8 – 14 January 2015

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The United Nations Security Council has backed DRC and MONUSCO’s plans to begin a military campaign to “neutralise” the FDLR rebel group in the country’s eastern provinces. Preparations to overcome FDLR are well underway, with the head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, and the provincial governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku getting together on Thursday the 8th January in Goma to harmonise the preparations and accompanying measures for military operations to forcibly disarm and neutralise the rebel group.

FDLR’s failure to comply with the 2nd January 2015 deadline to disarm is at the centre of focus in the GLR at present, and the debate has become politicised, with President of Tanznaia – Jakaya Kikwete – feeling the need to dismiss accusations that he has favoured the insurgents as “preposterous.”

However the FARDC remains active in its other duties, stating that on Saturday the 10th of January they took back control over the camps Pilote and Issa from ADF rebels, and on Wednesday 14 January that they resumed control over the localities Mpofi, Luvungi, Kigoma and Kailenge from the Mai Mai Cheka militia.

Meanwhile, on the 13th of January, a joint delegation of FARDC and MONUSCO entered into discussion with Cobra Matata’s FRPI in Aveba village, located 80 kilometers south of Bunia (Eastern Province).

A court in Senegal has charged a police officer from the DRC, who is suspected of involvement in the murder of human rights activist Floribert Chebeya. The move revives an investigation into the death of Chebeya and his driver that occurred over four years ago. The case that underscores how Senegal’s legal system can be used to try people accused of committing torture in other countries.

Debate has abounded regarding the rightful custody and fate of Dominic Ongwen, former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander, with some claiming that the USA and Uganda were in a standoff regarding whether he should face charges domestically or at the ICC. Ongwen is currently under Ugandan custody, and Uganda has said he will face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Finally, with regards to business and human rights, this week marks the beginning of the third compliance period of the SEC provision known as the “Conflict Minerals Rule”, contained with the Dodd-Frank Act. However reporting companies are still weighing their options regarding how best to achieve compliance.

Please note that the briefing will not be as comprehensive as usual due to technical difficulties experienced this week. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. 

IPIS’ Latest Publications

IPIS Insights: The Arms Trade Treaty. Prospects and Challenges as it “enters into force” | December 2014 | IPIS
In this IPIS Insight, the author outlines key developments in the making of the Arms Trade Treaty. He argues that the ATT represents a paradigm shift in addressing the way that international law on arms transfers because for the first time in history universal human rights obligations have been codified alongside other international standards to form binding rules to regulate conventional arms transfers. Nevertheless, as the author explains, the ATT is not a panacea. It is also outlined why it is significant for its future potential that the inception of the treaty in its modern form arose from civil society, which continues as an active partner with champion states in developing the treaty regime.

IPIS insights: Diamonds in the Central African Republic | December 2014 | IPIS
This IPIS Insight will elaborate on IPIS’ findings in its recent report, Mapping Conflict Motives: the Central African Republic – the latest in our conflict mapping series. It gives some insight into the modes of exploitation used by armed groups in the CAR to profit from diamonds and the role these stones have played in the complex and shifting dynamics that characterise the on-going crisis, both in the east and west of the country. It will then briefly consider the KP’s role in this context.

Mapping Conflict Motives: the Central African Republic | November 2014 | IPIS
In this study, IPIS analyses the conflict dynamics in the Central African Republic (CAR) since the outbreak of the latest crisis in September 2012 up to September 2014. The analysis specifically looks into the motivations and interests of the main conflict parties, Seleka and anti-balaka, and the influence and interests of neighbouring countries. The report covers the following key questions. What is the background of the conflict parties Seleka and anti-balaka, and how are they structured? Which strategic interests do they prioritise, or ignore? What do they want to achieve? Do their actions correspond to their rhetoric? What has been Chad’s, Sudan’s and Cameroon’s influence on the CAR conflict, and what have been their interests in it? Together with the report, a web map of the area of focus has been published and is available at The web map presents various layers, which can be toggled on or off, including information on security incidents, areas under control of armed groups, natural resources, and a number of other features. The map is an integrated part of the research methodology and has been a crucial source for IPIS’ analysis. Also have a look at the Infographic, at La traduction en français sera disponible prochainement.

The Adverse Human Rights Risks and Impacts of European Companies: Getting a glimpse of the picture | October 2014 | IPIS
This report presents the findings of a study undertaken by IPIS and commissioned by the European Coalition for Corporate Justice on the extent to which European companies are identified in concerns about adverse human rights risks and impacts. Gathering concerns raised regarding the human rights risks and impacts of companies listed on the UK’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC 40 and the German DAX 30, the study finds that around half of these companies have been identified in allegations or concerns regarding adverse human rights risks and impacts reported on between 2005 and early 2013. Many of these risks and impacts relate to operations outside the European Union, with the most severe often alleged to occur in countries in which rule of law and institutions are weak.

The Adverse Human Rights Risks and Impacts of European Companies: Getting a glimpse of the picture. Annexes | October 2014 | IPIS
This Annex accompanies the report that presents the findings of a study undertaken by IPIS and commissioned by the European Coalition for Corporate Justice on the extent to which European companies are identified in concerns about adverse human rights risks and impacts.

Mapping Conflict Minerals: Eastern DRC (2013-2014) | 31 October 2014 | IPIS
In collaboration with the Congolese mining cadastre (CAMI), mining service SAESSCAM and representatives from local civil society organisations, IPIS organised a series of field visits to monitor artisanal mining activities and the involvement of armed groups and criminal networks in mineral exploitation and trade. This resulted in the publication of an interactive web map providing information on e.g. the on-site presence of armed groups and criminal elements within the Congolese army (FARDC) and their activities, as well as indicators of the relative importance of the mining site. It shows the location of 150 trading centres and nearly 1100 mining sites in Eastern DRC. An accompanying report provides an analysis of the data collected by the local teams between March 2013 and March 2014 as presented by IPIS on its web map. It analyses the most striking findings, focussing on developments surrounding security and how they have impacted on Eastern DRC’s artisanal mining sector. Finally, the report also explains how the map can be used to assess risks in mineral supply chains.

Supply Chains and Transport Corridors in East Africa ❘ June 2014 ❘ IPIS and TransArms-Research
Transport infrastructure plays a key role in boosting a country or region’s economic development. IPIS and TransArms have ascertained on several occasions that the underdevelopment or degeneration of transport infrastructure is a problematic issue across a number of African countries and regions. This report analyses the current logistics situation in Eastern Africa, and the logistic challenges faced by various actors in that region. It is based on desktop research, and interviews and data collected by the authors during several field missions to East and Central Africa. At the time of writing, however, logistic and other challenges to cost-efficient trade and overall economic development are yet to be addressed. Further research and policy actions to effectively tackle current shortcomings are much needed. A strategy relying on a piecemeal approach (e.g. on ad hoc investments in infrastructure) is likely to result in a ‘quick fix’ to ship raw materials out of the African continent rather than in an effort to boost sustainable economic development.

De Belgische ontwikkelingssamenwerking en fragiele staten: een kloof tussen beleid en praktijk? ❘ May 2014  11.11.11 i.s.m. IPIS
Zo goed als de helft van de Belgische middelen voor ontwikkelingshulp gaat naar partnerlanden waar de overheid niet de capaciteit, wil en/of legitimiteit heeft om de publieke zaken efficiënt te beheren, voor veiligheid te zorgen en om de bevolking uit de armoede te halen. Omdat traditionele hulprecepten in deze ‘fragiele staten’ op hun limieten stuiten, is er de laatste decennia een internationaal beleid ontwikkeld dat een blauwdruk voorstelt voor een gedifferentieerde aanpak om deze landen te ondersteunen in het traject richting meer weerbaarheid. De Belgische ontwikkelingssamenwerking onderschrijft de internationale engagementen over fragiele staten die hieruit ontstonden, zoals de fragiele staten principes (FSP’s) en de New Deal. In 2013 werd er een Belgische strategienota voor fragiele situaties goedgekeurd. Positief is dat België zich, ondanks de moeilijke context, rond dit thema blijft engageren – zowel op internationaal beleidsniveau als binnen haar eigen ontwikkelingsbeleid.

Conflict and security

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


Hell no, he won’t go | 9th January 2015 | Africa Confidential
Kabila’s determination to stay in power regardless of the legalities poses major risks – but the economy is looking up.

Violence is omnipresent in Congo | 11th January 2015 | Czech News Agency | Prague Post
Clashes between soldiers and rebels, violence and human rights violations are present in Congo every day, Czech observer Aleš Klimpera, who spent one year in the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), has told the Czech News Agency.

Regional MPs to meet over Great Lakes security | 14th January 2015 | CapitalFM Kenya
Members of Parliament from Great Lakes member states will meet in Nairobi next week to discuss political and security challenges in the region. Kenya’s Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro said the Fifth Ordinary Plenary Assembly of the 12 member International Conference on the Great Lakes Region is slated to be held between January 20 and 22.


Congo leader pledges to help defeat Rwandan rebels | 8th January 2015 | Reuters |
Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila on Wednesday told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that his army is ready to help peacekeepers fight Rwandan rebels in the country’s rugged eastern provinces, the U.N. press office said.

Security Council calls on DR Congo leader to approve joint action to ‘neutralize’ rebels | 8th  January 2015 | UN News Centre
The Security Council today called on the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to “swiftly approve” plans to begin joint operations between the Congolese military and the United Nations peacekeeping force to “neutralize” a rebel group with a long history of heinous crimes in the eastern regions of the vast country.

U.N. Security Council backs plan to defeat Rwandan rebels in Congo | 9th January 2015 | Reuters |
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday backed plans by the Democratic Republic of Congo and U.N. peacekeepers to begin a military campaign to “neutralise” a Rwandan rebel group in the country’s rugged eastern provinces. The U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo (MONUSCO) has already started preparatory operations ahead of an offensive to dislodge the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which has been at the heart of years of conflict in Central Africa’s Great Lakes region.

FDLR gets 4000 new reinforcements from Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville | 10th January 2015 | News of Rwanda   (See IPIS Weekly Briefing 12th-18th December 2012 for same allegation.)
FDLR commanders in Congolese military uniforms man a base in the dense Virunga park where they have maintained a multi-million dollar business in charcoal and ivory. Photo captured from a video posted online by Rwandan exiles. A classified United Nations document says the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia have been amassing troops – some from Zambia and Congo Brazzaville in preparation for war. Some have been mixed with Congolese army units along the common border with Rwanda.

UK Calls On Regional Countries to Support FDLR Disbandment | 10th January 2015 | The New Times | AllAfrica
Regional countries should play their respective roles to ensure that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia group is annihilated, the UK Government has said.

Statement by South Africa on the disarmament of Forces for Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) | 12th January 2015 | PR Newswire | Star Africa
The South African Government has taken note of the United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2015/1) of 8 January 2015 concerning the disarmament of the FDLR. South Africa reiterates that the FDLR has failed to comply with the 2 January 2015 deadline set by the Heads of State and Government of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) for the FDLR to disarm voluntarily or face military action, and has therefore rendered military option inevitable.

War against genocide perpetrators might be what Congo needs to stabilize | 13th January 2015 | The Globe and Mail
It could be the final chapter of the wars that began with the Rwandan genocide. Sometime soon, perhaps within days, a military coalition will plunge into the Congolese bush to pursue the last of the génocidaires.

UN seeks to minimize risk to civilians in DRC offensive | 13th January 2015 | Deutsche Welle
The UN aims to disarm Rwandan rebels in DRC. The rebels ignored an ultimatum and now face a military offensive. How can refugees, including rebels’ civilian dependents, be protected?

Extending the FDLR disarmament deadline will only prolong the agony | 13th January 2015 | ISS |
This week all eyes were to be on the joint summit between the South African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) that was proposed by South African President Jacob Zuma earlier this month, but this event has now been cancelled, apparently at the behest of Angola, which currently holds the presidency of the ICGLR. The main item on the agenda was to be the FDLR which is the next target on the list of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). Some see the cancellation of the summit as a sign that the military operations against the FDLR are now set to go ahead.

SANDF still part of MONUSCO FIB | 13 January 2015 |
South Africa as a troop contributing country to MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the DRC has re-affirmed its commitment to neutralising “negative forces” in particularly the eastern part of the country.

North Kivu

Beni : les FARDC délogent les ADF des camps Pilote et Issa | 10 January 2015 | Radio Oka
Les Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC), appuyées par la Brigade d’intervention de la Monusco, ont pris samedi 10 janvier le contrôle des camps Pilote et Issa, deux importants camps des rebelles ougandais des ADF.

RDC: l’ex-M23 accuse Kinshasa de violer les déclarations de Nairobi | 11 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le coordonnateur chargé de la mise en œuvre des déclarations de Nairobi pour le compte du M23, René Abandi, accuse le gouvernement de la RDC de violer ces textes.

Noord- en Zuid-Kivu in de clinch over grenzen nieuwe provincies | 13 January 2015 | CongoForum
In de Congolese Nationale Assemblee liepen de spanningen op tussen parlementsleden uit Noord-Kivu en hun collega’s uit Zuid-Kivu. Dat gebeurde tijdens de debatten over de nieuwe organieke wet die de grenzen van de toekomstige provincies beschrijft. Vertegenwoordigers van beide provincies waren het oneens over de nieuwe verdeling van de wateren van het Kivumeer. De regering moet nu ‘binnen een redelijke termijn’ experts raadplegen om een oplossing te vinden voor deze kwestie, schrijft Les Dépêches de Brazzaville.

Nord-Kivu: les FARDC délogent les Maï-Maï Cheka de 4 localités de Walikale | 14 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) ont repris, mercredi 14 janvier, le contrôle des localités de Mpofi, Luvungi, Kigoma et Kailenge qui avaient été investies, le week-end dernier, par les miliciens Maï-Maï Cheka.

Congo, UN Forces Primed for Rebel Offensive as Leaders Meet | 15 January 2015 |
United Nations and Democratic Republic of Congo forces are preparing for a military offensive against Rwandan rebels in Eastern Congo after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for “decisive action” against the insurgents.

South Kivu

Traque contre les FNL: plus de 2 000 déplacés à Uvira | 9 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Plus de 2 000 personnes ont fui les affrontements entre les Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) et les rebelles burundais des Forces nationales de la libération (FNL) et vivent difficilement dans les localités de Kakuku et Kihuha, en territoire d’Uvira (Sud-Kivu).

Sud-Kivu: 4 des 20 groupes armés «complètement démantelés», selon les FARDC | 13 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Deux semaines après le début des opérations militaires menées contre les rebelles burundais des Forces nationales de libération  (FNL) au Sud-Kivu, la Monusco avance un bilan provisoire de 29 blessés, 2 morts et des combattants FNL en débandade.

Guest blog: Understanding the recent operations against the FNL Nzabampema | 13 January 2015 | Congo Siasa
On Monday 5 January 2014, the Congolese military (FARDC) and the South-African contingent of the United Nations’ Force Intervention Brigade mounted a surprise attack against a Burundian rebel group operating in Uvira territory (South Kivu) under the name Forces Nationales de Libération (FNL).

Province Orientale

RDC: vive tension entre FARDC et miliciens FRPI à Aveba | 10 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les habitants d’Aveba dans la collectivité de Walendu Bindi sont priés par l’armée congolaise de quitter cette localité située à 80 km au Sud de Bunia (Province Orientale). Une vive tension s’observe entre les miliciens de la Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI) et les militaires congolais dans cette localité.

Province Orientale: le vice-Premier ministre de l’Intérieur évalue la situation sécuritaire | 11 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le vice-Premier ministre et ministre de l’Intérieur, Evariste Boshab Mabudj, évalue la situation sécuritaire, économique et sociale de la Province Orientale.

Ituri : une délégation FARDC-Monusco discute avec la FRPI sur le désarmement volontaire | 14 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Une délégation mixte composée des Forces armées de la RDC et de la Monusco discute depuis mardi 13 janvier avec les miliciens de la Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI) de Cobra Matata à Aveba, localité située à 80 kilomètres au Sud de Bunia (Province Orientale).


RDC: la traque des FDLR «s’effectuera au meilleur moment», affirme Lambert Mende | 9 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le désarmement forcé des rebelles rwandais des  FDLR reste la seule option en ce moment. Le gouvernement congolais l’a encore rappelé vendredi 9 janvier, précisant toutefois qu’il ne mènera pas cette opération pour se conformer à des pressions extérieures

Martin Kobler et Julien Paluku réaffirment la nécessité de neutraliser les FDLR | 9 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le chef de la Monusco, Martin Kobler, et le gouverneur de province du Nord-Kivu, Julien Paluku, se sont concertés jeudi 8 janvier à Goma pour harmoniser les préparatifs et les mesures d’accompagnement des opérations militaires visant à désarmer de force et à neutraliser les rebelles hutus rwandais des FDLR.

Rwanda pushes for military action against FDLR, Tanzania hesitant | 10th January 2015 | The East African
Rwanda and Tanzania have clashed over the planned military action against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who have ignored the January 2 deadline to disarm.

Dooi in Belgisch-Rwandese relaties? | 13th January 2015 | 11.11.11 | De Wereld Morgen
Vrijdag 9 januari 2015 zijn minister Reynders en De Croo terug in België aangekomen, na een kort bezoek aan Rwanda en Burundi. Een belangrijk bezoek, zonder meer. 11.11.11 maakt een bilan op van hun reis.


Corruption allegations AMISOM
Ex-Amisom commander grilled in court martial | 11th January 2015 | The New Vision
The former commander of Battle Group (BG) 10 under the UN-funded African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Lt. Col. Edson Muhanguzi, has been grilled in the General Court Martial after he blamed the “food shortages” in the mission area on a junior officer.

LRA: Dominic Ongwen

Dominic Ongwen must face trial for crimes against humanity | 7th January 2015 | Amnesty International
Following reports that Dominic Ongwen has surrendered to US forces, Amnesty International is calling for his immediate transfer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face trial.

U.S. Hands Over Top LRA Commander to Uganda Army | 8th January 2015 | The New Times | AllAfrica
The UPDF has said it has positively identified the man who surrendered to Seleka rebels as Maj Gen Dominic Ongwen, one of the notorious commanders of the LRA.

LRA’s Dominic Ongwen ‘capture’: Seleka rebels want $5m reward | 9th January 2015 | BBC
Seleka rebels in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) say they should get a reward for capturing a Ugandan militia leader wanted for war crimes.

Uganda Unsure What to Do With LRA’s Ongwen | 9th January 2015 | The Observer (Kampala) | AllAfrica
Uganda is yet to decide whether to try Lord’s Resistance Army ‘Maj Gen’ Dominic Ongwen at home or refer him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Senior Rebel From Uganda to Be Moved to the Hague | 13th January 2015 | New York Times
A recently captured Ugandan rebel commander who is accused of helping plan massacres and kidnap countless children will be handed over to the International Criminal Court, Ugandan and Western officials said on Tuesday.

Detention of African warlord raises legal questions for Pentagon | 13th January 2015 | The Washington Post
An African warlord with a $5 million bounty on his head unexpectedly fell into the lap of U.S. troops last week, presenting the Pentagon with a military victory but also a legal conundrum: what to do with the newfound prisoner?

Running from the law? The bounty on your head depends on who you kill…or if you are an African | 13th January 2015 | Mail & Guardian
Attacks on US interests and citizens is a key factor in the size of the bounty – more than causing death or destruction in a more “generalised” sense.

Why U.S. Held Onto LRA Man | 14th January 2015 | The Observer (Kampala) | AllAfrica
The delay to decide on the fate of former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen is due to a standoff between Uganda and the United States of America, The Observer understands.CAR

L’ONU réfute le génocide et parle de “crimes contre l’humanité” | 9th January 2015 | AFP | Journal de Bangui
Une commission des Nations unies enquêtant sur les violences qui ravagent la République centrafricaine depuis deux ans a conclu que les deux camps avaient commis des crimes contre l’humanité, y compris un “nettoyage ethnique”, mais que l’intervention internationale avait évité un génocide.


Tanzania backs disarmament of Rwanda rebels in DR Congo | 10th January 2015 | AFP | Yahoo
Tanzania is supporting disarmament efforts against Rwandan rebels in lawless eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, President Jakaya Kikwete has said, dismissing accusations he favoured the insurgents as “preposterous.”

Humanitarian news

Non-comprehensive overview of humanitarian news & events, including refugee and IDP issues.


UN offensive against Hutu rebels puts DR Congo’s civilians at risk | 11th January 2015 | The Independent
Tens of thousands of civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo are expected to flee their homes as a result of a planned offensive by United Nations and Congolese government forces against Rwandan Hutu rebels in the east of the country.

152 former child soldiers reunited with families | 9th January 2015 | ICRC
Families living in the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Orientale are due to be reunited with their children today after months or even years apart. The 147 boys and five girls all belonged to armed forces or groups until recently.


Humanitarian Bulletins and reports

10.000 réfugiés centrafricains de plus en quelques semaines | 9th January 2015 | AFP | ReliefWeb
Près de 10.000 réfugiés centrafricains supplémentaires ont afflué en République démocratique du Congo en un peu plus de trois semaines, a-t-on appris vendredi auprès du Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR).

Humanitarian Bulletins and reports
Central African Republic Humanitarian Situation Report – 8 January 2015 | 8th January 2015 | UNICEF | ReliefWeb

Central African Republic (CAR) Situation Report No.45 (as of 7 January 2015) | 8th January 2015 | OCHA | ReliefWeb

Justice and Tribunals

Selected articles on criminal justice proceedings regarding crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region.


Affaire Chebeya: Paul Mwilambwe poursuivi par la justice sénégalaise | 9 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La justice sénégalaise a ouvert, jeudi 9 janvier, un dossier judiciaire contre le Congolais Paul Mwilambwe, accusé d’avoir participé dans l’assassinat de deux activistes des droits de l’homme, Floribert  Chebeya et Fidèle Bazana, en juin 2010 à Kinshasa. Floribert  Chebeya et Fidèle Bazana avaient été assassinés, au terme d’un rendez-vous avec l’ancien inspecteur général de la police nationale, général John Numbi.

Senegal charges DR Congo policeman over murder of rights activist | 12th January 2015 | Reuters |
A court in Senegal has charged a Democratic Republic of Congo police officer suspected of involvement in the murder of a human rights activist in Democratic Republic of Congo, a rights group said on Friday. The move revives an investigation into the death more than four years ago of Floribert Chebeya and his driver in a case that highlighted Congo’s poor rights record and underscores how Senegal’s legal system can be used to try people accused of committing torture in other countries.


The International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic – Final report (S/2014/928) | 8th January 2015 | United Nations Security Council | ReliefWeb
Pursuant to Security Council resolution 2127 of 5 December 2013 which established an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate international human rights and humanitarian laws violation and abuses in CAR by all the parties involved in the armed conflict since 1 January 2013.

Natural resource exploitation, governance and trade

Minerals, energy (oil & gas, hydro and solar), poaching, logging, foreign investment, trade, environmental issues.
Glencore shares hurt by pressure on copper | 14th January 2015 | MarketWatch
Mining and metals stocks fell sharply on Wednesday after copper prices tumbled to nearly a six-year low, with commodities group Glencore among the worst hit.


Le pillage de la société CONGO METAL corporation évalué à près de 3.585.800 USD | 8th January 2015 |
Les dégâts causés par le pillage opéré mardi dans la concession de la société CONGO METAL, dans la commune de Limete à Kinshasa, équivalent à près de 3.585.800 USD (trois millions cinq cent quatre vingt cinq mille, huit cent dollars américains), a annoncé jeudi à l’ACP M. Akram Al Sawi, directeur général de cette entreprise.


Govt officials took Chinese railway bribes | 11th January 2015 | The Observer (Kampala)
President Museveni last week denied claims that he pushed government officials to circumvent the proper “procurement process” for the standard gauge railway (SGR) project. Sources in Parliament said that while meeting MPs investigating the controversial procurement of a contractor for the SGR, Museveni also admitted that some officials accepted bribes to influence the eventual outcome.

Prime Minister denies interfering in Mukono-Katosi road investigations  | 11th January 2015 | The Observer (Kampala)
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has dismissed reports that he tried to interfere with police investigations into the police’s investigations into the Mukono-Katosi road saga. Sunday Monitor today reported that Rugunda and three cabinet ministers met crime investigations chief Grace Akullo and tried to dissuade her from squeezing a charge-and-caution statement from Works and Transport Minister Abraham Byandala. But in a statement sent to The Observer by Communications Advisor Julius Mucunguzi, Rugunda described the newspaper’s report as disingenuous.

Copper production
Copper production to resume at Kilembe | 10th January 2015 | The East African
Copper mining at Uganda’s Kilembe mines will resume later this year after a Chinese concessionaire completes its rehabilitation.


«Ils sont en train de piller mon pays, la Centrafrique» : Lionel Saraga Morais | 13th January 2015 | Alwihda Info
Selon Lionel Saraga Morais, « le flottement politique fait le jeu des affairistes et des états énergivores qui vampirisent le pays ». Fondateur du Cercle des intellectuels africains, ex-ministre conseiller à la stratégie et défense du gouvernement de transition de la République centrafricaine, Lionel Saraga Morais était à Genève ces jours. Pressenti pour mener une mission dans le cadre du projet Démobilisation, désarmement, réinsertion (DDR), il redoute l’enlisement politique qui menace son pays. Il dénonce aussi l’attitude de ceux qui profitent de la mise sous perfusion de la République centrafricaine pour en piller les ressources sans vergogne.

Communiqué de la délégation du CICR en République centrafricaine | 12th January 2015 | ICRC | Journal de Bangui
A la suite de la publication le 02 janvier 2015 par l’édition en ligne du journal Centrafrique Libre d’un article intitulé «Centrafrique: disparition de plusieurs millions de FCFA et vague de départ du personnel au CICR», article dont le contenu a été également publié par d’autres médias, le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR), à travers les délégués du personnel à Bangui et le chef de délégation en République centrafricaine ont transmis à Centrafrique Libre un droit de réponse qui contient les précisions et rectifications suivantes…

Regulation, voluntary initiatives, and CSR

Selected articles on legal and voluntary initiatives relating to natural resources and good governance.


USA: Companies weighing their options on how best to achieve compliance with SEC rules on conflict minerals reporting | 14 January 2015 | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
As we mark the beginning of the third compliance period…of the SEC provision known as the “Conflict Minerals Rule,” reporting companies are still weighing their options for how best to achieve compliance.



Law calling for census before 2016 Congo vote clears first hurdle | 13th January 2015 | Reuters
Lawmakers in Democratic Republic of Congo gave initial approval on Monday to a bill requiring a census before a 2016 election, president of the national assembly Aubin Minaku said, a process the opposition says could delay the poll by years.

Police disperse protesters ahead of Congo parliament election debate | 13th January 2015 | Reuters |
Police fired tear gas on Monday at demonstrators trying to protest against a parliamentary debate on a proposed census in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s which, if approved, could delay next year’s elections.

IPIS Recent Publications

Boundary spanning: moving towards strategic stakeholder engagement | 3 February 2014 | IPIS
By Anna Bulzomi
To address complex human rights impacts, companies need to move away from responding to crises and work with communities towards creating shared value.

IPIS Insights: The 2nd Annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva 2013 | January 2014 | IPIS
From the 2 – 4 December 2013, IPIS attended the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights. The Forum was established by the Human Rights Council and is under the guidance of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. IPIS’ researchers Gabriella Wass and Anna Bulzomi offer some insights into topics at the Forum that struck them as particularly interesting.

Practice What You Preach: Theory and Practice of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)’s Stakeholder Engagement Plan in Chad | 9 January 2014 | IPIS
The past decade has seen a staggering increase in Chinese investment flows in Africa, leaping from USD 392 million in 2005 to USD 2520 million in 2012. Chinese Government officials often describe the burgeoning Sino-African ties as ‘win-win partnerships’, emphasizing how their ‘non-interference’ policy truly allows African countries to choose their own development path.
Against this background, doubts may arise with regard to the environmental and social standards applied by Chinese companies conducting business overseas, especially in post-conflict states with poor human rights records and inadequate governance structures. The case discussed in this paper concerns the operations of the Chadian branch of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Business, Human Rights, and Uganda’s Oil – Part II: Protect and Remedy: Implementing State duties under the UN Framework on Business and Human Rights | December 2013 | IPIS
The following is the second in a series of four reports exploring business and human rights issues in Uganda’s oil sector. This series is a collaboration between IPIS vsw and ActionAid Uganda.
In accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, this second report assesses the duty of the Ugandan, British, French and Chinese States to prevent, investigate, punish and redress human rights abuse by businesses.

In search of clean water: human rights and the mining industry in Katanga, DRC | 27 November 2013 | IPIS
Today, around 1,8 billion people in the world do not have access to safe water. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most water-rich country in Africa, 51 million people lack access to potable water; only 26% of the population has access to safe drinking water. This is one of the lowest access rates in the world.
In the Katanga province, rich in cobalt and copper, some industrial mining companies operate provoking significant pollution of water sources, seriously affecting the local population. Although there is a lack of comprehensive data available, several studies conducted by local civil society show environmental, health and socio-economic negative effects.

IPIS Insights: Kimberley Process: observations from the sidelines. Part I | 21 November 2013 | IPIS
Ten years after the launch of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) this paper is the first in a two part series providing an overview of where the Kimberley Process and international efforts to combat the trade in conflict diamonds currently stand. It will analyse some of the present challenges facing the system and some of the potential solutions on the table.

Travail des enfants dans le site minier d’exploitation artisanale de Bisie en territoire de Walikale. Une crise oubliée en République Démocratique du Congo | 19 November 2013 | Prince Kihangi Kyamwami
Plus de deux décennies après l’entrée en vigueur de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant (1989) en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), la situation des enfants dans le territoire de Walikale demeure critique.

Ambushed in Bangkok? The U.N. Panel on North Korea and the case of the IL-76 “4L-AWA” | 14 November 2013 | IPIS/TA
This new IPIS/TA report explains why the conclusion of the latest United Nations report on North Korea sanctions, about an arms flight grounded in Thailand, is not supported by facts, but based on a misalliance of wrong and misleading information, gleaned both about the cargo aircraft, its flight and the entities involved, together with erroneous interpretations of standard aviation practices made by the UN Panel of experts on North Korea.

Analysis of the interactive map of artisanal mining areas in Eastern DR Congo | 12 November 2013 | IPIS
In August 2009 the ‘International Peace Information Service’ (IPIS) published a first map of militarised mining areas in Eastern DR Congo. By 2012, the international interest in the issue had grown but the map was out-dated. To find a structural solution, IPIS sat down with the Congolese mining cadastre (CAMI) and agreed to set up a permanent system to monitor artisanal mining activities and the involvement of armed groups in the mineral exploitation and trade. A first version of the resulting map has been published at It shows the location of nearly 800 mining sites and 85 trading centres, including information about armed groups presence and involvement, and the scale of the mining activity. The map includes at least 410 cases of illegal taxation by armed groups or the Congolese army.

‘Conflict Minerals’ initiatives in DR Congo: Perceptions of local mining communities | 12 November 2013 | IPIS
The exploitation of minerals is an important source of income for many communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Yet this mineral wealth also plays a significant role in the continuation of insecurity in parts of the country.
Over recent years, several domestic, regional and international initiatives have been developed to address the so-called ‘conflict minerals’ problem and the high level of informality in the DRC’s artisanal mining sector. These initiatives have provoked varying reactions regarding their impact on local livelihoods.
This report aims to provide insight into the impact of initiatives on the livelihood strategies of local communities in the DRC, based on field research in a wide range of mining areas; and document the perceptions of local stakeholders of these initiatives and their impacts.

IPIS Insights: Why businesses should assess human rights impacts from the outset of projects. SOCO International Oil Company in Virunga National Park, DRC | 26 August 2013 | International Peace Information Service (IPIS)
SOCO International, a British oil company, is prospecting for oil in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park – a World Heritage Site. For the past year, their presence has been criticised for putting a fragile environment at risk. However, more recently, their impact on human rights has also been questioned. In this Insights IPIS looks at why it is so vital for companies to employ rights-respectful processes, such as those advised in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, from the very beginning of the prospection stage.

Strijd tegen conflictmineralen: sleutel tot conflictresolutie in Oost-Congo? | 25 July  2013 | IPIS (Internationale Spectator)
De PDF van dit artikel is met toestemming van de redactie overgenomen uit de ‘Internationale Spectator, Clingendael Magazine voor Internationale Betrekkingen’, uitgegeven door de Koninklijke Van Gorcum, te Assen namens het Nederlands Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen ‘Clingendael’ te Den Haag.

Business, Human Rights, and Uganda’s Oil. Part I: Uganda’s oil sector and potential threats to human rights | 25 July 2013 | International Peace Information Service (IPIS) – ActionAid International Uganda
The following report is the first of a series of four collaborations between IPIS Research and ActionAid International Uganda. The series sheds a light on the oil sector in Uganda, its possible impact on human rights, and how government, companies, and civil society can best enable a positive bond between oil and the welfare of the Ugandan people.IPIS Insights: The EU draft law on conflict minerals due diligence: a critical assessment from a business & human rights standpoint  30 April 2014 ❘ IPIS
On the 5th of March 2014, the European Commission proposed a responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones. The proposal took place within a specific and timely context. As IPIS has long documented, the exploitation of natural resources can have adverse human rights impacts. Businesses operating in conflict-affected or fragile regions should therefore ascertain whether their direct operations or their business relationships with other parties, including through their supply chains, have fueled or funded conflict and/or human rights abuse.

Business & Human Rights in Uganda: What’s on the Agenda? | 12 March 2014 | IPIS
A few days after attending the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, IPIS Business & Human Rights Analysts Anna Bulzomi and Gabriella Wass boarded a plane to Kampala, Uganda, to run a two-day training with ActionAid Uganda for businesses and NGOs on “What does business & human rights mean, and how can we bring about a healthy relationship between the two?” This document summarises some thoughts and observations from our 19 participating organisations, as well as providing snapshots of the current relationship between business and human rights in Uganda.

IPIS Insights: Pentagon Accidentally Arms Al Qaeda Affiliate | 20 February 2014 | IPIS
A confidential report to the UN Security Council last week revealed that some of the weapons and ammunition to the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces appears to have been diverted to the Al Qaeda affiliate known as Al Shabaab.

Mapping Conflict Motives: the Sudan – South Sudan border (2012-2013) | 5 February 2014 | IPIS
In “Mapping Conflict Motives: the Sudan-South Sudan border”, IPIS analyses the conflict dynamics in the wider border area spanning Sudan and South Sudan. The analysis specifically looks into the motivations and interests of the parties involved in the interstate, intrastate and local conflicts in this area. Together with the report, a series of maps of the area of focus is available at