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Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

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Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

Regulation, Compliance and Corporate Social Responsibility


IPIS Recent publications


Many countries, including the UK, are reconsidering relations with and aid to Rwanda and Uganda following links to human rights abuses by M23 rebels in the DRC over the last six months. Meanwhile the USA and Belgium have suspended military cooperation with Rwanda.
Rwanda and Uganda themselves have had strong reactions over such possible claims in the UN Group of Experts’ report on DRC.
In October Victoire Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces opposition party (FDU-Inkingi), was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by the High Court of Kigali for “conspiracy against the country through terrorism and war” and “genocide denial”. The trial has increasingly been criticised by a number of observers for irregularities.
The DRC is considering plans to raise the State’s stake in mining projects from five percent to thirty percent. This proposal will be negotiated with mining companies, the World Bank, and the IMF.
A treaty to regulate the global arms trade has won the backing of an overwhelming majority of states. 157 governments at the UN General Assembly's First Committee on Disarmament in New York voted on Wednesday in favour of finalising the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) next March.
A potentially landmark case for corporate accountability ended last week. Judicial relief in Canada for victims of the Kilwa massacre will not be possible; the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal the case. 


IPIS’ Latest Publications


A Code of Conduct for Arms Transport by Air. Transport Services under an Arms Trade Treaty Series | August 2012 | IPIS
This report is a discussion of some key considerations for the development of a Cargo Industry Voluntary Code of Conduct relating to the transport of arms, ammunition and other military equipment (ACI Code). The purpose of such a Code is to encourage as many aviation companies and other actors as possible in the air cargo industry to adhere to existing and new standards relating to the transport of arms, ammunition and other military equipment
Rough Seas. Maritime Transport and Arms Shipments | July 2012 | IPIS
As stated by the authors in their report “Transparency and Accountability” (February 2012), the Chairman’s Draft Paper (14 July 2011) presented by the Arms Trade Treaty's Preparatory Committee (ATT PrepCom), included within the ATT’s scope certain “services”, such as transport and brokering. However, no provision has been envisaged for the monitoring or ATT-related regulation of arms transport services. Monitoring transport services may be key to implementing and enforcing the Arms Trade Treaty. This report will demonstrate how arms shipments may be monitored and reported where there is a substantial risk that the shipments could contribute to fuelling conflict, repressive state practices, and other human rights abuses. The report provides examples of the monitoring of actual conventional arms shipments to Egypt and Syria in 2011 and 2012, and of suspected conventional arms shipments to Syria in 2012.  It also shows that where there is an open society, or at least a fair degree of access to government activities, arms transfers can be monitored and discussed without jeopardizing legitimate security policies.

Upstream Implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Cycle 2 Interim Progress Report on the Supplement on Tin, Tantalum, and Tungsten | May 2012 | OECD – IPIS
The following report is the second in a cycle of three on upstream companies’ implementation of the Supplement on Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten to the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The objective is to report on progress made by upstream companies in their implementation of due diligence, with a focus on current practices and experiences in developing systems and processes for the implementation of the Five-Step OECD Framework. 


Arms Trade and Security in the Great Lakes Region

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

Arms Trade Treaty 
Africa: Global Arms Trade Treaty a Step Closer After Resounding Vote | 7th November 2012 | Amnesty International | allAfrica
A historic treaty to regulate the global arms trade has won the backing of an overwhelming majority of states in a move Amnesty International called a potential victory for human rights worldwide. In the biggest show of support so far, 157 governments at the UN General Assembly's First Committee on Disarmament in New York voted on Wednesday in favour of finalizing the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) next March.
LRA efforts doomed
Hunting the LRA in Central Africa | 9th November 2012 | VoA
Uganda Efforts to Capture Warlord 'Destined to Fail' | 9th November 2012 | VoA
An advocacy group says the Ugandan Army's quest to apprehend Joseph Kony and other senior leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, is destined to fail unless the number of troops deployed increases and they are provided with better logistical and intelligence information.
Explosions at munitions sites
Twenty-five years of unplanned explosions at munitions sites | November 2012 | Small Arms Survey
Between 1987 and 2012 some 425 events involving unplanned explosions at munitions sites were recorded. The Small Arms Survey has released online detailed findings from its Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) database, providing information on each of the 425 events recorded between 1987 and October 2012. These events took place in 91 states.
Database by Geneva Call for IHL and HRL
Africa: Accountability - Holding Armed Groups to Their Word | 12th November 2012 | IRIN | allAfrica
Johannesburg — A new database by the Swiss-based NGO Geneva Call collating current and past armed groups' attitudes towards international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (HRL), could be used to hold them accountable. "This resource is a unique collection of humanitarian commitments made by armed non-State actors (ANSAs). These commitments have been made in different forms: unilateral declarations or statements, internal rules and regulations, and agreements with governments, inter-governmental and humanitarian organizations," says the NGO.
Codes of conduct in armed groups
Codes of Conduct within Insurgent Armed Groups | November 2012 | Small Arms Survey
Armed groups, whatever their objectives, tend to rely on similar mechanisms to control their fighters. These include a recruitment process that aims to provide the group with the appropriate quantity and quality of personnel; a socialization process for new recruits (such as through oaths and initiation rituals); and the elaboration of internal regulations—such as codes of conduct— and their dissemination among the rank and file.



Security council gives armed groups in Masisi 15 days to disarm
Le conseil de sécurité du Nord-Kivu donne aux groupes armés de Masisi 15 jours pour déposer les armes | 10th November 2012 | Radio Okapi
The Security Council of North Kivu launched, on Friday November 9th, a fifteen-day ultimatum to all armed groups in the territory of Masisi to disarm and integrate the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC). The Chief of Staff of the Army, the brigade commander of the 8th military region, the provincial chiefs of police, and the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) attended the council chaired by the Governor of the province Julien Paluku.
MONUSCO requested in Mitwaba
Katanga : l’ONG Justicia demande à la Monusco de déployer des casques bleus à Mitwaba | 13th November 2012 | Radio Okapi
MONUSCO peacekeepers have been requested in Mitwaba to defend against abuses by the Mai-Mai militia.
CNDP to M23
From the CNDP to M23 | 12th November 2012 | Congo Siasa
Last week, we published a report on M23, tracing its roots back through the CNDP to deeper history. What is the take home message from the report?
Insecurity in South Kivu
Congo-Kinshasa: Les rivalités entre groupes armés, source d'insécurité au Sud-Kivu | 12th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
Workshop on women, peace and security
Un engagement fort pour la mise en œuvre de la Résolution 1325 du Conseil de Sécurité | 12th November 2012 | MONUSCO | Reliefweb
The Congolese Government, MONUSCO and the UN ran a workshop on the effective implementation of the DRC Council Resolution 1325 of the UN Security on women, peace and security.
Officers trained in Kasaï Occidental
Training of 300 Congolese officers in Kasaï Occidental | 8th November | Monusco
The second session of a six-month basic training in community policing techniques began this Tuesday, 6 November 2012 in Kananga, the provincial capital of Kasaï Occidental with 300 officers of the Congolese National Police (PNC), including 53 women.
DDR training in Goma
DDR/RR conducts training and sensitization in Goma | 12th November 2012 | MONUSCO | Reliefweb
The Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration, and Resettlement (DDR/RR) Division of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) ended a two-day refresher training program on sensitization as wells as its operations in the country.
Southern Masisi executions
Mass arbitrary execution of civilians, including dozens of children, in Southern Masisi, Eastern DRC | 14th November 2012 | Monusco
A UN investigation into the human rights situation in southern Masisi in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has revealed that at least 264 civilians, including 83 children, were arbitrarily executed by armed groups in more than 75 attacks on villages between April and September this year.
Child recruitment
Congo-Kinshasa: Selon la Monusco - Le M23 continue de recruter des mineurs dans ses rangs | 13th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
M23 continues to recruit children into their ranks according to Roger Meece.
Fifteen day ultimatum for armed groups
Congo-Kinshasa: Guerre au Nord-Kivu - Un ultimatum de 15 jours lancé aux groupes armés | 13th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
According to the results of a summit in North Kivu, all local armed groups have fifteen days ultimatum to choose between FARDC integration or demobilization in order to put an end to conflicts in the province, particularly in Masisi territory.


Uganda closes DRC border
L'Ouganda ferme sa frontière avec la RDC | 13th November | BBC News
Uganda has closed its main border crossing with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is a reaction of the Ugandan authorities, furious at having been implicated in a UN report, are accused of supporting the rebellion of M23 in eastern DRC.
UN panel of experts report alleges that Uganda supports M23
Uganda: UN Betrayed Uganda, Says Minister Oryem | 13th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
Uganda feels "gutted" and "betrayed" by a UN panel of experts' leaked report which alleges that the country supports M23 rebels fighting the Democratic Republic of Congo government, foreign affairs state minister Okello Oryem has said. 
Ugandan police chief distances self from M23
Uganda Police Chief Distances Self From M23 | 7th November 2012 | Rwanda Focus | allAfrica
Uganda's Inspector General of Police has denied any involvement with the M23 rebels, describing allegations labeled against him by UN Group of Experts on Congo not only fictitious but also extremely outrageous and offensive.
Uganda route to the sea
Uganda in Frantic Search for Alternative Sea Route | 7th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
Uganda's private sector and the Government are in frantic discussions to enable an alternative route through Dar es Salaam away from Mombasa as a safeguard against possible interruptions from post-election violence from Kenya.
Uganda Demands UN Retract Congo Accusation
Uganda Demands UN Retract Congo Accusation | 7th November | VoA
Ugandan officials met this week with members of the U.N. Security Council, refuting a U.N. report that accused Uganda of supporting rebels in Congo, and threatening to pull Ugandan peacekeepers out of Somalia. The Ugandan government is optimistic about the results.
Ugandan army pursuing LRA
Chasing the Lord’s Resistance Army - Challenges faced by Ugandan soldiers pursuing the Lord’s Resistance Army | 9th November 2012 | Reliefweb
The Ugandan army has deployed approximately 1,500 soldiers to South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Chasing the LRA
Challenges in Hunt for the LRA | 9th November 2012 | Enough Project
New Field Dispatch: Chasing the Lord’s Resistance Army | 9th November 2012 | Enough Project
As the Enough Project’s LRA field researcher, I embedded with the Ugandan troops in August to get an up-close view of their challenges, and to find out what more is needed to end the LRA and bring the senior LRA commanders to justice.



Rwandan religious leaders speak out against UN reports
East Africa: Religious Leaders Petition United Nations Over DRC | 10th November | The new Times | allAfrica
M23: Rwandan religious leaders questioned the credibility of the UN report accusing the country | 11th November 2012 | Radio Okapi
Representatives of religious denominations of Rwanda rejected the findings of the UN experts’ reports, accusing the country of supporting the rebellion of M23 raging in eastern DRC since May. In a letter to the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, the representatives of the Catholic, Muslim, Protestant and Evangelical questioned the integrity of the experts, the methodology used, and said that the findings of the reports are based on insufficient evidence.
Belgium suspends military cooperation with Rwanda
Rwanda: Soutien au M23 - La Belgique suspend sa coopération militaire avec le Rwanda | 12th November 2012 | RFI | allAfrica
Rwanda: La Belgique tourne le dos au Rwanda | 13th November 2012 | Prosperity | allAfrica
Belgium has suspended its military cooperation with Rwanda on the grounds that Kigali was blamed for its support to the rebellion of M23 in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
UK’s aid to Rwanda
Relations with Rwanda must be urgently reviewed | 8th November | Guardian
Andrew Mitchell: 'restoring Rwanda aid not the act of a rogue minister' | 8th November | Guardian
UK still gathering evidence ahead of aid to Rwanda decision | 13th November | Guardian
Rwandan aid: Greening to reflect 'very carefully' before continuing UK support | 13th November | BBC News
Andrew Mitchell, the former international development secretary, has insisted that the decision to restore £16m in aid to Rwanda was a collective one and not the action of a "rogue" minister.
COMESA talks to Rwanda
East Africa: Comesa Officials Consult Rwanda Over DRC's Crisis | 10th November 2012 | The New Times | allAfrica
A delegation of seven officials from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are in the country to get Rwanda's side of the story about the on going crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.


Refugee and IDP Reports

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on the status of refugees in the Great Lakes Region

UNOCHA and UNHCR Humanitarian reports
Bulletin d'Information Humanitaire - Province du Nord Kivu N° 40/12, 6 novembre 2012 | 7th November 2012 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb 
Rapport de Situation Humanitaire sur la République Démocratique du Congo - 9 novembre 2012 | 9th November 2012 | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
UNHCR Burundi bulletin spécial sur Mtabila No. 5 | 12th November 2012 | UNHCR | Reliefweb
Bulletin d'Information Humanitaire - Province de Orientale N° 41/12, 7 novembre 2012 | 8th November | UNOCHA | Reliefweb 
Rapport de Situation Humanitaire sur la République Démocratique du Congo - 9 novembre 2012 | 9th November | UNOCHA | Reliefweb
Humanitarian camps on outskirts of Goma
Opérations humanitaires auprès des populations déplacées à l'est de Goma, en RDC | 9th November | Reliefweb
Tens of thousands of people are living in camps on the outskirts of Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The photographs below were taken Mungunga 1, west of Goma, and Kanyaruchinya (or Kibati) north, two camps of displaced people who have fled the violence:


Justice and Tribunals 

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on major trials and tribunals for crimes committed in the Great Lakes Region

Lubanga reparations
Congo-Kinshasa: Local Communities Divided On the Question of Reparations in the Lubanga Case | 7th November | Lubanga Trial Website | allAfrica
A commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists on the Lubanga Trial reparations.
Bemba trial updates
Central African Republic: Bemba's Eleventh Witness Concludes Testimony | 8th November 2012 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Central African Republic: Witness 48 Cross-Examined in Closed Session | 7th November 2012 | Bemba Trial Website | allAfrica
Congo-Kinshasa: Jean-Pierre Bemba lance un appel en vue de «sauver la patrie en danger» | 12th November 2012 | RFI | allAfrica

Ingabire sentenced in “marred” trial
Rwanda : Victoire Ingabire sentenced to eight years imprisonment after a trial marred by irregularities and a lack of transparency | 8th November | FIDH
On Tuesday 30 October 2012, Victoire Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces opposition party (FDU-Inkingi), was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by the High Court of Kigali for “conspiracy against the country through terrorism and war” and “genocide denial”. FIDH denounces the numerous irregularities tainting the fairness of Ingabire’s trial.


Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

Recent news on issues relating to natural resource extraction and governance in the Great Lakes Region.

Timber tax
Uganda: 'Timber Tax Evaders Undermine Sustainable Trade' | 13th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
A new report has warned that if the underpayment of taxes currently estimated at 50% on imported timber from DR Congo to Uganda continues illegal logging will escalate leading to further destruction of forests.


Mineral investment ranking
DRC escapes bottom ten ranking for mineral investment | 9th November 2012 | Mining Weekly
Currently, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is chaotic, with a weak central government of questionable legitimacy, violence in the eastern regions of the country and instability emanating from local rebel movements and neighbouring countries, says research and advocacy organisation Good Governance Africa CEO John Endres. But, according to the Fraser Institute’s ‘Survey of Mining Companies 2011/12’, the DRC is no longer in the bottom ten countries ranked for mineral investment.
Women’s role in mining chains
Congo-Kinshasa: Situation précaire de la femme dans les chaînes d'exploitation minière | 12th November 2012 | Le Potentiel | allAfrica
According to a study conducted by the Office of MONUSCO in August 2011, the impact of artisanal exploitation of natural resources on the empowerment and advancement of women and the girl in the DRC, specifically in Kasai Occidental, is unsatisfactory.
Mineral tagging
"Conflict-free" tags help revive Congo minerals trade | 8th November 2012 | Reuters
'Conflict-free' tags help revive DRC minerals trade | 9th November 2012 | MineWeb
'Conflict-free' tags help revive Congo minerals trade | 9th November | Reliefweb
Miners clustered in a muddy riverbed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo watch as a bag of tin ore is weighed on scales hung from a shovel and then sealed with a small plastic tag. The simple "bag and tag" initiative could allow mineral exports from Congo's violent east to flow legally again for the first time since a U.S. law targeting conflict minerals largely brought the trade, a mainstay of the economy, to a standstill.



Oil management law
Uganda: Oil Exploration - Minister's Wings Clipped | 13th November 2012 | The New Vision | allAfrica
Parliament has significantly clipped the powers of the minister in the proposed oil resource management law. As the debate continues on the provisions of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2012, some functions were handed over or shared between the minister and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda.
Oil advice from ADB
Uganda: Kaberuka Tips Uganda On Oil | 8th November 2012 | The Independent | allAfrica
The president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, has advised Uganda to exploit her oil and natural gas resources in an optimal manner if the country is to avoid repeating the mistakes the first generation African oil and gas producers like Nigeria have made over the last four decades.
Oil refinery compensation
Uganda: Many Could Miss Out On Oil Refinery Compensation | 6th November 2012 | The Observer | allAfrica
More than half of the residents that live around the area where government intends to build an oil refinery might miss out on compensation, or walk away with peanuts, because they do not have the relevant documentary evidence of ownership.


Regulation, Compliance and Corporate Social Responsibility

Non-comprehensive overview and selected articles on legal and reputational issues relating to businesses operating in the Great Lakes Region 

Protection for vulnerable groups affected by business activities
Africa: UN Experts Call for More Protection of Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups Affected By Business Activities | 4th November | UN News | allAfrica
A United Nations expert body has called on States and business enterprises to address the heightened risk of vulnerability, discrimination and marginalisation of groups and communities whose human rights are affected by business activities across the world.


Anvil mining case ends
No justice in Canada for Congolese massacre victims | 5th November 2012 | Mines and Communities
In a decision that represents the end of any judicial relief in Canada for victims of the Kilwa massacre, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal brought in the case against Anvil Mining by The Canadian Association against Impunity (CAAI), an organization representing survivors and families of victims of the 2004 Kilwa massacre.
Corporate take-over of African food security
The corporate take-over of African food security | 8th November 2012 | Pambazuka
Corporate interests have hijacked African food and agricultural policy. They are behind a new green revolution for the continent that is pushing a capital-intensive approach with farms, supply chains and expanding international markets. This approach is a step backward to concepts of food security prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, Africans will remain hungry.
DRC mining code changes
DRC to negotiate mining code changes | 7th November | MineWeb
DRC Mine Stake Increase Plan to Involve Miners, IMF | 8th November | Cobalt Investing News
Democratic Republic of Congo's plans to sharply raise the state stake in mining projects is a proposal that will be negotiated with mining companies and also consulted with the World Bank and the IMF, a senior mines ministry official said on Wednesday.

IPIS Recent Publications

Etat des lieux du développement socio-économique dans les zones minières au Nord-Kivu (territoires de Walikale et Masisi) | March 2012 | ASSODIP | IPIS (editorial advice)
At a moment when the attention of both the national and international communities is focused on the reorganisation of the mining sector in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the local civil society organisation ASSODIP considered it opportune to carry out a study of the impact of mining exploitation on the socio-economic development in North Kivu’s Walikale and Masisi territories. These territories are among the richest in mineral resources of eastern DRC, with the exploitation and trade in minerals adding greatly to public revenues. Nonetheless, the concrete situations as presented in this paper sufficiently show that the development of the local mining communities has never been taken into due account.
Assessment of existing practices regarding end-user certification | February 2012 | UNODA | IPIS
Already, in 2002, the Security Council called upon States to establish an effective national end-user certificate system and to study the feasibility, as appropriate, of developing such a system at the regional and global levels, as well as information exchange and verification mechanisms. This study assesses existing practices regarding end-user certification in a wide range of countries. It examines concepts, documents and procedures relating to the regulation of end use and end users of conventional arms. It also endeavours to identify political and practical obstacles to the development of an international framework for authentication, reconciliation and standardization of end-user certificates. Finally, it proposes practical guidelines to assist States in the development of a reliable system of end-user certification. 

Transparancy and Accountability. Monitoring and Reporting Methods Under An Arms Trade Treaty | February 2012 | TransArms R | IPIS
Without an understanding of the existing practices of States regarding their commonly agreed standards for the monitoring and reporting of their international transfers of conventional arms, it will be very difficult to draft many of the basic provisions of the Treaty to ensure compliance and enforcement. This report therefore seeks to clarify and discuss existing terminology and reporting practices for State regulation of international transfers of goods and services and for international transfers of conventional arms. It is hoped that this will also help contribute to the development of common international standards for monitoring and reporting international transfers of conventional arms. Standardization of statistical requirements and reporting methods is of paramount importance for the ATT to be effective.

Upstream Pilot Implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas  Baseline Report on the Supplement on Tin, Tantalum, and Tungsten | November 2011 | OECD | IPIS
IPIS executed the research for and writing of this OECD report. The present baseline report is the first in a cycle of three reports on the implementation by upstream companies of the Supplement on Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (hereafter “the Guidance”). The objective of this report is to understand where upstream companies currently stand with the implementation of due diligence.
Violence against women in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Whose responsibility? Whose complicity? | November 2011 | ITUC | IPIS
IPIS contributed the research for and writing of this ITUC report. Summary: Eastern DRC has been ravaged by war and violence since the mid-1990s. Civilians carry the greatest burden of the conflict. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to such attacks.. Hundreds of women and girls get sexually violated in their homes and at their workplace. Fuelled and motivated by Congo’s minerals, rebel and army forces are inclined to maintain an insecure environment that ensures the continuation of the status quo. Congo’s conflict minerals go through a convoluted, yet manageable and traceable, supply chain and end up in industrialised consumer products. The introduction of transparency and governance into the mining sector is advancing, but still much has to be done.
Bisie. A one-year snapshot of the DRC’s principal cassiterite mine | November 2011 | IPIS
Much has happened in the mining sector of Eastern DRC over the last year. President Kabila imposed a ban on all mining activities last fall, during which production fell considerably. As soon as the suspension was lifted in the spring of this year, the major global electronic companies stopped buying minerals from the region, provoking a de facto embargo on Congo’s minerals with detrimental effects on the sector. At the same time, the Congolese government has taken major steps to restructure its army in the east of the country. These different decisions in the mining and security sectors have affected the nature and volume of minerals production and export and have reconfigured the security situation in the region. The consequences of these actions are discussed and illustrated with the use of the most important and well-known cassiterite mine in North Kivu called Bisie.
“Véhicules civils militarisables” and the EU arms embargo on Sudan | September 2011 | IPIS | TA-R | ASER
In this case study we will focus on the use of European manufactured trucks in the Darfur region, and more specifically what the defence industry calls “véhicules civils militarisables” - commercial vehicles that can be militarized. All armed actors in the conflict require vehicles to transport combatants through the vast Darfur deserts. Japanese Toyota (Landcruisers) pick-up trucks are the most common vehicles that are spotted in the region. Usually they are mounted with machineguns, and as such compose an important assault instrument. Furthermore, a wide array of military trucks or civilian trucks modified for military purposes are being used in Darfur, e.g. anti-aircraft guns are mounted on a variety of trucks to function as support and/or attack vehicles. Some of these trucks are European models, assembled by a local company: GIAD Automotive Industry Company.
Conflict motives in Kenya’s North Rift region | September 2011 | IPIS intern series
Kenya's North Rift Region continues to suffer from violent conflict in which a series of actors are involved. Armed groups perform widespread and devastating raids against neighbouring communities. The strength of these warrior groups varies regionally and from case to case. Security operations are often characterised by their disproportionate brutality. Power figures are known to instigate violence or organise and finance armed militias. Uasin Gishu and Trans-Nzoia bore the brunt of the post-election violence in 2007 and 2008. The violence mainly pitted Kalenjin warrior groups against Kikuyu communities in a struggle over political injustices and power but also over economic discrepancies and feelings of ethnic antagonism.
Kenya’s role in the trade of gold from Eastern DRC | August 2011 | IPIS | Justice et paix
On 11 September 2010, the Congolese Ministry of Mines put out a statement in which it announced President Kabila’s decision to suspend all exploitation and export of minerals from the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema. The aim of the mining ban was to break the link between mining and armed conflict in eastern DRC. This paper shows, however, that, even during the period of the embargo, Congolese minerals continued to find their way to the world market. The Kenyan capital of Nairobi appears to have served as an important hub for regional and international gold traders eyeing the mineral riches of eastern DRC.
The Arms Flyers - Commercial Aviation, Human Rights, and the Business of War and Arms | July 2011 | IPIS | Ta-R
In the last decades, the “business of war” has attracted thousands of civilian transport and logistics companies, especially in the aviation sector. State and non-State actors engaged in armed conflicts or in military operations that require substantial logistic support have increasingly resorted to the services of civilian transport operators to fulfil their transport and logistics needs. This report firstly presents a series of cases - that illustrate and document the continuous involvement of aviation companies in the business of war. The report then offers an analysis of international and national laws on the transport of weapons by air and a discussion of air safety regulations as enacted in the US and in Europe. The report also deals with the fundamentally flawed research that has sought to use air safety initiatives as a weapon in the fight against arms trafficking by air and has thus unfortunately constituted much of the basis for European Union projects to fight arms trafficking by air. An analysis of the present situation in air cargo markets and its influence on the logistics of wars and humanitarian operations concludes the report.
From Kanga to Kitenge: exploring patterns of cultural change in the Kigoma region | May 2011 | IPIS
The article discusses the current changes occurring in Kigoma, one of the poorest regions of Tanzania. For decades, the far-western corner and the point of convergence between Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is seen as peripheral within its national state. However, the steady move away from socialism to liberalism and the relative stability in the Great Lakes Region together with the associated reduction of refugee flows led to the gradual revaluation of Kigoma as a strategically important (business) centre. The case of women's wear is used to explore whether and how recent national, regional and global social and economic changes affected Kigoma's cultural set-up.
Guide to Current Mining Reform Initiatives in Eastern DRC | April 2011 | IPIS
US legislation has brought on a variety of initiatives aiming at mining reform in EDRC. This paper describes the basic elements of these initiatives, their genesis, the current state of affairs, the linkages between the initiatives and the main challenges they face. Further, the paper briefly evaluates the initiatives while focussing on the steps ahead.
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