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WEEKLY BRIEFING 22ND - 28TH JANUARY 2015

Content

News in brief
 
IPIS’ Latest Publications
 
Conflict and security
DRC
Burundi
CAR
 
Humanitarian news
DRC
CAR
 
Justice and Tribunals
DRC
CAR
Rwanda
 
Natural resource exploitation, governance and trade
DRC
Rwanda
Uganda
 
Regulation, voluntary initiatives, and CSR
Uganda

 
Other
Uganda

IPIS Recent publications
 

NEWS IN BRIEF

Sunday, 25 January, saw the Congolese Senate vote to remove a controversial amendment to electoral law that prompted violent demonstrations throughout the country last week, including in Kinshasa, Goma and Bukavu.  The provision, proposing to oblige the conduct of a lengthy national census prior to the next presidential elections, was seen by many as a means of extending President Kabila’s time in office. Hundreds were arrested during the protests, which have seen rights groups charge the authorities with engaging in excessive use of force, including unlawful killings and arrests. Internet and mobile services were shut down and a number of political arrests are reported to have been made, as international responses to the escalating situation called for a restoration of peace.
 
Meanwhile, in the eastern provinces, hundreds of police were deployed around Beni amid fears concerning planned protests, whilst in South Kivu 85 former Raia Mukombozi fighters surrendered to the FARDC in Bukavu. In Shabunda territory, 750 artisanal miners have been forced to leave mine sites along the Ulindi River by the Raia Mutomboki, whilst in Equateur a land dispute in South Ubangi has occasioned five dead and much displacement. In Province Oriental, clashes between the FARDC and the FRPI are said to have left 22 rebels and 7 soldiers dead in Ituri, where 63 children were reportedly demobilised from the Mai-Mai Simba.
 
In the Central African Republic, last week saw a number of hostage takings, culminating on Sunday 25 January in the abduction of Minister for Youth and Sport, Armel Sayo. Eight local officials kidnapped in a subsequent hostage attempt, and a French humanitarian worker were later freed. Anti-balaka and ex-Seleka representatives signed an initial agreement for a ceasefire in Nairobi this week (Tuesday, 27 January) – the outcome of talks that began in early December. No timeframes had then been given for the next phase of discussions. The UN Security Council has renewed its CAR-related sanctions for another year, together with the mandate of the UN panel established to monitor these.
 
In Burundi, the BBC has reported that 17 of the rebels killed during fighting that erupted in Cibitoke in early January were shot by the Burundian Army at point blank range following their surrender. The fighting is said to have left at least 95 dead earlier this month.
 

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.

Conflict and security

Recent news on conflict, security and arms trade across the Great Lakes Region. 
ICGLR
 
Rwanda: ICGLR Calls for Action Against Terror Groups | 25 January 2015 | allAfrica | The New Times
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has strongly condemned acts of terrorism in the region, calling for immediate joint action by member countries.
 
Lawmakers from Africa's Great Lakes Region Discuss Challenges | 27 January 2015 | Voice of America
The debilitating political crisis that has wreaked havoc in the Great Lakes region became a top issue of discussion at a recent inter-parliamentary forum in Nairobi, bringing together legislators from 12 African countries within the region. 
 
 
LRA
 
Province Orientale : 3 militaires tués dans des attaques de la LRA à Dungu | 22 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Trois militaires ont été tués lors des attaques des rebelles ougandais de l’armée de résistance du seigneur (LRA) depuis le week-end dernier dans la chefferie de Wando en territoire de Dungu (Province Orientale).
 
FDLR
 
Consequences of the Monusco and FARDC Action in the DRC | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Iwacu Burundi
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) joined forces to expel or neutralize all the negative forces in DRC territory. The action has heavy consequences in neighboring countries and on the economic blocs of the region, an expert in security affairs reports.

DRC 

FDLR
 
Lengthy Battle Seen Against Rwandan Rebels in DRC | 22 January | Voice of America
U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous warned Thursday that it would take time to defeat Rwandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, given that the group lived among civilians and that the United Nations wanted to avoid a repeat of a 2009 humanitarian crisis.
 
Consequences of the Monusco and FARDC Action in the DRC | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Iwacu Burundi
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) joined forces to expel or neutralize all the negative forces in DRC territory. The action has heavy consequences in neighboring countries and on the economic blocs of the region, an expert in security affairs reports.
 
In the UN's Gun Sights - One of DRC's Most Infamous Rebel Groups | 23 January 2015 | allAfrica | IRIN
Les FDLR dans la ligne de mire des Nations Unies | 26 January 2015 | allAfrica | IRIN
In the coming days a specialist offensive unit of the UN's military mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to launch operations, together with the Congolese army, against a rebel group that has caused havoc in the east of the country for the past 20 years.
 
Martin Kobler: “Operations against FDLR will be complicated but not impossible” | 28 January 2015 | MONUSCO
[…] With regard to FDLR’s hunt down, the deadline having expired on 2 January 2015, Mr. Kobler highlighted that the operations would start any time soon and declared himself fully confident as to their implementation.
 
Protest over census law
 
DR Congo protests over census turn deadly | 22 January 2015 | Al Jazeera
Anti-Kabila Electoral Protests Turn Violent in DR Congo | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Deutsche Welle
Western envoys in Kinshasa have urged the Senate of the Democratic Republic of Congo to rethink electoral law changes after three days of deadly protest. Rights groups put the toll at 42 killed; the government says 12.
 
DRC Halts Internet Access and Cellphone Services Amid Protests | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Committee to Protect Journalists
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday shut down Internet access and SMS service for mobile phones throughout the country after nationwide demonstrations led to deadly clashes with police, according to news reports.
 
Deadly Crackdown On Protests - Halt Unlawful Shootings, Arrests | 24 January 2015 | allAfrica | Human Rights Watch
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has used unlawful and excessive force to crack down on protests since January 19, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. The demonstrators were protesting proposed changes to the electoral law that many Congolese believed would permit President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his mandated two-term limit.
 
RDC: après Kinshasa, la contestation s’étend à Goma | 22 January 2015 | Afrik.com
Le mécontentement de la population prend de l’ampleur en République démocratique du Congo (RDC). Après Kinshasa, Goma, à l’est du pays, est à son tour en proie aux manifestations populaires.
 
12 ou 42 morts en RDC : guerre des chiffres entre la FIDH et le gouvernement | 22 January 2015 | Afrik.com
En République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), le gouvernement affirme qu’il y a 12 morts et non 42 comme l’affirme la Fédération internationale des droits de l’Homme (FIDH). Selon lui, la FIDH est "manipulée".
 
Nord-Kivu : nouvelles manifestations à Goma contre la loi électorale | 23 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Pour le cinquième jour consécutif, des manifestations ont été organisées ce vendredi 23 janvier à Goma contre la nouvelle loi électorale qui a été adoptée au Sénat dans la mi-journée. Dans la partie Ouest de la ville, la situation a été tendue notamment sur l’axe Katindo-Ndosho.
 
Kinshasa : ouverture du procès de plus de 300 manifestants contre la loi électorale | 26 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le procès de plus de 300 manifestants arrêtés lors des manifestations contre la loi électorale s’est ouvert vendredi 23 janvier à Kinshasa. Les accusés sont poursuivis destructions méchantes et vol qualifié.
 
Congo protests expose weakness of Kabila's coalition | 26 January 2015 | Reuters
Protests that blocked a reform which could have extended Congo President Joseph Kabila's rule have exposed deep rifts in his ruling coalition and galvanised opposition, increasing the chance of further unrest ahead of elections due next year.
 
Les habitants de Bukavu restent vigilants | 26 January 2015 | allAfrica | Deutsche Welle
Le parlement de République démocratique du Congo a adopté le projet de réforme électorale, expurgé du paragraphe litigieux. Mais les Congolais restent sur le qui-vive, à l'instar des habitants de Bukavu, dans l'est.

What can be learned from a week of turmoil in Kinshasa | 27 January 2015 | Congo Siasa
Headlines from Kinshasa have over the past weeks have spoken about a controversial electoral law and a brutal crackdown on demonstrations. The more appropriate headline, perhaps, should have been: The battle for Kabila's succession has begun.

Official responses to situation in the DRC 

Statement of the International Envoys to the Great Lakes Region On the Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | PR Newswire
The Team of International Envoys for the Great Lakes region express their deep concern about recent violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
 
Concerned By Deteriorating Situation in Democratic Republic of Congo Following Draft Electoral Law, Secretary-General Calls On Parties to Resume Dialogue | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | UN
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: The Secretary-General is concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including in Kinshasa and other cities following the adoption of a draft electoral law by the National Assembly, currently under further review in the Senate.
 
UN human rights office urges probe into excessive use of force in DR Congo protests | 23 January 2015 | UN News Centre
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights today expressed alarm at the apparent excessive use of force by security officers against demonstrators in Democratic Republic of the Congo cities Kinshasa and Goma, and called for “a thorough and independent investigation” into the matter.
 
Didier Reynders se félicite du consensus sur la loi électorale en RDC | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | PR Newswire
Le Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Didier Reynders, salue l'esprit d'apaisement et de dialogue qui a prévalu entre les différents acteurs politiques après les récents actes de violence qui ont frappé la République Démocratique du Congo.
 
Elections au pays - Evariste Boshab rassure Martin Kobler ! | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | La Prosperite
Evariste Boshab, Vice-Premier Ministre et Ministre de l'Intérieur et Sécurité a reçu Martin Kobler, Représentant Spécial du Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies en RDC. C'était hier, mardi 27 janvier, en son cabinet de travail. Objectif, faire le point sur la loi électorale adoptée par le parlement le dimanche dernier et les troubles de la semaine dernière.
 
Malgré l'adoption de la loi électorale, la prudence reste de mise | 27 January 2015 | allAfrica | RFI
Les réactions à l'adoption de la loi électorale amendée en RDC ont été nombreuses dans le monde. Les Etats-Unis, tout comme l'Union européenne ou encore la Belgique saluent cette adoption, mais en termes mesurés.
 
Washington invite Joseph Kabila à « signer rapidement la loi électorale telle qu'adoptée par le Parlement » | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | Le Potentiel
Le gouvernement des Etats-Unis d'Amérique invite le président Joseph Kabila à « signer rapidement la loi électorale telle qu'adoptée par le Parlement et à réaffirmer que l'élection présidentielle aura lieu en 2016 au plus tard ».
 
Senate vote on electoral law amendment
 
Fear and Loathing in the DRC | 23 January 2015 | allAfrica | Institute for Security Studies
It's been the primary topic of political talk in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for at least two years: the question of how President Joseph Kabila will engineer a third mandate for himself.
 
DR Congo senate amends census law to allow 2016 election | 23 January 2015 | BBC
DR Congo Senate Alters Disputed Bill After Deadly Protests | 23 January 2015 | allAfrica | Deutsche Welle
DR Congo's Senate has amended a controversial bill which unleashed deadly protests and triggered concern that President Kabila would prolong his stay in office. In a surprise move, DR Congo senators unanimously amended an electoral bill which stipulated that a national census must be conducted - in order to update the electoral roll - before elections are held.
 
RDC-Loi: retrait de l’alinéa controversé | 24 January 2015 | BBC
Fin de la crise politique en RDC? | 25 January 2015 | AfrikaArabia
L'alinéa controversé de la loi électorale a été retiré, selon le président de l'Assemblée nationale, Aubin Minaku. Ce texte exigeait la tenue d’un recensement de la population avant la tenue de l’élection présidentielle prévue en 2016.
 
Loi électorale amendée - Une petite victoire pour les Congolais | 24 January 2015 | allAfrica | RFI
En RDC, le Sénat a amendé la loi électorale. Ce projet polémique à l'origine des violences de cette semaine, est maintenant débarrassé du préalable du recensement avant la présidentielle. Ce dispositif initial faisait craindre à l'opposition et à la rue un report de la présidentielle. Les sénateurs disent avoir entendu les protestations. Reste que ce projet de loi modifié doit maintenant obtenir l'aval des députés qui gardent le dernier mot.
 
RDC : la nouvelle loi électorale a été adoptée par le Parlement | 26 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
L'Assemblée nationale et le Sénat de la RDC ont harmonisé dimanche leurs divergences en adoptant le projet de loi électorale controversé. Mais des incertitudes demeurent et une partie de l'opposition appelle tout de même à une manifestation ce lundi 26 janvier.
 
RDC: majorité et opposition saluent le vote de la loi électorale | 26 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le vote du projet de loi électorale dimanche 25 janvier suscite beaucoup de réactions dans la classe politique de la RDC.  A la majorité présidentielle, l’on affirme que le plus important était de rencontrer les attentes de la population.
 
RDC: malgré l'adoption de la loi électorale, la prudence reste de mise | 27 January 2015 | RFI
Les réactions à l'adoption de la loi électorale amendée en RDC ont été nombreuses dans le monde. Les Etats-Unis, tout comme l’Union européenne ou encore la Belgique saluent cette adoption, mais en termes mesurés. Les ambassadeurs et diplomates présents à Kinshasa n’ont pas ménagé leurs efforts ces derniers jours pour permettre un retour au calme. Mais ils savent que le risque de glissement du calendrier électoral n’est toujours pas écarté.
 
RDC : et maintenant, le recensement ? | 28 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Compter les habitants du pays avant de les appeler aux urnes ? Le projet, titanesque, menaçait le respect du calendrier électoral. Les autorités ont fait machine arrière, mais un recensement demeure indispensable.
 
Martin Kobler: “Operations against FDLR will be complicated but not impossible” | 28 January 2015 | MONUSCO
During the press conference, both UN senior members provided journalists with the necessary clarifications on MONUSCO’s position on the recent political events in DRC, more particularly the violence caused by the revision of the electoral law by the Congolese parliament last week. Martin Kobler and General Wafy declared that MONUSCO’s position is also shared by the UN Secretary-General and his special envoys to the Great Lakes region, appealing both to the majority and the opposition to pursue their political goals by using non-violent means and in compliance with the national legislation.
 
Political arrests
 
Les nombreuses arrestations font polémique | 23 January 2015 | allAfrica | RFI
En RDC, alors que le militant des droits de l'homme Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba a été arrêté il y a 3 jours par des policiers militaires en pleine rue, des ONG congolaises s'inquiètent qu'il n'ait toujours pas été présenté à la justice et que son lieu de détention n'ait pas été révélé aux membres de sa famille. Des ONG qui s'inquiètent aussi de la dizaine d'arrestations de responsables politiques en moins d'une semaine au Congo.
 
Kinshasa: des ONG dénoncent «l’enlèvement» de Christopher Ngoyi par des militaires | 24 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Au cours d’une conférence de presse tenue samedi 24 janvier au siège de La Voix des Sans Voix (VSV), plusieurs ONGDH ont exigé la libération immédiate de Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba, président de la Synergie Congo culture et développement et coordonnateur de la plate-forme Société civile de la RDC.
 
Un activiste détenu par l'ANR à Kinshasa | 27 January 2015 | BBC
L'organisation de défense des droits de l'homme, Human rights watch (HRW) a indiqué mardi que le président de l'organisation de défense des droits humains Synergie Congo Culture et Développement, est détenu par les services de renseignement congolais.
 
DR Congo: Intelligence Agency Says Holding Activist | 27 January 2015 | Human Rights Watch
DRC authorities should immediately provide information on the whereabouts of and any charges against human rights activist Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba, Human Rights Watch said today. Ngoyi is feared to have been forcibly disappeared since his arrest on January 21, 2015.
 
MONUSCO
 
Peacekeeping Chief, Briefing Security Council, Recommends Gradual Exit From Democratic Republic of the Congo in Line With Strategic Review | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | UN
United Nations operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should be drawn down gradually, in consultation with the Government and without reversing gains in stability and civilian protection achieved so far, the Head of United Nations peacekeeping told the Security Council today.
 
Conference de presse des nations unies du Mercredi 28 Janvier 2015 | 28 January 2015 | MONUSCO
Au Nord-Kivu, la situation sécuritaire a été marquée par le lancement dans le territoire de Beni, de l’opération conjointe dénommée « Umoja 3 » (Unité 3). Les FARDC, soutenues par la Force de la MONUSCO, ont mené des opérations de traque contre les assaillants Mayi-Mayi ‘’Jadot’’ dans la région située à l’Ouest de l’axe Buramba-Ngwenda, et appréhendé trois (03) éléments des FDLR liés à l’enlèvement de deux (02) civils à Nyaruhange.
 
North Kivu
 
Nord-Kivu : des humanitaires dénoncent des exactions contre les civils à Masisi | 23 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Plusieurs cas d’exactions et d’extorsions des civils sont signalés depuis quelques jours dans les villages et localités de l’Ouest de Masisi-centre, selon un rapport hebdomadaire des humanitaires publié mardi 20 janvier dernier. Ce document met en cause des groupes armés qui contrôlent cette zone.
 
Beni : la police déployée dans la ville pour empêcher un meeting de l’opposition | 28 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La Police nationale congolaise (PNC) a quadrillé depuis la matinée de mercredi 28 janvier la ville de Beni au Nord-Kivu. Des centaines de policiers sont déployés dans plusieurs quartiers de la ville où des partis de l’opposition ont prévu d’organiser un meeting populaire. 
 
South Kivu
 
Sud-Kivu: 85 Raïa Mukombozi se rendent aux FARDC | 25 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Environ 85 ex-miliciens Raïa Mukombozi se sont rendus, samedi 24 janvier, aux Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) à l’état-major de l’opération Sokola II dans la commune d’Ibanda, à Bukavu (Sud-Kivu).
 
Shabunda: 750 creuseurs artisanaux délogés de leurs sites miniers | 25 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les Maï-Maï Raïa Mutomboki ont contraint, vendredi 23 janvier, environ 750 creuseurs artisanaux à quitter les sites miniers, situés le long de la rivière Ulindi, en territoire de Shabunda (Sud-Kivu). 
 
Province Orientale
 
Province Orientale : 3 militaires tués dans des attaques de la LRA à Dungu | 22 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Trois militaires ont été tués lors des attaques des rebelles ougandais de l’armée de résistance du seigneur (LRA) depuis le week-end dernier dans la chefferie de Wando en territoire de Dungu (Province Orientale).
 
Ituri: 29 morts enregistrés dans les affrontements entre FARDC et FRPI | 22 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Vingt-deux miliciens de la Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI) et sept militaires congolais ont été tués au cours des affrontements qui ont opposé les FARDC à ce groupe armé les 15 et 16 Janvier derniers dans la chefferie des Walendu-Bindi en Ituri (Province Orientale).
 
Ituri: 63 enfants sortis de la milice Mai-Maï Simba à Mambasa | 27 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Soixante-trois enfants sont sortis, depuis six mois, de la milice Maï-Maï Simba, en territoire de Mambasa, en Ituri (Province Orientale). Ces mineurs ont été répertoriés la semaine passée par l’Unité d’exécution du programme de désarmement, démobilisation et réinsertion (UE PNDDR).
 
Ituri : 152 blessés après des affrontement à l’arme blanche entre prisonniers à Bunia | 28 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Des prisonniers se sont affrontés à l’arme blanche mardi 27 janvier dans la soirée jusqu’au lendemain matin dans la prison centrale de Bunia, en Ituri (Province Orientale).
 
Kasaï-Oriental
 
Kasaï-Oriental: des militants de l’UDPS interpellés à Mbuji-Mayi | 27 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
L’Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS) accuse la police d’avoir arbitrairement interpellé 40 de ses militants à Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental).
 
Mbuji-Mayi : les militants de l’UDPS relâchés après 24h de detention | 28 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La police a relâché mardi 27 janvier les militants de l’Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS), parti d’Etienne Tshisekedi, arrêtés la veille à Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental).
 
Equateur
 
Equateur : un conflit foncier fait 5 morts au Sud-Ubangi | 23 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les populations de Lingotebe, secteur Bowanse en territoire de Gemena et celles de Ngbada, secteur de Songo en territoire de Kungu en Equateur se sont affrontées mercredi 21 janvier. Ces combats ont fait 5 morts du côté des Ngbada, a affirmé le député Jean-Marie Gape Monoko, élu de Kungu.
 
Equateur: 2 villages du Sud-Ubangi se vident de leurs habitants | 25 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Les localités de Ngbada, dans le territoire de Kungu et celle de Lingotebe, dans celui de Gemena (Equateur) sont vidées de leurs habitants, ont indiqué dimanche 25 janvier des sources locales.


Burundi

Radio journalist arrested
 
Burundi : sur les pas de Bob Rugurika, journaliste emprisonné à Muramvya | 27 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Bob Rugurika, journaliste burundais et directeur de la Radio publique africaine (RPA), est à l'isolement au pénitencier de Muramvya. Il est accusé d'avoir publié l'interview d'un homme qui prétend avoir participé à l'assassinat des trois religieuses italiennes en septembre 2014. Reportage sur place où la mobilisation pour obtenir sa libération ne faiblit pas.
 
Elections
 
Menub in Burundi | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Iwacu Burundi
United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB) started its operation in Burundi on 1 January 2015. The launch of the Mission was planned for Monday 12 January,however the Burundian government boycotted the launching.
 
Halte au troisième mandat ! | 27 January 2015 | Iwacu Burundi
Plus de 300 organisations de la société civile viennent de lancer une campagne citoyenne contre un troisième mandat du président Pierre Nkurunziza. Les cérémonies se sont déroulées au siège du FORSC, ce lundi 26 janvier.
 
Cibitoke figthing in January
 
The Aftermath of the 'Dumb' Rebels | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Iwacu Burundi
 A 5-day war broke out in Murwi and Bukinanyana communes in Cibitoke province three weeks ago. The national army reported that more than 95 rebels were killed. Some of the corpses are still at the site while others are badly buried. The population is scared that they may catch infectious diseases.
 
Burundian army accused of murdering rebels | 27 January 2015 | BBC
BBC discovers Burundi 'murdered rebel graves' | 28 January 2015 | BBC
Burundian soldiers shot dead 17 rebels at point-blank range after they surrendered in January, witnesses have told the BBC.


CAR

Seleka claim Ongwen capture reward
 
Centrafrique: capture de Dominic Ongwen, Washington doit-il récompenser la Séléka? | 22 January 2015 | Jeune Afrique
Washington s'était engagé à donner 5 millions de dollars à qui permettrait la capture du numéro deux de l'Armée de résistance du Seigneur. Un pactole que réclament les rebelles de l'ex-Séléka...
 
Hostage releases
 
Enlèvement - Les négociations en cours | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | Deutsche Welle
Plusieurs enlèvements ont eu lieu cette semaine en RCA. La population centrafricaine continue d'être souvent l'objet d'attaques de milices armées. Les solutions envisagées par le ministre de l'Interieur, en interview.
 
L'humanitaire française enlevée en Centrafrique est libre | 23 January 2015 | RFI
Claudia Priest, la Française en mission humanitaire enlevée lundi à Bangui, en Centrafrique, a été libérée, a annoncé ce vendredi le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Laurent Fabius.
 
C.African Republic rebels free eight kidnapped officials | 26 January 2015 | Reuters
Rebels in Central African Republic on Monday freed eight local officials who were kidnapped at the weekend, but they warned authorities from the southern capital against venturing into a northern town they control.
 
Kidnapping of Minister for Sport
 
Centrafrique : un ministre enlevé | 25 January 2015 | BBC
Menace à Bangui | 26 January 2015 | allAfrica | Deutsche Welle
Enlèvement à Bangui du ministre de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Armel Sayo | 26 January 2015 | allAfrica | Depeches de Brazzaville
L’actuel ministre centrafricain de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Armel Mingatouloum Sayo, a été kidnappé par des hommes armés, aux environs de 9h30 (8h30 GMT), dans le 8e arrondissement de Bangui, la capitale centrafricaine.
 
L'ONU réclame la libération d'un ministre enlevé dimanche | 26 January 2015 | allAfrica | UN News Service
La Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) s'est déclaré indignée par l'enlèvement dimanche 25 janvier du Ministre centrafricain de la jeunesse et des sports, Armel Sayo.
 
CAR minister Armel Sayo kidnapped 'for rebel chief' | 26 January 2015 | BBC
The militia group which abducted Central African Republic's sports minister has demanded the release of its detained commander, the minister's spokeswoman has said.
 
Centrafrique : vers la libération du ministre des Sports ? | 26 January 2015 | Afrik.com
Le gouvernement centrafricain a fait état de "négociations avancées" ce lundi, en vue de la libération du ministre des Sports, Armel Sayo.
 
Centrafrique : les rapts se multiplient, 3 ministres enlevés | 27 January 2015 | Afrik.com
Après la libération de l’humanitaire française et de l’employée de l’ONU qui avaient été enlevées par des anti-balakas, trois autres ministres ont à leur tour été enlevés en Centrafrique.
 
Preparations for Reconciliation Forum
 
L'ex-Seleka complique la préparation du Forum de réconciliation | 26 January 2015 | allAfrica | RFI
En République centrafricaine (RCA), les consultations ont commencé en vue du Forum de réconciliation qui se tiendra à Bangui le mois prochain. Ces rencontres doivent réunir les émissaires venus de la capitale centrafricaine et les populations locales. Les choses se déroulent relativement comme prévu, à Bangui, mais dans les villes où l'ex-Seleka est implantée, c'est beaucoup plus compliqué.
 
Cease fire signed by Djotodia and Bozizé
 
Opposing CAR forces agree tentative initial truce | 28 January 2015 | Al Jazeera
Warring forces in the Central African Republic have agreed to an initial ceasefire agreement, the top mediator at Kenyan-based peace talks has said. The deal was signed between senior representatives of the anti-balaka rebels and the ex-Seleka movement of ex-president Michel Djotodi on Wednesday.
 
Centrafrique: signature d’un accord de fin des hostilités à Nairobi | 28 January 2015 | RFI
Centrafrique : signature d’un accord de fin des hostilités à Nairobi | 28 January 2015 | La Nouvelle Centrafrique
Un accord a été signé à Nairobi entre partisans de Michel Djotodia et de François Bozizé. Entamées fin décembre au grand dam des autorités de transition de Bangui qui n’y ont pas été associées, ces discussions se sont achevées ce mardi 27 janvier.
 
Renewed sanctions
 
Security Council Renews Sanctions Amid 'Continuous Cycle' of Violence | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | UN News Service
Security Council Renews Targeted Sanctions On Central African Republic, Authorizing States to Seize, Register or Dispose of Banned Items | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | UN
The Security Council today extended its arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on the Central African Republic until 29 January 2016 and the mandate of the Expert Panel assisting the Sanctions Committee through 29 February 2016.
 
Un an de sanctions de l'Onu | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | Deutsche Welle
Le Conseil de sécurité reconduit l'embargo sur les armes jusqu'en 2016 | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | UN News Services
Cela fait un an que l'Onu a décidé de sanctionner certains acteurs de la crise en RCA, comme l'ex-président François Bozizé. Jeudi dernier, une nouvelle résolution a été adoptée pour élargir les critères de sanction.

Humanitarian news

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

DRC 

 
Equateur : nouvel afflux des réfugiés centrafricains | 28 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Environ 30 000 réfugiés centrafricains fuyant les combats dans leur pays sont arrivés en Equateur depuis le mois de décembre 2014. Le bureau du Haut commissariat pour les réfugiés (HCR) en RDC tient ces chiffres de la Direction générale de migration (DGM).

CAR

Humanitarian Bulletins and reports
 
UNHCR Regional Update #47 - Central African Republic Situation,17-23 January 2015 | 23 January 2015 | Reliefweb | UNHCR
 
Central African Republic Emergency Situation as of 23 January 2015 | 23 January 2015 | Reliefweb | UNHCR

Justice and Tribunals 

Selected articles on criminal justice proceedings regarding crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region.
LRA Commander Ongwen prosecution
 
Uganda: LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen should promptly be held accountable for crimes against humanity and war crimes | 22 January 2015 | FIDH
Dominic Ongwen arrived at the ICC detention center in the Hague. FIDH and FHRI welcome this important step towards accountability for thousands of victims of the most atrocious crimes committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda.
 
ICC in Tight Spot Over Captured LRA Commander Ongwen | 25 January 2015 | allAfrica | The Independent (Kampala)
Hours before Brigadier Dominic Ongwen was flown from the AU Regional Task Force base in Obo to Bangui, the Central African Republic capital, a handful of his victims--former abductees-- gathered in the northern town of Gulu for a symposium on transitional justice organised by the Refugee Law Project.
 
Dominic Ongwen Makes First Appearance Before the ICC | 25 January 2015 | allAfrica | International Criminal Court
Ugandan rebel commander makes first ICC appearance | 26 January 2015 | Al Jazeera
Lord’s Resistance Army commander appears before Hague court | 26 January 2015 | The Guardian
Captured LRA Commander Appears Before ICC | 26 January 2015 | Voice of America
From jungle to justice: LRA at The Hague | 26 January 2015 | IRIN
Former Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Appears at War Crimes Court | 26 January 2015 | New York Times
A captured Ugandan rebel commander made his first public appearance Monday at a hearing before the International Criminal Court, where he stands accused of crimes including murder and enslavement.
 
Uganda to Cooperate in ICC Case Against Former Rebel Commander | 28 January 2015 | Bloomberg
Uganda plans to fully assist and provide requested witnesses in the International Criminal Court’s case involving a senior commander of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, Foreign Ministry spokesman Fred Opolot said.

 DRC

Report on prosecution of pillage
 
Ending Grand Theft on a Global Scale: Prosecuting the War Crime of Pillage | 22 January 2015 | Enough Project
Enough Project latest report on DRC provides an inside look at why the widespread theft of minerals in Congo has gone on unpunished, and how policymakers and legal practitioners can help advance cases.  Grand Theft Global is the result of research in Congo, The Hague, and Washington, DC, including dozens of interviews with Congolese attorneys, international prosecutors, and local communities affected by pillage and the violence it enables.
 
Bemba at the ICC
 
CPI : liberté provisoire à Jean-Pierre Bemba dans l’affaire subornation des témoins | 24 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La chambre préliminaire de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) a accordé, vendredi 23 janvier, une liberté provisoire à Jean-Pierre Bemba dans l’affaire de subornation des témoins.

 

 CAR

UN says international court needed for CAR war crimes | 22 January 2014 | Al Jazeera
UN Investigators Urge Establishment of War Crimes Tribunal | 22 January 2014 | allAfrica | UN News Service
United Nations-mandated investigators warned today that war crimes are being committed in the Central African Republic and called for the establishment of a 'truly international' tribunal with international judges who could objectively investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such crimes in the war torn country.


Rwanda 

Killers of Rwandan anti-corruption activist jailed for 20 years | 23 January 2015 | Reuters
Two Rwandan police officers have been jailed for 20 years for killing an anti-corruption activist who was investigating mineral smuggling from Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Rwanda: Col. Byabagamba, Rusagara Trial Adjourned As Suspects Plead Not Guilty | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | The New Times
The Military High Court yesterday started hearing in substance the case involving Col. Tom Byabagamba, Brig. Gen. Frank Rusagara and (rtd) Sergeant François Kabayiza who are charged with several counts, some jointly, others individual. Both Byabagamba and Rusagara are accused of inciting violence among the population and tarnishing the image of the country.

 

Natural resource exploitation, governance and trade

Minerals, energy (oil & gas, hydro and solar), poaching, logging, foreign investment, trade, environmental issues.

DRC 

Mining
 
Ituri: tension autour du délogment des creuseurs à Mambasa | 23 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
La tension est vive depuis mercredi 21 janvier dans les foyers miniers de Muchacha et Penge, en territoire de Mambasa, suite à la décision des gardes du parc de la réserve de faune à Okapi d’en déloger les creuseurs.
 
Province Orientale: l’exploitation minière suspendue en Ituri | 25 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Le gouverneur de la Province Orientale, Jean Bamanisa Saïdi, a suspendu depuis vendredi 23 janvier les activités liées à l’exploitation minière dans le district de l’Ituri (Province Orientale). 
 
Kabila has his sights trained on Katanga’s finances | 27 January 2015 | Africa Mining Intelligence
The central government is continuing to tighten the noose on the mining province of Katanga.
 
Kasaï-Occidental : 4 morts dans un éboulement de terre à Diboko | 27 January 2015 | Radio Okapi
Quatre creuseurs clandestins sont décédés et plusieurs autres portés disparus dans un éboulement de terre survenu, lundi 26 janvier, dans la localité de Diboko, à environ 150 km de Tshikapa (Kasaï-Occidental).
 
Randgold’s Kibali mine making waves in the DRC | 27 January 2015 | Mining weekly
Africa-focused gold producer Randgold Resources on Tuesday said the Kibali gold mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was now well advanced into the second and final phase of development that would take it to full production by 2018.


Rwanda

New smelter
 
Rwanda: New Smelting Plant to Boost Mining Sector | 22 January 2015 | allAfrica | The New Times
Phoenix Metals LTD, a local factory, yesterday began smelting cassiterite into tin, a move set to boost Rwanda's revenue collections from mineral exports.


Uganda

Oil
 
McAlester Drops Interest in Disputed Oil Waste Land | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | The Observer (Kampala)
Today the High court at Masindi is expected to start hearing an application filed by more than 200 residents of Rwamutonga village, in Bugambe sub-county, Hoima district, who claim they were illegally evicted from their land to pave way for the construction of a waste treatment plant.
 
Forestry
 
Uganda Forests in Danger | 25 January 2015 | allAfrica | East African Business Week
A parliamentary commission wants the management at the National Forestry Authority to take action against all encroachers in the central forests reserves in the country. The MPs on the committee are disgruntled with the Authority's soft handling the encroachers yet their actions have devastated the country's natural resource.

Regulation, voluntary initiatives, and CSR

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

Uganda

Uganda: McAlester Drops Interest in Disputed Oil Waste Land | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | The Observer
Today the High court at Masindi is expected to start hearing an application filed by more than 200 residents of Rwamutonga village, in Bugambe sub-county, Hoima district, who claim they were illegally evicted from their land to pave way for the construction of a waste treatment plan.

 

Other


Uganda


Comment on possibility of extended presidency
 
Of Wolves and Life Presidency | 28 January 2015 | allAfrica | The Observer (Kampala)
If anyone still needed assurance, General Yoweri Museveni made it unequivocally clear last week: he can't hand over power to 'wolves' whose mission is to tear the country apart. He will stay in power, perhaps till he dies, because he has the support of the people and 'his army.'

IPIS Recent Publications


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 www.ipisresearch.be/mapping/webmapping/car. 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 https://infogr.am/mapping-conflict-motives-in-car. 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.




To see the sources of IPIS' briefings, please click here.



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