences. Moreover, under colonial rule, Hema achieved favorable access to education and employment in the local administration, and mining and farming business, enabling Hema-elites to consolidate their political and economic dominance. The nationalization policy implemented by president Mobutu, aggravated tensions: the Bakajika law declared all land and mineral resources state property, annulling concessions granted before independence, as well as customary land rights. Hema elites benefitted from this due to their political ties with the Mobutu administration, acquiring land in what was previously considered as Lendu area.

The war within a war

During the second Congo war (1998-2002) the inter-communal conflict escalated dramatically in Ituri (then a district of the province of Orientale), not in the least as a result of armed foreign intervention. What in 1999 started as a local dispute about land ownership, deteriorated into large-scale violent clashes between Hema and Lendu. The Ugandan army (Ugandan People’s Defense Forces or UPDF) bore significant responsibility for the exacerbation of the conflict. Ugandan soldiers stationed in Ituri during the military campaign against Mobutu (1996-1997) started exploiting gold from the Kilo-Moto mining area. However, the political and economic involvement of UPDF became much more systematic and far-reaching in 1999, when the Ugandan general James Kazini created the province of Kibali-Ituri with a Hema as governor, gaining thus control over mineral-rich areas and trans-border commodity traffic. Non-Hema communities perceived this alternative power structure based on local networks of Hema-elites, as a threat of being excluded from political and economic decision-making.

Hema and Lendu elites formed militia, which fought each other in Djugu and Irumu; the most important ones were the Hema-movement Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC), and two closely linked Lendu-dominated groups, Front des Nationalistes Intégrationnistes (FNI) and Front de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI). Bernard Kakado, then leader of the agricultural organization CODECO, was considered the spiritual father of FRPI. These armed groups were instrumentalized by Uganda and its rival Rwanda, fighting their proxy wars in eastern DRC during the second Congo war. The UPDF armed both Hema and Lendu militia. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in its 2005 judgment (DR Congo vs. Uganda), concluded that there was “persuasive evidence that the UPDF incited ethnic conflicts and took no action to prevent such conflicts in Ituri district”, and with the sole reason to gain access to gold deposits and other natural resources. The ICJ thus concluded “officers and soldiers of the UPDF, including the most high-ranking officers, were involved in the looting, plundering and exploitation of the DRC’s natural resources and … the military authorities did not take any measures to put an end to these acts”. Even the Ugandan Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations into Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo (abbreviated to Porter Commission) had to acknowledge in its 2002 final report that “a massive smuggling of gold” from Ituri by UPDF officers had been taking place. In 2004 the warring parties signed a peace agreement to start a demobilization and reintegration process, although it lasted until 2020 before FRPI laid down the weapons.

Impact on local populations

The UN Group of Experts to the DRC attributes the current resurgence of violence to persistent disputes over land and administrative limits between communities, and to unresolved issues from the 1999-2003 war. Deadly violence seems to continue and even spills over into the territory of Aru despite the fact that (a) CODECO leader Justin Ngudjolo was killed by FARDC in March 2020, (b) that the organization seems to suffer from internal power struggles, (c) that Tshisekedi’s government started negotiations with CODECO, and (d) that some factions seemingly accepted a cease-fire. Either way, the embryonic peace process remains precarious: on 4 September 2020 CODECO militiamen left the village where they were quartered pending their participation in the DDR process, and entered (peacefully, but armed with firearms) Bunia, the provincial capital, to claim material support from the local government.

Many people in Ituri, in particularly in Djugu, make a living out of gold mining and farming. Farmers are unable to work their land due to the violence, and food and basic commodity prices on local markets are increasing. The artisanal mining sector is also directly affected by the persistent conflict. Suspected CODECO militiamen have attacked several villages near gold mines in Djugu territory, such as Mongbwalu, Lisey, Amema, Limani, Fataki, Gina, Risasi, and Djatsi. In the last week of August the gold mine of Chaba in Aru was attacked, causing the displacement of 3,000 households according to a local civil society organization. Other incursions attributed to CODECO militiamen, into gold mining sites in Ituri, were reported in the past weeks through the ‘Kufatilia’ mobile phone-based incident reporting system developed by IPIS and Ulula: mine sites near Kunda in Irumu territory (and subsequent clashes with FARDC) were attacked in August and September, causing the displacement of local population to Bunia; incursions were reported in several gold mines in the zone of Banyali Kilo, in Djugu, in July; a mine near the village of Kilo in Djugu, was pillaged and several miners killed, in June.

Due to the unpredictable incursions by armed groups, artisanal mines have become very unsafe workplaces. In addition, the ethnic connotation of the conflict has aggravated tensions and distrust between local communities, undermining further the fragile social fabric in Ituri.

Erik Gobbers

FURTHER READING

RDC: l’impatience des miliciens prêts rendre les armes | 7 September 2020 | La Libre Belgique

A quel prix rendre les armes en Ituri et au Kivu ? Les miliciens prêts à saisir la main tendue du président de la République démocratique du Congo menacent de s’impatienter faute d’obtenir leurs garanties habituelles: argent, amnistie et intégration dans l’armée.

RDC: des miliciens Codeco font une incursion à Bunia | 4 September 2020 | RFI

Des dizaines de miliciens Codeco ont circulé dans la ville de Bunia, en Ituri, ce vendredi matin. Ils étaient venus pour demander la libération de leurs collègues détenus et sont restés quelques heures autour de la prison, avant de se retirer de la ville suite à des discussions avec les autorités.

Ituri : Situation confuse à Bunia, des présumés rebelles CODECO en direction du centre ville (société civile) | 4 September 2020 | l’Interview.cd

La situation est tendue depuis la matinée de ce vendredi 04 septembre dans le centre ville de Bunia, Chef-lieu de la province de l’Ituri à l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo. Pour cause, des hommes armés assimilés aux rebelles présumés Coopérative pour le Développement du Congo (CODECO) prennent la direction du centre ville de Bunia, en passant par la prison centrale.

Ituri : la société civile, les forces vives et plusieurs notabilités soutiennent la mission de paix des ex-seigneurs de guerre | 2 September 2020 | Politico.cd

Au regard de la montée de l’insécurité en Ituri, le Chef de l’État, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, a dépêché une délégation des ex-seigneurs de guerre ayant opéré auparavant dans cette province pour y négocier la paix.

Ituri : un militaire tué par des hommes armés sur la route Kasenyi | 2 September 2020 | Politico.cd

Un militaire des Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) a été abattu mardi 1er septembre 2020 vers 19 heures sur la route Kasenyi-Bunia, dans le territoire d’Irumu en Ituri.

RDC : la milice CODECO multiplie des exactions sur les bouviers à Djugu | 1 September 2020 | Radio Okapi

Les attaques des éléments du groupe armé CODECO sur des bouviers s’intensifient dans plusieurs villages du territoire de Djugu en Ituri. Trois éleveurs sont entre la vie et la mort dans le groupement Tambaki en chefferie de Bahema Banywagi.

Ituri : Un détachement de la milice CODECO aperçu dans l’escarpement Blukwa vers Kobu | 31 August 2020 | Politico.cd

La population locale du territoire de Djugu dans la zone Kobu assiste à des scénarios peu communs. Depuis le 28 Août dernier une centaine de miliciens CODECO ont été vus dans la localité de Blukwa, en territoire de Djugu avant de se déployer dans la zone de Kobu, plus à l’ouest.

RDC: des miliciens signent un accord de cessez-le-feu mais beaucoup reste à faire | 25 August 2020 | RFI

Les ex-seigneurs de guerre envoyés début juillet dans la province de l’Ituri par Félix Tshisekedi pour négocier un cessez-le-feu avec les miliciens de la Codeco sont optimistes par rapport aux résultats à mi-parcours de leur travail. Mais au-delà de l’optimisme affiché, la situation est beaucoup plus complexe dans cette région. Bien plus, ces miliciens n’obéissent pas à un seul commandement et ne sont pas clairs sur les revendications.

RDC-Djugu : plus de 10.000 miliciens de CODECO prêts à déposer les armes, d’après la délégation de la Présidence | 21 August 2020 | Actualite.cd

La délégation de la Présidence de la République engagée dans les négociations depuis début juillet avec les miliciens de CODECO, dans le territoire de Djugu (Ituri), a affirmé jeudi 20 août que plus de 10 000 combattants sont prêts à déposer les armes après la signature d’acte d’engagement pour la paix.

Tueries en Ituri : les groupes et bandits armés appelés à déposer les armes afin de contribuer aux efforts de réstauration de l’autorité de l’État (FARDC) | 12 August 2020 | Politico.cd

Les forces armées déployées dans le secteur opérationnel de l’Ituri appellent, dans une communication faite ce mercredi 12 août à POLITICO.CD par sa cellule de communication et de sensibilisation, tous les groupes et bandits armés, auteurs de plusieurs atrocités dans la province de l’Ituri de répondre positivement à l’appel du Président de la République, Félix Tshisekedi, de déposer les armes et de rejoindre les centres de regroupements prévus.

RDC-Ituri : des militaires préoccupés à percevoir des taxes sur l’axe Iga Barierre-Mugbalu à Djugu | 12 August 2020 | Actualite.cd

Des militaires congolais ont érigé plusieurs barrières pour percevoir des taxes sur l’axe Iga Barierre-Mugbalu, au nord de Bunia, dans le territoire de Djugu. Des passagers disent être sommés de payer jusqu’à 5 000 FC à chaque barrière. Ils appellent les militaires à traquer des miliciens CODECO plutôt que de se contenter à faire la fortune.

RDC: cinq morts en Ituri dans une attaque de la milice Codeco | 10 August 2020 | La Libre Afrique

Cinq personnes ont été tuées dimanche par des miliciens de la secte ethnico-mystique Coopérative pour le développement du Congo (Codeco) dans la province de l’Ituri, dans le nord-est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), a rapporté le média en ligne Actualité.cd, citant des sources locales. “Les miliciens ont attaqué le village Liseyi (situé dans le territoire de Djugu, au nord du chef-lieu de la province, Bunia) vers 06h00 du matin. Ils ont opéré pendant plusieurs heures suite à l’absence de l’armée. Nous avons présentement un bilan de cinq personnes décédées, dont quatre hommes et une femme (…). Il y a également plusieurs maisons qui ont été incendiées”, a indiqué le président de la société civile locale, Honoré Kahambu, à Actualité.cd.

RDC-Ituri : les chefs des différentes factions de la milice CODECO s’engagent pour la paix à Djugu | 4 August 2020 | Actualite.cd

La délégation de la présidence de la république chargée de négocier avec la milice CODECO a affirmé être parvenu à la signature samedi 1 août dernier d’un acte engagement pour la paix par plusieurs leaders des factions dudit groupe armé. La cérémonie s’est tenue au village Lodjo, dans le secteur de Walendu pitsi où les groupuscules des miliciens ont érigé leur quartier général.

Ituri : certains leaders de CODECO s’engagent à déposer les armes | 3 August 2020 | Radio Okapi

Certains leaders du groupe armé l’Union des révolutionnaires pour la défense du Peuple Congolais (URDPC) dit CODECO, s’engagent à déposer les armes et à cesser les hostilités.

Quinze miliciens condamnés à 20 ans de prison en Ituri | 29 July 2020 | VOA

Quinze miliciens ont été condamnés à 20 ans de prison pour leur “participation à un mouvement insurrectionnel” en 2019 en Ituri dans le nord-est de la République démocratique du Congo, a-t-on appris mercredi auprès de la justice militaire congolaise.

RDC-Ituri : d’autres vagues de miliciens de CODECO décident de faire la paix à Djugu | 29 July 2020 | Actualite.cd

Plusieurs miliciens de CODECO ont décidé la semaine dernière de quitter la brousse pour amorcer le processus de paix à la suite des discussions avec les membres de la délégation de la Présidence de la république. Il s’agit des miliciens des bastions de Allah et Katanga dans le territoire de Djugu.

Ituri: les FARDC dénoncent un arrangement entre des éleveurs et les miliciens de la CODECO | 29 July 2020 | Politico.cd

L’arrangement entre certains éleveurs et les miliciens de la CODECO, ayant abouti à la restitution par ces derniers d’une partie des vaches pillées moyennant une caution de 20.000 USD grâce à la médiation d’un militaire loyaliste, a été dénoncé, lundi 27 juillet 2020, par le porte-parole du secteur opérationnel des FARDC en Ituri, le lieutenant Jules Ngongo.

RDC-Ituri: l’armée “indignée” des arrangements entre les populations et miliciens de Codeco pour la restitution des vaches volées à Djugu | 28 July 2020 | Actualite.cd

Les Forces Armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) se sont indignées concernant les arrangements sur la restitution de vaches pillées par les miliciens de Codeco à Penyi dans la chefferie de Bahema Banywangi (Djugu) le 23 juillet dernier.

Ituri: attaque des miliciens FPIC dans plusieurs localités de Bahema d’Irumu | 24 July 2020 | Mediacongo.net

La chefferie de Bahema d’Irumu a enregistré depuis ce jeudi 23 juillet 2020 plusieurs attaques des miliciens FPIC, connus sous le nom de « Chini ya Kilima » dans au moins 4 localités différentes.

Le conflit en Ituri pourrait avoir de multiples répercussions (rapport International Crisis) | 19 July 2020 | Le potentiel

L’ONG International crisis group craint que le conflit en Ituri n’ait de multiples répercussions. C’est ce qu’elle a indiqué dans son rapport publié mardi 15 juillet, où cette ONG internationale indique que les violences qui ont frappé la province ont déjà attiré certains acteurs violents du Nord-Kivu voisin, épicentre de l’insécurité dans l’Est du Congo.

DR Congo: Ending the Cycle of Violence in Ituri | 15 July 2020 | International Crisis Group

Since late 2017, armed groups, predominantly from the Lendu ethnic farming community, have committed deadly attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Ituri province. Initial targets were members of the neighbouring Hema community, who are mostly herders, and the Congolese armed forces. But attacks are now increasingly indiscriminate.

Ituri: en 3 ans de violences, le territoire de Djugu est presque à l’agonie | 28 June 2020 | buniaactualite.com

Cela fait presque trois ans depuis le début des atrocités attribuées à la milice CODECO dans le territoire de Djugu situé au Nord de la ville de Bunia en Ituri. Sous la facilitation de la Monusco, une équipe de buniaactualite.com a effectué une mission d’évaluation sécuritaire et de l’impact de l’action des casques bleus engagés aux côtés de l’armée congolaise, dans la lourde tâche de rétablissement de la paix dans cette partie du pays.

UN warns of possible war crimes in northeastern Congo | 28 May 2020 | Reuters

Widespread and systematic killings, beheadings, rape and other barbaric acts by militia mostly from the ethnic Lendu community in northeastern Congo may constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Rebel splits and failed peace talks drive new violence in Congo’s Ituri | 5 May 2020 | The New Humanitarian

When hundreds of militiamen arrived in January at a government-run demobilisation camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern province of Ituri, there was a flicker of hope that more than two years of conflict might be abating.

Observations on the impact of COVID-19 measures on operational capacity on behalf of the former child soldiers. In the Case of the Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, ICC-01/04-02/06 | 21 April 2020 | Office of Public Counsel for Victims | International Criminal Court

On 8 July 2019, the Chamber found Mr Ntaganda guilty of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. On 25 July 2019, the Single Judge issued the “Order for preliminary information on reparations”, requesting the Registry to submit observations on a number of issues. The Single Judge noted that the Chamber intended to order the legal representatives of victims, the Defence, the Office of the Prosecutor, the Registry and the Trust Fund for Victims to submit observations on reparations six weeks after the issuance of the Chamber’s sentencing decision pursuant to Article 76 of the Rome Statute.

Djugu: les dernières attaques au bord du lac Albert séraient l’œuvre d’un nouveau groupe armé dénommé « Sambaza » | 22 December 2019 | BuniaActualite.com

Trois localités du littoral du lac Albert, en territoire de Djugu, parmi eux Curé, Gochukpu et Landa dans le groupement Penyi, secteur de Walendu Tatsi ont été la cible d’une attaque la matinée de ce vendredi 20 décembre 2019 qui a fait au total 13 morts et deux blessés graves.

Rapport mensuel de monitoring de protection Ituri: Septembre 2019 | 19 October 2019 | UNHCR | ReliefWeb

706 incidents de protection ont été collectés et documentés au cours de ce mois de septembre 2019, contre 1033 incidents au mois d’août 2019. Il se dégage une baisse de 327 incidents, soit de moins 32%. La multiplication des patrouilles des éléments des Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) dans les territoires de Djugu et Irumu et la multiplication des sensibilisations menées par les leaders communautaires, la MONUSCO et les autorités étatiques sur la paix dans le territoire de Djugu, auraient contribué à cette baisse.

Mystery militia sows fear – and confusion – in Congo’s long-suffering Ituri | 13 August 2019 | The New Humanitarian

The general hospital in Tchomia is not designed for medical emergencies. The shabby, single-storey clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern Ituri province has no X-ray machine, no defibrillator, and barely enough doctors and nurses to get through the day.

Reigniting Ituri? Towards a reading of the 2018 Djugu violence | 25 March 2019 | PAX

More than ten years after the end of the Ituri War in DRC, Ituri province is experiencing renewed violence that started early 2018, with a spate of mysterious attacks and massacres in the Territory of Djugu, located at the geographical centre of Ituri. The security situation in and around Djugu deteriorated significantly and a series of violent attacks, massacres and villages burnings engulfed the area. The Djugu crisis forced over 100.000 people out of their homes, and hundreds have been killed.

IN THE NEWS

BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

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Global Gold Supply Chains Just Got Riskier | 1 September 2020 | HRW

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Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence: options of monitoring, enforcing and remedy under the future EU legislation | 1 September 2020 | EJIL:Talk

In 2020 the EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders expressed a commitment to legislate mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence obligations for EU companies. This commitment in turn flows from the EU and member states’ support for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which call for all businesses to undertake due diligence to operationalise their corporate responsibility to respect human rights – as well as for states to adopt a ‘smart mix’ of legislative and other regulatory measures ‘to prevent, investigate, punish and redress’ business-related human rights abuses.

Angola to join oil and extractives transparency group | 30 August 2020 | Reuters

Angola plans to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international effort to fight corruption in revenues from oil, gas and mineral extraction.

Improving The Conditions Of Informal Cobalt Mines—And Opportunities For Local Communities | 29 August 2020 | Forbes

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The Kimberley Process: Alleviating Poverty in the Diamond Trade | 29 August 2020 | Borgen Magazine

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Apple & other tech giants seek dismissal of cobalt mine child labor suit | 27 August 2020 | Apple Insider

Apple, in conjunction with Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Tesla have requested a dismissal of a class-action suit alleging tech companies have knowingly exploited underage labor in local mining for cobalt, used in lithium-ion batteries. The quintet were been named in December in a lawsuit alleging the exploitation of underage labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Africa’s (Modern) Slavery Problem | 21 August 2020 | Global Security Review

From rubies in Mozambique to emeralds in Zambia, opals in Australia, and Jade in Myanmar, the mining industry is undergoing an extraction renaissance that is as profitable as it is contentious. While concerns over environmental degradation, population displacement, employment of slave and child labor contribute to the fracturing of communities and exacerbate internal rifts and vulnerabilities of already fragile states, questions of whether or not mining is good for social and economic development grow in proportion and relevance.

Intel Travels to Africa to Closely Track Responsibly Sourced Tech Minerals | 20 August 2020 | Businesswire

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Tiffany, Unilever Create New Standards for Supply Chain Transparency | 20 August 2020 | SustainableBrands

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Uganda joins Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative | 14 August 2020 | Eagle Online

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Ammonium Nitrate Blew Up Beirut. It Also Fuels Africa’s Most Dangerous Illegal Mines | 13 August 2020 | The Daily Beast

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RCS Global & Responsible Minerals Institute expand DRC cobalt & copper Better Mining artisanal mine monitoring program | 13 August 2020 | International Mining

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With the escalation of US sanctions against Iran after the withdrawal of Donald Trump from the nuclear deal between two countries and lower oil prices in world markets, Iran’s oil revenues, which is the main source of its income, have fallen sharply and has increased inflation and recession in the country. To deal with such problems; Iran is seeking new incomes to expand its cooperation with China and is currently seeking to finalize a 25-year trade cooperation agreement with China.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Ethical Supply: The Search for Cobalt Beyond the Congo | 1 September 2020 | VisualCapitalist

Each new generation finds new uses for materials, and cobalt is no exception. Historically, potters and painters used cobalt as dye to color their work. Today, a new cobalt supply chain is emerging to build the next generation of clean energy. However, there is lack of transparency surrounding the current supply chain for cobalt, as the metal is subject to a number of ethical issues from its main country of production—the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Today’s infographic comes to us from Fuse Cobalt and uncovers the potential for new sources of cobalt beyond the Congo.

Constant Mutamba : “la RDC perd près de 100 milliards USD chaque année dans la fraude minière” | 31 August 2020 | ZoomEco

Secteur minier congolais : 100 milliards USD de perte annuelle due à la fraude ! | 3 September 2020 | ScoopRDC.net

Le mandataire en mines, Constant Mutamba estime que la Rd Congo, son pays, enregistre un manque à gagner de près de 100 milliards de dollars américains chaque année. Partant des exemples chiffrés, il démontre, dans une analyse, combien la fraude minière absorbe la quasi-totalité de recettes minières du pays.

RDC: le magnat belge Forrest cède la plus vielle banque congolaise à un groupe kenyan | 12 August 2020 | La Libre Eco

Le millionnaire belge George Forrest, actionnaire majoritaire de la plus ancienne banque privée de la République démocratique du Congo a vendu ses parts à la firme kényane Equity group holdings, selon un communiqué du groupe kényan publié mercredi.

Rhino poaching in Namibia down 63% on tougher policing, penalties | 11 August 2020 | DefenceWeb

Rhino poaching fell 63% year-on-year in Namibia, the ministry of environment said on Friday, citing intensified intelligence operations by authorities and tougher sentences and fines for poachers.

RDC : Les Mandataires en Mines et carrières à l’épreuve de la pratique ! | 10 August 2020 | ScoopRDC.net

La présente étude qui s’inscrit dans le cadre de la campagne de vulgarisation du code minier révisé, initiée par le Ministre des mines, se présente comme notre modeste contribution à la définition du rôle des mandataires en mines et carrières dans le code minier révisé, face à la pratique en République Démocratique du Congo.

On Rare Earths, the Pentagon Is Making the Same Mistake Twice | 10 August 2020 | Defense One

The Pentagon, which peers beyond the horizon using radars powered by rare earth materials, is far more short-sighted when it comes to securing access to the critical elements that drive so much of its high-tech arsenals of today and tomorrow.

New law for Africa’s biggest tropical rainforest | 7 August 2020 | The Ecologist

The Republic of Congo has passed an historic new law ensuring more sustainable management of the country’s vast forests that play a crucial role in regulating the world’s climate. Legal experts from ClientEarth, who work with partners in the country, have welcomed the new Forest Code, which received presidential approval in July and will govern the central African nation’s 223,340 km2 of forests – an area larger than Great Britain.

Trafic illégal de l’ivoire au Togo : 4 présumés trafiquants de 6 pointes d’ivoire déférés à la prison civile de Kara| 3 August 2020 | VivAfrik

Les agents de la Brigade de Recherche et d’Investigation (BRI) de Kara et du Ministère de l’Environnement, du Développement Durable et la Protection de la Nature (MEDDPN) en collaboration avec EAGLE-Togo, ont arrêté lundi 27 juillet 2020 à Kara, 4 présumés trafiquants en possession de 6 pointes d’ivoire de 12,5 kilogrammes.

ARMS TRADE

Ituri: l’armée congolaise arrête une femme trafiquante d’armes dans le territoire d’Irumu | 31 August 2020 | Politico.cd

Elle a été trouvée en possession des plusieurs munitions de guerre qu’elle dissimulait dans des bidons affirme le lieutenant Jules NGONGO, porte parole de l’armée en Ituri au cours d’un échange avec politico.cd.

The Role Of Russian Private Military Contractors In Africa | 27 August 2020 | Eurasia Review

It is no secret that Moscow is increasingly utilizing so-called “private military contractors” (PMCs) to pursue foreign policy objectives across the globe, especially in the Middle East and Africa. What has received less attention is that Moscow’s deployment of PMCs follows a pattern: The Kremlin is exploiting a loophole in international law by securing agreements that allow contractors to provide local assistance. The problem is, however, Russian PMCs are not simply contractors.

Russian Mercenaries: A String of Failures in Africa | 24 August 2020 | Geopolitical Monitor

In October 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin labelled Africa a region of “significant opportunity” for cooperation with Russia. Over the past two years, Russian mercenaries have increased their presence in Africa in order to train local forces and exert Russian influence abroad. In August, Germany’s Foreign Ministry revealed a Russian plan to establish military bases in six African states. Yet despite these ambitions, mercenary deployments in Africa consistently fail to meet their objectives and in the process spread the Kremlin’s resources too thin, presenting opportunities for the United States and its allies in the region.

Herdsmen forced us to start producing guns for protection, says suspect | 20 August 2020 | Legit

A 19-year-old blacksmith, Shapraku Umade was arrested by the Lagos state police command of the Nigeria Police Force for alleged gun-running said he learnt how to fabricate guns in his community where they were forced to defend themselves against killer herdsmen.

How Bandits, Terrorists, Other Criminals Get Their Weapons —Retired Col. Majoyeogbe, Ex-Commandant, Army Intelligence School | 15 August 2020 | Nigerian Tribune

Colonel Olanipekun Majoyeogbe retired from the Nigerian Army after holding various posts, including Commandant, Nigerian Army Intelligence School and Commandant, SSS Training School. In this interview by Suyi Ayodele, the graduate of English from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, speaks on various issues bordering on the Nigerian security situation.

RDC: tout porteur d’arme d’auto-défense est prié de se présenter à la commission nationale de contrôle des armes légères et de petit calibre | 9 August 2020 | Actualite.cd

Le ministre de l’intérieur, sécurité et affaires coutumières annonce que la commission nationale de controlé des armes légères et de petit calibre et de réduction de la violence armée (CNC-ALPC) procédera à l’identification et à l’enregistrement des ares légères et de petit calibre.

Les mines antipersonel en RCA, une barbarie aux yeux du monde | 7 August 2020 | Corbeau News

“Encore aujourd’hui, une personne saute sur une mine toutes les deux heures. C’est terrible, mais c’était bien pire il y a une quinzaine d’années, avant l’entrée en vigueur du Traité d’Ottawa. Le 4 avril est la Journée internationale de la sensibilisation au problème des mines et de l’assistance à la lutte anti mines”. Radio Canada (01/0482016). Ce chiffre peut être revu à la hausse compte tenu de l’augmentation des conflits dans le monde ces dernières années.

U.S. imposes sanctions on Central African Republic militia leader | 1 August 2020 | Reuters

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on the leader of a Central African Republic-based militia group, the Treasury Department said, accusing the leader, Sidiki Abass, of human rights abuse, including directly participating in torture.

RCA : embargo sur les armes, les diplomates onusiens accusent le gouvernement | 1 August 2020 | Corbeau News

Les membres du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU ont voté à l’unanimité ce mardi 28 juillet la reconduction de l’embargo sur les armes à destination de la RCA. Les autorités centrafricaines, qui espéraient la levée totale de cet embargo, se disent déçues, alors que l’un des critères qui ont motivé le maintien de cette sanction concerne la restructuration des forces armées centrafricaines bafouée par le gouvernement.

CONFLICT

Pillage et massacres à l’est de la RDC : voici pourquoi Paul Kagamé est accusé | 4 September 2020 | Ebene-Magazine

L’interaction entre le génocide rwandais et l’opération turquoise, en République Démocratique du Congo, RDC, semble invraisemblable. Pourtant, l’essayiste franco-camerounais Charles Onana pose un regard sur le rôle du président rwandais, dans ce flou qui connaît à ce jour, environ 10 millions de morts à l’Est de la RDC.

Nord-Kivu : Un général autoproclamé des FDLR/RUDE, tué par l’armée loyaliste à Rutshuru | 31 August 2020 | MediaCongo.net

Le Général autoproclamé Kagoma, Chef des FDLR Rude a été neutralisé par les forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC). Et cela à la suite des opérations militaires qui sont menées à Bukombo, et Nyabanira dans le Territoire de Rutshuru, au Nord-Kivu, sous le commandement du général de Brigade Mwehu lumbu Evariste, commandant adjoint de l’opération sokola2, chargé des opérations et renseignements.

Mali, une faillite à l’image du reste de l’Afrique francophone | 23 August 2020 | Mondafrique

Après le blocage de la situation au Mali depuis des mois et l’inévitable coup d’Etat militaire chassant Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, dit IBK, on peut s’interroger sur la même situation bloquée en Guinée, en Côte d’Ivoire, en Centrafrique, au Burkina Faso et au Niger. Dans ce contexte, les prochaines élections présidentielles et législatives prévues dans un certain nombre de pays , loin d’être transparentes, sont à hauts risques pour les régimes en place. Le pire peut-il être évité? Rien de moins certain?

Sud-Kivu : De violents affrontements entre FARDC et groupe rebelles Makanika signalés près d’Uvira | 22 August 2020 | L’interview

C’est depuis tôt le matin de ce samedi 22 août que des affrontements sont signalés entre les Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo et les rebelles Mai-Maï du groupe Makanika coalisés au FNL dans les collines surplombant la ville d’Uvira au Sud-kivu.

Incursions des militaires Sud-Soudanais à Aru: le gouvernement de l’Ituri renforce la défense et sécurité sur le long de la frontière avec le Soudan du Sud | 21 August 2020 | Politico.cd

Le gouverneur de province de l’Ituri ad intérim Martin Chalo Dudu a annoncé le déploiement des éléments de forces de sécurité et de défense à la frontière avec la République du Soudan du Sud en territoire d’Aru pour mettre fin aux incursions des éléments de l’armée régulière de ce pays voisin, à l’issue de la réunion hebdomadaire du Centre de coordination des opérations (CCO) à l’état-major de la 32e région militaire des FARDC.

Sudan, major rebel group sign deal to integrate rebels into army | 19 August 2020 | DefenceWeb

Sudan and a major rebel group signed an agreement on Monday to integrate the rebels into the army within 39 months, signatories said, the latest in a slew of agreements between the Sudanese government and long-running insurgencies.

Masisi: près de 500 éléments NDC-R/Bwira et une centaine d’armes se rendent aux FARDC à Kashuga | 19 August 2020 | Mediacongo.net

Faction of DR Congo rebel group surrenders after internal revolt | 19 August 2020 | Reuters

Au moins 485 éléments de la milice Nduma defense of Congo (NDC-Renové) aile Gilbert Bwira Shuo viennent de se rendre aux forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo via le secteur opérationnel Sokola 2 à Kashuga en territoire de Masisi ce lundi 17 Août 2020.

Mali: coup d’Etat militaire | 19 August 2020 | Sahel Intelligence

Mali: A revolt that led to a coup d’etat | 19 August 2020 | DW

Les militaires qui ont pris le pouvoir au Mali et poussé à la démission le président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta ont annoncé dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi vouloir mettre en place une “transition politique civile” devant conduire à des élections générales dans un “délai raisonnable”.

RCA : Aba, nouveau bastion de 3R dans le Nord-ouest | 19 August 2020 | Corbeau News

Après avoir perdu au début de la semaine le contrôle de la ville de koui, dans la préfecture de l’Ouham-Péndé au profit des Casques bleus de la Minusca et des militaires centrafricains, le mouvement rebelle 3R (Retour, réclamation et réhabilitation) délocalise désormais son État major dans la ville minière de Aba, située dans la préfecture de la Nana-Mambéré, au nord-ouest de la RCA. Sur place, des exactions des rebelles contre les civils se multiplient, et les populations locales, apeurées, appellent à l’aide.

The Looming Influx of Foreign Fighters in Sub-Saharan Africa | 18 August 2020 | War on the Rocks

On June 22, the Islamic State’s affiliate in its “Central Africa Province” killed a U.N. peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The militant group is ramping up its attacks by exploiting security lapses caused by the COVID-19 crisis. It is also expanding its recruitment to fighters living outside its primary areas of operation.

Burkina Faso’s new conflict front: Jihadists against jihadists | 17 August 2020 | The New Humanitarian

When 60 jihadists were killed and 40 captured in Burkina Faso’s northern Sahel region one day in April, the country’s beleaguered armed forces didn’t claim victory: A rival jihadist group did.

Burundi to demand €36 billion from Germany, Belgium for colonial rule | 16 August 2020 | DW

The East African country is a former German colony and lived under Belgian rule until gaining independence almost 60 years ago. A report says its leaders plan to ask the two ex-rulers to pay damages — and not just cash.

South Sudan death toll in disarmament fighting rises, UN sends peacekeepers | 14 August 2020 | Reuters

The death toll in South Sudan’s Warrap State has risen to 148 following fighting this past weekend during a disarmament exercise, a local government official said on Friday, and the U.N. has deployed forces to maintain calm in the region.

Insurgents seize Mozambique port in gas-rich region, local media say | 13 August 2020 | DefenceWeb

Islamist insurgents have captured a heavily-defended port in the far northern Mozambique town of Mocimboa da Praia, close to the site of natural gas projects worth some $60 billion, local media reported on Wednesday.

L’UE et les USA s’opposent à l’intégration des chefs de guerre au sein des FARDC | 12 August 2020 | mediacongo.net

La situation sécuritaire dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) était au cœur des échanges mardi 11 août 2020 entre le Coordonnateur national du Mécanisme de suivi de l’Accord-cadre d’Addis-Abeba, Claude Ibalanky et les partenaires traditionnels de la RDC, dont l’Union Européenne et les Etats-Unis.

Central African Republic: 60 years of strife and struggles | 12 August 2020 | DW

The Central African Republic is celebrating 60 years of independence. It’s people would be entitled to feel there is little to celebrate, considering the levels of poverty, strife and now hunger threatened by COVID-19.

Protection in Danger Monthly News Brief – July 2020 | 12 August 2020 | Insecurity Insight | ReliefWeb

06 July 2020: In Litsho village, near Drodro, Djugu territory, Ituri province, two IDPs working in the fields near to Drodro camp were shot dead and another seriously injured and hospitalised by Coalition of Congolese Democrats (CODECO) militiamen.

Violence in Sudan’s Western Darfur forces 2,500 into Chad | 12 August 2020 | UN News

Recent clashes in Sudan’s Western Darfur region has driven more than 2,500 people across the border into neighbouring Chad, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has reported.

Qui sont les huit victimes, dont six Français, de l’attaque au Niger ? | 11 August 2020 | La Nouvelle République

Quatre filles et deux garçons français, “âgés de 25 à 35 ans” ainsi que deux Nigériens ont perdu la vie le 9 août, victimes d’une attaque dans le sud du pays. Ils s’appelaient Charline, Myriam, Nadifa, Stella, Antonin, Léo, Kadri et Boubacar.

RDC/Sud-Kivu : au moins 128 morts entre février 2019 et juin 2020 dans les Hauts Plateaux où le cycle d’attaques et de représailles se poursuit | 10 August 2020 | Actualite.cd

Au moins 128 civils ont été tués entre février 2019 et juin 2020, dont 21 femmes et sept enfants dans les violents affrontements entre groupes armés et les FARDC, ainsi que dans les attaques contre des civils dans la région des Hauts Plateaux du Sud Kivu, y compris contre des villages et camps de déplacés. Ces chiffres ont été publiés par le Bureau conjoint des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme (BCNUDH). La même source renseigne que 42 femmes et cinq enfants ont été violés. On compte également plus de 95 villages, des écoles et des centres de santé incendiés.

Gunmen massacre six French tourists on Niger giraffe safari | 9 August 2020 | RFI

In possibly the first such attack of its kind, gunmen killed six French tourists as well as their local guide and driver in an area in southwestern Niger known for its unique giraffes.

Ituri : un vaste réseau ADF démantelé par l’armée près de Bunia | 8 August 2020 | mediacongo.net

Un vaste réseau des rebelles ougandais des Forces Démocratiques Alliées (ADF), a été démantelé par les services des renseignements des Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), composé des officiers de centre de coordination des opérations de Beni, dans les opérations “délivrance Mayangose” et ceux de l’Ituri, dans les opérations “Zaruba ya Ituri”.

Almost 150 extrajudicial killings by Malian, Burkinabe troops | 7 August 2020 | France24

Almost 150 people were extrajudicially killed by Malian and Burkinabe security forces in Mali between April and June, the UN said Thursday.

Sexual violence rampant and expanding in armed conflicts | 6 August 2020 | InfoMigrants

Despite a decade of efforts and various resolutions, the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war and to spread terror remains rampant in armed conflicts, states a report by the United Nations. InfoMigrants summarizes the number of cases documented by the UN in 12 conflict settings.

Les islamistes deviennent “plus agressifs” au Mozambique | 6 August 2020 | BBC News

Les militants islamistes multiplient les attaques et actes de barbaries envers les populations et les forces de l’ordre. Les États-Unis ont averti que les militants islamistes deviennent plus agressifs dans la province de Cabo Delgado, au nord du Mozambique, avec le soutien de l’État islamique.

Violences en RDC : plus de 1 300 morts au 1er semestre, trois fois plus que sur la même période en 2019 | 5 August 2020 | Le Telegramme

Plus de 1 300 personnes ont été tuées au premier semestre 2020 par des groupes armés en République démocratique du Congo, trois fois plus que sur la même période en 2019, selon un rapport publié, ce mercredi, par les Nations unies.

Eleventh report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat | 4 August 2020 | UN Security Council

This is my eleventh report on the threat posed by ISIL to international peace and security.2 The report was prepared by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team,3 in close collaboration with the Office of Counter-Terrorism, other United Nations entities and international organizations.

Le mal congolais : Immenses richesses naturelles face à une classe politique irresponsable et controversée ! | 3 August 2020 | Martin Mulumba | mediacongo.net

Placée au centre de l’Afrique, la République démocratique du Congo est par sa taille (2 345 000 km²) et par sa position géostratégique, un acteur clé de l’intégration politique et économique africaine. Mais ce “Grand de l’Afrique noire francophone”, dont l’unification administrative (de 265 tribus, ethnies et langues bantoues et oubanguiennes) fut l’œuvre du seul colonisateur belge depuis 1885, est depuis asphyxié, et devenu une proie facile pour ses voisins se permettant même de violer ses frontières sans rien craindre !

RDC : Crises dans hauts plateaux du Sud-Kivu: entre les faits et les manipulations médiatiques | 3 August 2020 | Dr. Felix Mukwiza Ndahinda | La Libre Afrique

Les hauts plateaux d’Uvira, Fizi et Mwenga, dans la province du Sud-Kivu (République démocratique du Congo), connaissent, depuis plus de trois ans, une crise d’insécurité généralisée et des vagues de violences sans précèdent. Ces violences ont coûté des centaines de vies dans les communautés locales, conduit à la destruction de centaines de villages et au déplacement de milliers d’habitants vers des camps de déplacées, les centres urbains ou à l’étranger.

Rapport Mapping sur le génocide commis en RDC: Plus de 10 ans d’impunité ! | 1 August 2020 | mediacongo.net

Pour lutter contre l’impunité en RDC et dans la région des Grands Lacs, il faut l’application des recommandations du Rapport Mapping des Nations-Unies. C’est depuis toujours le leitmotiv du Dr. Denis Mukwege qui l’a encore répété il y a quelques jours suite aux massacres survenus à Kipupu (Sud-Kivu) et lors de la journée qui commémore l’adoption du Statut de Rome créant la cour pénale internationale (CPI). Mais de quoi est-il véritablement question dans ce rapport qui traîne quelque part dans les tiroirs de l’ONU ? Mais surtout, que peuvent en attendre les Congolais et particumlièrement la population de l’Est du pays ?

20 Years in Prison for 13 Militiamen in DRC | 1 August 2020 | Africa News

Fifteen militiamen have been sentenced to twenty years in prison, announced the Congolese military court said Wednesday, for their participation in a political uprising in Ituri in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019. One militiaman was acquitted for lack of evidence, military prosecutor Major Vicky Lopombo told AFP.

“Centrafrique : les Peuls, une minorité malmenée” | 31 July 2020 | Ouest France

Les Peuls centrafricains (Peuls-Mboro) ne représentent que 6 % de la population. Ils sont de religion musulmane dans un pays majoritairement chrétien et animiste. Éleveurs ou gardiens de bétail, ils sont installés dans les pâturages à l’ouest du pays ou nomades dans la région de Bambari.

Lutte contre la corruption : et le corrupteur dans tout ça ? | 30 July 2020 | Yaga-Burundi

Le nouveau pouvoir au Burundi dit vouloir faire de la lutte contre la corruption l’une de ses priorités. Mais, depuis des lustres, la lutte s’est toujours penchée sur le corrompu et non sur le corrupteur. Qu’en est-il de ce dernier dans ce combat ? D’entrée de jeu, rappelons que le Burundi reste l’un des pays les plus corrompus.

RD Congo : Kidnappings et viols en série dans le parc des Virunga | 30 July 2020 | HRW

Des bandes criminelles ont enlevé contre rançon au moins 170 personnes à proximité du Parc national des Virunga, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, entre avril 2017 et mars 2020. De petits groupes armés de fusils et de machettes ont battu, torturé et assassiné des otages, violant les femmes et les filles, qui représentent plus de la moitié d’entre eux, tout en recourant à des menaces pour extorquer de l’argent à leurs familles.

Congolese journalist forced into exile for documentary on violent evictions | 29 July 2020 | Advox | Global Voices

Congolese journalist Gaël Mpoyo is facing death threats for a 2018 documentary he directed about the forced evictions of villagers living on land that allegedly belongs to former president Joseph Kabila in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Liberia: Intl War Crimes Group Condemns Charles Taylor’s Ex-Wife, Agnes | 29 July 2020 | Front Page Africa

The Swiss-based organization, Civitas Maxima which has been working in collaboration with the Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) to facilitate the documentation of international crimes, and pursues the redress of such crimes on behalf of victims who do not have access to justice, has taken Madam Agnes Reeves-Taylor to task over her damning indictment of the group’s effort in pursuit of alleged perpetrators of the Liberian civil war.

Dozens Killed in Sudan, South Sudan Inter-Communal Fighting | 28 July 2020 | VOA News

Armed men suspected of being from South Sudan’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area stormed a village Monday in Bor County, killing roughly 17 people according to eyewitnesses and state authorities – the latest attack in a wave of deadly inter-communal clashes across the region.

Central African Republic: ICC Sets Trial | 28 July 2020 | HRW

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announcement on July 16, 2020 of the upcoming trial of two militia leaders is a significant step for justice for grave crimes committed in the Central African Republic, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video interview with one of the accused. The interview took place on September 3, 2014, at the height of the country’s most recent conflict.

Cameroon: Civilians Killed in Anglophone Regions | 27 July 2020 | HRW

Cameroonian armed forces have attacked a health facility in the North-West region and arbitrarily arrested seven health workers in the South-West, while armed separatists have killed at least six civilians, including a humanitarian worker and a teacher, since May 2020.

AFRICOM: The Battle for Central Africa | 26 July 2020 | Grey Dynamics | SOFREP

The Central African Republic (CAR) is in a conflict situation. Since 2012, when crisis re-emerged, finding a lasting peace has been difficult. However, Russia is helping. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is battling the Allied Democratic Force and other warlords. It is also facing the rise of an Islamic State (IS) in the northern part of the country.

How Burundi’s independent press lost its freedom | 23 July 2020 | The Conversation

The general and presidential elections of May 2020, followed by the death of President Pierre Nkurunziza, put the international media spotlight on Burundi. The country is now facing one of the darkest times in its history since the 2015 crisis.

Emergency update on Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu (8-22 June 2020) | 6 July 2020 | UNHCR | ReliefWeb

On 15 June UNHCR launched a large-scale soap distribution for refugees, IDPs and members of the host population in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A total of 118 tons of soap will be distributed in the three provinces. Each beneficiary will receive the equivalent of 4 bars of soap (600 gram). The continued violence against civilian population in East Congo is worrisome. Attacks against a displacement site in South Kivu, is particularly worrisome as it arose out of militia incursions into the site that put its civilian character into jeopardy.

Children and armed conflict in Nigeria: Report of the Secretary-General | 6 July 2020 | UN Security Council

The present report, which covers the period from January 2017 to December 2019, is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict. It is the second report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Nigeria and contains information on the impact of armed conflict on children during the period.

Letter dated 1 July 2020 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representatives of the members of the Security Council | 2 July 2020 | UN Security Council

I have the honour to enclose herewith a copy of the briefing in connection with the video-teleconference on peace and security in Africa convened on Monday, 29 June 2020.

Children and armed conflict in the Sudan: Report of the Secretary-General | 29 June 2020 | UN Security Council

The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the sixth report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Sudan. It focuses on trends in and patterns of violations committed against children in Darfur, the Two Areas and Abyei between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2019. It provides information on the perpetrators of the violations, as well as on actions taken by the parties to the conflict to improve the protection of children affected by armed conflict, including dialogue and actions plans. The report also contains a series of recommendations aimed at ending and preventing grave violations against children in the Sudan.

Letter dated 24 June 2020 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representatives of the members of the Security Council | 25 June 2020 | United Nations Security Council

I have the honour to enclose herewith a copy of the briefings in connection with the video-teleconference convened on Monday, 22 June 2020, on the situation in the Central African Republic.

Letter dated 12 June 2020 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representatives of the members of the Security Council | 15 June 2020 | UN Security Council

I have the honour to enclose herewith a copy of the briefing in connection with the video-teleconference on the agenda item entitled “Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan and South Sudan” convened on Wednesday, 10 June 2020.

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