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IPIS Briefing September 2021 – Some thoughts on diamonds, brides and marketing lies

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: Some Thoughts on Diamonds, Brides and Marketing Lies.

In the news: U.N. Footage From Northern Ethiopia Shows Humanitarian Crisis; The Importance of a New Conflict-Diamond Definition; Corporate Criminal Liability for International Crimes: France and Sweden Are Poised To Take Historic Steps Forward.

New subscribers can register here to receive the briefing and updates on IPIS’ new maps and reports.

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

Some Thoughts on Diamonds, Brides and Marketing Lies

Didier Verbruggen

There are few economic sectors as dependent on a positive product image as the diamond industry. The reason is that gem diamonds have no intrinsic value. They don’t because they have no practical use. This in contrast to other personal luxury products like designer clothing – which protect you from cold – or high-end watches – which tell you what time it is. Diamond marketing is therefore a textbook example of what social critics accuse marketeers of, namely that they create artificial needs and manipulate people in order to sell them superfluous products. Tadek Solarz, a well-known maverick in the Dutch marketing world, articulates this view on one of the driving forces of consumerism, as follows (own translation): “In nine out of ten cases, needs are not identified by marketeers, but created. Same for the subsequent wish to fulfill that need immediately, as a kind of marketing Aladdin. Just rub the miracle lamp and all your wishes will be fulfilled.”

A prime example of this is the targeting of future wedding couples by the diamond industry. They account for 37 % of all diamond jewellery purchases worldwide, which makes this market the backbone of the global diamond industry, totalling USD 64 billion in 2020. The presumed custom, where men present an engagement ring to their loved one when proposing marriage, is the result of persistent marketing campaigns by former diamond monopolist De Beers in the US, where approximately half of all diamond jewellery is sold. The famous marketing campaign slogan ‘Diamonds are forever’, was accompanied by a huge budget for advertising and product placement in Hollywood movies (and by the British royal family), and caused the share of brides-to-be receiving a diamond engagement ring, to rise from 10% in 1940 to 80% in 1990. Nowadays, still over 70% of American future brides expect to receive this costly symbol of eternal love, while about two million couples get married each year. Part of the etiquette that emerged around this love token, is the widely shared, rather unsentimental belief that it should cost about three times the monthly salary of the groom-to-be. In 2018, the latter spent an average of USD 7,800 on the much-coveted accessory.

In recent years, Chinese brides have also succumbed to sophisticated diamond marketing strategies: 47% of them have a diamond ring on their finger, a custom that was virtually unknown in China a few decades ago. China is the world’s second largest consumer of diamond jewellery while the market of that other BRIC country, India, is also growing fast. In the US, China and India combined, marketing campaigns have led 60% to 70% of consumers to believe that diamonds are an essential part of an engagement. Given the huge populations of China and India, and the continuing growth of their economies, the global wedding market offers particularly favourable prospects for the diamond industry.

People who nowadays get married – Millennials and Generation Z in marketing terms – have grown up on a deeply polluted planet marked by overconsumption and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. Market research shows that they are aware of this and that 60 to 70 % of younger generations in the US, China and India consider sustainability when making a purchase decision. Put cynically, it is hence the marketeer’s job to convince young lovers that they’re doing the right thing when investing their money in a diamond engagement ring, i.e. to imprint an association of diamonds with beneficial moral values in their minds.

A lot of work still needs to be done according to a recent market survey, as currently only 1 to 3 % of consumers associate diamonds with sustainability. The survey also shows that, despite the abovementioned concerns over environmental and social ethics, purchases of diamond jewellery are still overwhelmingly motivated by the association with beauty, love, wealth, and eternity among American, Chinese, and Indian consumers. The abundance of ‘positive story-telling’ and sustainability rhetoric in current diamond marketing seems to prevent consumers from turning away from diamonds for moral reasons, pending a true ethical turn in their purchase decision-making process.

In short, the sustainability discourse is considered a new trend in diamond marketing, which at present still only resonates with a very small fraction of the public. To enhance the power of the association of diamonds with ethics, marketeers will have to compete with traditional moral systems of which none, religious or secular, recommends their adherents to spend their money on useless luxury items.

It’s a difficult task and it can be complicated by opposite messaging, for instance in narratives of civil society actors about how they experience the dark side of the diamond industry. Examples of such narratives can be found in last year’s research reports of IPIS’ NGO partners in the Kimberley Process (KP), a government-led certification scheme originally intended to bar the access of blood diamonds to consumer markets. The findings show that mining communities in their home-countries are cheated out of diamond mining benefits by their own governments, often in collusion with companies (Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Conakry). Other reports highlight the dysfunctionality of the KP itself (Cameroon), or environmental degradation because of industrial diamond mining, leading to severe health problems in communities (Lesotho). Further research by the KP Civil Society Coalition reports the existence of modern-day blood diamonds due to ongoing ties between diamonds and brutal human rights abuses in Angola, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Needless to say that none of these reports are ever referenced in ‘content’ produced by diamond industry marketeers.

So what does this entail for the grooms-to-be who ponder about a suitable gift for their future wives? A simple answer would be: if a diamond ring is to your liking, ask your retailer where the diamonds come from and then do some research on their places of origin. But the origin of the diamonds is only known in very rare instances by the retailers. Despite countless announcements of the emergence of new tracking technologies in the diamond industry, the current state of affairs is that the overwhelming majority of stones set in jewellery cannot be traced back to the mine they came from due to the complexity and opacity of supply-chains in the industry. This fact alone obviously puts a big question mark behind the equally overwhelming amount of responsible sourcing messages in diamond marketing.

In other words, to-be-weds for whom ethics govern purchasing decisions, should realize that while buying diamond jewellery helps to pay wages for those employed in the sector (and dividends to shareholders), it also holds a considerable risk of contributing to a range of social and environmental problems, including grave human rights abuses. A compromise for consumers could be to offset that risk somehow by donating part of their jewellery budget to a charity. For example, a charity that tries to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in the supply-chain. (Doing this, they should consider that it would still be an approximate solution at best, as human life and suffering cannot be monetized.)

In the absence of an etiquette determining a suitable amount to donate, young lovers could educate themselves on the cost to society (e.g. local communities; employees; future generations) of the negative social and environmental effects caused by businesses in the diamond sector. An independent social enterprise from the Netherlands has attempted to calculate this cost. In their model, the amount of money needed to repair the damage is expressed in USD per polished carat and the resulting monetary values, termed the true price gap, discern between the three types of diamond origins (industrial mining; artisanal mining; lab-grown). It should be noted that for artisanal mining the authors make use of an outdated, far too inflated fatal accident rate, which is corrected here in accordance with more recent estimates. According to the latter, the occurrence of lethal accidents among artisanal miners is not 90 but 10 times higher than in industrial mining.

The most significant negative impacts of large-scale diamond mining (LSM) are its contribution to climate change and air pollution (58 % of the true price gap), and underpayment of employees (42 %). The true price gap related to LSM is estimated by the authors at USD 42 per carat of polished diamonds. Further, if artisanal diamond mining communities would receive compensation for the social and environmental damage they suffer, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) diamonds would cost USD 590 more per carat than current market prices (after correction of the cost of health and safety incidents – see above). It should be noted that ASM workers most often do not have a viable alternative for earning their livelihoods. They are the most vulnerable people in the diamond supply-chain. For lab-grown diamonds, costs related to energy use make up the bulk of the true price gap, estimated at USD 9 per polished carat.

To these true price gap figures should be added costs related to cutting and polishing, which occurs almost exclusively (more than 90 % of global value) in the Indian city of Surat. About 80 % of employees in this part of the industry earns an income below the living wage and most of them are unregistered, placing social security out of reach. Together with other social problems such as discrimination, harassment, child and forced labour, and safety incidents this amounts to a true price gap of USD 95 per polished carat.

A growing body of scientific literature highlights that altruism is the most beneficial value of all and that it generates positive emotions in others, and this at the deepest level of human feeling. So imagine how the romance of proposing would be enhanced when young couples would decide together to donate part of the diamond ring budget to a not-for-profit organization, for instance one that aims to improve the livelihoods of ASM diamond mining communities.

Photo: Artisanal diamond mine, Sierra Leone. (Source: IPIS vzw.)


IN THE NEWS

BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS

Business and human rights: Swiss companies face new due diligence obligations | 29 September 2021 | Lalive | Lexology

On the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ (“UNGPs”) adoption, some of its most important provisions are finally being voted into law around the globe. Cases against multinationals for human rights violations within supply chains are rising globally, as are criminal proceedings for corruption relating to human rights violations. Swiss courts have traditionally taken a cautious approach but – with new legislation looming – affected businesses should take stock.

DRC in dispute with Chinese firm amid push for responsible sourcing | 27 September 2021 | Business Day

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) state cobalt buyer and China’s biggest cobalt refiner are in talks to end a dispute over a mine at the heart of the DRC’s efforts to clean up its supply of the metal and reassure car and battery makers that rely on it.

Dans les mines du Congo, des femmes enceintes et des enfants vivent dangereusement | 27 September 2021 | The Conversation

À l’abri des regards, en République démocratique du Congo, des femmes, parfois enceintes, et des enfants, travaillent dans des mines « informelles », dans des conditions dangereuses, inhalant des produits toxiques, pour des salaires de misère.

DMCC appoints World Diamond Council traceability initiative ambassadors | 22 September 2021 | Mining.com

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) – the world’s flagship Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – has announced that its Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and its Special Advisor – Precious Stones, Dr. Martin Leake, have been appointed as ambassadors of the World Diamond Council’s (WDC) updated System of Warranties (SoW) initiative following its launch on September 21.

Don’t Blame Us: Catoca Insists Leak was not Toxic | 20 September 2021 | Idex Online

Operators of the Catoca diamond mine, in Angola, is insisting it is not to blame for a toxic leak that killed 12 people in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Corrupt Oil Trader Turns On Colleagues in Massive Africa Bribe Case | 14 September 2021 | Bloomberg

When Anthony Stimler left Glencore Plc in August 2019, he had two big secrets: For a dozen years, he’d paid millions in bribes to African officials and intermediaries. And he was now helping a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the company and numerous former colleagues.

Corporate Criminal Liability for International Crimes: France and Sweden Are Poised To Take Historic Steps Forward | 6 September 2021 | Just Security

Earlier this year, Nestlé USA, Inc. v Doe drew much attention to the prospect of holding transnational corporations criminally liable for their involvement in gross human rights violations abroad. Although it seemed like the U.S. Supreme Court would take the opportunity to tackle this issue, the result was rather disappointing – the Court found it lacked jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) on extraterritorial grounds. Interestingly, a majority of the justices seemed to assume that the ATS supports jurisdiction over U.S. corporations implicated in law-of-nations violations, so long as there is sufficient corporate conduct in the United States (as explained previously by William Dodge and Beth van Schaack).

The Importance of a New Conflict-Diamond Definition | 5 September 2021 | Rapaport

Rapaport Magazine recently carried an article by Farai Maguwu, founding director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), in which he argued that the Kimberley Process (KP) was allowing Zimbabwe to export conflict diamonds. He cited allegations of torture and violence against local artisanal miners.

Cabo Delgado is a warzone, but profiteers strike it rich | 4 September 2021 | Mail & Guardian

Last month, the Maputo-based NGO the Public Integrity Centre (CIP) published a study showing that requests for mining concessions in Cabo Delgado have increased in tandem with the raging armed conflict.

Congo says Angola tailings pollution kills 12, to seek compensation | 3 September 2021 | Reuters

The Democratic Republic of Congo will seek compensation from the owners of an Angolan diamond mine after a tailings dam leak polluted drinking water, causing 12 deaths and making thousands of people ill, the country’s environment minister said on Thursday.

Eight people suffocate at Burkina Faso mine after police fire tear gas | 3 September 2021 | Mining Weekly

Eight people suffocated to death when police in Burkina Faso used tear gas against unauthorised gold miners at Nordgold’s Bissa mine, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

The Third Revised Draft of a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Modest Steps Forward, But Much of the Same | 3 September 2021 | Opinio Juris

The 3rd revised version of a draft treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises (3rd revised draft treaty on business and human rights) was published by the Intergovernmental Working Group established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 under Resolution 26/9 for the elaboration of the treaty. The 3rd Revised Draft maintains the structure, scope and the balance of content and approaches of the previous drafts of 2020 and 2019, improving in drafting and clarifying certain ambiguities, but it misses the opportunity to develop and strengthen further the provisions that are more important for enhancing access to remedy and reparation.

Mines en RDC: la pression monte avant la publication d’un rapport de l’ITIE sur la Sicomines | 1 September 2021 | RFI

L’Initiative pour la transparence des industries extractives (ITIE) devrait finaliser cette semaine son rapport d’analyse sur la Sicomines, la joint-venture sino-congolaise, et sur la convention de prêts signés en 2008 entre la RDC et des entreprises chinoises. C’est un rapport très attendu tant des soupçons de corruption et des allégations de détournements de fonds pèsent sur ce qui avait été qualifié de contrat du siècle.

Bribery to get public services is increasing in parts of Africa | 1 September 2021 | Mail & Guardian

Bribery by any name — gift, pot- de-vin, kitu kidogo … — is money out of our pockets, and quite a few people are shelling out. According to Afrobarometer research institute, half of all Ugandans, Cameroonians, Sierra Leoneans and Guineans say they paid at least one bribe in the past year to get a basic public service from a school, health clinic or state documents office or to get help from or avoid a problem with the police.

Due diligence and transparency obligations in connection with minerals and metals | August 2021 | MME

The federal popular initiative “For responsible companies – to protect people and the environment”, was rejected on 29 November 2020. Therefore the indirect counter-proposal of the Federal Assembly will come into effect. The deadline for the optional referendum was 5 August 2021. It is expected that the new provisions will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Cobalt en RDC: prendre en compte les mineurs artisanaux | 27 September 2021 | La Libre Afrique

La demande de cobalt est mondiale et devrait encore augmenter avec les besoins en batteries de voitures électriques, mais les « creuseurs » artisanaux de minerai comptent pour une part significative dans son extraction et leurs revendications doivent être prises en compte, plaide un rapport publié vendredi.

Contrat minier avec la Chine : l’heure des comptes a sonné en RDC | 24 September 2021 | Le Point

Félix Tshisekedi a eu beau proposer une évaluation des projets liés au contrat « sino-congolais » signé en 2008 par son prédécesseur Joseph Kabila en République démocratique du Congo, il y a peu de chances que cela suffise. Les Congolais sont plus que jamais décidés à mieux comprendre comment fonctionnent les mines dans leur pays. Ils n’attendront pas cette évaluation, encore moins le rapport de l’Initiative pour la transparence dans les industries extractives (ITIE) qui porte sur la Sino-Congolaise des mines (Sicomines). Fondée il y a 13 ans à partir une convention entre l’État congolais et la Chine, cette société est soupçonnée de malversations.

Al-Shabaab and Chinese Trade Practices in Mozambique | 23 September 2021 | War on the Rocks

In 2020, eight Mozambican public officials and one Chinese national named Zhao were arrested for illegally harvesting and exporting timber from Cabo Delgado — Mozambique’s northernmost province — to China. According to local reports, five of the Mozambicans are awaiting trial while Zhao and three Mozambicans have been released, and the seized wood was returned to Zhao personally.

Corridors Douala-Bangui-Ndjamena : le Cameroun opte pour un titre de transit unique afin de réduire les délais et tracasseries | 23 September 2021 | investiraucameroun

Le Cameroun vient de lancer l’implémentation d’un titre de transit unique sur les corridors Douala-Bangui, Douala-Ndjamena. Il s’agit ici d’un document dématérialisé délivré par les services douaniers pour attester que les marchandises de passage dans le pays via la route et le rail, ont pour destination finale le Tchad et la République centrafricaine (RCA). Cela évite aux opérateurs un double paiement de droits (dans le pays de transit et en RCA ou au Tchad), mais aussi de multiples déclarations de marchandises aux points de rupture : Edea, Belabo, Ngaoundéré.

Dossier minier de Ndassima: un arbitrage entre la Centrafrique et Axmin | 20 September 2021 | centrafrique-presse.over-blog.com

En Centrafrique, l’affaire concernant les permis miniers de Ndassima, les seules mines du pays connues comme étant industriellement exploitables se poursuit. Le permis avait été retiré au consortium canadien Axmin fin 2019 car les autorités lui reprochaient de ne pas avoir respecté les délais légaux pour débuter l’exploitation. Axmin oppose son incapacité à exploiter à cause des conditions sécuritaires et notamment la présence d’hommes armés sur le site.

Exploitation illicite des minerais en Ituri : le gouverneur militaire appelle les exploitants chinois et congolais au respect des lois du pays | 19 September 2021 | Politico.cd

Le gouverneur militaire de l’Ituri, le Lt général Johnny Luboya Nkashama, a appelé, au cours d’une réunion tenue, samedi à Bunia, à l’intention des exploitants miniers chinois et congolais opérant en Ituri, de se conformer aux lois du pays, selon la nouvelle approche édictée par le chef de l’Etat, Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo, imprimée par l’Exécutif provincial militaire.

Économie : la RDC entend accélérer la cartographie de ses minerais | 18 September 2021 | ADIAC

Le président de la République, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi-Tshilombo, a ordonné la mise en place rapide d’une commission interministérielle pour l’aboutissement du projet qui devrait aider le gouvernement à voir clair dans l’exploitation des ressources minérales après le dernier scandale lié à la présence irrégulière des entreprises chinoises dans les zones minières de l’est du pays.

China’s pursuit of mining & metals industry transition | 17 September 2021 | White & Case LLP | JDSupra

China has set a national target to achieve carbon peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, prompting an active push by the country’s mining sector to pursue industry transition and achieve a low-carbon production plan. At the same time, a drive to ensure the continued supply of critical metals for the next stage of China’s development continues unabated.

U.S. Court Ruling May Allow Oil Junior to Seize Congo Assets | 14 September 2021 | BloombergQuint

A U.S. court confirmed a $619 million international arbitration award against the Democratic Republic of Congo, potentially enabling a South African oil company to begin proceedings to seize Congolese commercial assets in America.

China backs Congo’s ban on 6 small Chinese mining companies | 14 September 2021 | Mining.com

China gave its backing on Tuesday to a Congolese provincial government’s order last month banning six small Chinese-owned mining companies operating illegally.

Governance of Uganda’s oil, gas and mining sector remains weak | 14 September 2021 | The Citizen

Despite improvements in the governance of Uganda’s natural resources, its nascent oil and gas sector — as well as that of mining — are still classified as weak, with widening gaps between the laws and practice, that could impact the country’s push for transparency, a new index reveals.

Port of Bujumbura extension and modernization project launched | 14 September 2021 | Construction Review Online

General Évariste Ndayishimiye, the president of the Republic of Burundi recently launched the extension and modernization works of the Port of Bujumbura, situated at the north-eastern tip of Lake Tanganyika, between the industrial zone and the central business district of Bujumbura.

Tshisekedi demande une évaluation des activités de la Sicomines | 12 September 2021 | RFI

Le président Félix Tshisekedi exige une évaluation d’un contrat sino-congolais signé il y a 13 ans sous Joseph Kabila. Un méga-contrat de 6 milliards de dollars, dont la moitié dédiée exclusivement au développement des infrastructures.

Transporters say Northern Corridor is a non-trade barrier | 11 September 2021 | Zawya

South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya are still working through the recent resumption of cargo trucks movement to Juba following weeks of blockade. But just as soon, this month, South Sudan asked the Uganda Revenue Authority to start implementing the Electronic Cargo Traffic Note Certificates (ECTN), adding another layer of costly regulation to be borne by importers and transporters, increasing the cost of using the Northern Corridor.

East African Community hails Republic of Burundi and United Republic of Tanzania for retifying African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement | 11 September 2021 | EAC

EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki has hailed the Republic of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania for ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

To End Illegal Wildlife Trafficking, Follow The Money | 9 September 2021 | OCCRP

Wildlife crime, from poaching to trafficking, remains a booming industry in East Africa. According to a recent report, it is a far more organized crime than previously imagined, and arrests need to be accompanied by financial investigations to truly dismantle the trade.

Cameroon Tries to Get Child Miners Back to School | 9 September 2021 | VoA

Authorities in Cameroon say they are attempting to remove thousands of children working in gold mines along the country’s eastern border. Some of the children were displaced from the Central African Republic because of violence there and dropped out of school to mine gold for survival.

Alrosa commits to collaboration with DRC State miner | 9 September 2021 | Mining Weekly

RDC : dans le Kasaï oriental, un accord minier inquiète la société civile | 13 September 2021 | RFI

Russian diamond miner Alrosa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) State-owned diamond miner Societé minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) to increase their collaboration.

Exploitation «illicite» des minerais à Mwenga : l’Assemblée nationale dépêche une délégation de 8 députés | 8 September 2021 | MediaCongo.net

Est de la RDC : manifestation anti-Chinois dans une zone minière | 13 September 2021 | Actualite.cd

Après que 8 députés provinciaux du Sud-Kivu aient terminé leur mission dans le territoire de Mwenga pour s’enquérir de la situation de l’exploitation «illicite» des ressources naturelles par des sociétés minières chinoises, c’est le tour des députés nationaux de s’y rendre pour le même motif.

Guinea-Bissau Plays a Crucial Role in Global Bauxite Supply Chain | 8 September 2021 | AfricaNews

The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau is blessed with abundant natural resources, a growing energy sector, as well as large tracts of arable land. Bauxite is the cornerstone of the Guinean economy and is the country´s main foreign currency earner. Today, Guinea-Bissau has the world´s third largest reserves of bauxite (aluminum ore), and exports of this strategic commodity contribute to more than 50% of the country´s exports, and over 90% of export revenue. Many of these mineral exports go to China as a key input to fuel the global supply chain.

En RDC, trafics et exploitation illégale du parc des Virunga financeraient les groupes armés | 8 September 2021 | Le Monde

Braconnage et contrebande rapportent chaque mois des centaines de milliers de dollars déplorent une quarantaine d’associations environnementales et de défense des droits humains.

Butembo : deux trafiquants d’Ivoires arrêtés par la police | 7 September 2021 | Politico.cd

Deux trafiquants d’ivoires, sont tombés dans le filet des éléments de sécurité. Ils ont été arrêtés ce lundi 6 septembre 2021 par la police du Commissariat urbain de Butembo dans la province du Nord-Kivu.

RDC : opposé à l’exploitation minière illégale, le Gouvernement chinois prêt à collaborer avec Kinshasa sur la question | 6 September 2021 | Zoom-eco.net

Le Gouvernement chinois a toujours été soucieux de respecter les lois en vigueur établies en République Démocratique du Congo, surtout en ce qui concerne les entreprises minières.

Guinea’s top minerals at risk after coup | 6 September 2021 | Reuters

Guinea’s special forces on Sunday ousted the West African country’s president, raising the political and operational risk for its minerals, which include bauxite, diamonds, iron ore and gold.

Exploitation minière : pourquoi le contrôle est si difficile pour les Etats ? | 3 September 2021 | DW

Dans la plupart des pays, les populations et la nature subissent des conséquences négatives de l’exploitation minière. Dans certains cas, l’Etat essaie d’imposer le respect de la loi. Mais souvent, les compagnies minières se révèlent plus puissantes que les pouvoirs publics. Plusieurs raisons expliquent cet état de choses.

(Video) Pourquoi la République Démocratique du Congo, pays le plus riche d’Afrique, est un des plus pauvres ? | 2 September 2021 | TV5Monde

Dans “Cobalt blues, La sape d’un géant”, le journaliste d’origine belge Erik Bruyland se plonge dans l’histoire postcoloniale de son pays natal, la République démocratique du Congo. Il était l’invité dans le journal Afrique sur TV5MONDE.

The Rare Earth Myth | 2 September 2021 | SupChina

China dominates the mining and refinement of rare earths, which are needed for almost all of the electronic devices that power our 21st-century lives. But contrary to popular perception, China neither can nor wants to weaponize the global supply.

Kamituga : quand les chinois interdisent l’accès du site minier aux congolais | 2 September 2021 | Mediacongo.net

A Kamituga, dans la province du Sud Kivu, le site minier congolais est pris en otage par les chinois exploitant les mines d’or révèle, le journaliste d’investigation, Alain Foka. Tout accès y est interdit.

Exploitation de la forêt congolaise: des ONG alertent les bailleurs de fonds | 2 September 2021 | RTL

Des organisations environnementales ont alerté jeudi les bailleurs de fonds internationaux pour le climat sur une “catastrophe” imminente si la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) lève comme prévu un moratoire sur les nouveaux titres d’exploitation forestière.

Namibia lifts temporary suspension of new mineral rights applications | 1 September 2021 | CGTN

Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy will now be accepting new mineral rights applications, following the lapse of the suspension between November 18, 2020, and August 17, 2021, an official said on Wednesday.

RDC: A la suite des révélations d’Alain Foka, ACAJ exige une enquête sur l’exploitation minière illégale à Kamituga | 1 September 2021 | ZoomEco

L’Association Congolaise pour l’Accès à la Justice (ACAJ) se déclare vivement préoccupée par les révélations du documentaire du journaliste Alain Foka sur l’exploitation illicite des minerais dans l’Est de la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC).

ARMS TRADE

Equipements militaires 5 officiers et civils sous les verrous | 29 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Le dossier des contrats des équipements militaires a connu de nouveaux rebondissements cette semaine avec la mise sous mandat de dépôt de cinq autres personnalités militaires et civile.

Mali: quatre officiers et une fonctionnaire arrêtés dans une affaire d’achats militaires | 27 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Quatre officiers maliens et une fonctionnaire ont été placés lundi sous mandat de dépôt dans une affaire d’achat de matériel militaire au début de la présidence du chef de l’Etat déchu Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a-t-on appris de sources judiciaires.

Paramount-supplied military hardware displayed in Mozambique | 27 September 2021 | DefenceWeb

Newly acquired military hardware has been displayed by Mozambique during the country’s armed forces day celebrations, including Marauder armoured personnel carriers and Mi-8/17, Mi-24 and Gazelle helicopters acquired from Paramount Group.

Bandits Sack Two Police Stations In Zamfara, Steal Ammunition Amid Military Operations | 25 September 2021 | Sahara Reporters

Bandits in Zamfara State (Nigeria) have attacked Shinkafi town, including two police facilities, shooting sporadically in the process. According to Daily Trust, the attackers were said to have carted away arms from the ransacked police stations.

UNGA: Buhari seeks vigorous enforcement of Arms Trade Treaty | 24 September 2021 | Daily Post (Nigeria)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in New York called for the worldwide application of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to codify accountability in the conventional arms trade, which is critical to the security of nations.

Lutte contre les armes légères : La CEDEAO harmonise ses textes avec le support de la GIZ et de l’Union Européenne (EU) | 21 September 2021 | Lactuacho.com

En vue d’une synergie pour une meilleure compréhension dans la mise en œuvre de la Convention de la CEDEAO sur les armes légères et de petit calibre (ALPC) et du Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA), la Direction du maintien de la Paix et de la Sécurité Régionale (DPKRS) de la Commission de la CEDEAO a organisé un atelier d’experts gouvernementaux pour valider le guide harmonisé de la Convention de la CEDEAO sur les ALPC et les TCA.

RDC : malgré 18 ans d’embargo, des armes circulent, FARDC et pays voisins indexés | 21 September 2021 | Radio Okapi

La République démocratique du Congo est sous régime d’embargo sur les armes depuis 2003. En clair, les armes ne devraient plus circuler sur le sol congolais. Nuance tout de même sur cette question : les Nations unies qui ont imposé l’embargo soulignent que « les autorités légales » peuvent bénéficier des armes, munitions et autres matériels. 18 ans après, les groupes armés continuent de se procurer des armes, et parfois en complicité avec les Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) et certains pays voisins.

Declaration du MLPC relative a l’usage des mines anti personnelles dans la crise Centrafricaine | 15 September 2021 | CorbeauNews

L’introduction des mines anti personnelles dans la crise sécuritaire qui persiste en République centrafricaine, marque un tournant plus dramatique dans son évolution. C’est ainsi que depuis plusieurs mois, ces engins de la mort ont déjà ôté la vie à plus d’une quinzaine de nos compatriotes, et blessé plusieurs dizaines d’autres

Affaire des matériels militaires au Mali : Ces combines de Mme Boiré Fily Sissoko qui ont favorisé l’étrange personnage Ousmane Boiré d’empocher 900 millions FCFA | 9 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Le Procureur du Pôle Économique et Financier peut se targuer d’avoir réveillé les démons à Bamako : en plus de l’avion présidentiel qui selon des documents d’enquête a connu une surfacturation de 9 milliards FCFA, les deniers publics ont servi pour l’achat des équipements militaires. Selon le rapport définitif du Vérificateur, l’ex Ministre de l’Économie et des Finances, Mme Bouaré Fily Sissoko, a fait une interprétation erronée et une application inappropriée de la disposition réglementaire relative à l’exclusion de certaines commandes publiques du champ d’application du CMP.

Contrôle des armes légères intégrant le genre : Un atelier de quatre jours pour renforcer la capacité des acteurs maliens | 8 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Le ministère de la sécurité et de la protection civile et le secrétariat permanent de lutte contre la prolifération des armes légères et de petits calibres, dans le cadre de leur lutte et sur financement de la délégation de l’Union Européenne au Mali, ont initié un atelier de formation sur l’intégration de la dimension Hommes/ Femmes dans la lutte contre le trafic et l’utilisation abusive des armes légères et de petits calibres au Mali afin de barrer la route aux réseaux mafieux qui, à travers le commerce illicite, enveniment les crises sécuritaires.

Tchad: les fouilles pour traquer les armes laissent les habitants sceptiques | 8 September 2021 | RFI

Au Tchad, pour faire face à l’insécurité et enrayer les conflits entre éleveurs et agriculteurs, les autorités ont décidé de lancer une campagne de désarmement.

Arms flown to Sudan from Ethiopia were legal, says ministry | 6 September 2021 | Reuters

Sudan’s interior ministry said on Monday that more than 70 boxes of weapons seized by authorities had turned out to be part of a legal cargo imported by a licensed arms trader.

Namibia: Amnesty Month for Surrender of Illegal Firearms | 1 September 2021 | Namibian | AllAfrica

People in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition in Namibia have been given a grace period of one month to surrender all unlicensed firearms, armaments and ammunition to the police without being prosecuted.

Tchad : le général Tahir Youssouf Boy appelle les détenteurs d’armes à les remettre à la commission | 31 August 2021 | Alwida Info

Le président de la commission mixte de désarmement, le général Tahir Youssouf Boy, a expliqué mardi que la commission mixte de désarmement vise à garantir la sécurité des tchadiens. Il a lancé un appel à tous ceux qui détiennent illégalement des armes, les invitant à les déposer à la commission.

CONFLICT

Flouting U.N. sanctions in Africa? No one is watching after Russia move | 30 September 2021 | Reuters

Russia is delaying the appointment of panels of independent experts to monitor violations of U.N. sanctions on South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic (CAR)and Mali, diplomats said on Wednesday, leaving their work in limbo.

UK joins calls on Mali to end alleged deal with Russian mercenaries | 30 September 2021 | The Guardian

Malian government and the Wagner Group: Minister for Africa’s statement | 29 September 2021 | UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

The UK has joined a mounting international campaign of pressure on Mali’s military leaders to step back from a suspected deal with a Russian mercenary company, amid fears that the agreement will further complicate insecurity in the region.

Coopération militaire : Sergueï Lavrov confirme l’arrivée de Wagner au Mali | 29 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Le ministre Russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov a confirmé devant l’Assemblée Générale de l’ONU, le samedi 25 septembre 2021, l’arrivée du groupe Wagner au Mali.

Le Mali perdra “le soutien de la communauté internationale” s’il recrute le groupe Wagner, dit Paris | 29 September 2021 | TV5Monde

La France a averti mercredi le Mali qu’il perdrait le “soutien de la communauté internationale” et abandonnerait des “pans entiers de sa souveraineté” s’il avait recours aux mercenaires de la société privée russe Wagner.

Affaire Wagner : Paris tente la carte de l’opinion contre Assimi Goita | 28 September 2021 | MaliWeb

La déclaration du Premier ministre Choguel Kokala Maïga, à la tribune des Nations-Unies, accusant la France d’« avoir abanonné le Mali en plein vol » ne passe pas à Paris. Le ministère français des Affaires étrangères l’a fait savoir dans une note publiée ce lundi 27 septembre 2021.

Etat de siège : Les FARDC reprennent le contrôle du « Triangle de la mort » | 28 September 2021 | MediaCongo.net

Situé entre les localités de Mbau, Kamango et Eringeti dans la province du Nord-Kivu, la zone désignée comme « Triangle de la mort » depuis en 2014 en raison des massacres continus de populations civiles par les ADF, est désormais sous le contrôle des Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC).

Putin’s mischief in Africa | 28 September 2021 | The Guardian (Nigeria)

The recent announcement that putschists in Mali who seized power in May are close to a deal with the notorious Russian Kremlin-linked group, Wagner, to bring in 1,000 mercenaries, has ruffled feathers in Paris.

Lutte contre le terrorisme : L’arrivée de Wagner déjoue le plan français d’occupation du Mali par la CMA à la fin de 2021 | 27 September 2021 | MaliWeb

L’affaire des mercenaires russes est tombée comme un chevet dans la soupe du gouvernement français dont le projet de retrait de ses troupes à la fin de l’année laisserait le champ libre à la Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) d’envahir de nouveau le Mali. Avec cette nouvelle donne, la France se voit obliger de revoir sa copie. Mais pour combien de temps ?

Top Russian diplomat defends mercenaries’ presence in Mali | 26 September 2021 | The Associated Press

Russia’s top diplomat on Saturday defended the Mali government’s right to hire a private Russian military company to help fight terrorists, accusing French troops in the country of failing to get rid of them and scolding the European Union for demanding that the Russian mercenaries leave.

Uganda: Museveni Vows to End Cattle Raids in Karamoja | 26 September 2021 | The Monitor | AllAfrica

President Museveni on Friday vowed to eradicate cattle rustling and criminality in Karamoja Sub-region. The President, who was recently in Karamoja to assess the security situation, made the assurance on Friday evening at State House Entebbe during a follow-up security meeting with leaders from the sub-region.

Rights groups demand release of Congo journalist over terrorism charges | 25 September 2021 | Reuters

Rights groups called on military authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday to release a journalist arrested on terrorism charges for the possession of a video showing the assassination of two U.N. sanctions monitors in 2017.

Mali : les paramilitaires russes de Wagner sont-ils compatibles avec la coalition dans le Sahel ? | 25 September 2021 | TV5 Monde

Les autorités de transition au Mali sont soumises à des pressions de la France et de la Cédéao pour organiser des élections en février 2022 et renoncer à une éventuelle coopération avec le groupe de sécurité privée russe Wagner. Pourquoi un recours aux paramilitaires russes de Wagner pose problème à l’UE ? Le Mali serait-il prêt à prendre le risque ? Qu’y gagnerait la Russie ? On en parle avec Roland Marchal, chercheur au CNRS à Sciences Po Paris.

Mercenaires russes : le Tchad met en garde contre “toute ingérence extérieure” | 24 September 2021 | France24

Le chef de la diplomatie du Tchad, Chérif Mahamat Zene, a affirmé jeudi avoir des “raisons” de se préoccuper de la présence des mercenaires russes de la société Wagner sur le continent africain.

Russia in Africa: Undermining Democracy through Elite Capture | 24 September 2021 | Africa Center for Strategic Studies

To gain insight into Russia’s governance model in Africa, one only need look at the experience of the Central African Republic. Russian mercenaries with the notorious Wagner Group, ostensibly brought into CAR in 2018 to help stabilize the beleaguered government of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, now control diamond and gold mines in the north of the country and have warned UN peacekeepers to steer clear of Russia’s area of control.

Who Blessed the Vlads Down in Africa? | 24 September 2021 | Foreign Policy

Fighters from the Russian mercenary group Wagner may soon have another stamp in their passports, this time from the West African country of Mali, after already littering at least five fragile African states with human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and political interference.

A tablet computer and a ‘shopping list’ reveal how Russia might take on the US without starting a real war | 24 September 2021 | Business Insider

Recently, the inner workings of a shadowy Russian mercenary group came to light when a Samsung tablet containing sensitive information was recovered in Libya. A BBC investigation got ahold of the device, which had been used by members of Wagner Group.

Russia’s Wagner Play Undermines the Transition in Mali | 23 September 2021 | Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Reports that Mali’s military junta has negotiated a prospective deal to bring in 1,000 Russian mercenaries from the notorious Wagner Group are anything but surprising.

Burundi: l’opposant Alexis Sinduhije accusé d’être responsable d’actes terroristes | 23 September 2021 | RFI

Après les trois attaques qui ont frappé le Burundi depuis la nuit du samedi 18 au dimanche 19 septembre, le pouvoir burundais désigne ceux qu’ils considèrent comme les responsables de ce qu’il qualifie d’actes terroristes et de crimes contre l’humanité. Le procureur général de la République a accusé mercredi l’opposant Alexis Sinduhije, d’être responsable de ces attaques.

Human rights violations and related economic crimes in the Republic of South Sudan (A/HRC/48/CRP.3) | 23 September 2021 | UNHRC | ReliefWeb

Even prior to gaining independence in July 2011, human rights violations and related economic crimes in southern Sudan had a direct, negative impact on the capacity of the State to meet its core socio-economic obligations, such as healthcare, education, and the Sustainable Development Goals, with poor and extremely poor civilians including women and children disproportionately affected. As early as 2012, the nascent Republic of South Sudan had reportedly lost billions of US dollars in illicit financial flows.

South Sudanese political elites illicitly diverting millions of US dollars, undermining core human rights and stability – UN experts note | 23 September 2021 | Africa News

By diverting staggering amounts of money and other wealth from South Sudan’s public coffers and resources, South Sudan’s leaders are undermining human rights and endangering security, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has found in its latest Conference Room Paper presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

Central African Republic war: No-go zones and Russian meddling | 23 September 2021 | BBC

Amid a Russian-backed advance, the growing threat of landmines and improvised explosives in the Central African Republic (CAR) points to a dangerous tactical shift in a new and unfolding guerrilla war.

RDC: un chef rebelle condamné à perpétuité pour crimes contre l’humanité | 22 September 2021 | La Libre Afrique

Un chef rebelle congolais, accusé d’avoir semé la terreur dans le parc national de Kahuzi-Biega, dans l’est de la RDC, a été condamné à la prison à vie pour crimes de guerre et contre l’humanité, a-t-on appris mercredi auprès de la justice militaire.

Congolese Nobel laureate: Establish war crimes tribunal for DRC | 22 September 2021 | Nation

Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege may be a global hero, famed for reconstructing the damaged organs of women and children sexually violated in the country’s war.

Report of the team of international experts on the situation in Kasai (A/HRC/48/82) | 21 September 2021 | UNHRC | ReliefWeb

This report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 45/34 of 7 October 2020, which renewed the mandate of the team of international experts on the situation in Kasai and requested it to submit a final report to the Council at its forty-eighth session during an interactive dialogue and to provide an oral update at its forty-sixth session.

Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina convicted on terror charges | 21 September 2021 | BBC

A man who was portrayed in a film as a life-saving hero during the Rwandan genocide has been sentenced to 25 years for terrorism by a court in Rwanda.

Russian Wagner Group’s Entrance into Mali Creates New Challenges | 21 September 2021 | The National Interest

Regardless of whether Wagner is moving in or if Bamako is simply trying to instigate international action, civilians must remain at the forefront of the international community’s interest in Mali.

Wagner-Gate: Choguel clarifie l’affaire | 21 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Présente au Mali depuis 2018, notamment pour sécuriser l’ambassade russe à Bamako comme dans d’autres capitales à travers le monde, la société Wagner est à la une de l’actualité depuis la révélation non démentie de Reuters de la possibilité de partenariat entre elle avec le l’État malien.

Meurtre d’experts de l’ONU en RDC: un journaliste interrogé comme témoin | 21 September 2021 | La Libre Afrique

Experts de l’ONU tués en RDC : un journaliste inculpé | 23 September 2021 | La Libre Afrique

Un journaliste congolais a été interpellé et était interrogé mardi comme témoin à propos d’une vidéo du meurtre de deux experts des Nations unies en mars 2017 dans le centre de la République démocratique du Congo, a-t-on appris du parquet militaire. Le 12 mars 2017, l’Américain Michael Sharp et la Suédoise d’origine chilienne Zaida Catalan, deux jeunes experts missionnés par l’ONU pour enquêter sur des violences dans la région du Kasaï (centre de la RDC), ont été tués.

Coopération militaire Mali-Russie : La France paniquée ! | 22 September 2021 | MaliWeb

France rattled by a deal between Russian mercenaries and Mali’s junta | 17 September 2021 | TRT

Il n’est secret pour personne que le torchon brûle entre le Mali et la France après l’annonce du prétendu accord de coopération entre le gouvernement du Mali et le Groupe de sécurité privée Wagner de la Russie.

DR Congo: New Findings on Prison Mass Rape | 20 September 2021 | HRW

Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees, including a teenage girl.

Wagner au Mali: La réponse de Choguel à la France, l’Allemagne, la CEDEAO… | 20 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Le vendredi dernier, dans une vidéo mis en ligne par Le Jalon, le Premier ministre de la transition Choguel Kokalla Maiga s’est prononcé sur l’annonce d’un possible accord entre les autorités maliennes et la société russe privée Wagner sans donner plus de précisions sur l’information donnée par Reuters et qui défraie la chronique. « Est-ce qu’il ne faut pas avoir un plan B ? D’autant plus qu’on a vu des pays qu’on a lâchés et qui se sont retrouvés seuls », a indiqué le chef du gouvernement malien.

Contrat de coopération militaire avec la société Wagner : La transition malienne face au rouleau compresseur de Goliath | 20 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Les autorités maliennes de la transition subissent actuellement une forte pression exercée par une puissance étrangère qui a décidé de mettre à contribution son réseau au sein duquel on retrouve des soutiens internes, Etats voisins, et même des groupes armés…

Bamako réagit vivement aux propos d’un ministre nigérien et évoque la société Wagner | 19 September 2021 | RFI

Dans un communiqué, le gouvernement malien a répondu au Niger dont un ministre a récemment critiqué la transition au Mali. Il a aussi évoqué l’affaire Wagner, la société privée militaire russe qui est en négociation avec le Mali, en vue d’une éventuelle signature d’un contrat.

Ituri : la NSCC dénonce des arrestations arbitraires des défenseurs des droits humains à Mambasa | 19 September 2021 | Politico.cd

La nouvelle societe civile congolaise, NSCC antenne de Mambasa a dénoncé le vendredi 17 septembre 2021 les menaces et les arrestations arbitraires auxquelles font face ces derniers jours, les défenseurs des droits humains oeuvrant dans ce territoire de la province de l’ituri.

État de siège: la MONUSCO salue l’amélioration du partenariat avec les FARDC | 19 September 2021 | Politico.cd

Le Président de la République, Félix Tshisekedi, a reçu ce samedi 18 septembre 2021 à Lubumbashi, une délégation de la mission onusienne, composée du Lieutenant-Général Affonso Dacosta et François Grignon, respectivement commandant de la force de la MONUSCO et chargé des affaires politiques.

Ituri : le Gouverneur annonce la deuxième phase des opérations de traque des groupes armés | 19 September 2021 | Radio Okapi

Le Gouverneur de l’Ituri, le Général Johnny N’kashama a annoncé samedi 18 septembre la deuxième phase des opérations de traque des groupes armés en cette période de l’état de siège. Cette annonce a été faite à la presse à son arrivée à Bunia en provenance de Kinshasa.

Partenariat Mali-Wagner éventuel: l’ONU attend “un respect total des droits humains” | 18 September 2021 | MaliWeb

Un éventuel partenariat entre le gouvernement du Mali et la société de sécurité privée russe Wagner, s’il devait se concrétiser, devrait respecter totalement les droits humains et le droit international, a souligné vendredi Jean-Pierre Lacroix, secrétaire général adjoint de l’ONU pour les Opérations de paix.

Mali Premier Says Seeking New Partners in Terrorism Fight | 18 September 2021 | Bloomberg

Mali is seeking new partners to help the country fend off Islamist militants now that France plans to scale back its counterterrorism force in West Africa’s Sahel region.

Au Mali, une nouvelle guerre d’influence entre la France et la Russie | 17 September 2021 | France24

Les discussions sur le déploiement de paramilitaires russes au Mali ravivent de vieux souvenirs pour Bamako qui, fut un temps, collaborait étroitement avec Moscou. Une situation perçue d’un mauvais œil par la France.

West Africa’s ECOWAS implements sanctions over Guinea, Mali coups | 17 September 2021 | Daily Sabah

West African leaders on Thursday imposed sanctions on Guinea’s coup leaders and called for elections in six months, demanding a quick return to civilian rule after troops ousted President Alpha Conde this month.

Sécurité au Mali ! Le recours aux mercenaires | 17 September 2021 | MaliWeb

À défaut d’avoir un accord de partenariat militaire entre le Mali et la Russie, les autorités de la transition, du moins la junte au pouvoir, serait tentées d’engager le pays dans un partenariat entre une organisation paramilitaire russe, Wagner, pour, dit-il, «la formation et la sécurité de nos militaires» à 6 milliards de nos francs par mois, selon les médias occidentaux. «À défaut de sa mère on tète sa grand-mère», selon un adage.

Berlin and Paris Concerned Over Russian Mercenaries in Mali | 16 September 2021 | DW | AllAfrica

The situation is explosive: There are indications that the government in Mali is discussing a paramilitary operation with the Russian mercenary force “Wagner”. Malian and Russian authorities are said to be on the verge of signing an agreement to this effect. This was revealed by the Reuters news agency at the beginning of the week, causing a stir in European diplomatic circles.

Nord-Kivu: Les FARDC s’emparent du quartier général de la milice APCLS dans le Masisi | 16 September 2021 | Politico.cd

Les Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), de la zone opérationnelle Sukola2, se sont emparées du quartier général de la milice Armée du Peuple pour un Congo Libre et Souverain (APCLS), de Lukweti-Shango commandée par Janvier Karayiri dans le Masisi.

Communiqué final du mini-sommet de la CIRGL sur la situation politique et sécuritaire en République Centrafricaine | 16 September 2021 | CorbeauNews

Faisant suite aux Mini-Sommets de Luanda des 29 janvier et 20 avril 2021 et à l’invitation de Son Excellence Joâo Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, Président de la République d’Angola et Président en exercice de la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL), le Troisième Mini-Sommet de la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL) sur la situation politique et sécuritaire en République Centrafricaine s’est tenu le 16 septembre 2021 à Luanda.

Violations des droits humains. Au moins 527 civils victimes au Mali | 16 September 2021 | MaliWeb

La Minusma a publié sa note trimestrielle sur les tendances des violations et abus du droit international des droits de l’homme (DIDH) et des violations du droit international humanitaire (DIH) au Mali, couvrant la période du 1er avril au 30 juin 2021.

Mali : les discussions avec le groupe russe Wagner sont “un moyen de pression pour prolonger la transition”| 16 September 2021 | TV5Monde

La France prête à claquer la porte. Depuis que les discussions entre le Mali et le groupe de sécurité russe Wagner ont été révélées, Paris ne décolère pas et tenterait tout pour faire capoter une éventuelle signature. Quel intérêt aurait Bamako dans un tel contrat avec Wagner ? Quels enseignements du précédent centrafricain ? Entretien avec Roland Marchal, chercheur au CERI de Sciences-Po Paris et au CNRS.

Sahel: que sait-on de la mort d’al-Sahraoui, chef du groupe État islamique au Grand Sahara? | 16 September 2021 | RFI

Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui a été tué par une frappe de Barkhane, il y a quelques semaines, selon le président français. L’annonce a été publiée sobrement sur le compte Twitter d’Emmanuel Macron un peu avant 1h du matin, ce jeudi 16 septembre 2021. Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui et le groupe État islamique au Grand Sahara (EIGS) avaient été désignés comme ennemi numéro un lors du sommet du G5 Sahel de Pau en janvier 2020.

RCA : arrivée massive des mercenaires russes à Bangassou | 16 September 2021 | CorbeauNews

Plusieurs dizaines des mercenaires russes de la société Wagner sont arrivés lundi dernier à Bangassou, capitale provinciale du Mbomou, au sud-Est de la RCA. Selon leur objectif, affronter les rebelles de l’unité pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC).

Torture, killings, lawlessness, still blight Burundi’s rights record | 16 September 2021 | UN News

The people of Burundi continue to endure serious human rights violations including possible crimes against humanity, the majority committed by those with links to the ruling party, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Thursday.

DR Congo: Massacres Persist Despite Martial Law | 15 September 2021 | HRW

Attacks on civilians by armed groups have continued in two conflict-ridden provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the government imposed martial law in May 2021, Human Rights Watch said. Various armed groups, some unidentified, have killed at least 672 civilians, while Congolese security forces have killed 67 civilians, in Ituri and North Kivu provinces between the start of martial law on May 6 and September 10, according to data collected by the Kivu Security Tracker, a joint project of Human Rights Watch and the Congo Research Group.

East Libyan forces and Chadian rebels clash in southern Libya | 15 September 2021 | Reuters

The Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar clashed with Chadian rebel forces in the south of Libya on Tuesday and Wednesday, both sides said.

Russia Says No Talks With Mali on Military Ties | 15 September 2021 | The Moscow Times

The Kremlin said Wednesday there were no formal discussions on military cooperation with Mali after France warned the West African country against hiring hundreds of Russian mercenaries linked to Moscow’s foreign conflicts.

Shadow states are the biggest threat to democracy in Africa | 15 September 2021 | The Conversation

The capture of democratic political systems by private power networks is arguably the greatest threat to civil liberties and inclusive development in Africa. That’s the conclusion of two new reports that address the issue of threats to democracy on the continent.

Tanzanie: l’opposant Freeman Mbowe jugé pour «terrorisme» | 15 September 2021 | Afrique Media

L’opposant tanzanien Freeman Mbowe sera bientôt fixé sur son sort. Leader de Chadema, principal parti d’opposition dans le pays, il comparaît ce mercredi 15 septembre devant la Haute Cour de Justice de Dar es Salam. Il est jugé pour « financement de terrorisme » et « complot terroriste ».

Le FACT accuse le CMT d’avoir attaqué sa position avec l’appui des mercenaires | 15 September 2021 | Journal du Tchad

Des affrontements violents ont eu lieu à la frontière entre le Tchad et la Lybie le 14 septembre 2021. Le raid opposait les éléments du FACT aux soldats tchadiens appuyés par les mercenaires de la Lybie, la France et le Soudan.

Sahel : Des opérateurs Wagner au Mali ? | 15 September 2021 | L’Opinion

La junte militaire au Mali serait en voie de permettre aux mercenaires russes de la société Wagner de mettre pied au pays, au grand dam de la France.

SADC urged to prepare for long ‘slog’ of counterinsurgency in Mozambique | 14 September 2021 | DefenceWeb

As Mozambique’s neighbours in Southern Africa join its four-year fight against insurgents in the Cabo Delgado region, observers are celebrating early gains while warning of the potential for a prolonged and costly engagement.

Guinea’s Coup Is the Latest Example of Risks From U.S. Military Aid | 14 September 2021 | CATO Institute

On September 5, 2021, an American‐​trained military officer in Guinea’s armed forces led a coup d’état to oust President Alpha Condé. Though far from the only coup initiated by forces with American training, this coup marks the first time that someone has led a coup while taking that training. American officials have tried to distance the United States from the coup by saying that it is “inconsistent with U.S. military training and education” and suspending military support to Guinea. Weak excuses like this, however, cannot obscure the truth: U.S. military assistance and weapons sales to fragile nations like Guinea routinely enable and amplify violent outcomes.

Bamako et Moscou, une coopération militaire qui ne date pas d’hier | 14 September 2021 | CorbeauNews

Si les révélations de l’agence Reuters sur la supposée arrivée des soldats russes dans les semaines à venir sont pour l’instant démenties par les autorités de Bamako, les différentes sources militaires haut placées contactées par la DW se disent quand à elle surprises par cette nouvelle. Toutefois, le Mali et la Russie ont déjà coopéré dans le passé.

Finding forgiveness in Burundi’s mass graves | 14 September 2021 | The New Humanitarian

A scar still runs down my right hand from when a schoolmate stabbed me in 1995 as I slept in a dormitory. He was a Tutsi whose brothers had been killed a few years earlier. In his grief, he blamed me, a Hutu. I owe my life to a blanket that was just thick enough to absorb that blade.

Kagame: Rwanda is paying for the Cabo Delgado intervention | 14 September 2021 | Mail & Guardian

Two months after Rwanda sent a 1 000-strong military force to Mozambique, Rwandan President Paul Kagame spoke about it publicly for the first time in a lengthy interview this past Sunday with state broadcaster RBA.

Opération contre les rebelles de la CPC , les mercenaires russes multiplient de bombardement dans l’Ouest de la RCA | 14 September 2021 | CorbeauNews

L’opération menée dans la Mambéré-Kadéï par les mercenaires russes de la société Wagner contre les rebelles de la coalition des patriotes pour le changement (CPC) qui a débuté à la fin du mois dernier dans les localités de Béïna, notamment au village Dilapoko, situé à 90 kilomètres de Gamboula , se poursuit désormais avec des troupes au sol dans la sous-préfecture d’Amadagaza, plus précisément dans la Haute-Boumbé, toujours dans la préfecture de Mambéré-Kadéï.

Reports of Russian mercenary deal in Mali trigger French alarm | 14 September 2021 | France24

French ministers warned Mali on Tuesday against striking a deal with Russian private security group Wagner amid claims the West African country’s military junta is close to hiring 1,000 mercenaries from the controversial firm.

Le groupe Wagner : ces mercenaires “prêts à donner leur vie dans la lutte pour la justice” | 14 September 2021 | TV5Monde

Après la République centrafricaine et la Libye -entre autres- les mercenaires de Wagner seront-ils prochainement déployés en nombre au Mali ? Plusieurs informations de presse annoncent un accord imminent entre le pouvoir malien et cette société russe de sécurité, accord que la France chercherait à faire capoter. Qui est ce groupe russe proche du Kremlin et qui déteste que l’on parle de lui ?

Rival SPLA-IO forces clash yet again in Magenis, Upper Nile | 14 September 2021 | Radio Tamazuj

Fighting between forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) and the breakaway faction of the SPLM/A-IO led by General Simon Gatwech Dual in the Magenis area, north of Upper Nile State has been ongoing since Friday last week.

Une campagne de désinformation menée contre les instructeurs russes en RCA | 13 September 2021 | Afrique Media

Les avancées des instructeurs russes dans la formation des forces armées de la RCA ont donné lieu au lancement d’une campagne visant à dénigrer les éléments de la Communauté des Officiers pour la Sécurité Internationale (COSI). Le plus souvent c’est édition en ligne dénommée Corbeau News bloqué en république centrafricaine, médias qui publie toujours les fakes sur les russes.

Deal allowing Russian mercenaries into Mali is close | 13 September 2021 | Reuters

A deal is close that would allow Russian mercenaries into Mali, extending Russian influence over security affairs in West Africa and triggering opposition from former colonial power France, seven diplomatic and security sources said.

Niger. De plus en plus d’enfants sont tués ou recrutés par des groupes armés dans la zone sahélienne des trois frontières | 13 September 2021 | Amnesty International

De plus en plus d’enfants sont tués ou ciblés pour être recrutés par des groupes armés dans le contexte du conflit qui fait rage au Niger, aux frontières avec le Mali et le Burkina Faso, a déclaré Amnesty International dans un nouveau rapport publié le 13 septembre 2021.

Why are coups making a comeback in Africa? | 13 September 2021 | CNN

In just over a year, Africa has experienced three successful coups (two in Mali and one more recently in Guinea), one unsuccessful coup attempt in Niger, and an arbitrary military transfer of power in Chad following the assassination of its president.

CAR Court Accuses Ex-warlord of Crimes Against Humanity | 10 September 2021 | VoA

A special court on Friday accused the former leader of a key militia in the Central African Republic of crimes against humanity at the height of the civil war.

How Boko Haram Nigerian Terrorism Is Financed | 10 September 2021 | Vanguard (Nigeria) | AllAfrica

Let me now share with you some excerpts from a paper written by Dr. Uche Igwe, a Fellow at the London School of Economics. Terrorism is an expensive venture. The lifeline of any violent extremist organisation is its capacity to raise funds to finance its operations and recruit members. The sources of funding of terrorists, however, continue to be as elusive as the terrorists themselves.

West Africa: Coups and the Spectre of Military Rule in West Africa | 10 September 2021 | Daily Trust | AllAfrica

t has been a bad week for West Africa with the third coup in five months. It started in Chad, then Mali and now Guinea. Maybe the most ominous sign of the week is the announcement by Gambian President Adama Barrow that he has formed an alliance with the expelled tyrant, Yahya Jammeh, to contest the December 4th, 2021 elections in the Gambia. Jammeh had terrorised the people for his 22-years in power following the 1994 coup d’état, killing human rights defenders, dissidents and protesters.

Rwanda’s Military Is the French Proxy on African Soil | 9 September 2021 | Scoop (NZ)

On July 9, 2021, the government of Rwanda said that it had deployed 1,000 troops to Mozambique to battle al-Shabaab fighters, who had seized the northern province of Cabo Delgado. A month later, on August 8, Rwandan troops captured the port city of Mocímboa da Praia, where just off the coast sits a massive natural gas concession held by the French energy company TotalEnergies SE and the U.S. energy company ExxonMobil. These new developments in the region led to the African Development Bank’s President M. Akinwumi Adesina announcing on August 27 that TotalEnergies SE will restart the Cabo Delgado liquefied natural gas project by the end of 2022.

Armed groups benefit from poaching, logging in Congo reserve, say NGOs | 9 September 2021 | France24

Illegal logging, charcoal production and poaching in and around Virunga National Park, the famed sanctuary of mountain gorillas in eastern DR Congo, are enriching armed groups in the troubled region, local NGOs say.

Soldiers Reclaim Areas Seized By Militants in Mozambique | 8 September 2021 | Daily Nation | AllAfrica

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday announced that the country’s armed forces, with the help of Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces, have reclaimed nearly all areas that were seized by militants in Cabo Delgado province.

Congo army says two soldiers killed in ‘incident’ with Burundi troops | 8 September 2021 | Monitor (Uganda)

Two Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers were killed in an “incident” with Burundi troops at the Lake Tanganyika border, Congolese sources said Tuesday.

China Is OK With Interfering in Guinea’s Internal Affairs | 8 September 2021 | Foreign Policy

West African regional bloc suspends Guinea’s membership after military coup | 8 September 2021 | France24

The coup in tiny Guinea matters at a geopolitical level. The US-China ‘cold war’ is a race for strategic dominance of commodities | 7 September 2021 | RT

Guinea’s coup stems from crisis of legitimacy | 7 September 2021 | Financial Times

Guinea’s coup leaders vow to form ‘union’ government, respect business deals | 6 September 2021 | France24

Guinea Soldiers Claim They’ve Staged a Successful Coup | 6 September 2021 | VoA

On Sept. 5, Guinean special forces swarmed Conakry, the capital of the West African state, blocking key roads and detaining Alpha Condé, the 83-year-old president. Photos and videos quickly emerged of Condé unarmed but in captivity. Soon after, the 41-year-old head of Guinea’s special forces, Mamady Doumbouya, appeared on state television to announce the dissolution of the government and constitution, saying a new government would be formed soon.

Aid-for-Sex Alleged in Northern Mozambique | 7 September 2021 | HRW

Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of women in exchange for humanitarian aid have reemerged in Mozambique, this time among people displaced by armed Islamist groups in the northern Cabo Delgado province.

Septentrion malien : La terreur comme mode opératoire pour obtenir la partition du Mali | 7 September 2021 | MaliWeb

La complicité passive ou active des forces onusiennes de la Minusma, françaises et européennes (Barkhane et Takuba) dans les régions septentrionales de notre pays est à l’origine de l’épuration ethnique en cours par le canon des fusils et la faim imposée à la population.

RCA : la société russe Wagner s’active pour des exploitations minières dans la Haute-Kotto | 7 September 2021 | CorbeauNews

Un des principaux pourvoyeurs mondiaux des mercenaires, la société russe Wagner, qui s’est installée en Centrafrique depuis 2017, a débuté, depuis la semaine dernière, les travaux d’exploitations industrielles des ressources minières dans le centre est de la République centrafricaine (RCA).

Kagame speaks out on ties with neighbouring countries | 6 September 2021 | The New Times

The relationship between neighbouring Burundi and Rwanda can be termed as improving and on the mend, President Paul Kagame has said.

Mali police storm jail to free detained commander | 6 September 2021 | BBC

Mali’s anti-terror police have been widely condemned after armed officers marched on a prison to demand the release of their commander – who was then set free.

Militants armed with machetes kill 30 villagers in east Congo | 6 September 2021 | DevDiscourse

The fighters – suspected members of the Islamist-inspired Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – raided Makutano, north of the city of Oicha in North Kivu province, early on Saturday, the officials told Reuters. Villager Malielo Omeonga said his son woke him when the militants struck.

Centrafrique : arrestation du chef anti-balaka Eugène Ngaïkosset | 5 September 2021 | Agence Anadolu

Cet ancien membre de la garde rapprochée de l’ex-président François Bozizé, a été arrêté samedi sur la base logistique des Forces armées centrafricaines à Liton au PK22.

15 miliciens Twa du groupe M42 se sont rendus aux FARDC | 4 September 2021 | Politico.cd

Le Porte-parole du Gouvernement congolais, Patrick Muyaya Katembwe, rapporte que le Vice-Premier Ministre, Ministre de l’Intérieur, Décentralisation et Affaires Coutumières a, au cours de la dix-huitième réunion du Conseil des ministres tenue vendredi 03 septembre 2021, brossé l’état du territoire national. À l’en croire, celui-ci reste calme sur toute l’étendue du pays.

Sahel jihadists: West Africa faces up to policing its terror triangle | 4 September 2021 | BBC

With Chad’s withdrawal of troops and the imminent reduction in French troop strength from the vast Sahel region of West Africa – where jihadist groups continue to stage attack after attack, targeting civilians and soldiers without discrimination – new anti-terror tactics are afoot.

Will Ugandan Army Go After the ADF Rebels in DR Congo? | 4 September 2021 | The East African | AllAfrica

The Kivu Security Barometer, has said that 19 civilians were at the end of August in Beni, North Kivu, and at least 80 murdered since July. The non-governmental organisation just confirmed what the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said in a newsletter released on August 23, a “continuing deterioration” of the situation in Beni.

Tanzania court dismisses objections to opposition leader’s trial | 3 September 2021 | Eyewitness News

Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe and his supporters have described the charges as a politically-motivated effort to crush dissent, and accused police of torturing him in custody.

Mali: un premier responsable écroué pour la répression meurtrière de 2020 | 3 September 2021 | MaliWeb

La justice malienne a écroué vendredi un commandant de force spéciale antiterroriste pour le rôle présumé qu’il a joué en juillet 2020 dans la répression sanglante de la contestation contre le président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, renversé depuis, a-t-on appris de source judiciaire.

Tchad : des ex-rebelles de l’UFR rencontrent le président du CMT Mahamat Idriss Déby | 3 September 2021 | RFI

Une vingtaine d’ex-rebelles de l’Union des forces et de la résistance (UFR) sont rentrés la semaine dernière à Ndjamena après des années d’exil. Ils ont rencontré le président du Conseil militaire de transition, Mahamat Idriss Déby. La rencontre a eu lieu vendredi matin à la présidence et a duré 45 minutes.

Addressing Atrocities and Displacement: A Path Forward for the Central African Republic | 2 September 2021 | Refugees International | ReliefWeb

The Central African Republic (CAR), a small landlocked country in the center of the continent, has long been beset by conflict with dire humanitarian consequences for civilians. The people of CAR are currently trapped in the grips of an unprecedented increase in violence sparked by the December 2020 presidential elections. The humanitarian consequences for CAR’s civilian population remain dire.

Réunion du G5 Sahel: une nouvelle approche pour sécuriser la région | 2 September 2021 | RFI

Les cinq ministres de la Défense du G5 Sahel se sont reunis du 31 aout au 1er septembre à Niamey. Avec la reconfiguration de la force Barkhane et les attaques incessantes des jihadistes dans la zone des trois frontières, les États décident de revoir leurs stratégies sécuritaires.

Tchad : braquage d’un commandant de la DGRS, le gouverneur du Wadi Fira appelle à la vigilance | 2 September 2021 | Alwihda Info

Le gouverneur de la province du Wadi Fira, Ahmat Abdallah Tounissi, a présenté jeudi à Biltine, le véhicule militaire appartenant à la Direction générale de la réserve stratégique, braqué le 31 août à Abéché.

Increased Violation of Rights, Rule of Law” …New INCHR chair disclosed | 2 September 2021 | Daily Observer (Liberia)

The Chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), Cllr. Dempster Brown has raised alarm over the increasing human rights violation and disrespect for the rule of law across the country.

DRC Court Upholds Rape Convictions of 19 Police, Soldiers | 31 August 2021 | VoA

A Congolese military court has upheld the rape convictions of eight policemen and 11 soldiers, a court official told AFP Tuesday. The judgment, which was handed down on Monday, means they will serve between 12 months and 20 years in jail.

ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CONFLICT

State-Sponsored Cover-Up of the War on Tigray | 30 September 2021 | OmnaTigray

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration continues to deny the ongoing genocide, weaponized rape, systematic killings, and the deliberate denial of basic needs that have occured since November 2020. Such denial, which is characteristic of perpetrators of genocide, as well as the complete blackout imposed on Tigray has made it nearly impossible to accurately report the impact of the genocidal war and the true severity humanitarian crisis in Tigray. His efforts to cover-up the atrocities in Tigray have exacerbated the suffering of Tigrayans.

7 UN officials told to leave country within 72 hours | 30 September 2021 | UN News

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a tweet that five members of the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, including senior leaders, were being ordered out of the country, as well as the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF Representative, and a team leader from the UN human rights office, OHCHR.

Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes in Ethiopia: TPLF, OLF and Abiy Ahmed | 29 September 2021 | Borkena

TPLF’s cruel and inhuman massacres and slaughtering of thousands of innocent civilians: women, children and the elderly and others in both Afar and Amhara regions including in Mai-Kadra have been well-documented and independently verified and confirmed by a number of international organisations and media outlets. Moreover, there are also recent reports of the terrorist group’s instigation of hunger and starvations in the more than four million people that the group has been holding hostage in the Amhara region.

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Why are hundreds of aid trucks stranded? | 27 September 2021 | BBC

With concern mounting about the food situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, there are conflicting claims about why supply trucks are stuck there, unable to transport further crucial supplies.

Witnesses accuse Tigray fighters of Kobo killings | 25 September 2021 | Al Jazeera

One man said he counted 55 corpses as he escaped from his town in northern Ethiopia, stepping over bodies scattered in the streets. Another asserted he was rounded up with about 20 men who were shot in front of him. Yet others claimed Tigray forces went door-to-door killing men and teenage boys.

Hate Speech and the Tigray Genocide | 24 September 2021 | OmnaTigray

Hate speech, dehumanizing metaphors, and outright calls for the eradication of Tigrayans have contributed to the genocide and widespread ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans throughout Ethiopia. “To catch the fish, you must drain the sea,” is an example of a widely known phrase used by Ethiopian state-sponsored media against Tigrayans. Consistent dehumanization of a group of people, especially by government officials who are trusted and in the position to protect their citizens, can be a catalyst in making people feel justified in their violent hate and actions towards that group of people.

The Rise and Rise of Fascism in Ethiopia | 24 September 2021 | African Arguments

Since November 4, 2020, Ethiopia is embroiled in a horrific civil war bearing the hallmarks of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and man-made famine. Underneath this grisly reality lies an appalling politics of hate that was deployed in full-scale and is currently permeating the social, political and cultural facets of the country. In her insightful book, Fascism: A Warning, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright cautions us to be wary of leaders who sow fear and anger and not to be tempted to give away freedoms, or the freedom of others, to leaders promising law and order.

Atrocity Alert No. 271: Ethiopia, Burundi and Philippines | 23 September 2021 | GCR2P | ReliefWeb

Last week at an event in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, Daniel Kibret, an influential political adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, gave an inflammatory speech targeting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the former ruling party of the Tigray region. Kibret said that, “they should be erased… from historical records. A person who wants to study them should find nothing about them. Maybe he can find out about them by digging in the ground.” According to the UN Secretary-General, since armed conflict started in Tigray last November, an alarming rise in inflammatory rhetoric and ethnic profiling has been “tearing apart the social fabric of the country.”

Tigray war antagonists are reluctant to talk peace: why and what’s next | 23 September 2021 | The Conversation

It is almost a year since the war in Ethiopia’s northern state of Tigray broke out. It all begun with a “pre-emptive strike” on the North Command of the federal army by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the 4 November 2020. The central government responded with what it described as a brief “surgical operation” to bring to justice the Front’s leadership. Since then, the war has expanded outside Tigray to Afar and Amhara regional states.

These old images do not show recent protests in Ethiopia’s Tigray region | 22 September 2021 | AFP Check

Several images of protests have been circulating on Facebook in Ethiopia alongside claims that they show recent demonstrations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in the region’s capital, Mekele. This is false. There are no reports of recent protests; AFP Fact Check found that four of the photos are old or from unrelated events, and was unable to source a fifth photo’s provenance.

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Actions in Response to Ongoing Crisis in Northern Ethiopia | 17 September 2021 | The White House

Today, President Biden is taking further steps to respond to the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia. This conflict has sparked one of the worst humanitarian and human rights crises in the world, with over 5 million people requiring humanitarian assistance and nearly one million living in famine-like conditions.

Eritrean Refugees Targeted in Tigray | 16 September 2021 | HRW

Eritrean government forces and Tigrayan militias have committed killings, rape, and other grave abuses against Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Human Rights Watch said today. All warring parties should cease attacks against refugees, stay out of refugee camps, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

What Tigray portends: the future of peace and security in Africa | 13 September 2021 | War on the Rocks

Two years ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stood on the stage in Stockholm to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, he oversees a brutal civil war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Abiy recently called the conflict a case where “the weed is being removed from our country.” This genocidal language follows a ten-month campaign characterized by acts of ethnic cleansing, sexual violence, and man-made famine.

Multiple reports of alleged human rights violations in Tigray | 13 September 2021 | UN

UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet on Monday deplored “multiple and severe reports of alleged gross violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law” committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray.

Ongoing Conflict and Human Rights Abuses in Northern Ethiopia | 10 September 2021 | U.S. Department of State

The United States remains gravely concerned by ongoing conflict in multiple regions of Ethiopia. Reports of continued human rights abuses and atrocities by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces, Amhara regional and irregular forces, the TPLF and other armed groups, including the reported attack on civilians in one village in Amhara region this week, are deeply disturbing. We condemn all such abuses against civilians in the strongest possible terms and call on all parties to the conflict to respect human rights and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Joint UN, EHRC investigation on Tigray concludes field work phase, final report due on Nov. 01 | 10 September 2021 | Addis Standard

The joint investigation by the UN Human Rights Office and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into alleged violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray has concluded its field work phase, with a final report to be published on 1 November 2021.

Men are marched out of prison camps. Then corpses float down the river | 10 September 2021 | CNN

The ghostly outlines of limbs emerge through the mist along the Setit River in eastern Sudan. As the river’s path narrows, the drifting bodies become wedged on the silty clay bank and their forms appear more clearly; men, women, teenagers and even children. 

At scene of Ethiopia’s new killings, some fight, some flee | 10 September 2021 | The Associated Press

The smell of death lingered for days after the killings. The bodies, more than a dozen in the uniforms of fighters, others in civilian clothing, were still scattered on the muddy ground.

En Ethiopie, le conflit menace de déborder en région Oromo | 8 September 2021 | Le Monde

Les rebelles de la province la plus peuplée du pays ont gagné en visibilité depuis leur accord avec l’insurrection tigréenne. Une alliance qui appelle à renverser le premier ministre, Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopie: les rebelles du Tigré démentent catégoriquement avoir tué des civils | 8 September 2021 | Mediapart

Ethiopian Region Accuses Tigray Forces of Killing Civilians | 8 September 2021 | Bloomberg

Les rebelles tigréens ont démenti mercredi les allégations selon lesquelles ils auraient tué des dizaines de civils début septembre en Amhara, une région du nord de l’Éthiopie gagnée ces derniers mois par le conflit qui fait rage au Tigré voisin.

U.N. footage from northern Ethiopia shows humanitarian crisis | 7 September 2021 | Reuters

Footage of war-hit northern Ethiopia published by the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday reflected the severe humanitarian crisis there, after the United Nations warned that a de facto blockade on aid is bringing millions to the brink of famine.

Tigray: Women and girls bear significant costs of Ethiopian conflict | 3 September 2021 | UNFPA | ReliefWeb

Since conflict between federal and regional forces erupted in Tigray in north Ethiopia last November, some 2 million Tigrayans have been displaced with thousands fleeing to surrounding countries like Sudan. Not only has fighting not been contained, it has spread to neighbouring regions like Amhara and Afar.

Pourquoi les rebelles du Tigré arrivent à tenir tête à l’armée éthiopienne depuis l’automne 2020 | 3 September 2021 | Franceinfo

Alors que l’Ethiopie possède “une des armées les plus opérationnelles d’Afrique subsaharienne”, elle n’arrive pas à venir à bout des Forces de défense du Tigré. Le chercheur François Lafargue nous livre ses explications dans The Conversation.

Tigray dispatch: “How do you expect to stop war crimes with a request?” | 1 September 2021 | African Arguments

I was lucky to get a data connection in Mekelle today, which enabled me to learn about reactions to political developments in Ethiopia. Getting a connection has become a rare luxury for almost ten months now, as Addis Ababa has cut Tigray out of all available infrastructure – from telecoms, to the electric grid, roads, and banking services – as it has used isolation as a weapon of its war.

Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels looting aid warehouses: USAID | 31 August 2021 | AhramOnline

Rebels in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region have been looting aid warehouses, the US aid agency said Tuesday, calling the alleged thefts a “great concern for humanitarians”.

The Rise of the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) | 28 August 2021 | OmnaTigray

When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war on Tigray in November 2020, the people and government of Tigray were caught by surprise. The unexpectedly gruesome war turned their lives into hell on earth in a matter of weeks.

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