DRC - Scores buried by landslide, thousands still at risk

application/msword 100520 DRC - Scores buried by landslide, thousands still at risk.doc (48.0 KiB)

Walking on eggshells - Security Reform in the DRC

application/msword 20100416 Walking on eggshells SSR in the DRC-final.doc (545.5 KiB)

Links in the conflicts in the DR Congo and Central African Republic

application/msword Links in the conflicts in the DR Congo and Central African Republic.doc (33.5 KiB)

DRC - When we heard wistles we escaped

application/msword DRC - 100505 Gaston Mbali.doc (74.5 KiB)

DRC – 100505 Minor rebels, major terror

Mapping Conflict Motives in the Oriental Province - DRC

application/pdf 100322 IPIS Doc - MappingDRC Orientale.pdf (902.2 KiB)

Displaced persons hiding in North Kivu forests

application/pdf 100127 DRC IDPs hiding in North Kivu forests.pdf (76.3 KiB)

UN refugee agency dismayed by impunity for endemic rape in DR Congo

application/pdf UN refugee agency dismayed by impunity for endemic rape in DR Congo.pdf (64.3 KiB)

Humanitarian corridor opened for trapped civilians in northeast

application/pdf DRC - Humanitarian corridor opened for trapped civilians in northeast.pdf (78.4 KiB)

Tin industry supply chain current proposals insufficient

application/pdf Tin industry supply chain current proposals insufficient eng.pdf (62.3 KiB)

Mapping Conflict Motives: Province Orientale (DRC)

application/pdf 100322 IPIS Doc - MappingDRC Orientale.pdf (902.2 KiB)

Conflicts that refuse to end

The DR Congo under J. Kabila: “indigence” and dependence

application/msword The Congo under Joseph Kabila.doc (59.0 KiB)

An appearance of state in a state in ruins

application/pdf 0127 analysis DRC Kris Berwouts - English.pdf (146.2 KiB)

Level of Brutality Against Women and Girls in Congo Increasing

application/msword Level of Brutality Against Women and Girls in Congo Increasing.doc (47.5 KiB)

Open letter to Obama from DR Congo

application/pdf DRC OPEN LETTER to Obama.pdf (54.9 KiB)

Brutality Against Women and Girls in Congo Increasing

application/pdf 091210 Brutality Against Women in and Girls in Congo Increasing.pdf (53.2 KiB)

Text adopted by the European Parliament on the Violence in the DR Congo

 On 17th December 2009, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The EP calls for an immediate end to the violence and human rights abuses.


tl_files/aefjn-images/im_Africa/pdficon.jpg Click here to get the Text of the European Parliment resolution

Congolese government should push companies to be more rigorous

Tin industry supply chain current proposals insufficient

By Global Witness

 The Congolese government should be cautious about endorsing a new industry initiative to trace the origin of tin supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Global Witness warned today.

"We encourage the Congolese government and companies to work together to break the links between the mineral trade and the armed conflict in eastern DRC," said Global Witness Director Patrick Alley, "but the government should convince itself of the effectiveness of the proposals before jumping to support them."

Over the last few months, ITRI -- a body which represents members of the tin industry -- has begun developing proposals to control its supply chain, following sustained pressure from non-governmental organisations and the UN Group of Experts.

"Global Witness welcomes the fact that ITRI is finally turning its attention to this issue," said Patrick Alley. "However, its current proposals fail to address the heart of the problem: how to exclude armed groups and military units from the mineral supply chain definitively."

ITRI's proposals, consisting primarily of technical and administrative checks, would require traders and middlemen to complete a set of forms declaring the origin of minerals. But critically, they do not appear to include a mechanism for independent verification of information provided by suppliers.

The limitations are starkly illustrated by a question on one of the draft forms, in which suppliers would be asked to tick a box confirming that there has been no armed group involvement in the production of the minerals.

"Which trader will ever admit that an armed group has been involved in his supply chain?" asked Patrick Alley. "This absurd question highlights a lack of commitment on the part of companies to addressing the real issues."

Global Witness warned that a blanket endorsement of ITRI's proposals, in their current form, could be counter-productive, giving the impression that companies have done enough and discouraging them from being more rigorous. Instead, the Congolese government should push companies further with a view to cutting out armed groups and military units from their supply chain once and for all. 

Global Witness also called on the Congolese government to continue implementing its own procedures for tighter control of the mining sector in eastern DRC and to bring to justice military commanders involved in the illicit trade. The organisation stressed that the fight to end impunity has to take place alongside the development of administrative procedures. If not, military officials -- like their rebel counterparts -- will continue to find ways of subverting the system, thus undermining the impact of new procedures.

Notes to editors:

1.  The trade in cassiterite (tin ore), coltan, gold and other minerals has been one of the main factors driving the armed conflict in eastern DRC for the past ten years.  In its July 2009 report "Faced with a gun, what can you do?" (available at: www.globalwitness.org/fwag), Global Witness documented how all the main warring parties -- rebel groups as well as the Congolese army -- are heavily involved in this trade.

For years, foreign companies, based in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, have turned a blind eye to the impact of their trade on the civilian population of eastern DRC.  They have traded with suppliers known to have links with rebel groups and have bought minerals produced by these groups or by the Congolese army, thus prolonging the conflict.

2. Summary findings from a recent Global Witness visit to eastern DRC can be found at: www.globalwitness.org/media_library_detail.php/801/en/bisie_killings

3. Global Witness's response to a recent decision by British company AMC to suspend tin purchases from the DRC can be found at:

DRC-New wave of refugees flees West of DRC fighting


BRAZZAVILLE, 20 November 2009 (IRIN) - Renewed clashes in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have led to a further wave of refugees, leaving corpse-littered villages in the affected area deserted, say humanitarian officials. 


About 100 people are thought to have died in clashes over fishing rights in DRC’s South Ubangi district, which lies in Equateur province. Others are believed to have drowned while crossing the Ubangi river, which separates the two Congos. 


"Today we have 30,600 displaced persons. We have had a massive influx since yesterday [19 November] because of a resumption in fighting," Rufin Mafouta, head of the NGO Médecins d’Afrique in Impfondo, the main town in the Republic of Congo’s (ROC) northern Likouala department, told IRIN. 


Likouala is located about 800km north of the capital, Brazzaville. 


"There was a week we had just 24,000 refugees. The number has quickly risen because of a resumption in fighting in towns and villages in the DRC," Mafouta said. 


Conditions are harsh for the refugees. 


"They are exposed to the bad weather,” Mafouta said. “The sanitary conditions remain worrying. We have recorded some cases of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections and skin diseases among the children.” 


“In Eboko, we carried out an evaluation and found there are a lot of unaccompanied children. They lost their parents,” he added. “There are also many pregnant women.” 


An 18 November update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Kinshasa said four children had died of diarrhoea in Eboko. 


A recent interagency mission to the South Ubangi villages of Dongo, Tangala, Ozene and Kungu found Dongo deserted, with corpses still strewn in the streets, stated the OCHA report. 


Houses, shops and other property were also burned. Congolese police deployed in the area are afraid for their health. 


The refugees include members of the DRC’s navy, which patrols the Ubangi. 


"We have been forced to flee with our families because we neither have weapons nor ammunition [to] protect ourselves," Wazaba Paluku, a sergeant, told IRIN in the ROC village of Dongou, where sailors had taken refuge in a police station. 


About 70 percent of the refugees are women and children, 25 percent are young people, with the rest elderly persons, according to Boubacar Ben Diallo, head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) crisis unit. 


Hospitals reported receiving people with bullet and machete injuries. 


DRC's ambassador to the ROC, Esther Kirongozi, said her government had recently set up a special commission to find a lasting solution to the crisis. 


DRC authorities also launched an appeal for its citizens to return home.  


Aid agencies recently distributed about 15 tonnes of food and non-food items such as insecticide-treated bed nets, cooking pots, water jerry cans and blankets to the refugees in Betou, Boyele, Dongo and Impfondo following a joint UN and ROC ministry evaluation mission. 


“The [donation] is inadequate but we have been forced to distribute [it], in the meantime [awaiting] other help,” noted UNHCR's Diallo. 


According to the police, some of the refugees are making their way back to their DRC villages across Ubangi River to harvest their crops before crossing back to the ROC. 




DRC - Why Armed Attacks on particular sites in North Kivu ?

On 11 October the Jesuit Father Didier de Failly, Director of the Bureau of Scientific and Technical Studies, published an analysis entitled “Why these recent attacks on particular sites in North Kivu?” It was his reaction to a report, “What can one do when faced by a rifle?” and some statements made earlier by Global Witness. For Fr Failly the real questions to ask are: “How can the state be reinforced so that it can command respect for law and order?” and ”How can the capacity of the state be reinforced in its  administration of the immense territory and the immense riches which is the DRC?”


DRC: René Ngongo receives the alternative Nobel Prize 2009

The Congolese René Ngongo, political consultant to Greenpeace Africa, has just received the Right Livelihood Award 2009, commonly known as the “alternative Nobel Prize”, for his work on protecting the forests and promoting social justice in the DRC. Mr Ngongo founded the Concerted Organisation of Ecologists and Friends of Nature (OCEAN) in 1996 in order to give a voice and infrastructure to Congolese civil society in the struggle to prevent the destruction of the forests. He has also worked extensively with forest communities to protect their rights concerning the protection of the forests and environmental conservation. The award will be presented on 2 December 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden, three days before the UN’s crucial negotiations on the climate open in Copenhagen. Deforestation is responsible for 20% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, which is greater than that of transport worldwide.

DRC: Campaign against torture and other inhuman treatment

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has launched an appeal for the denunciation of arrests and illegal detention, and also of allegations of torture and other ill-treatment carried out against ten people in Kiwanja. They were arrested separately on 6 October 2009, by members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo armed forces (FARDC) in the province of North Kivu and accused of belonging to the Mai Mai militia. Eight people are still being detained and are said not to have appeared before any competent judicial authority, nor to have access to a lawyer or medical help. OMCT asks the DRC authorities to respect the guarantees ratified by the country concerning the freedom of the individual.

Great Lakes: Advocacy for an International Conference

On 15 October EurAc published a communiqué entitled: “International Conference on the Great Lakes Region: a major event with a unique mission and clear added value”. The network reaffirms its continuing commitment to the defence of the theory that no lasting solution for Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can be found until it is part of a regional strategy. EurAc has also always supported the idea of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL) as a viable arena for addressing the fundamental questions concerning the conflicts in and between the countries. For this reason EurAc is reiterating its conviction that the CIRGL “remains the only political arena in the region where there is a mandate to address the fundamental questions relative to lasting peace, security and stability, and where the Pact signed in Nairobi in December 2006 provides the instrument to manage the regional dimension of the conflict”. EurAc asks the European Union and its member states to reinforce the CIRGL in terms of its role and its visibility, and to contribute financially, diplomatically, and with expertise to the immediate application of the “Protocol of non-aggression and mutual defence” and the “Protocol on the illegal exploitation of natural resources”, which are the two principal instruments for re-establishing lasting peace in the region.

Pressure to transfer Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court

Since the beginning of the year, national and international pressure has increased, demanding that the Kinshasa government, and President Joseph Kabila in particular, should hand Bosco Ntaganda, former Chief of the General Staff of the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) who was integrated into the Congolese army as a general, over to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). President Kabila refused and the Congolese Minister of Information and government spokesman, Lambert Mende, repeated this refusal at the end of October.  This refusal and this reasoning does not convince the international community. So, at the end of the 2971st session of the Council of the European Union  devoted to the Great Lakes region, the Council asked the Congolese government to «make sure without exception that those who violate international law have to answer for their actions ».  The statement makes special reference to Bosco Ntaganda in these terms : «The Council reaffirms that it fully supports the work of the International Criminal Court in the region and asks the Congolese government to cooperate with the court, with reference in particular to the arrest and transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC ». For his part Howard Wolpe, the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, stated on 2 November 2009 that « The United States will put pressure on the government to authorise the transfer of Bosco to the International Criminal Court».  He went further to say that «It is  inexcusable that this has not already happened». You may recall that Ntaganda has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in particular recruitment of children in 2002-2003

DRC: Christian Aid advocates stopping Operation Kimia II

Shuna Keen, an analyst at Christian Aid on the situation in the Great Lakes, has returned from a visit to North and South Kivu, where the Kimia II operation is taking place with the logistical support of MONUC.  Her findings are shocking. The operation is making the Congolese situation worse and is spreading insecurity and extreme poverty to more than two million innocent civilians. Christian Aid advocates the immediate cessation of operation Kimia II and the search for a negotiated political solution to solve the problems of the FDLR. The NGO is convinced that peace will never be established in the region through force and violence. The United Nations and its member States should do all they can to accelerate the repatriation of the FDLR and refugees from Rwanda by measures including a non-military engagement and reassurances of their safety.

DRC: No to support for Kimia II in the present situation

Two of the Dutch-speaking Belgian NGOs, Broederlijk Delen  and Pax Christi Vlanderen, share the view of the Congo Advocacy Coalition on Operation Kimia II  by advocating the strengthening of MONUC, since the DRC is such an enormous country where conflicts occur as a result of very complex dynamics. A simple increase in numbers would not suffice unless there was also a reassessment of  MONUC’s current strategy. MONUC’s support for Kimia II, which includes transport and aviation, as well as food rations, fuel and medical attention for the soldiers of the Congolese army, cannot continue if that same army continues with the serious violation of the human rights of the local population. The military operation Kimia II has not yet proved a success militarily. There must be a wider strategy against the FDLR setting up multiple lines of approach, economic, political, military and judicial, all of which would contribute to weakening the rebels.

DRC- The Kimia II operation: the price is unacceptable

In a communiqué released on 22 October 2009, the Congo Advocacy Coalition estimated that the military operation Kimia II had involved an unacceptable cost to the civilian population. It calls upon the diplomats and UN representatives who have been assembled in Washington since mid-October to discuss the situation in the eastern Congo and the whole region and take immediate steps to strengthen protection for civilians. The Coalition notes that since operations against the FDLR militias began in January 2009 more than1,000 civilians have been killed, 7,000 women and children have been raped and more than 6,000 homes have been destroyed by fire in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu. Nearly 900,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and are living in desperate conditions with families who will take them in, in forest areas or in sordid camps for displaced persons with very little access to food and medication. Although a number of murders were committed by the FDLR, it is true that soldiers of the Congolese Government Forces have also systematically targeted civilians by committing murder, rape, looting, forced labour and arbitrary arrests.

Mme Immaculée Birhaheka, director of the NGO Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Feminines (PAIF), has announced that incidents of sexual violation have been even more brutal in the areas covered by Operation Kimia II. She speaks of :”extreme violence and torture in sexual attacks on women and girls, in which a great majority of the victims are children”.


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