Criminality in the DRC

Criminality in the DRC

Bakavu, capital of South Kivu was woken last Sunday morning 5 November 2017, to the sound of gunshots and heavy artillery fire.

Government security forces had been trying to arrest Colonel Abbas Kayonga. The Colonel was the former head of the South Kivu anti-fraud unit for the mining sector. He has himself been charged with fraud but initially refused to be separated from his armed unit and hand himself over to the police. Claude Nyamugabo, the governor of South Kivu sacked Col. Kayonga on 2 November for serious breaches of his position.

By midday MONUSCO forces had retrieved the situation and taken Colonel Abbas Kayonga into custody. The incident has left six dead including 3 military and 3 civilians.

Colonel Abbas Kayongo initially denied the charges and suggested a different reason for his removal from office. He says that the charges against him are connected to two operations that he was due to carry out this week in South Kivu. These operations involved the seizure of counterfeit Amstel beer and a seizure of tourmaline which is a semi-precious stone, both en-route for Rwanda. The Colonel claims that the new governor of South Kivu has sacked him because the governor and his entourage want to benefit.

Colonel Abbas Kayonga

Colonel Abbas Kayonga along with 29 members of his armed unit is being prosecuted for rebellion, assassination, illegal possession of weapons of war and incitement of soldiers to commit acts contrary to the law.

It also looks like Kayonga has been mis-using his position to illegally export minerals to Rwanda. The activities were being conducted at night.

Security forces raided the compound and residence of Col. Kayonga also used as HQ of his anti-fraud unit. They found rocket launchers, 7.65 mm PKMs, rockets, submachine guns and ammunition boxes, including cartridges and cases of white cartridges for military exercises. Such a haul implies that Kayonga was running arms from Rwanda to militias in South Kivu, arms that are used to kill and terrorize the population. There are currently more than 70 armed groups operating in eastern DRC.

“It is unfortunate that all the armed forces operating in Eastern DRC are more linked to mining activities and their struggle is more about control of minerals. Worse is that most of our political players, senators and parliamentarians are themselves products of armed groups or are directly linked to warlords,” commented Mr Pacifique Sukisa-Makasi of Revolution Congolaise.

Colonel Kayonga is a former officer of FARDC, DRC`s military forces. Before then he was a warlord of a Rwandan-backed rebel militia that was operating in eastern Congo. He and his militia were incorporated into FARDC.The peace effort where it was decided as a good idea to incorporate warlords and their rebel militias into the official Congo State was a move overseen and undertaken by the United Nations. The Sun City Agreement resulted in the incorporation of Ugandan and Rwandan warlords and their militias into the official Congo State. This has been the foundation of a deeply psychotic government and military.

FARDC have been infused with Rwandan officers since the inauguration of Joseph Kabila.

Colonel Kayonga is not a Congolese national. Kayonga grew up in Makamba, Burundi. His mother is a Rwandan national and his father is an Indian national. His arrest and the exposure of his illegal activities have further embroiled people in the region in identity politics. Rather than concentrating on the Tutsi elite, elements within local communities are blaming all those of Tutsi/Banyamulenge ethnicity.

The anti-fraud unit of Colonel Kayonga and his militia is run by the mining sector. It is a measure to enforce control over illegal mineral exports.

Kayonga`s case highlights the state of corruption that continues to exist in the DCR. Eastern Congo is the Wild West, lawless, corrupt, violent and stinking of high level greed.The feeding frenzy on Congolese minerals involves national and international players. It is a feeding line from officials, governors, government to the mines themselves. The  mega corporations who own the mega mines belong to some of the world`s richest and most powerful European families.

If the Congo is a “failed state” as the Foreign Policy establishment likes to pontificate, how does BANRO GOLD create such an orderly exploitation of minerals? Answer: This is “failed state” by design and proxy warrior.

photo and caption courtesy of Keith Harmon Snow

Joseph Kabila is targeted as the key to all DRC`s corruption. The part he is playing is substantial and he has been the conduit for many of DRC`s plague of ills. But Kabila is just the puppet of the system, the system that will call for his resignation and most likely his trial before the ICC. That same system will put Moise Katumbi in power and Katumbi will bring in reformative measures that will place a thin veneer of respectability on Congolese politics.

The key issue for the system is to keep on mining, to keep up an appearance of respectability for the City of London extractive industries and their operations in the DRC. Gecamine, DRC`s state owned mining company, is being targeted as the “black hole” of corruption. It is being used as the scape-goat for a much higher level of corruption.

Joseph Kabila was put in power by City of London financiers. His first transitional government was run by the IMF. For years the state was run from the shadows by Augustin Katumba Mwanke who was a former employee of HSBC Equator Bank.

HSBC is the world`s dirtiest bank, a money laundering operation. It is one of the main fronts for the City of London and its international financial cartel.Rio Tinto and Glencore are two of the City of London`s main extractive corporations.

The presidency  of Joseph Kabila has been the cash-cow for the mining sector. Rwanda and Uganda are the conduits of African control over the DRC for the City of London.Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni are both  its proxy governments. Foreign development aid from the USA and Great Britain (tax payers money) is how the City of London sponsors these proxy governments.

As said by journalist Keith Harmon Snow:

“Meanwhile, western multinational corporations operating in eastern Congo [include Banro Gold, Casa Mining, Randgold, Mwana Africa, Loncor, Anglo-Gold Ashanti, Kilo Gold, and Moku Gold. These are U.S., Canadian, Australian, and European mining corporations] have deep ties to the criminal extortion, money-laundering, racketeering and theft behind the plunder and depopulation in the Great Lakes countries. John Bredenkamp, Billy Rautenbach, Dan Gertler, Philippe De Moerloose, Elwyn Blattner… we know who the “untouchables” are, the white collar war criminals behind the high-tech genocide, but they are never, ever mentioned by the western media system, unless they have built some wattle-and-daub school, insulting the African people, but pleasing their affluent sponsors….”

Human rights organizations act in many cases knowingly, and unknowingly as the gate-keepers of this system.

There is currently enormous effort being made to clean up the face of mining in DRC.Here we find human rights activists campaigning for transparency and responsibility from the mining sector. Many are campaigning for the mining sector to take much greater responsibility for both community services and the environment.Mining sector support of local economy and services are given as priority by many human rights campaigners.

There is a young man in Sierra Leone who was once one of the country`s most promising journalists. He gave a report on how the government of Sierra Leone is run by the private sector that acts as a “shadow government.” The interview was conducted on a documentary made by PressTV. That promising young man has since become a well-paid poster-boy for the mining sector in Sierra Leone. The MNC`s against which that journalist once campaigned now pay him to clean their faces and those MNC`s to this day continue to pay the government of Sierra Leone between 3% to 6% tax.

That is how human rights activists and campaigns can become the system`s gate-keepers.

How much negotiating is really needed with the mining sector as it currently operates? The Congolese are the second poorest nation in the world. They and their country do not benefit from the mining sector. If all mining in DRC were banned tomorrow how much worse off could the Congolese be? That is an extreme example but it is the logical baseline, things for the Congolese really cannot get any worse.

Therefore one needs to consider a different path.

The  campaigns for the mining sector to have legally binding greater responsibilities are neither a solution nor a feasible economic strategy. All that measures such as those do is to actually increase the power of the mining sector and to increase the already exising predominent role that private sector finance plays in government.

Colonel Kayonga`s criminality as head of an anti-fraud unit fot the mining sector is symptomatic of the criminality of a fraudulent system, a system of respectabile looking men in suits who pose as philanthropists and give money to humanitarian causes. Their corporations build little schools and little hospitals and little roads for the little people to walk on while their corporations plunder the resources and bribe the government.

Private sector finance having complete control over government is the status quo in the West. It is the policy of Free Markets and Globalization.It is the founding economic principle of the Adam Smith Institute that began with the concept of Laissez Faire. In other words business, private sector finance dictates foreign and domestic policy that will benefit the profit of private finance.National legislation is how human rights of society are protected.Human rights are embodied within a constitution which embodies the role of government.It is government that must uphold human rights. Private sector inluence over government must be made illegal.It is quite simply a case of rejecting globalization and the monetarist policies of the IMF.


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