The recently intensified conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a proxy war intended to stifle Sino-Congolese economic cooperation and promised “mining reform.” Western media remain complicit in the operation by perpetuating the narrative charade of “ethnic tension.”
“For there is, in our own time, an absolute taboo among the corporate news media and the political class against mentioning anything to do with the strategic and economic reasons for war.”— Robert Newman
Without reference at all to any larger context, readers are left with the impression that Congo’s terrible strife, especially the recent escalation of hostilities, are a chaotic jumble of localized squabbles over eastern Congo’s rich mineral wealth, while ethnic tension and enmity between Hutu and Tutsi fuel the fighting on an orthogonal trajectory of years-long tribal conflict. Much of what consumers of western media see regarding the fighting in Congo follows these narratives, while occasionally offering to say that “Congo’s riches fuel its war.” Beyond the immediate militias that are using mineral extraction to fund their operations, what is never said is just who else, exactly, are those enjoying the vast riches beyond the borders of Congo. Knowing that those vital industrial minerals coming out of Congo don’t just magically appear in cell phones, computers, turbine jet engines, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the diamond cartels of Antwerp, it is self-evident that something more, much more, is going on in the dark heart of Africa.
Eagle Wings Resources International, a coltan comptoir in Bukavu, is a subsidiary of Trinitech International Inc., based in Ohio, United States. Eagle Wings has offices in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The manager of Eagle Wings in Kigali has close ties to the Rwandan regime. Consequently, Eagle Wings operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a Rwanda-controlled comptoir with all the privileges derived from this connection. Eagle Wings is not obliged to fulfil its full responsibilities to the public treasury managed by the RCD-Goma administration. Like other Rwanda-controlled coltan comptoirs, Eagle Wings collaborates with RPA to receive privileged access to coltan sites and captive labour.
Approximately 25 per cent of Eagle Wings coltan is shipped from Kigali to the Ulba Metallurgical Plant of NAC Kazatomprom, in Kazakhstan. Another 25 per cent is sold to the parent company of Eagle Wings, Trinitech International Inc. in the United States, which arranges for sales to both Ulba and to the Chinese processing facility at Ningxia Non-Ferrous Metals Smeltery (NNMS). H. C. Starck, based in Germany and a subsidiary of the transnational corporation Bayer AG, purchases about 15 per cent of Eagle Wings coltan. H. C. Starck has denied on numerous occasions obtaining coltan originating from Central Africa. In a press statement issued on 24 May 2002, H. C. Starck reiterated that the company had purchased no material originating in Central Africa since August 2001. The Panel possesses documents showing the contrary. In the same press release, H. C. Starck claimed that its coltan originates from peasant suppliers and not from rebel groups. In fact, no coltan exits from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo without benefiting either the rebel group or foreign armies.
In one instance on which the Panel has documentation, Mozambique Gemstone Company provided false documents establishing Mozambique as the origin of a shipment of coltan originating in Rwanda and transiting through South Africa. Mozambique Gemstone Company then sold the consignment to AMC African Trading and Consulting Company Ltd., based in South Africa, which subsequently sold the consignment to H. C. Starck Ltd. in Rayong, Thailand, on 21 September 2001. H. C. Starck sent a letter of credit for this consignment on 9 May 2002 to Chemie Pharmacie Holland, which oversaw the transaction, and which is a commercial partner of Eagle Wings providing logistical and financial services. Eagle Wings is the only coltan source for Chemie Pharmacie. Eagle Wings has no operations in Mozambique.
U.S. Africa Command intends to work with African nations and African organizations to build regional security and crisis-response capacity in support of U.S. government efforts in Africa.
China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrelsâ€”roughly a third of its importsâ€”come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). … Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a three-year, $3 billion program in preferential loans and expanded aid for Africa. These funds come on top of the $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in export credits that Hu announced in October 2006 at the opening of the historic Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which brought nearly fifty African heads of state and ministers to the Chinese capital. Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africaâ€”especially the states along its oil-rich western coastlineâ€”will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.
voiced his opposition to a $9 billion US deal that allows China access to Congo’s vast mineral reserves in exchange for infrastructure improvements.
Rwandan authorities have been complicit in recruiting soldiers, including children, facilitated the supply of military equipment, and sent their own officers and units to the DRC to support the CNDP.
As rebel fighting in eastern Congo threatens to escalate into a regional conflict, government officials in Kinshasa have put on hold important decisions affecting the mining industry, a delay that likely pushes back international investment plans and undercuts the country’s efforts to rebuild its shattered economy. …
Recently, Congo’s mining ministry completed a review of the state’s contracts with international companies. It was one of a series of moves by African countries to seek better terms amid booming commodity prices. The ministry renegotiated some 60 concession agreements.
But Congo’s lawmakers have failed to sign off on the new deals. They have been preoccupied by the recent fighting and humanitarian crisis in North Kivu province, near Congo’s eastern border with Rwanda. Renegade Gen. Laurent Nkunda has surrounded the provincial capital of Goma and has threatened United Nations peacekeepers and government troops. This week, Angola said it will send troops to the country, raising fears the fighting could draw in other countries.
“This war in the east is taking all of the government’s attention,” said Deputy Minister of Mines Victor Kasango in a telephone interview. “We are waiting for things to calm down.”
"[DNC Chair Tom Perez] has gotten instructions from Bill Clinton not to let the party go to the Bernie Sanders folks." - Jonathan Allen, co-author of Shattered, revealing new material in the upcoming paperback release pic.twitter.com/dLEnwl7kIc— HootHootBerns 🌹🐦 (@HootHootBerns) May 3, 2018