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: Matokeo
In the news: Going deep into Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado extremism; Business and human rights: global developments; Europe faces up to China’s supremacy on raw materials.
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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: MATOKEO
“Artisanal mining is a great threat to habitat, to ecosystems, to biodiversity and to peoples’ livelihoods right across Africa. […] If we don’t work to improve the lives of these people, to help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can’t even try to save the chimpanzees.” Jane Goodall – Primatologist and anthropologist.
Through community-based intervention one can hope to face the greatest challenges of conservation today. This is why we need to use the technology at our disposal to hear the voices of artisanal miners in order to be able to support them. “Matokeo” is a digital bridge between local mining communities and downstream actors along the supply chain.
On October 1st, IPIS and its partner Ulula were very proud to be granted a Tungsten Award from the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge organised by Conservation X for our joint project Matokeo. This award and the words of Jane Goodall resonate strongly with IPIS’ decades of research. In the last ten years IPIS has mapped artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Eastern DRC and worked on the reduction of ASM impact in protected areas, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the UN’s Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN).
What is MATOKEO?
Matokeo, which means ‘Impact’ in Swahili, is a mobile-based solution to help monitor social, environmental and human rights impact of artisanal mining in Eastern DRC. Concretely, Matokeo gives artisanal miners and their communities a voice through reliable data collection about the impact of mineral supply chains. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. By responding to regular and short mobile surveys, the miners can help downstream actors measure and understand the local impact of mineral extraction. Responding to the surveys is free (through automatic mobile credit reimbursement), anonymous and confidential.
Who can use MATOKEO?
Miners and mining communities are recruited from a secured and anonymous database of phone numbers through different means. Direct recruitment (list of phone numbers) during field visits by IPIS surveyors to mining sites, through dissemination activities by partner Congolese Civil Society Organizations (including local workshop or community radio programs) or through direct subscription by sending an SMS to a specific Congolese phone number. IPIS and Ulula are working on the deployment of a pricing information system (for Gold and other minerals), where miners, traders and exporters would receive the latest international price of minerals by sending an SMS. They would then have the option to opt-in to participate in future surveys.
Is MATOKEO already in use?
IPIS and Ulula have been collecting social, environmental and human rights impact data over the past two years. The official launch of Matokeo, with automatic recruitment of participants through mineral pricing information by SMS, is scheduled for mid-2021. Matokeo will build on the partnership between IPIS, Ulula and a network of 20+ Congolese CSOs who worked together in implementing an SMS-based incident reporting and monitoring system for mineral supply chains in Eastern DRC, called Kufatilia.
What is the objective of MATOKEO?
The main objective of Matokeo is to build a robust citizen-centered database of respondents for human security, labour and environmental impact monitoring in the mineral supply chains in Eastern DRC. IPIS and Ulula hope to be able to reduce the costs of data collection while offering robust monitoring of key human rights impacts such as forced labour, child labour, gender violence, mercury use and so on, through continuous monitoring. Matokeo is not another certification or traceability system, but we hope to integrate it into existing mechanisms to create better data loops and support the voices of miners throughout existing mineral supply chains and traceability mechanisms.
How can I know more about MATOKEO?
You can read more about the project and keep posted on future development by regularly checking the IPIS website and social media or by subscribing to our newsletter. You can also read more about Ulula’s technology platform supporting Matokeo. If you are a company wanting to connect about getting access to data generated by Matokeo, please contact us. Congolese CSOs who are part of the IPIS network in Eastern DRC will be given free access to the Matokeo generated dataset.
Researcher and GIS manager
IN THE NEWS
BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Multinationals and human rights abuses: are there any good news? | 27 October 2020 | OpenDemocracy
We have moved from soft law to the request of multinational corporations of a regulation of their obligations related to human rights. Is there a shift in the global market?
Slavery charges against Canadian mining company settled on the sly | 26 October 2020 | The Conversation
Mining is major business in Canada, particularly operations conducted beyond its borders. The Canadian mining industry, however, has often been criticized for its human rights record abroad. In 2014, three Eritrean plaintiffs launched a class-action lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court against a Vancouver-based mining company, Nevsun Resources.
EU One Step Closer to Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime | 24 October 2020 | White & Case LLP | JD Supra
The European Commission and the EU’s Foreign Policy High Representative have put forward a proposal for a new, non-country-based sanctions programme to address human rights violations and abuses with asset freezes and travel bans. This proposal must be approved by all 27 Member States within the EU Council before it becomes law, and before any designations can be made under the programme.
Business and Human Rights: Global Developments (pdf) | 23 October 2020 | Covington & Burling LLP
Since Covington’s last global Business and Human Rights update, there have been significant developments in national, regional, and international regulatory and enforcement initiatives, which have continued to exert pressure on companies to develop or enhance their processes for identifying and mitigating human rights risks in their global operations and value chains. While the majority of these initiatives have focused on measures designed to incentivize companies to conduct human rights due diligence generally across their operations, recent months have also seen a flurry of legislative and regulatory activity focused on specific human rights issues in value chains connected to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”) in China. This alert provides an update on the key regulatory, legislative, and multilateral developments.
French activists say 100,000 hurt by Total’s Ugandan oil operation | 20 October 2020 | Reuters
Over 100,000 people in Uganda and Tanzania have been hurt by human rights violations linked to the Total’s oil operations in Uganda, two French activist groups said in a report on Tuesday.
In Rubaya, 45 kilometres from the North Kivu city of Goma, in a dozen open-pit mines that quickly turn into mud pits at the slightest rainfall, school-age children work tirelessly, digging, washing, sorting and transporting the minerals niobium, cassiterite and coltan (colombite-tantalites). The strain of this exhausting work shows on their faces. These minerals will primarily be used to manufacture capacitors, which are present in all electronic devices. And as the insatiable appetite of the new digital economy continues to grow, demand for these minerals shows no sign of abating.
EU Conflict Minerals Regulation | 15 October 2020 | Travers Smith LLP
The EU passed a Regulation on Conflict Minerals (“the Regulation”) back in 2017 and its requirements will finally begin to apply to importers of covered minerals as of 1 January 2021. Conflict minerals – usually “the 3Ts” (tantalum, tin, and tungsten) and gold (“3TG”) are crucial in the components of many consumer electronic products and have applications in aerospace, automotive, medical and other sectors. The mining of these elements has been linked to the advancement of armed conflict and human rights abuses, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa. The Regulation requires EU importers to conduct robust due diligence in their supply chains in order to cut off the flow of finance to the mines controlled by rebel groups committing these abuses.
Supply Chains Under Scrutiny: Targeting Human Rights and Forced Labor Risks | 13 October 2020 | JD Supra
This summer, one of the UK’s best-known online brands found its supply chain at the center of a high-profile modern slavery investigation. Within hours of the story breaking the company’s share price plummeted, as commentators, politicians, and the wider public shared their verdict on the allegations leveled against it.
Notorious tax haven British Virgin Islands to introduce public register of company owners | 12 October 2020 | ICIJ
The territory’s secrecy rules have long attracted criminals and secretive companies created there have featured in several ICIJ investigations on offshore finance.
Liberia: Mining Undermines Conservation of Forest Next to Nimba Reserve | 8 October 2020 | Front Page Africa
In April earlier this year, Blei community forest signed a US$99,000 memorandum of understanding with ArcelorMittal Liberia. The fund is intended for Blei’s forest guards to monitor species and maintain its border with the East Nimba Nature Reserve (ENNR), home to endangered and endemic plants and animals such as the West African Chimpanzee, the Nimba Toad and Nimba Flycatcher. Blei is also seeking support from the United States Forest Service to set up an ecotourism program in the over-631-hectare forestland across the Gbehley-Geh, Yarmein and Sehyi districts.
Trade Union Comments: Legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises (pdf) | 8 October 2020 | International Trade Union Confederation
The Covid-19 pandemic has once again exposed the fragility of global supply chains and business models built on non-standard forms of employment and informality. Following the global drop in demand as a result of the pandemic, many companies resorted to abruptly ending the procurement of goods and services and even to defaulting on prior commitments made – with the consequence of a disastrous impact for workers in global supply chains.
Why the UN must set up an independent body to tackle sexual abuse | 8 October 2020 | The New Humanitarian
‘The abuse, the denial, the internal closing of the ranks, the excuses, the passing of the buck: It had all happened before.’
DR Congo to probe allegations of sex abuse by Ebola workers | 8 October 2020 | CGTN
DR Congo said Thursday it would launch an inquiry into accusations that international workers in an anti-Ebola campaign had sexually abused local women.
FinCEN Files reporting from across Africa | 7 October 2020 | ICIJ
From Botswana to The Gambia, African reporters investigated suspicious transactions linked to prominent politicians, arms companies, the ivory, gold and diamond trades, and more.
African governments warned over commodities misinvoicing “red flags” | 7 October 2020 | Global Trade Review
How to beat the lack of data on illicit outflows draining Africa of capital and tax | 10 October 2020 | UNCTAD | The Financial Express
African economies are losing around US$50bn through illicit financial flows (IFFs) each year, with much of the damage rooted in trade misinvoicing of commodity exports, claims a new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Why human rights should guide responses to the global pandemic | 6 October 2020 | The Conversation
The coronavirus pandemic has killed over a million people globally and disrupted healthcare and political systems, economies, social bonds and religious practices. What can South Africa’s Bill of Rights and international human rights treaties contribute to coronavirus responses and recovery strategies in the country and globally?
Do victims of corporate human rights violations get justice? (Report) | 6 October 2020 | EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
Holding big business responsible for its human rights violations is difficult and many victims never get justice, finds a new report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). This is due to the complexity of multinational corporations spanning different countries with networks of subsidiaries and supply chains. The report identifies practical, procedural and financial barriers the EU and its Member States should eliminate to ensure victims of such violations have access to effective remedies.
Swiss government opposes responsible business initiative campaign | 6 October 2020 | Reuters
Switzerland’s government urged voters on Tuesday to reject a plan to hold Swiss-based companies responsible by law for human rights and environmental abuses abroad, saying the campaign by activists went too far.
Dan Gertler and Afriland First Bank start legal fight in Paris | 6 October 2020 | The Africa Report
The Israeli businessman and the Cameroonian bank’s DRC subsidiary, accused in July by the NGO Global Witness, for, amongst other things, corrupt practices, each filed lawsuits in Paris. A legal wrestle has begun.
Pre-Draft of the EU Mandatory Corporate Due Diligence and Corporate Accountability Initiative: 10 Questions Businesses Need to Know | 5 October 2020 | Paul Hastings LLP
Throughout the year, there has been a steady march toward an EU requirement that companies doing business in the EU conduct broad human rights due diligence across their operations and into their supply chains. Last week, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs continued that momentum, publishing a draft report and a draft Directive.
Germany: Business And Human Rights: Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence – Germany Moves Closer To Enacting Its Own Law | 5 October 2020 | The Mayer Brown Practices | Mondaq
As outlined in our previous briefing, there is an ongoing international trend towards mandatory human rights due diligence legislation, which is gaining further momentum and support across the globe.
How to Implement Formalization of the Artisanal Mining Sector in Africa | 2 October 2020 | Mining Newswire
Many projects in Africa support the development of the mining sector, with platforms like the Virtu Gem marketing platform, the Fair Cobalt Alliance and the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge advocating for the support of the African artisanal mining sector.
Combating wildlife trafficking: Agencies Work to Address Human Rights Abuse Allegations in Overseas Conservation Programs (Report) | 2 October 2020 | US Government Accountability Office
U.S. agencies provide training and equipment for park rangers overseas to combat wildlife trafficking and protect natural areas. However, media and non-governmental organization reports have alleged that U.S.-funded organizations have supported park rangers who have committed human rights violations, including sexual assaults and killings in Africa and Asia.
Germany: Respect Child Rights in Global Supply Chains | 1 October 2020 | HRW
A German law that would require companies to exercise due diligence throughout their supply chains could greatly benefit children’s rights, Human Rights Watch, Kindernothilfe, Plan International Germany, Save the Children, Terre des hommes, UNICEF Germany, and World Vision said today in a joint briefing paper. The organizations called upon the government to introduce a robust supply chains law during this legislative period.
Aid workers accused of sexual abuse in DR Congo | 30 September 2020 | DW
World Health Organization and other aid agency staff tackling the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been accused of sexually abusing and exploiting over 50 women. But the issue is not a new one.
UNICEF statement on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo | 30 September 2020 | UNICEF
“UNICEF is appalled that people who identify as UNICEF workers have reportedly committed abuse against vulnerable women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
More than 50 women accuse aid workers of sex abuse in Congo Ebola crisis | 29 September 2020 | The New Humanitarian
Power, poverty, and aid: The mix that fuelled sex abuse claims in Congo | 29 September 2020 | The New Humanitarian
More than 50 women have accused Ebola aid workers from the World Health Organization and leading NGOs of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an investigation by The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed.
En Centrafrique, le coronavirus fait perdre au diamant de son éclat | 27 October 2020 | Le Monde
« L’économie africaine face au Covid-19 ». La filière diamantifère, affaiblie depuis 2013, est durement frappée par les conséquences de la crise sanitaire.
Differentiating diamonds: proving the provenance of precious gems | 19 October 2020 | Mining Technology
As consumers’ interest in the ethical provenance of diamonds grows, blockchain technology firm Everledger, after receiving an additional $7m in funding, is strengthening its precious gems traceability offering, with a focus on sustainability and origin stories. We spoke to the company’s chief experience officer, Louise Mercer, to find out more.
Geopolitical hotspot: the race to dominate renewables | 16 October 2020 | Geographical
The switch to renewables is likely to be as geopolitically transformative as the switch from coal to oil and gas. Tim Marshall lays out the plausible geopolitical scenarios as countries rally for renewable dominance.
Resource curse, enlightened leadership and pressure from below | 12 October 2020 | The Guardian (Nigeria)
Keynote address by Dr. Otive Igbuzor, founding Executive Director of African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Senate President at the launch of two books on the impact of mining on communities and management of 13 percent derivation by NEITI on October 6, 2020.
A mineral competing with gold for the throne of the safe… | 12 October 2020 | al Khaleej Today
In recent years, a precious metal has become the strongest competitor for gold to occupy the throne of safe investment, especially at a time of epidemics, wars and political tensions that negatively affect the risk appetite of investors and push them to search for safe havens to invest their money.
While we’re focusing on coups and corruption, non-Africans are stealing our lunch | 11 October 2020 | IOL
While we – in South Africa – are focusing on Africa’s wars, coups, corruption and Covid-19 stats or are torching police vans and storming courtrooms, non-Africans are stealing our lunch. They are continuing to exploit resources in countries that are not even on our radar – like South Sudan.
Mineral tracking tool helps Zambia combat IFFs | 10 October 2020 | Financial Express
A mineral tracking system designed by UNCTAD and the Zambian Revenue Authority (ZRA) makes it easier to detect illicit trade practices that drain billions of dollars each year from the copper-rich nation and its people.
Memo: Kimberley Process, Cornerstone of the Natural Diamond’s Social Commitment | 8 October 2020 | Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council | IDEX
Memo: Searching for Blood Diamonds | 13 August 2020 | IDEX
On August 13, 2020, IDEX Online posted a Memo by its correspondent John Jeffay. In it, he reported on a discussion he had with Jacques Voorhees, a long-time industry entrepreneur, recalling an article that the latter had written in January 2002, entitled “In Search of Conflict Diamonds.” There, Mr. Voorhees recounted his experiences in Sierra Leone during the civil war 20 years ago.
UAE-Israel accord could bring new sparkle to Dubai diamond trade | 7 October 2020 | Reuters
The week that Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalised ties, Israeli diamond trader Zvi Shimshi headed to the United Arab Emirates to open a company in Dubai, a regional trade hub that is a major centre for the precious stones.
Regulations tailored to alluvial diamonds will reward South Africa with jobs | 6 October 2020 | EngineeringNews
South Africa’s one-size-fits-all mining legislation is losing vital jobs for the country in the job-intensive alluvial diamonds space that requires regulations tailored to junior mining to survive, South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) reiterated on Monday.
Mali: Comment éviter que l’or ne serve au financement du terrorisme ? | 5 October 2020 | MaliActu.net
Comme on peut aisément le constater, le terrorisme est un business bien lucratif pour certains qui n’hésitent pas à le financer via des sociétés de transfert d’argent ou des ONG. Pendant que des centaines de personnes en meurent, le terrorisme constitue une échelle d’ascension sociale et économique pour une catégorie d’acteurs qui ont tout intérêt à ce que les attaques ne prennent jamais fin. Le ver est bien dans le fruit. Il faut impérativement l’en extirper.
Europe faces up to China’s supremacy on raw materials | 5 October 2020 | Euractiv
When COVID-19 hit Europe and disrupted global supply chains, the EU came to a sobering realisation – it cannot continue to rely solely on imports for raw materials.
Ethiopia Gold Exports Surge After Crackdown on Smuggling | 2 October 2020 | Bloomberg
Ethiopian gold exports surged after the central bank offered higher prices for the metal in a bid to curb smuggling and as part of wider efforts to spur investment in mining.
Critical Minerals and the New Geopolitics | 2 October 2020 | Project Syndicate
The tension between the geographic concentration of vital metallic elements and the increasing scramble to secure them will further unsettle geopolitics in the twenty-first century. Rich-country governments must now follow China’s lead and build new avenues of trust and cooperation with developing countries.
Coup upheaval takes the shine off Mali’s gold exports | 30 September 2020 | African Business Magazine
What are the implications of the August coup in Mali for its investment environment? Charlie Mitchell examines the prospects for business in a country that has suffered from long-term instability.
United States Provides Additional US $6 Million For Conventional Weapons Destruction in The Democratic Republic of The Congo | 22 October 2020 | US Embassy in the DR Congo
The United States government announces an additional US $6 million for conventional weapons destruction and stockpile management programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The United States has now contributed more than $36 million since 2002 to improve weapons security and accountability, destroy excess and obsolete munitions, and clear landmines and unexploded ordnance in the DRC.
United States Government Provides Additional Usd 11.1 Million For Humanitarian Demining And Weapons Stockpile Management In Angola | 19 October 2020 | US Embassy in Angola
The Government of the United States of America is pleased to announce an additional USD 11.1 million for new humanitarian demining and weapons stockpile management projects in Angola. With increased funding in 2020, the United States has now contributed over USD 145 million for these efforts in Angola since 1995. The United States remains the largest bilateral donor for humanitarian demining in Angola, and strongly supports the Government of Angola’s goal to safely clear all minefields in the country by 2025.
Ten armored personnel carriers arrive in Central African Republic from Russia | 15 October 2020 | TASS
The armored personnel carriers were delivered from Russia by an Antonov-124 Ruslan cargo plane.
South Africa’s Denel seeks $231 million state support | 9 October 2020 | Reuters
South African state defence company Denel has asked for 3.8 billion rand ($231 million) in state financial support over the next three fiscal years, the National Treasury told Reuters on Friday.
Chinese company lauds Buhari’s approval to establish factories in 2 states | 9 October 2020 | Pulse.ng
A Chinese Company, Erojim Investments Ltd. has lauded the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for allowing the company to establish garment and leather factories in Kano and Abia States.
DoD appoints Save Denel team | 7 October 2020 | DefenceWeb
Alarmed by financial difficulties at Denel and their impact on SA National Defence Force (SANDF) projects, the Department of Defence (DoD) appointed a Save Denel technical team.
Kenya: Commercial Imperative in Chinese Arms Exports to Africa 2020 (Report) | 1 October 2020 | Geeska Afrika Online
New Working Paper and Policy Brief and International Security By. Elijah N. Munyi. The past decade has seen a rise in the global share of Chinese defense sales – in this set of publications, Elijah N. Munyi looks at the implications for the African continent. Munyi examines the motivations for some African states’ growing preference for Chinese arms with a particular focus on case studies conducted in Uganda and Kenya. Read on to find out how Prof. Munyi delves into the nuance behind the preferences for military procurement.
US donates vehicles to Ethiopia, Kenya | 30 September 2020 | DefenceWeb
The United States has donated vehicles to Ethiopia and Kenya to strengthen their respective militaries against al Shabaab.
Expedite actions against secessionists – Small Arms Commission tells govt | 30 September 2020 | GhanaWeb
Board Chairman of the National Commission on Small and Light Arms, Rev Professor Paul Frimpong Manso, has called for swift actions to be taken against the secessionists who besieged Juapong last Friday.
Transaction bancaire: une société burkinabè épinglée par le Trésor américain | 21 September 2020 | L’Economiste du Faso
„FinCEN dosijei“: Sumnjive transakcije u srpskoj industriji oružja | 25 September 2020 | KRIK
Quel est le lien entre une banque au Burkina Faso, une société de sécurité, un musicien, un franco-libanais, une société serbe et le trésor américain ?
Going Deep Into Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Extremism | 29 October 2020 | Africa in Fact | AllAfrica
o counter violent extremism in places such as Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado properly, it’s necessary to understand the root causes of such conflicts and how mining operations can worsen them. Since October 2017, Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique has been the site of an escalating insurgency, led by Islamist militant group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jammah (ASWJ), which has claimed the lives of about 1,500 people and displaced 310,000.
Somalia conflict: Al-Shabab ‘collects more revenue than government’ | 27 October 2020 | BBC
A Losing Game: Countering Al-Shabab’s Financial System (pdf) | October 2020 | Hiraal Institute
Using intimidation and violence, Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabab raises as much revenue as the country’s authorities, a report says. The militants collect at least $15m (£11m) a month, with more than half the amount coming from the capital, Mogadishu, the Hiraal Institute said.
Burundi: 65 Organizations Call for Immediate Release of Iwacu Journalists | 22 October 2020 | HRW
On the first anniversary of their arrest, 65 organizations call for the immediate and unconditional release of the Iwacu journalists Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana and Térence Mpozenzi who were convicted on charges against state security for simply doing their job. Their continued detention on baseless charges is a stark reminder that, despite a recent change in leadership, the Burundian government has little tolerance for independent journalism and free speech, the organizations said.
DR Congo: Wanted Warlord Preys on Civilians | 20 October 2020 | HRW
Congolese authorities have not arrested a rebel commander wanted for multiple crimes under a June 2019 warrant even as his forces have continued to carry out summary killings, rapes and sexual slavery, extortion, and forced recruitment of children.
RDC-Ituri : une faction des combattants CODECO se retire du processus de paix | 17 October 2020 | Actualite.cd
C’est la faction dénommée “Alliance pour la libération du Congo/ CODECO” qui a décidé de quitter le processus de paix. C’est pourtant la première faction à avoir adhéré en juillet dernier au processus mené par des anciens chefs de guerre de l’Ituri dépêchés par le Chef de l’Etat Félix Tshisekedi. La délégation de la mission de paix parle d’une “auto-exclusion”.
East African Terror Groups Are Exploiting The Seas | 16 October 2020 | Eurasia Review
Violent extremist groups operating in East Africa such as al-Shabaab, Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic State in East Africa Somalia (IS-Somalia) are increasingly making use of gaps in maritime security. Counter-terrorism strategies must target this aspect of their operations to stop extremists exploiting Africa’s coasts through attacks, smuggling and extortion.
Ituri : des miliciens CODECO attaquent des positions des FARDC à Liko, 2 morts | 15 October 2020 | Radio Okapi
Deux personnes ont été tuées mercredi 14 octobre par les miliciens de CODECO, lors d’une attaque des positions des FARDC au village de Liko, dans le territoire de Djugu (Ituri). Ces hommes armés seraient venus du village proche de Wadda en secteur de Walendu Tatsi, annoncent des sources sécuritaires.
EU assistance for Mozambique | 15 October 2020 | DefenceWeb
The European Union granted Mozambique’s request for assistance in tackling attacks in the country’s north by rebels with links to Islamic State, the EU delegation in the southern African country said.
Conflict Trends in Africa, 1989–2019 | 14 October 2020 | PRIO
Africa has seen some of the deadliest conflicts in history. Since the early 2000s, however, battle-related deaths in the region have remained relatively low. This PRIO Paper takes a closer look at trends in conflicts in Africa between 1989 and 2019 and compares them to global trends, using data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). In addition, the paper analyzes trends in ceasefires and peace agreements during the same period, as well as trends in peacekeeping operations from 1994 to 2018.
RCA : nouvelle découverte des mines d’or à Bavara, les 3R renforcent leur présence dans la ville | 14 October 2020 | Corbeau News
La présence massive des combattants rebelles de 3R lourdement armé dans les localités de Paoua, situé dans la préfecture de l’Ouham-Péndé continue de paniquer les populations locales. Dans la commune de Bimbi, on parle désormais d’une nouvelle découverte des mines d’or, et les rebelles de 3R arrivent pratiquement chaque jour et renforcent leur position, poussant les populations à fuir.
Un groupe de bandits arrêtés avec des centaines de boeufs volés dans la région du Nord | 13 October 2020 | ActuCameroun
Les gendarmes viennent de démanteler un réseau de voleurs de bétail dans la région du Nord. C’est que rapporte la CRTV-radio dans le journal de 13h ce lundi. Le cerveau présumé du gang a été arrêté et ses complices localisés, selon la même source.
Victims or villains? The volunteer fighters on Burkina Faso’s front line | 12 October 2020 | The New Humanitarian
When Burkina Faso’s government called for civilians to fight against the jihadists terrorising their communities, Amadoum Tamboura was stirred to act. But the weapons the politicians promised never arrived, leaving the 56-year-old defenceless as militants attacked his village.
RDC : un écogarde tué dans le parc national des Virunga | 12 October 2020 | GoodPlanet
Le Parc national des Virunga (PNVi), joyau naturel et touristique de l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, a annoncé dimanche la mort d’un écogarde dans une attaque attribuée aux rebelles hutu rwandais des Forces démocratiques pour la libération du Rwanda (FDLR), dans un communiqué.
Tanzania: Laws weaponized to undermine political and civil freedoms ahead of elections | 12 October 2020 | Amnesty International
Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s government has built up a formidable arsenal of laws to stifle all forms of dissent and effectively clamp down on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly ahead of elections on 28 October, Amnesty International said as they launched the report Lawfare – Repression by Law Ahead of Tanzania’s General Elections today.
Conflict until the cows come home | 11 October 2020 | Mail & Guardian
For Otto Washington Okwera, a South Sudanese crop farmer, cattle bring only destruction. “The cattle come and destroy all the things in the garden,” he said. Disputes between crop farmers and pastoralists are not new, nor are they unique to South Sudan.
RDC: Minembwe, l’enclave Tutsi des Hauts-Plateaux qui enflamme les ressentiments anti-Rwanda | 11 October 2020 | L’Obs
Assis en bas d’un vallon isolé, les femmes à gauche et les hommes à droite d’un cercueil en bois, 500 personnes assistent aux obsèques de Bonaventure Kinyegeria, un éleveur de vaches tué par des miliciens le 6 octobre près de Minembwe dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo.
Is South Africa Prepared for the Next Wave of Xenophobic Violence? | 9 October 2020 | HRW
When I met a Zimbabwean truck driver, Tinei Takawira, in Durban last year, he was recovering from life-threatening injuries. He told me that on 25 March 2019, a man who was part of a protesting group of locals knifed him in the stomach, in broad daylight as the police looked on. The police did not apprehend the attackers or help him get medical care.
The secret to the northern Mozambique insurgency’s success | 8 October 2020 | War on the Rocks
This has been a banner year for Ahlu-Sunnah Wa-Jama (ASWJ) — or al-Shabaab, as locals call it — operating in northern Mozambique. Between January and September, the insurgent group launched an estimated 357 attacks, which is double the attacks it conducted during the same period last year. In the spring, ASWJ moved on from exclusively attacking isolated villages and individuals to launching complex, dual-front attacks against district capitals, remaining within those locations for short periods of time before leaving of their own accord.
Ituri: l’ONU condamne l’activisme des CODECO qui ont mené 140 attaques de juin à septembre 2020 | 8 October 2020 | Mediacongo.net
Le rapport trimestriel de l’ONU entre juin et septembre 2020 sur la situation sécuritaire en RDC; retrace un tableau sombre sur la sécurité des populations dans la province de l’Ituri. Selon ce rapport, au cours de ces 3 derniers mois, les conditions de sécuritaires dans cette partie du pays se sont considérablement détériorées.
South Sudan military court jails 24 soldiers for rape, looting | 8 October 2020 | Xinhua
A military court in South Sudan on Thursday sentenced 24 soldiers to various jail terms over rape and looting. The soldiers from the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) received jail terms that range from two to 14 years after being found guilty of rape, looting and selling military equipment.
La vie des homosexuels au Rwanda | 8 October 2020 | DW
Elle est victime de stéréotypes, de discrimination, de rejet ou de déni de ses droits : la communauté LGBT du Rwanda fait face à de nombreux problèmes avec le rejet par le parlement d’une loi anti LGBT en 2006.
Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Violence and Keeping Children Safe in Uganda’s Refugee Hosting Districts | 8 October 2020 | World Bank
Displaced communities and those that host large numbers of refugees face high risks of violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, according to a new World Bank assessment.
UN warns of ‘extremely dangerous’ hate speech ahead of Guinea vote | 8 October 2020 | MacauBusiness
The United Nations voiced alarm Wednesday at ethnically-charged hate speech flourishing in the run-up to Guinea’s elections later this month, warning the situation was “extremely dangerous” and could lead to violence.
Human rights violations threaten elections in Central African Republic | 7 October 2020 | Atrocity Alert | Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Although fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) has generally decreased since the signing of a peace agreement between the government and 14 armed groups in February 2019, attacks against civilians continue.
Des civils tués par des milices en Ituri et au Nord-Kivu | 6 October 2020 | VoA
Des civils ont été tués ces trois derniers jours dans des zones reculées en Ituri et dans le Nord-Kivu, dans des attaques attribuées à des milices, a-t-on appris lundi de sources locales et onusiennes.
Regional military experts probe entry of Burundian rebels into Rwanda | 6 October 2020 | Xinhua
A team of military experts under the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), a Great Lakes regional military framework, on Monday investigated 19 Burundian fighters’ illegal entry into Rwanda, the Rwandan military said.
Starvation used as weapon of war in South Sudan conflict, UN rights body finds | 6 October 2020 | UN News
South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 but descended into conflict roughly two-and-a-half years later, following irreconcilable tensions between President Salva Kiir and his deputy, Riek Machar. The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said the brutal fighting has caused incalculable suffering to civilians, and resulted in staggering levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition.
Violence against women: Africa’s shadow pandemic | 6 October 2020 | DW
The number of cases of sexualized violence and femicide in Africa has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will those in power finally grow aware of the extent of the problem?
Unrelenting violence continues to impact children in Ituri, eastern DRC | 5 October 2020 | UNICEF
UNICEF continues to be deeply concerned about thousands of children at risk amid unrelenting violence in Ituri, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Transhumance transfrontalière : la saison des morts à Kétou | 5 October 2020 | Banouto
Tuées par balle, égorgées ou éventrées à coups de machettes, plusieurs personnes sont atrocement assassinées dans des conflits entre éleveurs et agriculteurs dans la commune de Kétou à la frontalière sud-est du Bénin avec le Nigéria. Plongée au cœur d’une bataille saisonnière qui empoisonne la vie des populations.
Joint Letter Re: Concerns and Recommendations on Somalia’s New Media Law | 5 October 2020 | HRW
On behalf of Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Human Rights Watch, we write to you to share concerns regarding the amendment to the media law which you signed into law in August 2020.
Mozambique’s Insurgency & Prospects for Regional Insecurity | 4 October 2020 | Global Risk Insights
he discovery of large mineral and liquid natural gas deposits in Mozambique in 2010 boded well for Mozambique’s future, but conflict between Islamist militants and the central government over these resources has resulted in many fatalities and mass displacement. The President of Mozambique downplays the seriousness of the situation, but neighboring African states and African regional bodies fear that the conflict will spread beyond Mozambique’s borders.
Russia’s Strategy in Africa | 4 October 2020 | Global Risk Insights
Rumours of Russian involvement in Mali have gained momentum since 2018. Russia has been accused of backing the coup that took place in August 2020, orchestrated by high ranking members of the Malian army. These officers had, in fact, returned a week before the coup from two months’ training in Russia. The coincidence was enough for analysts to link Assimi Goita, leader of the new Junta, to the Russian government. Even if this link has yet to be proven, the growing connection between Russia and sub-Saharan countries is threatening the balance of power in the region.
10 ans du Rapport Mapping: tensions, répression et bastonnade dans une marche de « justice » à Kisangani | 2 October 2020 | Politico.cd
Interdite par l’autorité urbaine, la marche pacifique organisée pour le dixième anniversaire du rapport Mapping s’est tenue, jeudi 01 octobre à Kisangani, sur fond des tensions dues à la persistance des organisateurs.
Situation of human rights in Burundi (A/HRC/45/L.36/Rev.1) | 1 October 2020 | OHCHR | UN General Assembly
Condemns in the strongest terms all human rights violations and abuses committed in Burundi…
DR Congo: Take Concrete Steps to End Impunity | 1 October 2020 | HRW
The Congolese authorities and the United Nations have not done enough to hold human rights violators to account and deliver justice to victims a decade after the landmark UN Congo Mapping Exercise Report was published in October 2010, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.
Shadowy militia sows fear in C. Africa ahead of vote | 30 September 2020 | Modern Ghana
Major Ashif is tense as he watches from the turret of his armoured vehicle as the muddy road in front of him slowly unwinds. His is the lead vehicle in a UN escort shepherding a convoy through northwest Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world’s poorest and most violent countries — and the thick undergrowth on either side of the road is perfect for an ambush.
The key to peace in the Lake Chad area is water, not military action | 30 September 2020 | The Conversation
Lake Chad is an extremely shallow water body in the Sahel. It was once the world’s sixth largest inland water body with an open water area of 25,000 km2 in the 1960s, it shrunk dramatically at the beginning of the 1970s and reduced to less than 2,000 km2 during the 1980s, decreasing by more than 90% its area. It is one of the largest lakes in Africa. It is an endorheic lake – meaning that it doesn’t drain towards the ocean.