The Curse of Gold in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This report was written in English and translated into
French.  If there are any inconsistencies between the French and English
versions of this document, the English version will govern.  This report was
correct as at April 26, 2005.

Click to expand Image

Abbreviations

AGK                            Ashanti Goldfields Kilo

APC                             Congolese People’s Army

CIAT                            Committee for the Support of
the Transition

DRC                            Democratic Republic of Congo

FAPC                           People’s Armed Forces of Congo

FARDC                        Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo

FNI                              Nationalist and
Integrationist Front

FRPI                             Patriotic Force of
Resistance in Ituri

ICC                              International Criminal
Court

IIA                               Ituri Interim
Administration

ILO                              International Labor
Organisation

KIMIN                         Kilo Moto Mining International

MLC                            Congolese Liberation Movement

MONUC                      U.N. Organization Mission in the DRC

NCP                             National Contact Point

OECD                         Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development

OKIMO                       Office of the Gold Mines of
Kilo-Moto

PUSIC                          Party for Unity and
Safeguarding of the Integrity of Congo

RCD                            Congolese Rally for Democracy

RCD-ML                      Congolese Rally for Democracy –
Liberation Movement

RCD-National               Congolese Rally for Democracy –
National

SOKIMO                     Society of the Gold Mines of
Kilo-Moto

U.N.                             United Nations

UPC                             Union of Congolese Patriots

I. Summary

“We are cursed
because of our gold.  All we do is suffer.  There is no benefit to us.”

Congolese gold miner

The northeast corner of the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to one of Africa’s richest goldfields. 
Competition to control the gold mines and trading routes has spurred the bloody
conflict that has gripped this area since the start of the Congolese war in
1998 and continues to the present.  Soldiers and armed group leaders, seeing
control of the gold mines as a way to money, guns, and power, have fought each
other ruthlessly, often targeting civilians in the process. Combatants under
their command carried out widespread ethnic slaughter, executions, torture,
rape and arbitrary arrest, all grave human rights abuses and violations of
international humanitarian law.  More than sixty thousand people have died due
to direct violence in this part of Congo alone. Rather than bringing prosperity
to the people of northeastern Congo, gold has been a curse to those who have
the misfortune to live there.

This report documents human rights abuses
linked to efforts to control two key gold mining areas, Mongbwalu (Ituri District)
and Durba (Haut Uélé District), both bordering Uganda.  

When Uganda, a major belligerent in the war, occupied
northeastern Congo from 1998 to 2003, its soldiers took direct control of
gold-rich areas and coerced gold miners to extract the gold for their benefit.
They beat and arbitrarily arrested those who resisted their orders. Ignoring
the rules of war for the conduct of occupying armies, they helped themselves to
an estimated one ton of Congolese gold valued at over $9 million.  Their
irresponsible mining practices led to the collapse of one of the most important
mines in the area in 1999, the Gorumbwa mine, killing some one hundredpeople
trapped inside and destroying a major livelihood for the residents of the area.

 

The Ugandan army withdrew from Congo in 2003, following Rwanda, another major belligerent, which had withdrawn the year before.
Each left behind local proxies, the Lendu Nationalist and
Integrationist Front (Front des Nationalistes et Intégrationnistes,
FNI) linked to Uganda, and the Hema Union of Congolese Patriots (Union des Patriotes Congolais, UPC), supported by Rwanda.  With continued assistance from their external backers, these local armed groups in
turn fought for the control of gold-mining areas and trade routes. As each
group won a gold-rich area, they promptly began exploiting the ore. The FNI and the UPCfought
five battles in a struggle to control Mongbwalu, each resulting in widespread
human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch researchers documented the slaughter of
at least two thousand civilians in the Mongbwalu area alone between June 2002
and September 2004.  Tens of thousands of civilians were forced to flee from
their homes into the forests to escape their attackers.  Many of them did not
survive. 

In 2003, peace talks at the national level
culminated in the installation of a transitional government, but northeastern Congo remained volatile and beyond central government control. Multinational corporations
nonetheless sought to sign new deals or revitalize old ones to start gold
mining and exploration operations in the rich gold concessions in the
northeast.  One of these companies, AngloGold Ashanti, one of the
largest gold producers in the world, started exploration activities in the
Mongbwalu gold mining area.  Following earlier attempts to make contact with
the UPC armed group, AngloGold Ashanti representatives established relations
with the FNI, an armed group responsible for serious human rights abuses
including war crimes and crimes against humanity, and who controlled the
Mongbwalu area.  In return for FNI assurances of security for its operations
and staff, AngloGold Ashanti provided logistical and financial support – that
in turn resulted in political benefits – to the armed group and its leaders. 
The company knew, or should have known, that the FNI armed group had committed
grave human rights abuses against civilians and was not a party to the
transitional government.

As a company with public commitments to
corporate social responsibility, AngloGold Ashanti should have ensured their
operations complied with those commitments and did not adversely affect human
rights.  They do not appear to have done so.  Business considerations
came above respect for human rights.  In its gold exploration activities in
Mongbwalu, AngloGold Ashanti failed to uphold its own business principles on
human rights considerations and failed to follow international business norms
governing the behavior of companies internationally. Human Rights Watch has
been unable to identify effective steps taken by the company to ensure that
their activities did not negatively impact on human rights.  

In other small-scale mining operations
conducted throughout the duration of the conflict, armed groups and their
business allies used the proceeds from the sale of gold to support their
military activities. Working outside of legal channels,
a network of traders funnelled gold mined by artisanal miners and forced labour
out of the Congo to Uganda.  In return for their services some traders
counted on the support of combatants from the armed groups who threatened,
detained, and even murdered their commercial rivals or those suspected of
failing to honor business deals. These traders sold the ore to gold exporters
based in Uganda who then sold to the global gold market, a practice that
continues today.

In 2003, an estimated $60 million worth of Congolese gold
was exported from Uganda, much of it destined for Switzerland.  One of the companies
buying gold from Uganda is Metalor Technologies, a leading Swiss refinery.  The
chain of Congolese middlemen, Ugandan traders, and multinational corporations
forms an important funding network for armed groups operating in northeastern Congo.  Metalor knew, or should have known, that gold bought from its suppliers in Uganda came from a conflict zone in northeastern DRC where human rights were abused on a
systematic basis.  The company should have considered whether its own role in
buying gold resources from its suppliers in Uganda was compatible with
provisions on human rights and it should have actively checked its supply chain
to verify that acceptable ethical standards were maintained. Through purchases
of gold made from Uganda, Metalor Technologies may have contributed indirectly
to providing a revenue stream for armed groups that carry out widespread human
rights abuses.

The international community has failed to
effectively tackle the link between resource exploitation and conflict in the Congo.  Following three years of investigation into this link, a United Nations (U.N.)
panel of experts stated that the withdrawal of foreign armies from Congo was unlikely to stop the cycle of conflict and exploitation of resources.  But the
U.N. Security Council established no mechanism to follow up on the
recommendations of the panel. The trade in gold is just one example of a wider
trend of competition for resources and resulting human rights abuses taking
place in mineral rich areas throughout the Congo.  The link between conflict
and resource exploitation raises broader questions of corporate accountability
in the developing world. Given the troubling allegations described in the U.N.
panel of experts reports and in this report, it is imperative that further
steps be taken to deal with the issue of natural resources and conflict in the Congo and beyond.

In preparation for this report, Human Rights Watch
researchers interviewed over 150 individuals including victims, witnesses, gold
miners, gold traders, gold exporters, customs officials, armed group leaders,
government representatives, and officials of international financial institutions
in Congo, Uganda and Europe in 2004 and 2005.  Human Rights Watch researchers
also met with and engaged in written correspondence with representatives from
AngloGold Ashanti and Metalor Technologies to discuss concerns.

We wish to thank our Congolese colleagues in Justice Plus,
and other individuals who cannot be named for security reasons, for their
assistance and support in our research. They risk their lives to defend the
rights of others and are to be commended for their courage and commitment.

II. Recommendations

To the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo:

·Urgently investigate and bring to justice those responsible for
alleged violations of international humanitarian law in northeastern Congo, including leaders and combatants of groups such as the FNI, UPC and the FAPC.

·Halt immediately the promotion of armed group leaders to senior
ranks in the Congolese army.  Investigate and bring to justice those promoted
to generals and other senior ranks in January 2004 named in this and previous
Human Rights Watch reports including Jérôme Kakwavu, Forebear Kisembo, Bosco
Taganda, Germain Katanga, and those promoted to other senior ranks such as
Salumu Mulenda and Rafiki Saba Aimable amongst others.

·Sign up to and implement the standards of the Extractive Industry
Transparency Initiative.

·Ensure adequate resources for the Ministry of Mines and Energy
and customs administrations to enforce the law governing the extractive
industries.

To the FNI, UPC, and FAPC Armed Groups:

·Direct all combatants under your command to observe standards of
international humanitarian law, in particular the right to life of civilians
and non-combatants.

To the Ugandan, Rwandan and Congolese governments:

·Provide no military, financial, or other assistance to armed groups
that have committed widespread human rights abuses in northeastern Congo.

·Use your influence to persuade armed groups in Ituri to halt
human rights abuses.

To the Ugandan government:

·Improve import controls at border points to ensure that all gold
entering Uganda has legal import and export documentation as specified under
Congolese law. Develop legislation and regulations to stop Ugandan individuals
or companies from participating in the illegal trade of gold.

To AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo American:

·Halt immediately any relationship which benefits, either directly
or indirectly, armed groups in Ituri who abuse human rights, in particular the
FNI.  Consider temporarily suspending gold exploration operations in Ituri if
such operations require cooperation with the FNI or similar armed groups. 

·Urgently review and ensure compliance with the company’s own
internal business principles and policies as well as international business
norms in your operations in Congo, such as the Voluntary Principles on Security
and Human Rights, the U.N. Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational
Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights, and
the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

·Help to establish and fund a ‘special gold monitoring body’
comprising of representatives of international mining corporations, OKIMO,
district authorities, national government authorities, donors, U.N. agencies,
trade unionists and civil society to monitor compliance with human rights and
sustainable development standards and to consider compensation for victims of
human rights abuses to which gold mining activity in northeastern Congo may,
directly or indirectly, have contributed. 

·Publish full details of all fees, ‘taxes’, compensation payments,
community development funding and other payments made to the FNI armed group
and other armed groups in Ituri. 

To Metalor Technologies SA:

·Cease purchasing gold from suppliers in Uganda who may be buying gold from armed groups in northeastern Congo responsible for gross abuses
of human rights. 

·Urgently review and strengthen due diligence checks on the supply
chain of gold purchased from Uganda, Congo or other conflict zones to make it
as difficult as possible for armed groups responsible for human rights abuses
to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from the revenue stream created by
resource extraction in northeastern Congo.  Publish the results of such
reviews.

·Ensure supply chain monitoring is compliant with international
business norms on human rights and sustainable development such as the OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the U.N. Norms on Business and Human
Rights.

To the Swiss, South African, British and Ugandan
governments:

·Press corporations operating from your legal jurisdictions to
take all necessary steps to ensure that their business activities do not carry
detrimental consequences for human rights in Congo.  If applicable, investigate
and hold accountable companies that have contravened domestic or international
legislation.

·Use the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
implementation procedure to carry out investigations into whether the
guidelines may have been violated by the activities of companies referred to in
this report.

To MONUC:

·Establish a specialized unit to monitor links between natural
resources exploitation and conflict in key resource rich districts in Congo, such as Ituri.  Ensure such a unit is provided with adequate resources and that it
reports regularly to the Special Representative of the Secretary General and to
the Committee for the Support of the Transition (CIAT) for prompt action as
required.

To donor governments and international
financial institutions:

·Exert political, diplomatic, and economic pressure on the
Ugandan, Rwandan and Congolese governments to dissuade them from supporting
local armed groups responsible for massive human rights abuses.  

·Publicly denounce violations of international human rights and
humanitarian law by all local armed groups and their backers in Ituri and
insist upon accountability for the perpetrators of such crimes. 

·Carry out prompt investigations of the activities of companies
which may have violated the OECD Guidelines in their business activities in Congo.

·Press for the establishment of and provide funding for a ‘special
gold monitoring body’ for northeastern Congo as described above.

·Establish a high level working group including representatives of
the Congolese government, international governments, donors, multilateral
institutions, U.N. agencies and civil society to address and mitigate past
problems linked with natural resource exploitation in the DRC and to prevent
future ones.

·Fund programs in the gold mining region of northeastern Congo to rebuild, strengthen and support independent civil society organizations, including trade
unions, that promote human rights and encourage learning from other such
structures in Africa or abroad.

·Encourage full implementation by the Congolese government of the
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and call for full disclosure of
all payments made by companies to armed groups in Ituri and to OKIMO and the
government.

·Assist the Congolese government in providing financial and
technical resources to the Ministry of Mines and Energy and other relevant ministries
to improve compliance with the Mining Code.

·Review Uganda’s use of gold proceeds originating from the Congo and promote full transparency about the use of such revenues by the government in
line with draft IMF Guide on Resource Revenue Transparency.

To the International Criminal Court:

·Investigate the links between individuals and armed groups
involved in natural resources extraction who may have contributed to war crimes
and crimes against humanity in Ituri.

III. Methodology

Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding
investigations into human rights abuses by governments and non-state actors in
all regions of the world. We visit the site of abuses to interview victims,
witnesses and others.

This report is based on six research missions conducted by
Human Rights Watch researchers in 2004 and 2005.  Our team carried out research
in the DRC and Uganda in February, March, May, July and October 2004 and in Europe in January and April 2005.  Additional research material from missions to the DRC
and Uganda in 2003 was also incorporated.   As part of its research Human
Rights Watch visited five gold mines and several other small-scale mining
operations in Mongbwalu and Durba, northeastern Congo.

In preparation for this report, Human Rights Watch
researchers interviewed more than 150 individuals including victims, witnesses,
gold miners, gold traders, gold exporters, customs officials, OKIMO officials,
civil society members and union representatives.  Our researchers also met with
Ituri armed groups leaders, Ugandan army officials, DRC and Ugandan government
representatives as well as with U.N. officials, international diplomats and
officials of international financial institutions.

Human Rights Watch researchers met with representatives from
AngloGold Ashanti on four occasions in Uganda and Congo, and put many of the
most troubling allegations to the company in writing offering it an opportunity
to respond.   Human Rights Watch researchers also engaged in written
correspondence with Metalor Technologies and met with the company
representatives in Switzerland to discuss concerns.

The information in this report was reviewed by external
legal counsel in numerous jurisdictions. 

Box 1: Who is Who? 

Main
armed groups mentioned in this report

Union of Congolese Patriots (Union des Patriots
Congolais
,UPC)

Leader: 
Thomas Lubanga. 

The UPC
is an armed group in Ituri promoting the interests of the ethnic Hema. It took
control of Bunia in August 2002 with the help of Uganda. Soon after the UPC received
support from Rwanda.  In late 2003 the UPC split into two factions, one under
Kisembo Bahemuka (known as UPC-K) and the other under Thomas Lubanga (known as
UPC-L). The Lubanga faction was militarily stronger, led by Commander Bosco
Taganda in the absence of Thomas Lubanga detained in Kinshasa.  Despite series
allegations of human rights abuses carried out by Commander Bosco Taganda, he
was offered a position as a general in the new Congolese army, the FARDC (Forces
Armées du la République Démocractique du Congo)
, in January 2005.  To date
he has refused to take up his post.

Nationalist and Integrationist Front (Front
des Nationalistes et Intégrationnistes,
FNI)

Leader:
Floribert Njabu. 

The FNI
is an armed group in Ituri promoting the interests of the ethnic Lendu. 
Established in late 2002 it temporarily integrated the Lendu militia, known as
the FNI, together with the Ngiti milita (Lendu from the south) known as the
FRPI.  The two branches split into separate armed groups in 2004 after
leadership wrangles.  The FNI is supported by Uganda. While Ugandan forces were
in Congo in 2003 they carried out joint military operations with the FNI.  In
2002 and 2003, the FNI also benefited from military training and support from a
national rebel group, the RCD-ML.  One of their senior commanders, Gode Sukpa,
was integrated into the FARDC as a general in January 2005.  No checks were
carried out as to his suitability for the role.

People’s
Armed Forces of Congo
(Forces Armées du Peuple Congolais, FAPC)

Leader: Jérôme
Kakwavu Bukande.

An Ituri
armed group based in northeastern Congo (Aru and Ariwara), established in March
2003 with the support of Uganda. Commander Jérôme switched alliances several
times since 1998 moving from the RCD-ML, to the UPC before launching his own
armed group. In May 2003 a mutiny attempt to overthrow Commander Jérôme was
brutally put down with Ugandan support. Despite serious allegations of war
crimes carried out on the order of Commander Jérôme, he was integrated into the
new Congolese army, the FARDC, as a general in January 2005.

Other
armed groups

Northeastern Congo has a host of other armed groups mentioned in passing in this report. 
They include the following:

Party for Unity and Safeguarding of the Integrity of Congo (Parti pour l’unité et la sauvegarde de l’intégrité du Congo, PUSIC),
predominantly made up of ethnic Hema from the south. 

Patriotic Force of Resistance in Ituri (Force de Résistance
Patriotique d’Ituri,
FRPI), made up of ethnic Ngiti (Lendu from the
south) who operate in areas south of Bunia.

Congolese Rally for Democracy – National (Rassemblement
Congolais pour la Démocratie – National,
RCD-National), a rebel
group led by Roger Lumbala based in the Isiro and Watsa areas to the north. 
Now integrated into the Congolese transitional government.

Congolese Rally for Democracy – Liberation Movement(Rassemblement
Congolais pour la Démocratie – Mouvement de Libération,
RCD-ML), a
rebel group led by Mbusa Nyamwisi based out of Beni in North Kivu.  Its armed
wing was called the Congolese People’s Army (Armée du Peuple Congolaise,
APC).  This movement was integrated into the Congolese transitional
government.

IV. Background: Enriching
the Elites

Gold, one of the richest resources in the Congo, offers the potential to contribute to financial reconstruction after a war that has
cost millions of lives and has left countless others in desperate poverty.  But
in recent years it has enriched only a fortunate few, many of whom have won
control over the gold by use of force.  Gold has contributed little to the
overall prosperity of the nation; on the contrary it has been a curse to those
who have the misfortune to live in regions where it is found.

In 1996 Rwandan and Ugandan forces invaded the Congo, ousted long-time ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, and installed Laurent Desiré Kabila in
power. In July 1998 Kabila tried to expel the Rwandan troops, but they and the
Ugandan forces instead engaged Kabila’s government in the second Congo war, one
that eventually drew in Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia (supporting Kabila) and
Burundi (allied with the Rwandans and Ugandans).  Often termed as Africa’s first world war, the conflict resulted in the deaths of 3.5 million people, the
great majority in eastern DRC. Many victims were displaced people who died from
exposure, hunger, or lack of medical assistance.[1]  A first peace agreement, signed in Lusaka in 1999, had little effect but the U.N. agreed to establish a peacekeeping force
known as the U.N. Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(MONUC) in November 1999.  Through continued international pressure, the
national government and major rebel movements eventually signed a power-sharing
agreement at Sun City in April 2002 that allowed for the establishment of the Global
and All Inclusive Peace Agreement which set up the transitional government in
June 2003.  Despite this agreement and other bilateral and regional security
agreements, insecurity continued in large parts of eastern Congo.

The war in northeastern Congo, specifically in Ituri, sprang from the larger Congo war, and became a complex web of local,
national, and regional conflicts.  It developed after a local land dispute in
1999 between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups was exacerbated by the Ugandan army
who occupied the area and by national rebel groups keen on expanding their
power base. The availability of political and military support from
external actors, notably Uganda and Rwanda, plus growing extremists’
sentiments, encouraged local leaders in Ituri to form more structured
movements.  Armed groups were born, generally based on ethnic loyalties,
including the predominately northern Hema group the UPC[2], the predominately Lendu FNI[3], the southern
Hema group PUSIC and the more mixed FAPC.[4]   Each of these groups received military
and political support from either the DRC[5], Ugandan or Rwandan governments at
different times turning Ituri into a battleground for the war between them.[6]

Between 2002 and 2004 these Ituri armed groups attempted to
gain recognition on the national scene, hoping for positions in the Kinshasa based transitional government and in the newly integrated army.  In this scramble,
local militia leaders frequently switched alliances between themselves and
other backers as their interests dictated.  They attempted to control huge
swathes of territory and strategic sites, including gold mines and lucrative
customs posts, in order to enhance the importance of their movement.  The
strategic sites also provided much needed finance for the armed groups and
favor with their backers.  A U.N. special report on the events in Ituri
published in July 2004 underlined that the competition for control of natural
resources, particularly gold, by these armed groups was a major factor in
prolonging the crisis in Ituri.[7]

The Significance of Gold

Gold was first discovered in the Agola River in northeastern
Congo in 1903 by two Australian prospectors.  They named the area after the
local chief Kilo[8]
and shortly thereafter made a similar discovery in the Moto River just to the north, from which the name Kilo-Moto derives.  Exploitation of the gold
started in 1905 and continued on an increased scale.  During the first half of
the twentieth century, colonial entrepreneurs exploited gold through private
companies that introduced large-scale or industrial mining. After independence
in 1960, the state nationalized many of these companies, including, in 1966,
the Société des Mines d’Or de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO) that worked the lodes of
northeastern Congo. It granted the large SOKIMO concession in Ituri and Haut
Uélé Districts of Orientale Province to a new state-owned Office of the Gold
Mines of Kilo-Moto (OKIMO).  To date, OKIMO officials estimate that more than
400 tons of gold have been extracted from their concession and that much more
remains, though there is no precise estimate of how much.[9]   Many industry experts
agree that the OKIMO concession is one of the most exciting, and potentially
the largest, unexplored gold reserve in Africa.[10]  In the early 1990s
OKIMO entered into arrangements with multinational corporations to exploit the
large mines of northeastern Congo using industrial methods (discussed below)
and also licensed local miners to work other areas by artisanal methods.

In 2000, the U. N. Security Council expressed concern that Congo’s natural resources such as gold, diamonds and other minerals were fuelling the
deadly war.  They appointed a panel of experts[11] to look into the matter who published
four separate reports between April 2001 and October 2003.[12]  In these
series of reports, the U.N. panel of experts reported that Rwandan, Ugandan,
and Zimbabwean army officers as well as members of the Congolese elite were
growing rich from the wealth of the Congo. They showed how extraction of these
resources helped fund armed groups, thus fueling the war.  They further
documented how the minerals of the Congo were fed into the networks of
international commerce. The panel concluded in its report of October 2002 that
the withdrawal of foreign armies would not end the resource exploitation because
the elites had created a self-financing war economy.[13]

In 2002, following heavy international pressure, in part
because of the U.N. panel reports, both the Rwandan and Ugandan governments
agreed to withdraw their soldiers from Congo.  Uganda subsequently arranged
with the Congolese government to keep some forces in northeastern Congo until 2003 when the last of their troops withdrew.

This report, focused on control of gold in northeastern
Congo, shows that the pattern of exploitation of natural resources described by
the U.N. panel of experts, does indeed continue as of this writing, resulting
in widespread abuses of human rights.  The trade in gold is just one example of
a wider trend of competition for resources and resulting human rights abuses taking
place in mineral rich areas throughout the Congo.

Click to expand Image

Gold miners working in an open pit mine in Durba.  © 2004 Marcus
Bleasdale

Ugandan Forces Plunder the Gold of
Haut Uélé District, 1998-2002

In August 1998, shortly after the start of the second Congolese
war, Ugandan troops occupied gold-rich areas of Haut Uélé, including the town
of Durba, (Watsa Territory, Haut Uélé District, Orientale Province), site of
three important gold mines: Gorumbwa, Durba and Agbarabo.  According to
estimates of engineers and geologists familiar with the area, nearly one ton of
gold was extracted from this region during the four-year period of Ugandan
occupation.[14]
Based on prices at the time, this would have been valued at some $9 million
dollars. 

Ugandan troops were supporting the advance of their Congolese
allies, the rebel Rally for Congolese Democracy (Rassemblement Congolais pour
la Démocratie, RCD) and the Congolese Liberation Movement (Movement pour la
Liberation du Congo, MLC), but according to local observers, the Ugandans took
Durba primarily for the wealth it offered. Within weeks of the second war, the
Rwandan and Ugandan backed RCD rebel forces quickly announced their “control
over the OKIMO mines” and in a written decision prohibited any illicit mining stating
that the RCD was going to “economically reorganize the territory under its
control.”[15]  
One witness in Durba who witnessed the Ugandan army enter said, “The Ugandans
were only here for the gold. . . There was no military reason [to be here] and
they never fought any battles here.”[16]
Officials of the state-owned gold mining agency OKIMO had been left in charge
of the Durba mines after the flight of the expatriate staff of the Barrick Gold
Corporation, a mining company which held a concession from OKIMO. A former
OKIMO employee present when the Ugandans arrived said, “We understood that they
came to our area only for economic interests.  The moment they arrived they
were more interested in OKIMO than anything else.”[17] 

In the early days of the occupation,
Ugandan soldiers, including a Ugandan officer called Major Sonko, came by
helicopter to try to start gold production.[18] Finding it too difficult and
costly to operate the mines on an industrial scale, they decided to use
artisanal miners, (orpailleurs), although Congolese mining
regulations prohibited such miners from working in industrial mines and
restricted them to smaller-scale holdings. According to one former OKIMO
employee, the decision to get gold immediately and cheaply by using artisanal
miners led to the reckless mining practices that would destroy Gorumbwa mine,
the most important in the area.[19]

Local sources said that Ugandan Lieutenant DavidOkumu
gave the initial order to start mining in Gorumbwa.[20]  According to a report
prepared by OKIMO officials that provides further details, Ugandan soldiers
took over mine security, chasing away OKIMO guards and the local police in
order to benefit from the gold mining.[21]  Local miners went to work in the mines,
even though they were required to pay an entrance fee to Ugandan soldiers or to
give them a portion of their ore when leaving. Witnesses reported that Ugandan
soldiers beat local miners who refused to work under these conditions or who
failed to deliver the expected amount of gold.[22]   To speed extraction of the ore, Ugandan
soldiers directed miners to use explosives taken from OKIMO stocks. Local
residents said that there were more than fifty explosions in the mines during
the month of December 1999, some of them severe enough to shake nearby housing.
Even the rock pillars that supported the roof in the mine were blasted to
extract any ore that might be inside them.[23]

On several occasions OKIMO officials protested to Ugandan
army commanders about the illegal mining, the theft of fuel and explosives from
their stock, and the possible damage to the mines through the explosions.[24] Ugandan
soldiers beat, arrested, and threatened some of those who protested. Lieutenant
Okumu arrested the local OKIMO Director Samduo Tango and had him publicly
beaten.  A witness at the scene of the beating said,

[Samduo Tango] was arrested and taken to “Les Bruns” [a house in the OKIMO concession] by Commander Okumu and he was beaten. He was protesting against how the Ugandans were doing things. It happened a few months after the Ugandans arrived. They also beat other workers who were against them. Samduo had to pay to be released and then he fled. Another person who was beaten was Aveto as he witnessed the Ugandans taking dynamite from the warehouse. He was arrested along with Samduo and also publicly beaten. Commander Okumu beat them himself and he asked other soldiers to also beat them. I saw this myself. [25]

Another OKIMO official told a Human Rights Watch researcher,

I had many meetings with [Commander Okumu] to make him
understand that they must not destroy the mine.  But these meetings only put us
more at risk.  I myself was threatened because of all this.  One time I was
taken to their military camp for questioning.

[26]

 

Lt Okumu left the Durba area in early 1999 but other Ugandan
commanders continued with similar practices and took no actions to stop the
illegal mining. In June 1999 OKIMO officials reported again on the situation
and asked Commander Sula based in Isiro to intervene. He ignored the request
and soon after the Durba-based Ugandan officer Freddy Ziwa arrested one of the
OKIMO officials.[27] 
According to an internal OKIMO memorandum, Commander Sula met with local miners
and Ugandan soldiers on July 12, 1999 in Durba and ordered them to organize
more extensive mining in the OKIMO concession.  On July 29, 1999 artisanal miners and Ugandan soldiers began work in the second largest mine in the area, the
Durba mine.[28] 
The miners were reportedly transported to work in army vehicles.[29] 

In December 1999, OKIMO officials met with two other Ugandan
army officers heavily involved in the mining, Commanders Bob and Peter
Kashilingi. They sought an end to the mining and warned again that Gorumbwa
mine might collapse if the practice of blasting the supporting pillars continued.
According to OKIMO officials, no action was taken by Ugandan commanders.[30] 

In late 1999 the Gorumbwa mine collapsed
killing a reported one hundred miners trapped inside and flooding the area.[31] 
According to one local engineer:

The Ugandan army were responsible for the destruction of Gorumbwa mine. They started to mine the pillars. It was disorderly and very widespread. People were killed when the mine eventually collapsed. It was not their country so they didn’t care about the destruction. They kept promising to help stabilise the mine, but they never did. [32]

Another engineer thrown out of work by the collapse of the
mine explained, “Gorumbwa mine was the most important. It was ruined by the
Ugandans and this has halted development here.  It has caused social
degradation.”[33] 

In December 1998, an epidemic of Marburg hemorrhagic fever
killed more than fifty people in Durba, the majority of them miners.  The
outbreak was believed to have begun in Gorumbwa mine.[34]  According to a team of
medical experts sent to the area by the U.N. several months later, the
unhealthy conditions in the Gorumbwa mine increased the risk of workers
contracting this fever.[35]   

Ugandan soldiers had no authority to extract gold from mines
in the Durba area. Possibly aware of the illegal nature of their exploitation,
they sought once in May 1999 to create a semblance of legitimacy for their
activities. Working through their local Congolese proxy the RCD, the local
Congolese Brigade Commander, Mbanga Buloba, held a meeting questioning OKIMO’s
legal title to the mining rights in the area and claiming it was the new rebel
administration who were entitled to manage the artisanal gold exploitation. 
The effort, described in a memorandum by OKIMO officials, came to nothing.[36]

Nor did Ugandan soldiers have any military imperative to
exploit or destroy the gold mines in the Durba area.  As an occupying power
they were responsible under international law for protecting civilian and
non-military state assets, including mines, and had an obligation to properly
maintain them. Their systematic and abusive exploitation of the gold mines
represented an immediate loss to state assets and their destruction of the
infrastructure and damage to the Gorumbwa mine decreased the value of the state
assets for future use, all in violation of international law.[37]

In 2001 the U.N Panel of Experts on Illegal Exploitation in
the DRC reported on the involvement of Ugandan officers in mining activities in
Durba.[38] 
Their reports were followed-up in 2002 by the Ugandan government appointed
judicial commission of inquiry led by Justice David Porter, commonly known as
the Porter Commission, who were instructed to respond to the allegations made
by the panel.[39]  
The Porter Commission interviewed various Ugandan officers about their
involvement in illegal gold mining in Durba including Lt Okumu, Major Sonko and
Lt Col Mugeny amongst others.  All of them denied any involvement in such
activities.  The Porter Commission found the officers were lying and declared there
had been “a cover-up” inside the UPDF to hide the extent of such activities.[40]   

Despite the findings of the Porter Commission, no arrests
were made of officers responsible for the wide-scale and abusive looting, nor
was any compensation provided to OKIMO or the Congolese state for such
activities.  In September 2004 the DRC government demanded $16 billion in
compensation from the Ugandan government for the plunder of natural resources
by its forces while they occupied parts of the DRC, in violation of
international law.[41] In newspaper reports, representatives from the Ugandan government
acknowledged some responsibility for the killings, plunder and looting the DRC
suffered at the hands of their troops, but made no commitment to pay
compensation stating the amount demanded was “colossal.”[42] 

In 2002 under international pressure Ugandan forces started
to withdraw from parts of the DRC and moved their troops out of Durba leaving
the area to a breakaway faction of the original RCD, this one known as the
RCD-ML and its armed group, the APC.  After the Sun City agreement in 2002,
RCD-ML became allied also with the national government. In the following two
years, this gold mining region changed hands several times between rival
national movements and local armed groups. Each time there was one constant.
“Every time there was a change of armed group,” said one witness, “the first
thing they did was to immediately start digging for gold.”[43] With the establishment
of the transitional government in mid-2003, Kinshasa supposedly reasserted
control over the region, but in fact formerly rebel military forces continued
to play a role in exploiting the gold though they now claimed to be part of a
newly integrated national army.[44] 

 

Local Armed Groups Fight for the
Gold of Ituri, 2002-2004

With the withdrawal of all – or most – of the Rwandan and
Ugandan soldiers from eastern Congo in 2002 and 2003, local armed groups became
the main direct contenders for control of areas rich in gold. In Ituri District
the most important of these groups were affiliated with either the Hema or the
Lendu, ethnic groups that had been battling over land and fishing rights since
1999.[45]  
Because the ethnic conflict became intertwined with the struggle over gold, the
fighting in Ituri District drew in far larger numbers of civilians than was the
case around Durba, in Haut Uélé District. Both areas had significant gold mines
but Durba suffered less historical ethnic tensions between the Hema and Lendu. 
Controlling sites rich in gold assured armed group leaders the means for buying
guns and other supplies to carry on the conflict and also guaranteed political
importance to the leaders, increasing the possibility that they would earn
recognition and coveted posts at national level.[46]

Although local armed groups moved to center stage as the
major actors, Ugandan and Rwandan soldiers continued to play a role, providing
arms and advice to leaders of these armed groups, sometimes directly, sometimes
through one or the other of the Congolese rebel movements with which they were
allied. These supporting actors had their own agendas and were ready to shift
alliances with local actors as circumstances changed. By 2002 Rwanda and Uganda had fallen out, a split highlighted by combat between their forces at Kisangani in May 2002. The division between them added further complexity to the dynamics
of local alliances, sometimes increasing opportunities for local groups to play
off one powerful backer against the other. A third armed group of mixed
ethnicity, the FAPC led by Commander Jérôme Kakwavu, a Congolese Tutsi and
former RCD-ML commander, joined the struggle in support of the Hema. Local
armed groups, rebel movements, and Rwanda and Uganda all juggled multiple
interests, but always important among them was desire to control the gold.

During this period, the Congolese government had little
influence in Ituri, leaving local affairs largely to its ally, the RCD-ML. In
an attempt by the international community to find a political solution to the
ongoing fighting in Ituri, the U.N. chaired dialogue between the Congolese
government, armed groups and the Ugandan government resulting in the
establishment of an ad hoc Ituri Interim Administration (IIA) in April 2003.
When this body proved ineffective, the national government and MONUC in May
2003 pressured representatives of six armed groups to pledge in writing to
cooperate with the peace process.  The Foreign Affairs Commissioner of the FNI
showed no intention of honoring the pledge, saying, “We were forced to sign the
document.  It means nothing to us.”[47]
Leaders of other groups apparently felt the same way and fighting has continued
since then between militia themselves and between militia and MONUC
peacekeeping troops. In February 2005, after the killing of more U.N.
peacekeepers in Ituri, MONUC renewed its pressure on the armed groups.  Some of
the militia leaders declared again they were prepared to participate in
disarmament operations, though at the time it writing it was unclear if this
time they would stick to their commitments.

Poorly funded by the international community and not
supported by MONUC, the interim administration accomplished little and was
dissolved in June 2004. The transitional government restored local
administrative structures, and appointed administrators with little or no
connection to the armed groups.  The new functionaries remained largely unpaid
and had no means to exercise control over armed groups. 

In an attempt to resolve the security problems, President
Joseph Kabila, who succeeded as president after the death of his father Laurent
Kabila in 2001, signed a decree in late 2004 granting six leaders of the Ituri
armed groups positions as generals in the newly integrated Congolese army and a
further thirty-two militiamen positions as lieutenant-colonels, colonels and
majors.  Despite divisions within the transitional government about these
appointments, the generals were welcomed into army ranks in January 2005.  The
government provided no assurances that the newly appointed generals would not
be returned to Ituri nor did it make any commitments to starting judicial
investigations into serious allegations of war crimes and crimes against
humanity allegedly carried out by the new appointees.  The integration of
alleged war criminals into senior army ranks was denounced by Human Rights
Watch and international diplomats.[48] 
In the aftermath of the killing of nine U.N. peacekeepers in Ituri in February
2005, the transitional government arrested Floribert Njabu, Thomas Lubanga and
a handful of other senior Ituri commanders though at the time of writing they
had not yet been charged with any crimes or brought to justice.

V. Human
Rights Abuses in the Mongbwalu Gold Mining Area

During eighteen months of conflict in 2002 and 2003, Hema
and Lendu armed groups fought to control the gold-mining town of Mongbwalu in Ituri.  As they passed control of the rich prize back and forth five times,
they also slaughtered some two thousand civilians, often on an ethnic basis. In
addition, they carried out summary executions, raped and otherwise injured
thousands of civilians, engaged in torture, and arbitrarily detained persons
whom they saw as enemies.  During the frequent clashes, tens of thousands of
civilians were forced to flee their homes, losing much or all of their goods to
looting or destruction. 

The town of Mongbwalu lies some 150 km south of Durba within
the Ituri section of the gold mining concession controlled by the state gold
company OKIMO. Gold was first discovered in the area by Australian prospectors
in 1905 and has been mined ever since.  The Mongbwalu area is presumed to be
one of the richest goldfields in the OKIMO concession and is home to the large
industrial mine of Adidi, the former Belgian mines of Makala and Sincere, and a
substantial gold refining factory where gold ingots were produced until 1999. 
At its height of operations in the 1960s and 1970s the OKIMO gold mining
operation employed some six thousand workers and was the main provider of
employment in northeastern Congo.  Although it was in the center of the
territory belonging to the Nyali ethnic group, people of different ethnicities
had come to live in Mongbwalu to work in the gold mines or in related
activities. Lendu formed the majority of its fifty thousand inhabitants with
Hema a far smaller number. Despite ethnic clashes elsewhere in Ituri, Mongbwalu
stayed generally calm before 2002 under the control of RCD-ML troops supported
by soldiers of the Ugandan army; gold operations continued on a much reduced
scale, most of it for the benefit of the RCD-ML and Ugandan soldiers.

In April 2002 the situation changed when the RCD-ML,
strengthened by new solidarity with the national government in the Sun City
Agreement, came into conflict with the Hema. Under the leadership of Thomas
Lubanga, the Hema began to form structured militia groups, who would later be
formally known as the UPC. The RCD-ML responded by attacking Hema civilians in
Mongbwalu with the help of Lendu combatants. Hema militia then targeted Lendu
civilians in the town and outlying areas.  For greater security people who had
lived in ethnically mixed areas moved to areas inhabited by others of their own
group. As one woman said, “People of each group fled to their own areas.
Tensions were very high.”[49]

By early August 2002 the Ugandan government had decided to
withdraw their support from RCD-ML – in part because of its links with Kinshasa – and to back its local challenger, the UPC. Ugandan troops and Hema combatants
dislodged RCD-ML forces from Bunia, the capital of Ituri.  Shortly thereafter
the Ugandans reduced their backing for the Hema, suspecting they were moving
towards an alliance with Rwanda and Rwanda increased its support for the UPC.  
According to a confidential supplement prepared by the U.N. panel of experts, Rwanda trained more than one hundred UPC combatants in the Gabiro training center in Rwanda between September and December 2002 and trained other intelligence officers directly
in Bunia.[50] 
Meanwhile, the RCD-ML, humiliated by its loss of Ugandan backing and its hasty
retreat from Bunia, forged even closer links to the Lendu militia, providing
them with arms and carrying out joint attacks to stop or reverse UPC advances.

Once in control of Bunia, the UPC claimed to have set up a
government for Ituri and moved to capture towns both north and south of Bunia. 
According to witnesses and documentary evidence, the UPC began planning an
attack on Mongbwalu in September 2002, intent on winning control of its gold.[51]  Even before
a shot was fired, UPC President Lubanga asked the then general director of
OKIMO, Etienne Kiza Ingani, who was himself Hema, to prepare a memo on how
mining operations could be managed under UPC control. In the document Mr. Kiza
warmly congratulated the UPC on its anticipated victory – weeks before
Mongbwalu had actually been captured – and suggested the establishment of a
“mixed Executive Council [including the UPC and OKIMO] to take stock of the
terrain … and decide quickly what we need to do.”[52]  In meetings about
investment in the mines held in Mongbwalu after the UPC victory, the finance
director of OKIMO, Roger Dzaringa Buma, also a Hema, was presented as the
financial advisor to UPC President Lubanga, illustrating a continuing close
relationship between OKIMO officials and the UPC armed group.[53]

The UPC failed in its first attempt to take Mongbwalu on November 8, 2002, its forces pushed back by RCD-ML combatants and Lendu militia.  Before
undertaking a second attempt, UPC officials won the support of Commander Jérôme
Kakwavu Bukande, who had commanded the RCD-ML 5th Operational Zone
in the gold mining region of Durba. But in September Commander Jérôme had been
driven from Durba by a combined force of two other rebel movements, the RCD-N
and the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC). He had retreated to Aru, a post at
the Ugandan frontier that offered lucrative tax revenue. According to another
senior combatant who also left the RCD-ML for the UPC at the same time,
Commander Jérôme expected to get gold and ivory in return for his participation,
as well as arms. He said,

Lubanga gave him [Commander Jérôme] the materials –
mortars, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, grenade launchers that could be
mounted on a vehicle, and many bombs.  All of this was sent by plane via Air
Mbau [Mbau Pax Airlines] an Antonov leased by the UPC.   Some other ammunition
came via road from Bunia.  [Commander] Manu escorted it to Mongbwalu.  This was
the reserve.

[54]

Rwandan support was also crucial to the UPC in its efforts
to take Mongbwalu. In addition to providing military training, as mentioned
above, the Rwandans supplied the UPC-and their ally Commander Jérôme-with
weapons. The same combatant associated with Commander Jérôme said,

The weapons we received from Lubanga were from Rwanda.  They had Rwanda written on the boxes.  There is also a difference in the type of
weapons that Rwanda and Uganda use.  The MAG was a different model, an MMG
while the Ugandans use a G2.  Also the mortars were a different size from
Rwandan ones.

[55]

A later confidential supplement from the U.N. panel of
experts confirmed that mortars, machine guns, and ammunition were sent from Rwanda to the UPC in Mongbwalu between November 2002 and January 2003. On other occasions
arms sent from Kigali were airdropped at the UPC stronghold of Mandro.[56] 

Click to expand Image

          Thomas Lubanga, President of the UPC.  © 2003 Khanh Renaud

According to the combatant who also participated in the
assault on Mongbwalu, the operation was organized and led by UPC leader
Lubanga, Commanders Bosco Taganda (UPC Chief of Operations) and Commander
Kisembo Bahemuka (UPC Chief of Staff) as well as Commander Jérôme Kakwavu and
two other officers associated with him, Commanders Salumu Mulenda and Sey. 
Rwandans reportedly assisted in planning and directing the attack, to the
displeasure of Commander Jérôme and some of his men. As the combatant said, “It
was the Rwandans who organized the attack- they gave the orders.  The people of
Jérôme were not happy with this.”  
In assessing the role of Rwanda in Ituri, the U.N. panel of experts told the
U.N. Security Council that key UPC commanders reported directly to the Rwandan
army high command including Rwandan army Chief of Staff, General James
Kabarebe, and Chief of Intelligence, General Jack Nziza.  

Massacres and other Abuses by the UPC and their
Allies

Massacre at Mongbwalu, November
2002

The UPC strengthened by Commander Jérôme’s combatants after
the failed attack of November 8, 2002 attacked the Mongbwalu area again on November 18, 2002.  During the six-day military operation, UPC forces slaughtered
civilians on an ethnic basis, chasing down those who fled to the forest, and
catching and killing others at roadblocks.  In a co-ordinated strategy UPC and
Commander Jérôme’s forces attacked to the north of Mongbwalu in the villages of
Pili Pili and Pluto drawing the more experienced RCD-ML soldiers out of the
town. Others, led by Commander Bosco, attacked to the south at the airport.  A
witness said the attackers worked systematically, going from one house to the
next. He recounted,

The UPC arrived in Pluto at about 9:00 a.m.. . . If they caught someone they would ask them their tribe.  If they were not their
enemies they would let them go.  They killed the ones who were Lendu. . . . The
UPC would shout so everyone could hear, “We are going to exterminate you – the
government won’t help you now.”

[59]

 

Another witness described what he saw in Mongbwalu,

The Hema [UPC] and … [Commander Jérôme’s forces] came
into town and started killing people.  We hid in our house.  I opened the
window and saw what happened from there.  A group of more than ten with spears,
guns and machetes killed two men in Cité Suni, in the center of Mongbwalu. . .
. They took Kasore, a Lendu man in his thirties, from his family and attacked
him with knives and hammers. They killed him and his son (aged about 20) with
knives.  They cut his son’s throat and tore open his chest.  They cut the
tendons on his heels, smashed his head and took out his intestines.  The father
was slaughtered and burnt. We fled to Saio. On the way, we saw other bodies.

[60]

 

Click to expand Image

A Lendu FNI fighter
carries a rocket-propelled grenade.  Proceeds from the sale of gold are
frequently used to purchase weapons and other supplies for armed groups in
Ituri. 

© 2003 Karel
Prinsloop/AP

Many civilians fled with the Lendu combatants to Saio, about
seven kilometers away, only to be attacked there the next morning. Civilians
ran into the forests while others tried to hide in Saio, including at a church
called “Mungu Samaki.”  When UPC combatants found civilians, they slaughtered
them.[61] 
A witness said,

The [UPC] were using incendiary grenades and burned
houses that still had people in them, like Mateso Chalo’s house.  Ngabu was a
Lendu who couldn’t flee.  He had lots of children and was trying to carry
them.  They shot at him.  He fell on one of his children and died.   Another
woman, Adjisu was shot in the leg.  She had her baby with her.  They caught her
as she was trying to crawl along the ground. They cut her up with machetes and
killed her.  They cut the baby up as well.  Some people were thrown into the
latrines. The UPC said they were now the chiefs.

[62]

The UPC pursued the fleeing Lendu
combatants, the RCD-ML forces and thousands of civilians as they took to the
forest. In a ten day trek seeking safety at Beni and elsewhere, scores of
civilians died, particularly children and the weak.  Those who tried to flee by
road were caught at roadblocks and many of them were killed. One witness who
fled said he had seen UPC combatants kill 120 people at a roadblock at Yedi. He
later covered the bodies with leaves.[63] 

Some civilians who were not Lendu returned to Mongbwalu in
the following days. According to them, UPC Commander Bosco was in charge at
first but then was replaced by Commander Salongo as the sector commander of
Mongbwalu.  Those who returned reported that Lendu, Nande and Jajambo peoples
were not welcome in Mongbwalu.  As one witness recounted, “You couldn’t be
Lendu in Mongbwalu or you would be eliminated.”[64]  Witness reported
numerous bodies in the streets and fresh graves around the UPC military
headquarters at the “apartments”, formerly the lodgings of OKIMO employees.
Those returning more than one week after the attack reported corpses still
lying on the streets.[65] 

Massacre at Kilo, December 2002

In December 2002 and early 2003, UPC forces
attacked Kilo, Kobu, Lipri, Bambu and Mbijo, all villages near Mongbwalu. They
took Kilo on December 6 and a few days later Commander Kisembo and Commander
Salumu ordered the deliberate killing of scores of civilians. They held a
meeting in the center of town with some sixty
Nyali local authorities.  According to witnesses at the
meeting, Commander Kisembo said that all Lendu would be expelled from the area
and that those who refused to go would be killed.[66]  UPC
combatants arrested men, women and children with bracelets, assuming them to be
Lendu.[67] 
They forced them to dig their own graves before massacring them.  UPC
combatants also forced Nyali residents to help cover
the graves.

Click to expand Image

A Hema UPC combatant patrolling a village in Ituri. Machetes
are frequently used by the FNI and UPC during their attacks.  © 2003 Marcus
Bleasdale

One man who was not Lendu said, 

I saw many people tied up ready to be executed. The UPC said they were going to kill them all. They made the Lendu dig their own graves. I was not Lendu but forced to dig as well or I would be killed. The graves were near the military camp. It started in the morning. They called people to quickly dig a hole about four feet deep. They would kill the people by hitting them on the head with a sledgehammer. People were screaming and crying. Then we were asked to fill the grave up. We worked till about 16:00. We buried the victims still tied up. There must have been about four [UPC] soldiers doing the killing. They would shout [at the victims] that they were their enemies. One of the officers present was Commander David [Mpigwa]. Commander Kisembo was also there and he saw all this. He was giving the orders along with David. I don’t know how many they killed in total, but I must have seen about one hundred people killed. [68]

According to a special U.N. report on
events in Ituri, UPC Commander Salumu led further military operations that
killed at least 350 civilians from January to March 2003.[69]

Based on witness statements, information from local human
rights organizations and other sources, Human Rights Watch estimates that of
the total two thousand civilians killed at and near Mongbwalu during the period
November 2002 to June 2003, at least eight hundred – including the 350 cited by
the U.N. report – were killed in the attacks led by the UPC in late 2002 and
early 2003.[70] Over 140,000 people were displaced by the series of attacks, some of
whom remain in camps or in the forest at the time of writing.  “I want to go
back to my job in Mongbwalu,” said one witness, “but not when there are still
lots of guns there that are used to kill people.”[71]

Arbitrary arrest, torture and
summary executions

 

After taking control of Mongbwalu, Hema combatants
arbitrarily arrested and, in some cases, summarily executed civilians suspected
of being Lendu or of having helped Lendu.[72]  One man, detained on the accusation that
his brothers had helped the Lendu, was beaten for two days and then confined in
a bathroom with four others at the “apartments,” headquarters of the UPC. He
said that two of the four, elderly Lendu men, were killed and that the other
two, who were not Lendu, also were taken away on the tenth day, just before his
release.[73] 
Another witness related having been arbitrarily imprisoned at a military camp.
He said he saw combatants select out and kill prisoners on an ethnic basis.[74]

Click to expand Image

A Lendu man held in detention by the UPC, July 2003.  The UPC frequently
carried out campaigns searching for Lendu after taking control of an area. 
Known locally as “the man-hunt”, individuals detained during such campaigns are
often subjected to tortured and then executed.  © 2003 Marcus Bleasdale

One of the best known cases of arrest and execution involved
Abbé Boniface Bwanalonga, the elderly Ngiti priest of Mongbwalu parish, who was
arrested with three nuns and two other men on November 25, 2002.Targeted
because of his ethnicity, Abbé Bwanalonga was the first priest killed as part
of the Ituri conflict.[75] 

In December, church officials confronted UPC President
Lubanga about the responsibility of UPC combatants for the killing of Abbé
Bwanalonga. According to them, Lubanga expressed his regret for the death and
supposedly promised an investigation, which was never carried out.[76]   Some Hema
community leaders in Dego village, not far from Mongbwalu, reportedly sought to
identify the perpetrators in order to avert possible repercussions on their
community, but the results, if any of this effort, are not known.

Click to expand Image

Abbé Boniface Bwanalonga, the Ngiti (Lendu) priest arrested, tortured
and killed by UPC militias during their attack on Mongbwalu in November 2003. 
Abbé Bwanalonga was about 70 years old at the time of death and had been unable
to flee to safety.  He was killed for belonging to the Ngiti (Lendu) ethnic
group. © Private.

 

Mining the Gold: Instances of
Forced Labour

According to one witness, the UPC promised gold to men who
joined their forces in the attack on Mongbwalu.[77] Ordinary combatants may
not have been the only ones who expected to share in the wealth. One journal
that specializes in mining affairs reported that Rwandans had struck a deal
with the UPC and that Lubanga promised to ship gold from the area under its
control out through Kigali rather than through Kampala.[78]  In January 2003 Mr.
Kiza, general director of OKIMO, and Mr. Dzaringa, its finance director, hosted
potential investors who had come from Rwanda to discuss industrial mining at
Mongbwalu.  The Rwandan visitors toured the gold mines, the factory and the
laboratory before meeting the two OKIMO officials together with UPC military
and political leaders.[79] 
OKIMO employees had been asked to prepare estimates on costs of resuming
operations and they showed this data and geological maps to the investors.
According to one, the rest of the negotiations were handled by the UPC. [80]

While waiting for the capital needed to begin industrial
operations, the UPC encouraged workers, who had fled, to return and begin
artisanal mining.[81] 
UPC commanders sought to identify and recruit OKIMO employees to help with the
work.[82]
According to miners and local authorities, some miners resumed working in the
three main mines in Mongbwalu and at open pit areas known locally as Bienvenue
and Monde Rouge; they had to pay a portion of their ore each day to UPC
combatants who guarded the mines.[83] 

But the UPC apparently found the number of such miners
insufficient and they began forcing others to work one of three shifts a day,
morning, afternoon, or night, in the mines. A miner said,  

The workers were not paid.  It was hard labor.  They had
to dig under big stones without machines.  They had only hand tools like
pick-axes.  They were given bananas and beans to eat and they were beaten. 
Some tried to run away by pretending to go to the toilet.  The Hema militia
guarded them.  As the Lendu had fled, all the other groups were made to dig.

[84]

 

Another person forced to work five times recounted his first
experience:

I had been there for less than a week
when three soldiers came to find me at my house.  They took me to a part of
town called Cite Shuni.  There I was given a basket of rocks to pound down into
dust so they could get the gold.  I had never done this before and I was forced
to do it all day long.  There were about 20 of us in that place forced to do
the same work.  I got so many blisters on my hands that I couldn’t go on.  The
work was very hard.  It seemed each soldier had his own workers producing for
him.  I did everything I could to escape from there.

[85]

 

UPC combatants themselves also mined gold, sometimes with
assistance from local miners whom they had required to work with them and who
were sometimes paid a small percentage of the findings.[86]  One former OKIMO
employee forced to help the UPC set up a mining brigade said the group included
fifty to one hundred combatants with a small number of skilled miners. This
brigade mined in surrounding areas of Mongbwalu including Mbijo, Baru, Yedi and
Iseyi under UPC military command.[87]

Increased Commerce

According to witnesses, the number of flights in and out of
Mongbwalu increased sharply as gold production began under UPC control.
According to witnesses, gold went out and arms came in.  One witness said:

When the UPC were in Mongbwalu they sent their gold to Bunia and from there it was sent to Rwanda. In exchange they got weapons. A number of soldiers told me this. When they were here there were at least two flights per day. The gold was used to buy weapons and uniforms. [88]

Another witness said he was forced to dig a hole for storage
of weapons at the UPC headquarters in Mongbwalu.  He said,

They put weapons into this hole.  The weapons were still
new.  Some of the guns had wheels that needed to be pushed.  They said they
didn’t know how to use these but that the Rwandans did know and they would come
to show them how.  My soldier friends told me that the weapons had been bought
with gold.  The hole was well guarded by them.

[89]

As previously mentioned, a confidential supplement by the
U.N. panel of experts stated that weapons were delivered from Rwanda to Mongbwalu between November 2002 and January 2003.[90] Information from community leaders and
other military sources also confirms the delivery of arms although it does not
establish that gold was traded for them.[91]

Justice for UPC crimes

Human Rights Watch reported on the November
2002 massacre at Mongbwalu in July 2003 and a year later a report to the U.N.
Security Council also detailed the massacre of civilians around Mongbwalu. To
date the perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice either
by the UPC or by the DRC transitional government.

The UPC splintered into two factions in early December
2003.  The branch led by Commander Kisembo changed from a largely military
movement to a political party and received recognition as a national political
party in mid-2004.  Commander Kisembo was arrested by MONUC troops on June 25, 2004 for continued military recruitment but was later released without charge.
Since October 2003 Thomas Lubanga, leader of the other UPC faction, has been
restricted by the transitional government to Kinshasa where he lives at the
Grand Hotel.   He was arrested in Kinshasa in March 2005 but has not yet been
charged with any crimes. Commander Bosco remains the chief military officer in
charge of the UPC Lubanga faction based in Ituri.  MONUC claims he is
responsible for the attack on a MONUC convoy resulting in the death of a Kenyan
peacekeeper in January 2004 and for taking a Moroccan peacekeeper hostage in
September 2004.[92]  

Commanders Salumu and Sey, still part of Commander Jérôme’s
forces, were selected for training at the Superior Military College in Kinshasa in preparation for joining the newly integrated Congolese army as senior
officers.  Human Rights Watch is not aware of any vetting carried out by DRC
military officials or international donors who support army integration to
determine their unsuitability for senior posts because of their involvement in
human rights abuses.[93]

In March 2003, the UPC lost control of the Mongbwalu area
and the profits from its gold mines when they were attacked and pushed back by
a new alliance of forces led by their former ally turned enemy: the Ugandan
army.

Massacres and other Abuses by the
FNI, FAPC and the Ugandan Army

After having dropped the Hema, Ugandan soldiers built a new
alliance with the Lendu, who had created the FNI party under Floribert Njabu in
November 2002. At the end of February 2003, Commander Jérôme also ended his
link with the UPC and created his militia, known as the FAPC, based in the
important border town of Aru, northeast of Mongbwalu. According to a special
report to the U.N. Security Council on Ituri, the FAPC was created with direct
Ugandan support.[94]

With international pressure growing to withdraw their troops
from Ituri, Ugandan soldiers sought to secure maximum territory for their local
allies. On March 6, 2003 reportedly in response to an attack by the UPC, the
Ugandan army drove the UPC out of Bunia with the assistance of Lendu militias.
One former Lendu leader who participated in the operation said that he and his
men had done so at the request of Ugandan army Brigadier Kale Kayihura.[95]   Ugandan
soldiers and FNI combatants chased fleeing UPC troops northwards towards
Mongbwalu.

Massacre at Kilo, March 2003

On March 10, 2003 the Ugandan and Lendu forces attacked
Kilo, a town just south of Mongbwalu, with the Lendu arriving several hours
before the Ugandans.[96] 
The Lendu combatants met little resistance from the UPC and began killing
civilians who they presumed to be of Nyali ethnicity, accusing them of having
helped the Hema. According to local sources, they killed at least one hundred,
many of them women and children. They looted local residences and shops and
required civilians to transport the booty for them.[97] Residents walking on the
road near the town of Kilo nearly a month later still reported the smell of
corpses rotting in the forest.[98] 

A local woman witnessed her house being burned and then saw
the Lendu combatants kill a man, five women, and a child with machetes. She was
then forced to help transport loot for the Lendu combatants. She recounted
that, en route, the Lendu selected four children between ten and fifteen years
old, Rosine, Diere, Kumu and Flory, from the group and killed them and then killed
five more adults. When some of the women faltered under the heavy loads they
were forced to carry, the Lendu killed them and cut off their breasts and then
cut their genitals. The witness said,

At Kilo Mission on top of the hill there were many Lendu
combatants.   They had a few guns but mostly machetes, bows and arrows.  They
were very dirty and had mud on their faces so we wouldn’t recognize them.  On
the hill we saw many bodies of people who had been killed.  They were all lying
face down on the ground.  They were naked.  The Lendu were getting ready to
burn the bodies.  There were many of them, too many to count.

[99]

According to witnesses, Commander Kaboss commanded the
attack. He reported to Commander Matesso Ninga, known as Kung Fu, who was in charge
of operations for the FNI, though he was not seen at Kilo during the massacre. 
At the time, the FNI Military Chief of Staff was Maitre Kiza.[100]

Ugandan troops under Commander Obote
arrived a few hours after the Lendu and tried to stop their killing. The
witness said,

When the Ugandan soldiers arrived they started to hit the Lendu and shot at them. They said to them, “Why have you killed people, we said you could loot but not to kill people. You will tarnish our reputation.” They tried to return some of the loot but the Lendu were starting to run away. The Ugandans said they regretted the way the Congolese behaved and they regretted very much that the chief’s house had been burned and ruined. [101]

Although the Ugandans stopped the killings in the town, the
FNI combatants continued to kill people in the surrounding villages such as
Kabakaba, Buwenge, Alimasi and Bovi. “If the Ugandans heard about the
killings,” said one witness, “they would go to try and stop it, but it was
often too late.[102]
Local authorities also reported the rape of some twenty-seven women and the
burning of villages, including Emanematu and Livogo which were completely
destroyed.[103] 

Although the Ugandan soldiers tried to limit FNI abuses
after the Kilo attack, they neither disarmed the combatants nor ended their
military alliance with them.  Instead they continued their joint military
operation towards Mongbwalu arriving there on March 13, 2003 and set up the military headquarters for the 83rd Battalion.[104]  The next day a
community leader sought security assurances from Ugandan Commander Okelo, who
was in charge of the military camp. According to him, Commander Okelo confirmed
that “he controlled the Lendu combatants and he had given them one week to put
down their traditional weapons.”[105] 
Witnessed observed Ugandan army troops carrying out joint patrols with Lendu
combatants and reported that “it was clear the Ugandan army was in command.”[106] 

When the Ugandan soldiers left Ituri two months later, they
were still working closely with the FNI. According to an Ugandan army document
dated May 1, 2003, Ugandan Major Ezra handed over control of Mongbwalu to FNI
Commanders Mutakama and Butsoro as Ugandan army troops left the area.  All
parties signed the document, witnessed by MONUC observer Oran Safwat.[107] 
Although Commander Jérôme and most of his troops had withdrawn to Aru, a
contingent under Commander Sey remained at Mongbwalu.

Witnesses also said that Ugandan army commanders left behind
some of their ammunition and weapons for the FNI.[108]  In addition, a
shipment of Ugandan arms bound for Mongbwalu was seized by MONUC in Beni several months after the Ugandans withdrew. Those accompanying the arms reported that
the FNI were still getting aid from Uganda and that the weapons seized in Beni were meant for them. According to the MONUC report on the incident, one of those
accompanying the weapons, a deputy administrator from Mongbwalu, admitted he
was constantly in touch with the Ugandans.[109]

Accountability for the March 2003
Kilo Massacre

Many witnesses reported the abuses to local
authorities who in turn wrote a letter to the MONUC human rights section in
Bunia on September 26, 2003 listing 125 civilian deaths, cases of torture and
rape in the Kilo area from March to May 2003 carried out by FNI combatants
while Ugandan soldiers were still present in the area.[110] No response
was received and on November 20, 2003 a second letter was sent detailing a
further nineteen deaths, eight cases of torture and two cases of rape between
July to November 2003.[111] 

The Ugandan army had command control over
the FNI combatants during their joint military operation and should be held
responsible for the abuses committed by FNI combatants.  Although they may have
attempted to minimize crimes by organizing joint patrols and requesting that
combatants lay down their traditional weapons, they did not carry out any
further steps to ensure accountability for these crimes. In addition, they soon
armed the FNI with modern weapons. Human Rights Watch is not aware of any
investigation or arrest made by either the Ugandan army or the FNI authorities
into abuses committed by their troops.  To date no one has been held
responsible for the massacre of civilians and other serious human rights abuses
committed in Kilo.

The 48 Hour War, June 2003 and
subsequent massacres

After the Ugandan forces left in May 2003, the UPC retook
Mongbwalu on June 10, 2003. Despite having recently received additional weapons
from Rwanda, delivered at a newly constructed airstrip some 30 kilometers from
Mongbwalu,[112]
the UPC was able to hold the town for only forty-eight hours before being
pushed back by the FNI combatants under the command of Mateso Ninga, known as
Kung Fu. The FNI counter attacked with heavy weapons that had reportedly been
left behind by the Ugandans.[113] 
For the Lendu, their victory in what became known as the “48 Hour War,” was a
source of great pride.  Based on local testimony, it appears that some 500
persons were killed during the Lendu counterattack, many of them civilians.[114]

FNI authorities asserted that the UPC attacked Mongbwalu in
order to regain control of the gold.[115] In addition, a large number of civilians
accompanied the combatants, apparently intent on looting and helping the
combatants loot the town.[116] 
According to witnesses and FNI authorities, they represented a large number of
those killed during the Lendu counterattack.[117]   One witness recounted being shocked at
the sight of so many bodies, civilians as well as combatants, in town on the
day of the Lendu victory.  He said,

[Commander] Kung Fu saw that many people died and he asked people to help with burying. But there were too many so they just decided to burn them instead. They burned for at least three days. There was a terrible smell in the air. [118]

FNI officials acknowledged to a Human
Rights Watch researcher that civilians had accompanied the UPC combatants.[119] 
During a commemorative re-enactment of the battle at 2004 May Day celebrations
in Mongbwalu stadium, witnessed by Human Rights Watch, women and young people
playing the role of Hema civilians were portrayed carrying goods before they
were killed by Lendu combatants under the command of Kung Fu.  The play went on
to show the community burning the bodies of those killed and declaring
Commander Kung Fu a hero.[120]
But when questioned on the issue, the self-styled president of the FNI,
Floribert Njabu, asserted that there had been no civilians with the attacking
combatants. He declared that the FNI had “professional commanders who know
about the international rules of war”[121] implying they would not have
killed civilians. 

There is no evidence to suggest that the FNI combatants
distinguished between military and civilian targets during the battle. 
According to local reports and witnesses the killing was indiscriminate and did
not distinguish women and children from combatants.  While it is not unusual
for women and children to take part in looting activities in such military
operations in Ituri, they should have been respected.

Shortly after retaking Mongbwalu from the
UPC, FNI combatants continued their attacks against Hema civilians.  Between
July and September 2003, FNI combatants attacked numerous Hema villages to the
east of Mongbwalu including Nizi, Drodro, Largo, Fataki and Bule.  In the town
of Fataki a witness arriving shortly after one such attack by FNI combatants
reported seeing the fresh corpses of victims dead in the streets with their
arms tied, sticks in their rectums, and body parts such as ears cut off.[122]  
In Drodro witnesses reported that FNI combatants attacked the hospital shooting
Hema patients in their beds.[123] 
Local sources claimed scores of civilians had been killed in these attacks and
thousands of others were forced to flee.  A stark warning was left behind by
the attackers etched on the wall of a building in Largo, “Don’t joke with the
Lendu.”[124]

Click to expand Image

A young Hema victim
in the hospital in Drodro.  Lendu combatants tried to kill her by chopping her
neck with machetes.  Many women and children, both Hema and Lendu, have been
targeted on the basis of their ethnicity. 

© 2003 Marcus
Bleasdale.

There was a substantial MONUC presence in
Ituri at the time as well as European Union peacekeeping troops as part of Operation
Artemis.[125] 
No U.N. officials reported on the killings in Mongbwalu in June 2003.  U.N. and
E.U. troops were made aware of the later killings in areas to the east of
Mongbwalu by international journalists who had visited the area and conducted
fly-over operations in attempts to deter further violence.  The Artemis mandate
granted by the U.N. security council did not allow for peacekeeping actions
outside of the town of Bunia.

A ‘Witch Hunt’ for Hema Women and
other Opponents

Shortly after the UPC attack in June 2003,
FNI combatants began accusing Hema women living in and around Mongbwalu of
spying for Hema armed groups. Hema women still living in the area were few in
number and most of them were married to Lendu spouses and had been able to live
safely within the Lendu community.  But after the “48 hour war” Lendu
combatants arrested, tortured and killed these women and some men, accusing
them of ‘dirtying and betraying’ their society.  Using charges of witchcraft,
Lendu combatants and spiritual leaders covered their crimes by claiming the
killings had been ordered by a spirit known as Godza.  More moderate FNI
officials found it difficult to counter these claims and did nothing to stop
them. A witness said,

After the June [2003] attack, the Lendu decided to kill
all the Hema women without exception.  There were women I knew who were burned. 
I had never seen that kind of thing before.  Previously Hema women who were
married to outsiders were not harmed.  Now they wanted to hunt these women. The
Lendu spirit, Godza, told them to kill all the Hema women during one of the
Lendu spiritual ceremonies.  One of the women they killed was Faustine Baza.  I
knew her well.  She was very responsible and lived in Pluto.  The FNI came to
get her and took her to their camp.  They killed her there.  They killed other
women as well.  I did not want to be a part of this so I left.  I couldn’t stay
while they were exterminating these Hema women.  They did it in Pluto and
Dego.  They came from Dego with thirty-seven Hema women to kill.  I don’t want
to return now – it’s too hard.

[126]

Another witness said,

In July women were killed at Pluto and Dego.  The
strategy was to close them in the house and burn it.  More than fifty were
killed.  Pluto was considered the place of execution for Hema people from Pluto
and other places too. They captured the women from the surrounding countryside.
They said it was to bring them to talk about peace.  They put ten women in a
house, tied their hands, closed the doors, and burned the house.  This lasted
about two weeks, with killing night and day.  After that, no more Hema women
were left in [our area] and the men were prevented from leaving with their
children. They called the women “Bachafu” – dirty.  Sometimes the men would be
taken to prison.  Suwa’s husband was asked to pay $300.  They told him they
killed his wife, and he had to pay thirty grams of gold ($300) to clean the
knife they had killed her with.

[127]

Many people were aware of the killings and bodies were often
seen in the towns.  A witness reported seeing six bodies of women at the Club,
a well-known building in Mongbwalu, in mid-2003.  He said many other passers-by
also saw the nude and brutalized bodies and that Lendu combatants were trying
to recruit people to help burn them.[128]  A community leader in an outlying
village expressed his frustration about the continuation of the practice,
saying he had been interrogated more than ten times by Lendu combatants as to
the whereabouts of Hema women. He said to a Human Rights Watch researcher, “I
want to know what Kinshasa is going to do to help us.  Are they going to let
the FNI stay here?  The population is really suffering.”[129]

The operation against Hema women extended to men and other
tribes as well and continued at least until April 2004, killing some seventy
persons in Pluto, Dego, Mongbwalu, Saio, Baru, Mbau and Kobu and possibly in
other locations in the Mongbwalu area.  By this point, the allegation of
witchcraft became a common accusation, often resulting in death after a
‘judging ceremony’ by local spiritual leaders.  Carried out in secret these
judging ceremonies used different methods to determine a person’s guilt or
innocence.  One civilian accused of being Hema described to a Human Rights
Watch researcher the ceremony he and others were forced to undergo after being
caught by Lendu combatants in 2003:

A local fetisher [spiritual leader] came to the place I
was being held.  He had two eggs with him.   I was tied up and very scared.  He
rolled the eggs on the ground at my feet.  I was told if the eggs rolled away
from me then I would be considered innocent.  But if the eggs rolled back
towards me than I was considered to be a Hema and I would be guilty.  I was
lucky, the eggs rolled away from me.  Another person, Jean, who I was with, was
not so lucky.  The eggs rolled the wrong way and he was told to run.  As he ran
the Lendu shot their arrows at him.  He fell. They cut him to pieces with their
machetes in front of my eyes.  Then they ate him.  I was horrified.

[130]

In the Mongbwalu area the killings continued throughout 2003
and into 2004. A witness described to a Human Rights Watch researcher the
ongoing killings: 

[After the June war] they said they did not want the Hema
to return.  Those who stayed were killed.  They killed them in Saio and Baru. 
They would just take them away.  A man called Mateso, Bandelai Gaston, a Nyali,
and his brother Augustin were killed because they were accused of being
witches.  There were also women who were killed.  Celine, an Alur, was killed
for witchcraft.  Gabriel, a Kakwa, and his wife were also killed.  They were
accused of protecting Hema people.

[131]

Some community leaders raised concerns about the ‘Godza
ceremonies’ with FNI leader Njabu, in July 2003. At the time he seems to have
done nothing to stop the killings, but according to local residents, the number
decreased after he moved to Mongbwalu in February 2004, whether simply as a
coincidence or as the result of his presence is unclear.[132]

While some FNI authorities may have been against such
killings, and perhaps took steps to minimize them, at the time of writing no
one has been held responsible for them.  Human Rights Watch is not aware of any
investigation carried out by FNI representatives into these killings.

Murder of two MONUC Observers

On May 12, 2003, shortly after Ugandan troops had left
Mongbwalu to the FNI and the FAPC, FNI combatants deliberately killed two
unarmed U.N. military observers, Major Safwat Oran of Jordan and Captain Siddon
Davis Banda of Malawi. Rumors of an impending Hema attack-which would actually
happen with the “48 hour war” a month later-caused panic among town residents,
about one hundred of whom sought refuge at the residence of the MONUC
observers. The observers, apparently concerned themselves, arranged to be
evacuated.  When the U.N. helicopter arrived at a nearby airstrip, FNI
combatants refused to allow the observers to pass. Led by FNI Commander Issa,
the combatants took them to FAPC Commander Sey at his headquarters at the
“apartments.” “The combatants were chanting that Sey should not let them
leave,” said one witness.[133] 

Shortly after, the combatants led the observers away again,
apparently because Sey declined to take them under his protection, and killed
them a short distance from the “apartments.” A witness who passed by later that
afternoon said,

I found the bodies on the road leading down from the
apartments.  They had both been shot.  One was shot in the head and the other
in the stomach.  I found the military of the FAPC around the bodies.

[134]

 

Local residents transported the bodies to the FAPC
headquarters and placed them in a nearby empty house. Sey and his combatants
fled from Mongbwalu that evening, apparently seeking to distance themselves
from the crime.[135] 
Local residents later buried the two bodies in a shallow grave in Mongbwalu.[136]

According to several Mongbwalu residents, FNI Commander Issa
was responsible for the killings.   Witnesses reported that FNI combatants took
possession of the observers’ U.N. cars and used them until they were recovered
by the U.N.[137]

During discussions with a Human Rights Watch researcher, the
FNI’s leader Njabu said, “We did not investigate the killings.  It is not our
affair.  Our military were at Saio at the time, seven kilometers away. 
Commander Jérôme’s combatants were at the apartments.  You should ask Commander
Sey what happened.”[138] 
But in a second interview days later he admitted that Commander Issa might also
have been present and he indicated that an investigation was ongoing.[139] 
More than one year later, FNI authorities had not yet announced any results of
an investigation.  According to one unconfirmed local report, FNI Commander
Kung Fu did carry out an investigation and, presumably as a result, Commander
Issa fled and was reportedly later killed.[140] 

Threat Against Human Rights
Defenders and Others Reporting Abuses

Some FNI combatants tried to keep local people from being in
touch with MONUC or other outside agencies, apparently for fear that they would
pass on information about FNI abuses.

Important FNI commanders threatened human rights activists
from the organization Justice Plus after they had traveled to Europe and spoken
about the situation in Ituri.[141]
Other FNI leaders reportedly planned to look into activities of the
organization and threatened that its staff would be considered enemies if they
were found to have had contacts with the Rwandans and the Hema.[142] 

FNI combatants acted more directly and immediately against
local residents known to have spoken with MONUC staff during their occasional
visits to Mongbwalu in late 2003.[143] 
One person so abused said,

I was taken by nine [Lendu] combatants
in uniform.  They came to my house and shouted, “Get up!  What did you say to
MONUC?”  They threatened me with their spears.  They took me to the apartments
and I was interrogated by [a Lendu commander]. He asked me what I had said to
MONUC.  That is all he wanted to know.  He threatened me.  They hit me on the
face.  I said I had told MONUC nothing.  They said they would put me in
prison.  They took $100 from me but a commander who knew me saved me and they
let me go

.

[144]

The same person was arrested a second time
and severely beaten with bats and ropes. He was kept for seven days and
regularly beaten.[145]

Witnesses reported that civilians were
threatened for having applauded visits of MONUC staff.[146]  After one
such mission in November 2003, some twelve civilians were beaten and arrested,
and at least one, a man named Choms, was summarily executed.  A witness told a
Human Rights Watch researcher that Mr. Choms had applauded the arrival of a
U.N. plane, saying he thought this meant peace was coming. Local police
reported this to the FNI and two combatants of the force arrested Mr. Choms and
another person and took them to the police station. A witness who went to the
police station the next day to check on Mr. Choms said,

The other prisoners told me he had been interrogated and
beaten and that this was followed by a shot. . . .  I forced my way into the
room and the body was still there.  He had no shirt on and there was a bullet
in his chest.  He had marks on his back from being whipped.  They then questioned
me and forced me to leave.  They wouldn’t give us the body for burial.

[147]

 

Arbitrary Arrests, Torture and Forced Labor

FNI combatants imposed a number of “taxes,”
collected in an arbitrary and irregular way, and organized forced community
labour known as “salongo”.  FNI representatives resorted to arbitrary arrests,
beatings, and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment to obtain the
maximum possible payment and service from civilians. According to local
residents, these practices worsened considerably after the departure of Ugandan
troops.[148]

Residents were required to pay a “war tax” that varied in
amount and in the frequency with which it was due.[149]  Traders at the market
were also subject to confusing and irregular “tax” demands. One businessman
said,

There are about five or six different taxes.  They range
from $2 to $20.  Everyone has to pay.  You pay when they come and sometimes
they come back again after just a few days.  It is very irregular.  If you
don’t pay you are beaten or taken to prison. . . .  Both military of the FNI
and civilians do this.

[150]

Human Rights Watch researchers documented similar abusive
cases throughout the Mongbwalu area, Kilo, Rethy and Kpandruma. “The people can
say or do nothing,” said one witness.  “We just do what the FNI say.”[151]   

A young trader arrested on February 5, 2004
by the FNI for non-payment of tax was beaten and taken to the Scirie-Abelcoz
military camp. He said,

There I spent two days in. . . a hole in the ground
covered by sticks.  They took me out of the hole to beat me.  They tied me over
a log and then they took turns hitting me with sticks – on my head, my back, my
legs.  They said they were going to kill me.. . .There was a woman with me in
the underground prison. They hit her also.  They tried to force me to have sex
with her but I couldn’t.  She was called Bagbedu.

After two days I was taken to Mongbwalu. They made me
carry the woman and forced me to sing songs as I was carrying her.  I was
escorted by three FNI combatants and one kadogo [child soldier].  On the road,
we met other soldiers who forced me to drop the woman and beat me more.  In
Mongbwalu the soldiers beat me again with sticks. They took me to a prison in a
house.  They also put the woman in the prison but she died four days later. I
spent five days there.  Every day they beat me.

[152]

After a week, his family paid $80 and Commander Maki of Camp Goli freed him.

FNI representatives showed a Human Rights
Watch researcher a long list of taxes asked of residents, including a “war tax”
that they claimed was voluntary.[153] 

The FNI used similar practices to enforce
the salongo policy of community labour to fix roads, collect firewood for the
military, clean up the military camp, or even burn bodies as described above.  
At times salongo was required for as much as two full days a week, although by
late 2004 it had been decreased to once a week for three hours. Participants
received a piece of paper showing they had done the required labour. Persons
who could not present such proof when asked by police or combatants were
subject to beatings, arrest, fines or even death.  According to one witness, a
young man named Lite who failed to present the required proof when asked was
smashed in the head with a gun by a FNI combatant and died from the blow. The
witness asked FNI authorities what justice there would be for the family of
Lite and, he said, “They responded that the family of Lite could kill the man
who had done this act, but the family would not.”[154]

Another man reported that he was rounded up
with a group of about one hundred men who had all refused to report for salongo
labour some fifteen miles from their homes, saying it was too far. They were
forced to walk all night and then were imprisoned and had to pay $5 for each
elderly person, $10 for each young person, and $20 for each businessman in
order to be freed.[155]

A local administrative official admitted that in order to
get laborers for salongo they needed to “intimidate people to come, otherwise
they would not.”[156] 
A person responsible for the salongo in Saio told a Human Rights Watch
researcher that the local chief would “deal with people who don’t work,” while
a police commander added that he “sanctioned those who refused to work.”[157]  He
would not elaborate on what kind of sanctions were involved.

Click to expand Image

Young gold trader arrested and tortured in Mongbwalu in February 2004 by
Lendu FNI combatants for being unable to pay a market tax.    © 2004 Human
Rights Watch

Control of the Gold Mines

Upon taking control of Mongbwalu on March 13, 2003, the FNI militia leaders, like the UPC previously, moved immediately to begin
profiting from gold mining. Artisanal miners resumed digging, but had to pay
FNI combatants fees to enter the mines, $1 per person at some mines. Based on
entrance records kept by FNI security guards at one mine and seen by Human
Rights Watch researchers, the FNI made $2,000 per month in entrance fees at
this one mine alone.[158]
Miners also had to deliver to FNI two to five grams of gold per week, often as
raw ore. From such ore FNI combatants were able to assess the density of the
gold and thus to locate the most valuable veins. They could then send in their
own men to mine those areas.[159]
As one miner said,

The money that circulates in Mongbwalu is gold.  Gold is
the economy.

The Lendu take the gold from the diggers.  They take the
best gold areas by force.  Lots of people don’t want to go and dig for gold as
they know it will be taken from them.

[160]

FNI combatants, some of them previously gold diggers, also
mined gold themselves or organized groups of people to dig for them. In Itendey,
a gold area just to the south of Mongbwalu, for example, FNI combatants forced
young men to mine gold in a nearby riverbed. A local community leader who had
fled from the area told a Human Rights Watch researcher,

The FNI combatants come every morning door-to-door. They split up to find young people and they take about sixty of them to the Agula River to find the gold. They [the young people] are guarded by the military and are not paid. They are forced to work. If the authorities try to intervene they are beaten. The chief has tried to stop this by reasoning with them, but they don’t like this. They even force the younger children to leave school to carry sand or transport goods. [161]

Miners worked in deplorable conditions, exposed to risk of
accidents both in the mines and when handling mercury to process the ore.

Click to expand Image

Entrance register kept by FNI security guards at Adidi gold mine
(“Management of Adidi mine for the financial management and daily report,
Ndjabu-Simo, FNI-FR”).  Each gold miner paid US$1 to enter the mine and was
forced to give a portion of the mined gold to the guards when exiting. © 2004
Human Rights Watch

Box 2
Conditions at the Mines

In May
2004 a Human Rights Watch researcher visited mines in Mongbwalu and Durba where
many miners and engineering experts spoke of the deteriorating safety
conditions at the mines.  One former OKIMO engineer told Human Rights Watch
about the lack of air in parts of the underground mine where equipment that
used to ensure oxygen flows was no longer working.  Miners recounted that some
of their colleagues had died of suffocation in parts of the mine, especially
when fires were lit in attempts to soften hard rock areas, a technique
witnessed by Human Rights Watch researchers.[162]  Miners also spoke of frequent rocks
falls, flooding and other accidents.  No safety equipment of any kind was
visible. 

Miners
worked individually or in small groups with rudimentary tools such as hammers
and chisels. They were generally in bare feet and carried candles or small
flashlights to light their way.  In some underground mines, workers walked for
kilometers through chest-high water and narrow passages to get to galleries
where they could work.  Women also worked in the mines often being used as
porters. 

Mining in
open-pit mines, some as deep as 300 meters, is also precarious.  Miners spoke
of frequent mud-slides and falls.  Expert gold engineers lamented the anarchic
mining that was taking place with no regard for the safety of the miners
themselves or for the longer term damage being caused to the mining facilities.[163]

One miner
said, “There are some areas which were boarded up by the Belgians many years
ago.  But we just break down the boards and go in anyway.  We use a hammer and
a large iron bolt or chisel to dig for the gold. The work is very hard and I
could only work about six hours per day.”[164]

Miners,
if they are lucky, get about $10 per day.  One miner said, “I can make
between $5 and $20 per day if I am lucky and find a good gold vein.  Otherwise
I could work for 2 weeks just looking for gold and make nothing.[165]

When
asked why they worked in such dangerous conditions, one miner responded, “Tell
me what choice I have?  This is the only way I can make any money.  Its about
my own survival and that of my family.”[166]
  

The
entire mining and refining process is done by hand.  After the ore is mined, it
is pounded down into sand with the use of an iron bar.  The sand is then mixed
with water and mercury, which attracts the gold particles and separates it from
the rock dust. The mixture of gold and mercury is then heated so the mercury
evaporates and the gold remains.  Mercury, a dangerous substance, is readily
available in the market areas.  Human Rights Watch witnessed numerous miners
using mercury with no gloves or masks, taking no safety precautions when
handling the substance.

In addition to profiting directly from mining, FNI leaders
sought to control the trade in gold. According to gold traders, FNI control of
the trade was still haphazard and sometimes involved direct use of force. In
May 2004, the FNI Commissioner of Mines explained to a Human Rights Watch
researcher that the FNI were well aware of the significance of the gold market
in Mongbwalu and that “they were looking for additional ways to control the
trade.”[167] 
There are no reliable statistics on the amount of the gold trade from Mongbwalu
nor of the proceeds reaped by the FNI from it.  Local traders and other
informed sources estimated that between 20 and 60 kilograms of gold left the
Mongbwalu area each month, a value of between $240,000 to $720,000 per month at
the time of writing. The majority of the gold is traded from Mongbwalu to
Butembo in North Kivu where Dr Kisoni Kambale is one of the main gold exporters
(see below).

As one gold miner explained, “The profits enter into the
pockets of the FNI,”[168]
both in the sense of personal profit and in the sense of profit to the FNI.   A
former senior FNI commander told a Human Rights Watch researcher that some of
the gold proceeds were used to buy weapons and ammunition to supplement weapons
recuperated from the battlefield.[169]  
The leader of the FNI, Njabu, himself admitted to Human Rights Watch
researchers that his combatants mined gold and that he traded gold for weapons.
He calculated the proceeds he would make from the sale of five kilograms of
gold to be about $50,000, adding “This is not looting as I am Congolese.”[170]  A
MONUC investigation into weapons seized in Beni in July 2003 confirmed that the
FNI used taxes from the gold mines to buy weapons.[171]  Njabu admitted to a
Human Rights Watch researcher that he had purchased these weapons, adding, “I
want them back or I will fight to get them.”[172]

Click to expand Image

Artisanal miners transporting tubs of raw ore mixed with dirt out of an
open-pit gold mine in Durba.  Mining in open-pit mines, some as deep as 300
meters, can be precarious with frequent mud-slides and falls.  © 2004 Marcus
Bleasdale   

The FNI armed group was also approached by multinational
companies eager to gain access to the significant gold reserves in the area. 
The FNI Commissioner of Mines explained to Human Rights Watch that they had
been approached by a number of different companies but that officially
AngloGold Ashanti had the concession in the Mongbwalu area and that they were
in contact with them (see below for further information).[173]  The arrival of
multinational companies into a volatile area where conflict and competition for
the control of natural resources are closely interlinked creates further
complexities and has the potential to create more violence.  While AngloGold Ashanti is the only mining company working in the Mongbwalu area, other companies have signed
contracts for work in gold mining areas further north in the town of Durba.

VI. AngloGold Ashanti –
Starting Gold Exploration Activities

The installation of the transitional
government in Kinshasa in June 2003 sparked vigorous competition for mining
rights in the DRC.  Numerous mining companies sought to win rights to develop
parts of OKIMO’s vast gold concession in northeastern Congo. While the transitional government had only minimal administrative control over some of the
areas in the OKIMO concession, and no control over others, this did not stop
OKIMO from signing new contracts, nor did it stop private foreign companies
from starting mining and exploration operations.  As of September 2004, eleven
mining companies had signed contracts with OKIMO to explore or mine the gold in
northeastern Congo, the majority of them from South Africa.[174] 

Click to expand Image

The dilapidated offices of the state gold company Kilo-Moto (OKIMO) in
Bunia.  OKIMO has exclusive mining rights to a zone of 83,000 square
kilometers, an area three times the size of Belgium.  The area is considered to
be one of largest unexplored goldfields in Africa.

© 2004 Human Rights Watch

Box 3 –
OKIMO’s Gold Reserves

The
Office of Kilo-Moto (OKIMO) is a parastatal gold company with a management
committee appointed by the DRC Minister of Mines.  It has exclusive mining
rights to a zone of 83,000 square kilometers in Haut Uélé and Ituri districts
of northeastern Congo; an area three times the size of Belgium. 

OKIMO
divided the most promising part of the gold reserve into three concessions in
the 1980s and sought private companies to help develop the area through
exploration for new gold deposits and the mining of existing gold mines.  
Companies brought in investment funds, paid rental for part or all of the
concession for a specific duration of time, and shared future profits in a
joint venture arrangement with the state. Concessions were broken down as
follows:

Concession
38
– 4,560 square kilometers in the northern part of the OKIMO reserve
around the towns of Durba and Watsa.  This concession is home to the former
industrial mine of Gorumbwa (flooded after its destruction in 2000), the highly
lucrative mine of Agbarabo with one of the highest gold ore densities in the
world, and the mine of Durba amongst others.  The Belgian built gold processing
factory and laboratory still function though at significantly reduced capacity.

Concession
39
–  4,880 square kilometers in the eastern part of the reserve around
Djalasiga and Zani.  This area held a productive mine that was reportedly
closed after the killing of a number of Belgian expatriates during the
rebellion of the early 1960s.  Local sources report that gold mining has
recently restarted in the riverbeds by a Ugandan based company.

Concession
40
– 8,191 square kilometers in the southern part of the reserve around
Mongbwalu.  This has been a highly contested concession and is assumed to hold
significant gold reserves.  It is home to the industrial mine of Adidi (now
defunct), and the former Belgian mines of Makala and Sincere.  There was a
Belgian-built processing factory and a laboratory both of which were destroyed
during the fighting in Mongbwalu between November 2002 and July 2003. This
concession was granted by the DRC government to AngloGold Ashanti (formerly Ashanti Goldfields) in 1998.

The
five-year war in DRC fractured OKIMO with armed groups attempting to control
each sector independently.  In 2003 three separate individuals appointed by
different armed groups claimed to hold the position of General Director at
OKIMO.

See Map:
Trade and Control of Gold in Northeastern DRC.

Competition for the Mining Rights to the Mongbwalu
Mines

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. is one of the largest gold production
companies in the world with the majority of its shares owned by the
international conglomerate, Anglo American plc.[175]  AngloGold Ashanti was established in October 2003 by a merger of two large African gold mining
companies: Ashanti Goldfields Ltd. and AngloGold Ltd.  The promising gold
mining concession in northeastern Congo had become part of the Ashanti
Goldfields portfolio in 1996 when the company bought a stake in a joint venture
operation between Mining Development International and OKIMO called Kilo-Moto
International Mining s.a.r.l. (KIMIN).[176]  This purchase gave Ashanti Goldfields
part of the rights to the highly lucrative Concession 40 which included 2,000
square kilometers around Mongbwalu.  

The competition for the control of mining concessions
throughout the DRC was intense during the first and second Congo wars in 1996 and in 1998.[177] 
President Laurent Kabila frequently renegotiated mining agreements as his
interests changed, causing considerable confusion for companies.  Ashanti
Goldfields temporarily lost the rights to Concession 40 in 1997 to Russell
Resources International Ltd. in what the company called “unusual circumstances”[178], but
its rights were reinstated the following year.[179]  On June 23, 2000 the
partnership between OKIMO and Ashanti Goldfields was officially established as
a new joint venture called Ashanti Goldfields Kilo s.a.r.l.(AGK) replacing the
defunct KIMIN.[180] 
Just over a year later, on September 25, 2001, the government of President
Laurent Kabila approved an amendment to the AGK joint venture contract granting
it mining rights to all of Concession 40, an area of over 8,000 square
kilometres in the heart of Ituri with Mongbwalu at its center, a significant
increase on the 2,000 square kilometers the company bought a few years earlier.[181] 
When Ashanti Goldfields merged with Anglo Gold in October 2003, Concession 40
became part of the portfolio of AngloGold Ashanti.

AngloGold

Ashanti

Seeks to Start Exploration Activities in
Mongbwalu, 2003

When the transitional government was
installed in June 2003, it supposedly assumed control over all of the Congo, but in many regions this control was ineffective on the ground. Ituri was one of
those regions. Neither the Ituri Interim Assembly (April 2003-June 2004) nor an
agreement with local armed groups (May 2003), as described above, succeeded in
bringing the area under effective administration by the transitional government.
Njabu, head of the FNI, and Lubanga, head of the UPC, were called to Kinshasa to discuss establishing order in Ituri in August 2003 along with other armed group
leaders.  All parties signed a memorandum of understanding to end hostilities,
but like previous agreements it was not upheld.  Transitional government
officials in effect detained Njabu and Lubanga in the capital, where they
lodged at the Grand Hotel.[182]
But their required residence in Kinshasa did not materially change the
situation on the ground, perhaps because they were in frequent telephone
contact with their followers in Ituri.[183]  Throughout the later part
of 2003 and into 2004, the armed groups continued skirmishes with each other
and with MONUC, carrying out abuses against civilians throughout Ituri. U.N.
peacekeeping forces made little progress in most of the region, although they
restored order in the capital, Bunia.

Click to expand Image

Civilians in Ituri fleeing from armed attacks.  Displacement has been
frequent in Ituri, especially in the gold mining regions.   Tens of thousands
of civilians fled their homes into the forests in the Mongbwalu area to escape
their attackers between 2002 and 2004.  Many of them did not survive.   © 2003
Marcus Bleasdale

On March 7, 2003, before the start of the
new transitional government in DRC, a representative of AngloGold Ashanti, Trevor Schultz, participated in a board meeting with their joint venture partner
OKIMO.[184] 
At the meeting, the participants reportedly discussed launching activities for
gold exploration drilling in Mongbwalu.[185]  At the time, the FNI
together with the Ugandan army were involved in military operations in areas
just outside Mongbwalu.  They attacked and took Kilo on March 10, 2003
massacring at least one hundred women and children and abducting many others
before moving on to Mongbwalu on March 13, 2003.  Between March and June 2003
as the Ugandan soldiers departed, the FNI combatants established their
effective control over the Mongbwalu area by military means, as detailed
above.  In the months following their initial board meeting when AngloGold
Ashanti may have been considering beginning activities in Mongbwalu, the FNI
exercised de facto control over the land, including Concession 40, and people
in that area. It held the airport and controlled access by roads so that
travellers needed FNI authorization to enter and to leave the area. FNI
combatants also controlled entry to and exit from the mines and set up a system
to collect taxes for any entry to Mongbwalu or the mines.

Both during military operations and after
having taken effective control of the area, FNI combatants committed grave
human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. By July
2003 the human rights violations in Ituri had been documented in reports by Human
Rights Watch, by other organizations, and in the press[186] and the
prosecutor of the International Criminal Court had announced that crimes
committed during combat in Ituri would be among his first targets of
investigation.[187]
In October 2002, June 2003, and October 2003, the U.N. panel of experts
detailed links between the exploitation of natural resources and continued war,
with its related abuses, including in Ituri.  In an annex to their October 2002
report the U.N. panel of experts detailed concerns about compliance with the
OECD Multinational Guidelines by eighty-five multinational companies operating
in the DRC including Ashanti Goldfields (the predecessor to AngloGold Ashanti).[188] 
Ashanti Goldfields denied the allegations in a one-page response to the panel
in early 2003.[189]
No further investigations were conducted and in their final report the panel
determined that all issues with Ashanti Goldfields and forty-one other
companies had been resolved.[190]
The panel however added an important caveat in their final report stressing
that “resolution should not be seen as invalidating the panel’s earlier
findings with regard to the activities of these [companies]”[191], and thus
left open the question about whether companies such as Ashanti Goldfields may
have violated the OECD guidelines in their activities (see Chapter VII below
for further discussion of the OECD guidelines and the DRC).[192]  The
panel’s attention to the matter and Ashanti Goldfields’ official response
illustrated that Ashanti’s representatives were aware of concerns expressed by
the U.N. and other organizations about the link between the conflict and the
exploitation of resources such as gold.

In October 2003, AngloGold Ashanti representatives discussed
the company’s intentions to start gold exploration drilling in Mongbwalu with
two Congolese vice-presidents and two ministers.[193]  In its December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch, the company wrote that “These [government]
officials were supportive of AGK’s intentions.”[194]

According to one employee of AngloGold Ashanti, it was Jean-Pierre Bemba, a vice-president of the transitional government for economy and
finance who suggested the company deal with FNI.  The company employee said
that Bemba told them, “Go and talk to the little guy in the Grand Hotel.”[195]
Njabu, small in size, was then still residing at the Grand Hotel in Kinshasa. When asked about this exchange by a Human Rights Watch researcher, Bemba replied,
“I told them they [AngloGold Ashanti] could start mining if they wanted to. It
wasn’t I who signed their contract, it was the previous government. Why would I
tell them to deal with the FNI? They aren’t even in the government.”[196]  The
discussions took place just weeks after FNI combatants carried out a killing
spree in September 2004 to areas east of Mongbwalu in Concession 40 brutally
killing scores of civilians.  In a follow-up letter to Human Rights Watch on
December 13, 2004, AngloGold Ashanti wrote that Vice President Bemba assured
the company that Ituri was safe and stated Mr. Bemba “urged the company to
continue with its exploration program in the region.”[197]

AngloGold

Ashanti

develops a relationship with the FNI armed
group

          

There are serious questions about the
relationshipthat AngloGold Ashanti established with the FNI in order to
facilitate their gold exploration activities in Mongbwalu.  AngloGold Ashanti’s official dealings and its mining contract were with the transitional government in Kinshasa, but the government did not physically control the area around Mongbwalu, the key
mining site.  While government ministers may have expressed support for
AngloGold Ashanti’s gold exploration program, as described in the company’s
December 7, and December 13, 2004 letters to Human Rights Watch, such verbal
support did little to change the realities on the ground.  Mongbwalu was under
the de facto control of the FNI armed group who had no legal authority over the
OKIMO concession and was not a legitimate administrative agent of the
transitional government; it had rejected disarmament of its combatants and
participation in the peace process and it exercised its control through the
open use of force.  In light of the fact that the transitional government
exercised no control over Mongbwalu, AngloGold Ashanti representatives began
establishing a relationship with the FNI, an armed group with an atrocious
record of human rights crimes who continued to carry out serious and widespread
abuses even as they entered discussions with AngloGold Ashanti representatives.[198] 

By entering into a relationship with the
FNI who had effective control over the Mongbwalu gold mining area, AngloGold Ashanti delivered material benefits and prestige to the FNI, as discussed below.  These
resources could in turn be used to further FNI control over the area and help
in resisting efforts by the transitional government, the United Nations and
other actors to end violence and human rights abuses in Ituri. 

The start of a relationship with the FNI was not the first
time AngloGold Ashanti had made contact with an armed group responsible for
human rights abuses.  In May 2002, when the war was still being fought in
northeastern Congo and more than a year before a national transitional
government was installed, Ashanti Goldfields (the predecessor to AngloGold Ashanti) had sent a representative to assess the situation in Mongbwalu.[199] During the following
six months, a company representative made contact with the UPC armed group that
then controlled Mongbwalu to discuss starting gold exploration activities.[200]  The
UPC had won control of Mongbwalu and surrounding areas after a battle with
Lendu combatants that killed some 800 civilians, many of them slaughtered on
the basis of their ethnicity.   In late September 2002, UPC leader Lubanga
asked the OKIMO director in Bunia, a supporter of the UPC, to draw up
conditions for mining once the UPC took Mongbwalu, as described above. The
OKIMO official replied that the UPC needed to provide clear directives to, and
complete support for, OKIMO in its negotiations with Ashanti Goldfields. He
deplored the joint venture contract provisions and castigated the company for
being an “arrogant purchaser.”[201]

 

After the FNI pushed the UPC out of Mongbwalu in the first
half of 2003, AngloGold Ashanti was also prepared to hold discussions with
them.  Following discussions with transitional government officials, AngloGold Ashanti representatives met with self-styled FNI president Njabu while he was in Kinshasa in late2003 to apparently ask for permission to start gold exploration drilling
activities in Mongbwalu, necessary because the FNI were in physical control of
the mines and surrounding territory.  In an interview with a Human Rights Watch
researcher Njabu said,

The government is never going to come to Mongbwalu.  I am
the one who gave Ashanti

[202]

permission to come to Mongbwalu.  I am the boss of Mongbwalu.  If I want to
chase them away I will.  It is not Bemba who controls there.  The contract for Ashanti is with the government but we [the FNI] control Mongbwalu so they need to come to
see me if they want to work there.

[203]

As a result of the meetings with AngloGold Ashanti officials, Njabu confirmed in writing the company could start work in Mongbwalu and informed
other FNI leaders including the FNI commissioner of mines, Mr. Basiani, and the
FNI commissioner of defense, Commander Iribi Pitchou Mbodina, of his decision,
instructing them to co-operate with the company.[204]    As AngloGold Ashanti
received permission from the FNI to start operations in Mongbwalu, FNI
combatants were returning from their murderous campaign of ethnic killings they
carried out between July and September 2003 in Drodro, Nizi, Fataki, Bule and
Largo, villages in the vicinity of Mongbwalu, where they had left some of their
victims dead in the streets with their arms tied, sticks in their rectums, and
body parts cut off, as described above.

In setting up a relationship with the FNI resulting in
mutual benefits, AngloGold Ashanti may have violated a U.N. arms embargo on
eastern DRC.  The U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1493 in July 2003 demanding
that “no direct or indirect assistance, especially military or financial
assistance, [be] given to the movements and armed groups present in the DRC.”[205]  It
specifically set up an arms embargo on “all foreign and Congolese armed groups
and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and of Ituri,
and to groups not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement.”[206]  The
U.N. group of experts investigating breaches to the arms embargo stated in a
report to the U.N. security council in January 2005 that AngloGold Ashanti
could arguably have violated the arms embargo through their direct payment and
assistance to the FNI, an embargoed party.[207]  The group of experts requested further
clarification on the matter from the U.N. security council sanctions
committee.  In an April 27, 2005 e-mail communication to Human Rights Watch,
AngloGold Ashanti wrote, “There has been no intention on the part of AngloGold Ashanti to violate the embargo either acting by itself or in concert with anyparty.”[208]   While
the company may not have had an ‘intention’ to break the embargo, Human Rights
Watch believes that the decision by AngloGold Ashanti to work in a context of
violence and conflict, such as that of Mongbwalu, increased its risks and
placed the company on the thin edge of ethical and responsible business. 

Click to expand Image

           Floribert Njabu (left), President of the FNI.  © 2004 Human
Rights Watch

AngloGold

Ashanti benefits from its
relationship with the FNI armed group

Having received permission from the FNI to start gold
exploration activities, AngloGold Ashanti representatives started to conduct
visits to Bunia and Mongbwalu from the company’s office in Uganda, a much closer logistical support base than the company’s office in Kinshasa. AngloGold Ashanti’s consultant, Jean Claude Kanku, went to Bunia where he was seen several times in the
company of FNI representatives, including the FNI commissioner of defense,
Commander Iribi Pitchou, who acted as leader of the FNI while Njabu was held in
Kinshasa.[209] 
In an interview with a Human Rights Watch researcher, Commander Pitchou
confirmed that he had regular contact with AngloGold Ashanti representatives in
Bunia and Uganda.[210]
A primary concern for starting gold exploration drilling was security and the
company representatives including Ashley Lassen, (Consultant and AngloGold
Ashanti’s head of office in Uganda), Desire Sangara (AngloGold Ashanti’s head
of office in DRC), Howard Fall (geologist and project manager for Mongbwalu
operations), Jean Claude Kanku (consultant), accompanied by an OKIMO
representative, consulted Emmanuel Leku, the administrator of the Ituri Interim
Assembly, on this question in October 2003. Leku told them that it was too
dangerous to visit Mongbwalu and that his administration did not control the
area.[211] 
The representatives also discussed plans to start activities in Mongbwalu with
the head of the MONUC office in Bunia, Dominique Ait-Ouyahia McAdams. She and
her staff told them that the time was not right for the start of operations in
Mongbwalu.[212] 
Engaged in trying to reduce the power of local armed groups, MONUC staff were
unlikely to support any arrangements which would strengthen or grant prestige
to the FNI.   Due to security concerns, insufficient capacity, and logistical
complications, MONUC peacekeeping had not then deployed to Mongbwalu.

Despite the caution from the administrator and MONUC
officials, AngloGold Ashanti representatives went to Mongbwalu in November
2003, accompanied by FNI commissioner Commander Pitchou, still acting in place
of FNI leader Njabu.  The AngloGold Ashanti visit took place the same month as
FNI leaders and combatants carried out a series of arbitrary arrests and
summary executions against civilians in Mongbwalu, including the killing of Mr.
Choms who had applauded the arrival of a U.N. plane which he hoped would bring
peace to the area.  In an interview with a Human Rights Watch researcher,
Commander Pitchou explained how he helped AngloGold Ashanti get installed in
Mongbwalu. He said,

 

President Njabu had given Ashanti written permission in Kinshasa.  Ashanti said they would rebuild roads and hospitals for us – they promised us
this.  I took the Ashanti delegation to Mongbwalu in November 2003.  We held
joint meetings there and met many workers. On other trips I sent my chief of
staff to accompany them.  We are in regular contact with them, even with their
headquarters in London.

[213]

 
I have spoken to Mr. Sangara [Head of AngloGold Ashanti in Kinshasa] myself and
with Jean Claude Kanku [AngloGold Ashanti consultant based in Kampala].  We
have given them guarantees of security.

[214]

    

In November 2003 and on February 7 and March 17 and 18, 2004
AngloGold Ashanti  representatives including the designated project manager for
the operation, Howard Fall, consultant Jean Claude Kanku, and engineer Mark
Hanham, carried out at least three site visits to Mongbwalu, often accompanied
by FNI armed group representatives.[215] 
At that time, FNI combatants continued to carry out their ongoing ‘witch
hunt’ in Mongbwalu and its immediate vicinity against Hema women and other
opponents.  Victims accused of witchcraft were often brutally killed after
‘judging’ ceremonies by local spiritual leaders (see above). 

In February 2004, Njabu evaded officials keeping him in Kinshasa and, using a false name and a round-about route, managed to arrive in Mongbwalu. 
Njabu confided to supporters that he was returning to Mongbwalu to profit
financially from the presence of the new investors.[216] Soon after arriving
back, Njabu organized a public meeting to direct the local population and FNI
combatants to not block the work of AngloGold Ashanti.[217] He then set up his
headquarters in Mongbwalu. After their March mission, an AngloGold Ashanti
official, Howard Fall, reported-in writing–that Njabu told them they were
“welcome in the area, and would be allowed to carry out their activities
unhindered.” He specifically assured them that “they need not to be alarmed by
the presence of armed militia.”[218] 
While AngloGold Ashanti representatives may have been provided with security
assurances, the local population were not.  Throughout February 2004 and in the
months that followed, FNI combatants frequently arrested civilians for failure
to pay ‘taxes’ or participate in forced labor, often beating and torturing
their victims (see above). 

From May 2004 AngloGold Ashanti brought some thirty-five
expatriate geologists, engineers and security personnel to Mongbwalu to assist with their exploration drilling activities.[219] 
Company executives talked publicly about launching mining activities in
Mongbwalu claiming the area was a “huge gold province.”[220]  Charles
Carter, Vice President at AngloGold Ashanti, stated in a
mining forum that the company had made preparations to “commence
exploration drilling on the Kimin prospect [OKIMO] in the Ituri region of the
DRC,” adding “while this is obviously a tough
environment right now, we are looking forward to the opportunity to fully
explore the properties we have in the Congo, believing that we now have access
to potentially exciting growth prospects in Central Africa.”[221]  

Not surprisingly, security for personnel
and company property in Ituri was an important issue. AngloGold Ashanti contracted with the private security company ArmorGroup International Ltd. to
furnish armed guards for their activities and lodgings of company staff.[222]
As a result of the relationship they established with the FNI, AngloGold Ashanti was able to access the gold producing areas in Mongbwalu for exploration drilling
benefiting from security against any possible attacks by local militias.

Howard Fall, manager of the AngloGold Ashanti project in
Mongbwalu, confirmed the company had contact with the FNI and that the armed
group had granted permission for the company to work in Mongbwalu, but he added
that there “was no relationship with Njabu.”[223]   Other AngloGold
Ashanti employees expressed different views.   A number of witnesses told a
Human Rights Watch researcher that an AngloGold Ashanti consultant had frequent
contact with the FNI leaders, including Njabu, often acting as a bridge between
the company and the armed group.[224] 
Human Rights Watch also learned that AngloGold Ashanti knew there were
possible difficulties in having a direct relationship with the FNI and hence
employed consultants to facilitate such discussions.[225]  In its April
27, 2005 e-mail communication with Human Rights Watch the company denied the
allegations, though they did add that on the occasions where there had been
“unavoidable contact” with the FNI, the company had sought to ensure such
contact was “transparent” and was “directly between ourselves and the militia
group.”[226]

Benefits for the FNI Armed Group

As a result of the relationship with AngloGold Ashanti, the FNI obtained important benefits for the movement and certain of its leaders.
The company’s local consultant in Mongbwalu claimed that he told the FNI, “We
could not help them openly but we could assist them in others ways.”[227] When
Njabu asked money from AngloGold Ashanti’s consultant based in Uganda, Ashley Lassen, he got it. Lassen told a Human Rights Watch researcher in May 2004
that the situation was complex. “We don’t want to cut Njabu out,” he said.  “He
needs to feel included.  He just wants money and then he will go away.  We have
given him a little, a few hundred dollars here and there, but that is all.  We
know how to deal with people like him.”[228]  Another close observer to events in
Mongbwalu also told Human Rights Watch that payments were being made by
AngloGold Ashanti to the FNI, though he believed the amounts being paid were
higher.[229]
When questioned about payments to the FNI in an interview with Human Rights
Watch researchers in July 2004, AngloGold Ashanti’s Howard Fall strongly denied
any form of financial assistance to the FNI.[230] 

The denials about financial assistance to the FNI armed
group were contradicted by AngloGold Ashanti in February 2005 when the
company’s spokesperson, Steven Lenahan, was quoted in various press reports
detailing payments the company had made to the FNI.[231]  Responding to
questions from Human Rights Watch about such payments, AngloGold Ashanti
responded in an e-mail communication on April 27, 2005, that AngloGold Ashanti
had made an $8,000 payment to the FNI in January 2005 “under protest and
duress” after the FNI threatened the “safety of staff and the company’s
assets.”[232] 
In the same e-mail communication, AngloGold Ashanti added that the company had
sought the advice of the Bunia based District Commissioner before making the
payment, though the company stressed the payment was never “approved by
executive management at AngloGold Ashanti” and that such payments were “not
consistent with AngloGold Ashanti’s business principles.”[233]  AngloGold Ashanti further confirmed in its April 27, 2005 e-mail that the company had paid the FNI a
levy of six US cents per kilogram of cargo flown into the local airport at
Mongbwalu.  It stated that this had been “common practice” until September 2004
when it came to the attention of company officials in Kinshasa and in light of
“the fact that it contravened the provisions of the U.N. resolution, it was
discontinued.”[234] 
AngloGold Ashanti’s spokesman stated to journalists that the company still
believed the risks associated with operating in Mongbwalu were “manageable.”[235]

In addition to the payments described above, AngloGold Ashanti provided various other forms of support to the FNI armed group in Mongbwalu,
including some assistance with logistics and transportation.  In an environment
of extreme poverty, minimal infrastructure and continued insecurity, such
assistance was important for the activities of the FNI.  In the context of
Ituri, AngloGold Ashanti knew, or should have known, that the FNI armed group
they were giving assistance to was responsible for widespread human rights
abuses. Njabu and other senior FNI representatives used the 4×4 AngloGold Ashanti vehicle so often that the company began insisting that they put their requests in
writing so transportation arrangements could be better planned.[236] 
AngloGold Ashanti also permitted FNI leaders to travel on planes they had hired
for flights from Mongbwalu to Beni or Kampala.[237]  Throughout the period
of late 2003 and into 2004, as FNI leaders were getting such benefits from
AngloGold Ashanti, FNI combatants continued to carry out their policies of
witch hunts, arbitrary detentions, torture and forced labor.  Some victims were
so badly brutalized for not paying taxes or carrying out the FNI’s policy of
forced labor that they fled to Bunia or other places hundreds of kilometers
away seeking safety (see above).   

A United Nations group of experts monitoring the arms
embargo on eastern DRC reported in January 2005 that AngloGold Ashanti also
provided Njabu, the FNI leader, with his house in Mongbwalu.[238]  When Human Rights
Watch interviewed Njabu in Mongbwalu in May 2004 he was living in a house on
the AGK concession (of which AngloGold Ashanti is a majority stakeholder).  As
witnessed by Human Rights Watch researchers, Njabu’s house was guarded by FNI
combatants, some of them child soldiers, and was used as the main headquarters
of the FNI armed group; numerous FNI planning and strategy meetings were held
on the premises. When granted a request to meet with Njabu and other members of
the FNI armed group, Human Rights Watch researchers were directed to the house of
Njabu on the AGK concession.[239] 
In its April 27, 2005 e-mail correspondence to Human Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti confirmed that the FNI occupied several of the houses on the property acquired by
the company “without either seeking our permission or receiving our approval.”[240] 
AngloGold Ashanti did not report how their local representatives who lived in
another house on the property a few hundred meters away reacted to this, nor
whether advice was sought from their headquarters on the matter or if any measures
were taken to remove the FNI from the company’s property.

In addition to these material benefits, AngloGold Ashanti representatives also intervened with local authorities and U.N. officials on behalf
of the FNI, both for individuals and for the group. On one such occasion an
AngloGold Ashanti consultant, Ashley Lassen, interceded with MONUC officials. 
In an e-mail sent on March 20, 2004 to senior MONUC officials based in Ituri,
Lassen expressed his view that the FNI were weary of fighting and wanted a
peaceful settlement, if their personal safety could be guaranteed.  He went on
to prevail on MONUC to “adopt a conciliatory stance in their dealings with some
of the armed groups.”[241] 
MONUC viewed this e-mail as an attempt to promote favor for the FNI armed
group.[242]

 

The FNI further capitalized on their relationship with
AngloGold Ashanti. Their association with a powerful, rich multinational
corporation offered the possibility for increasing their legitimacy locally and
at the national level.  Commentators in Kinshasa noted that few of the national
politicians had taken an interest in Njabu until AngloGold Ashanti expressed its desire to start activities in Mongbwalu. In an interview with Human Rights
Watch, Njabu remarked that President Kabila and Vice President Bemba had
contacted him directly in relation to gold mining in Mongbwalu, clearly viewing
such contact as legitimizing his position.[243] One individual in Kinshasa noted, “Njabu
now has power due to the gold he controls and [the presence of] AngloGold Ashanti.  This is his ace and he will use it to get power in Kinshasa.”[244]  Such intentions were
further clarified in the April 27, 2005 e-mail correspondence from AngloGold Ashanti to Human Rights Watch, where the company stated that the funds they paid were to be used for
FNI “meetings with Government and other political organizations” in Kinshasa.[245]  At
local level the contact with AngloGold Ashanti was also seen as useful for the
FNI. One worker in Mongbwalu summed up the situation by saying “Ashanti will give dignity to the FNI.”[246] 
When Njabu returned to Mongbwalu in February 2004 another local analyst
concluded he had made the move to ensure he was the key interlocutor with the
company adding, “this will become Njabu’s power base.”[247]  For a senator in Kinshasa the relationship between such a powerful multinational and the FNI was likely to
strengthen the armed group politically and was just plain “dangerous.”[248] 

AngloGold

Ashanti View of Contacts with the FNI

In a December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch,
AngloGold Ashanti wrote that AGK, its joint venture with OKIMO, had “no working
or other relationship with FNI.”[249]
This position appeared to contradict information elsewhere in the same letter
concerning frequent contacts between AGK representatives and FNI leaders,
contacts that in effect made it possible for AGK to begin work in Mongbwalu.
The letter stated that AGK officials met in late 2003 with F. Ndgabu (sic), the
president of FNI, in Kinshasa to discuss their wish to visit Mongbwalu to assess
possibilities for starting work there. According to the letter, the FNI
president “identified with AGK intentions and wrote his representatives in
Bunia and Mongbwalu indicating his support for the commencement of work by
AGK.”  The letter said also that AGK officials met with the FNI in March, May,
July, and September 2004 so that AGK could outline its work program.

In its April 27, 2005 e-mail communication to Human Rights
Watch, AngloGold Ashanti stated, “It is not the policy or practice of this company
to seek to establish continuous, working relationships with militia groups in
conflict zones.”  In the same communication the company admitted there had been
contact between the company’s “management and the FNI” but added these contacts
had been “unavoidable” and in the cases where it had occurred the company had
“attempted to keep the contact to a minimum and have ensured that the meetings
and their outcomes are communicated with all interested parties.”

Human Rights Watch has obtained materials and witness
testimony reflecting the frequent contact between AngloGold Ashanti and senior FNI leaders including meetings held, written permission granted, and payments
made to FNI representatives.[250] 
This information casts serious doubts on the claim that no working or other
relationship existed between the company, its joint venture partner AGK, and
the FNI armed group and that such contact was ‘unavoidable’ as suggested by
AngloGold Ashanti’s December 7, 2004 letter and its April 27, 2005 e-mail
correspondence to Human Rights Watch.  In light of the circumstances on the
ground, Human Rights Watch believes it is unlikely that AngloGold Ashanti would
have been able to work in Mongbwalu without such a relationship with an armed
group who effectively controlled access to the mining site including all road
and airport access and who militarily controlled the town and surrounding areas. 
This reality was made clear by Njabu himself when he told Human Rights Watch, “I
am the boss of Mongbwalu.  If I want to chase [AngloGold Ashanti] away then I will.”[251]

The AngloGold Ashanti December 7, 2004 letter said that
AGK’s decision to begin work at Mongbwalu was “founded on its critical
assessment of the security situation and its belief that the population appears
well-disposed towards exploration and mining operations in the area.”  The
company’s decision to restart activities in the Mongbwalu gold mining area in
October 2003 came only weeks after the FNI’s attacks in villages just 30
kilometers to the east of Mongbwalu where scores of civilians were killed,
including hospital patients, women and children and where thousands of others
were forced to flee (see above).

By instructions given to combatants in its militia, by
public appearances in the company of AGK representatives, and by instructions
to local residents at a public meeting, all detailed above, the FNI leaders
provided the assurances needed by AGK both concerning security in general and
concerning the attitude of the population.

In its December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch,
AngloGold Ashanti wrote that “steps have been taken to ensure that human rights
will be upheld at all times” and that AGK will “ensure that dealings with local
and other organizations, including the discharge of social responsibilities,
are carried out in accordance with criteria which comply with reasonable
standards of good governance.”  The company stated it had given “consumables
and supplies” to the local hospital and school, had replaced the pump at the
hospital, and carried out minor repairs to roads, as described in the same
letter.  These benefits were granted to local authorities in Mongbwalu who were
appointed by, or depended on, the FNI for their authority. But giving in an
environment like Mongbwalu is not politically neutral and may have contributed
to increased prestige for the FNI.  The dynamics of how the FNI wished to
capitalize on the presence of AngloGold Ashanti in Mongbwalu was explained to a
Human Rights Watch researcher by FNI Commander Pichou,

We agreed with [AngloGold] Ashanti that all complaints
from the local population against the company would be organized via the FNI. 
We would give these complaints to Ashanti.  We also stated we wanted to
organize a structure, like an NGO, to sort out development issues in Mongbwalu….They
were happy for the FNI to create an NGO that Ashanti would then finance.  We
even have minutes of these meetings at the FNI office in Mongbwalu.

[252]

Failure to Respect Human Rights,
International Norms and Business Standards

Congo is at a critical
phase in its transition to the rule of law and needs investment by business
corporations to help generate revenue, to repair a shattered infrastructure,
and revitalize the economy.  Such business involvement needs to support
economic and political development, not work against it.  In an environment of
continued conflict, as in northeastern DRC, multinational corporations need to
ensure that their activities do not in any way support directly or indirectly
armed groups responsible for widespread human rights abuses.  

Box 4 Tackling
Discrimination at OKIMO

Local
OKIMO and former KIMIN union members in Ituri raised fundamental concerns about
relaunching mining activities in Ituri when past discriminatory management
practices at OKIMO which had contributed to inter-ethnic tensions had not been
addressed. OKIMO has a history of discriminatory practices favoring the Hema,
who predominate in management positions, and discriminating against the Lendu,
who constitute the great majority of miners and other manual laborers.
According to OKIMO employees, Lendu workers were rarely promoted and those who
did reach management positions were compensated at a lower rate than were
non-Lendu at equivalent levels.[253] 
As the largest employer in the Ituri District, OKIMO’s discriminatory practices
contributed to tensions between Hema and Lendu. As early as 1999 Hema and Lendu
employees of OKIMO at one of their main offices in Bambu engaged in fighting
along ethnic lines, a forerunner of later and wider violence.[254]

In February
2004 union members wrote to OKIMO management requesting that efforts be made to
reconcile these ethnic groups within the organization before any industrial
gold operations were undertaken.[255]  
But at the time of writing union members and other employees claimed that no
discussions had taken place on past discriminatory practices and that no plans
were in place to prevent further ethnic conflict within OKIMO.[256]  An ad hoc
parliamentary committee of senators and deputies from northeastern DRC launched
an investigation into the management of OKIMO in September 2004.  They also
claimed to be concerned about this issue and may examine it during its review.[257]

Asked
about any policies that had been adopted to deal with apparently discriminatory
practices at OKIMO, AngloGold Ashanti answered in its December 7, 2004 letter
to Human Rights Watch, that it “did not seek to interfere in the internal
workings” of OKIMO because it wished to maintain a good working relationship
with OKIMO and wished to respect its “corporate status.” [258]  Given that tensions
between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups have contributed to the conflict and
widespread human rights abuses in Ituri, it is inappropriate for AngloGold Ashanti to have a hands off approach to such issues, especially in relationship to the
joint venture partnership AGK in which AngloGold Ashanti has a majority share.

Although states have primary responsibility for promoting
and ensuring respect for human rights, business corporations also carry a
number of responsibilities, as is increasingly recognized by international law
and norms.  In August 2003 a group of U.N. experts adopted the Draft Norms on
the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business
Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, thereby signaling the growing
consensus for standards on corporate responsibility.   The norms are based on a
wide range of recognized international instruments including the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, international conventions such as those on
torture, genocide, slavery, and rights of the child, the Geneva Conventions and
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court amongst others.  These
U.N. norms help to clarify the international legal framework
for obligationson companies in relation to human rights.
Specifically they set out that companies have the “obligation to promote,
secure the fulfillment of, respect, ensure respect of, and protect human rights
recognized in international as well as national law.”[259]  They further add that
companies “shall not engage in nor benefit from war crimes and crimes against
humanity” nor “torture, forced disappearances, forced or compulsory labour” as
defined by international law.[260] 
It does not appear that AngloGold Ashanti upheld these obligations in its
activities in Mongbwalu.  Through the establishment of a mutually beneficial
relationship with an armed group responsible for war crimes and crimes against
humanity, AngloGold Ashanti failed to uphold its obligations to secure respect
for human rights.

AngloGold Ashanti’s own business principles say it strives
to ensure that “[host] communities are better off for AngloGold Ashanti’s having been there” and committing itself to seeking “mutually beneficial, ethical
long-term relations with those with whom we do business.”[261] AngloGold Ashanti has
itself committed to complying with all laws, regulations, standards and
international conventions applying to its business in the area of protection
for human rights including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fundamental
Rights Convention of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the
principles and values referred to in the United National Global Compact[262] and
the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines
for Multinational Enterprises in its global operations.[263]  In September 2002
AngloGold signed an important agreement with the 20-million strong
International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions
(ICEM), to promote and respect human and trade union rights, health and safety,
environmental protection and the promotion of good relationships with local
mining communities in all their operations worldwide.[264]   AngloGold Ashanti’s own business principles further state that AngloGold Ashanti will promote the
application of its principles to “those with whom it does business” and that
acceptance of these principles is an “important factor in our decision to enter
into and remain in such relationships.”[265]

AngloGold Ashanti failed in its operations in Mongbwalu to uphold
its own business principles, as detailed in this report.  The company did not
abide by its own internal standards on promoting its business principles to
those with whom it does business when deciding whether to enter into a
relationship with the FNI armed group.  Throughout its research, Human Rights
Watch was unable to identify effective steps taken by the company to ensure
human rights were respected in Mongbwalu, a context of significant
vulnerability for local civilians and ongoing conflictAs a
multinational company with considerable influence, Human Rights Watch believes
that AngloGold Ashanti should have exercised its leverage to pursue local
actors to respect human rights and should have conditioned its gold exploration
activities on such commitments.

As described earlier, in an annex to their October 2002
report, the U.N. panel of experts detailed concerns about compliance with the
OECD Multinational Guidelines by eighty-five multinational companies operating
in the DRC including Ashanti Goldfields (the predecessor to AngloGold Ashanti).[266]  The
OECD Guidelines are recommendations addressed directly to companies setting
down ‘shared expectations for business conduct’.  They are the
first international instrument on corporate social responsibility to provide a
government-supported (though voluntary) mechanism for monitoring and
influencing corporate behavior. The guidelines provide standards of conduct for
all key aspects of company operations including respect for human rights and
sustainable development amongst others that are to be observed wherever a
company operates.[267] 
In relation to the U.N. panel’s report of 2002, Ashanti Goldfields denied any
contravention of the OECD Guidelines in a one-page response to the panel in
early 2003.[268]
No further investigations were conducted and in their final report the panel
determined that all issues with Ashanti Goldfields and forty-one other
companies had been resolved.[269] 
Questions need to be raised however about AngloGold Ashanti’s compliance with
the OECD Guidelines in their activities in Mongbwalu since 2003. AngloGold
Ashanti’s relationship with and the support its has provided to the FNI, an
armed group responsible for widespread human rights abuses, appear to be in
contravention of the OECD Guidelines in relation to respect for human rights.

Many corporations involved in the extractive industry have
agreed to a set of Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.[270]
AngloGold Ashanti has not yet subscribed to the code, but these principles
provide guidelines that could have been useful to it in deciding when and under
what circumstances to start operations in Mongbwalu.  The code asks
corporations:

·to maintain the safety and security of their operations within a
framework that ensures respect for human rights

·to assess the conduct of armed groups or other forces operating
in the area based on available human rights records

·to consider local capacity to hold accountable those responsible
for abuses

·to monitor the use of their equipment to ensure it is not used in
an inappropriate manner

·to record and report any credible allegations of human rights
abuses by local public security forces or other armed groups responsible for
security in the area

·to urge for investigations where appropriate.

AngloGold Ashanti developed a relationship with the FNI
armed group whose abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law
were at the time already well documented. During the first year of the
AngloGold Ashanti operations in Mongbwalu, Human Rights Watch researchers met
with AngloGold Ashanti representatives in February, May and July 2004,
highlighting human rights concerns about the FNI and other armed groups
operating in Ituri including widespread ethnic massacres, arbitrary detention,
summary execution, the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment and
sexual violence.  As its representatives stated to Human Rights Watch
researchers, AngloGold Ashanti did not raise human rights concerns with the FNI
nor did they request an end to their abuses.  In its letter of December 7, 2004 AngloGold Ashanti claimed it was not in a position to place any
conditions on the FNI as “it had no working or other relationship with the
FNI,” which is inconsistent with the information presented in this report.

Before and during the period of its relationship with
AngloGold Ashanti, the FNI group was illegally mining and trading gold in an
area that it had taken by force of arms. It held its power in Mongbwalu through
the use of force carrying out grave abuses of human rights in the process. 

In return for assurances of security for its operations and
staff and access to the mining site, AngloGold Ashanti provided certain
financial and material support to the FNI. The FNI also derived political
benefit from its relation with AngloGlod Ashanti in that it found added
strength in resisting efforts by the national government to bring it under
control. 

Given the ongoing conflict in Ituri, the widespread and
systematic abuses taking place in the area and the political and military
leverage that could be gained for an armed group through a relationship with a
major multinational mining company, AngloGold Ashanti should have waited to
restart their exploration drilling activities in Mongbwalu.  They do not appear
to have done so. Business considerations came above respect for human rights.  AngloGold
Ashanti failed in its operations in Mongbwalu to uphold its own business
principles on human rights considerations and failed to follow international
business norms governing the behavior of companies internationally.  Human
Rights Watch has been unable to identify effective steps taken by the company
to ensure that their activities did not negatively impact on human rights.  AngloGold
Ashanti should cease immediately any relationship with the FNI and consider
halting temporarily its mining exploration activities in Mongbwalu until such
operations can contribute positively to the lives of the people who live
there. 

The price of gold on world markets is currently the highest
it has been in over a decade. Industry experts believe the price may rise still
further due to a shortage of new gold production.[271] 
The search for new sources of ore and the current high price of gold is likely
to stimulate demand for new gold mines.  Any mining companies seeking to engage
in the gold-rich areas of northeastern Congo must ensure that its activities do
not further conflict and human rights abuses. The citizens of north-eastern Congo should benefit from their gold resources, not be cursed by them. 

VII. Human Rights Abuses in
the Durba Gold Mines and Trade Routes

The control of Durba and adjacent gold-rich areas in Haut
Uélé District, about 150 kilometers north of Mongbwalu, was contested during
the war years by the three rebel movements mentioned above, RCD-ML,
RCD-National and the MLC. This region was not torn by the kind of ethnic
massacres and other killings that devastated Ituri, but contending forces
committed serious abuses against the local people.[272]

Click to expand Image

An open-pit mine in the gold town of Durba in Haute Uele district. 
Durba is a major gold center in northeastern Congo.  Gold from Durba is traded
through the market town of Ariwara, on the border with Uganda, controlled by Commander Jerome’s FAPC who use the proceeds to support their military
operations.  © 2004 Marcus Bleasdale   

Although local administrators were present in Aru, the
effective force in the area since 2003 has been a local armed group, the People’s
Armed Forces of Congo (FAPC), under Commander Jérôme Kakwavu. According to
residents of Durba, Aru, and Ariwara, Commander Jérôme’s troops committed more
serious abuses than other armed forces that operated in the area. As one
witness said, “Jérôme’s reign was the worst.  Who could stop Jérôme?  He would
just kill you.  Even the civil authorities could do nothing.”[273]

As mentioned above, Commander Jérôme was originally part of
the RCD-ML and in control of Durba until September 2002 when a coalition of
RCD-National and MLC forces drove him out. He retreated to the nearby towns of Aru
and Ariwara where he retained control over the border posts and benefited from
duties charged on trade, especially on gold. In September 2002 he moved south
to support the UPC in taking Mongbwalu, subsequently broke with them, and
founded his own militia, the FAPC. Although based in Aru, the FAPC then allied
with the FNI and shared control of Mongbwalu after March 2003. The FAPC and the
FNI also shared control of gold-producing areas nearer Aru and Ariwara until
mid-2004 when they fought each other for mines at Djalasiga. At that time, the
FAPC broke with the FNI and renewed its alliance with the UPC.

Throughout Commander Jérôme’s frequent
changes of alliances, the one constant has been his support from Uganda. They assisted him in establishing the FAPC (see above) and, according to a later
MONUC investigation, left him weapons when they withdrew in 2002.[274]
A U.N. group of experts investigating violations to the arms embargo in eastern
DRC reported in January 2005 that Uganda continued to provide weapons and
ammunition to the FAPC throughout 2003 and 2004 some of which came from the
UPDF military camp in Arua, just across the border from Aru in the DRC.[275]   
Although they knew about Commander Jérôme’s human rights abuses, Ugandan
soldiers supported him at least once (see below) in keeping command of the
FAPC, reportedly to be sure that the gold trade and other resources remained in
the hands of an ally. According to the U.N. group of experts and local sources,
Ugandan soldiers again entered Congo in 2004 to support the FAPC in its fight
for Djalasiga and supplied the FAPC ammunition for the battle.[276]

And throughout his various operations, a primary objective
for Commander Jérôme has been obtaining gold. As a combatant in the RCD-ML
force in August 12, 2004, Commander Jérôme wrote to OKIMO officials, saying:
“From now on the army will take 60 percent of the production of Moto-Doko [gold
mines] to finance its operations.”[277] 
The following day eight combatants, led by Commander Jérôme’s
second-in-command, Commander Guy Kolongo, looted 285 grams of gold from the
OKIMO safe.[278]

Summary Executions by Commander
Jérôme, 2002-2004

Human Rights Watch researchers documented five public
summary executions of combatants or soldiers ordered by Commander Jérôme and
carried out in his presence.  In each case there was no investigation or trial,
and in some cases the public was asked to judge the fate of the accused.  

In one such case, a young combatant named Atibho was
publicly executed on December 29, 2003 for having thrown a grenade, killing
three people and injuring some fifty others in the central market place in
Ariwara.  According to witnesses, Commander Jérôme asked persons hospitalized
with injuries from the attack what should be done with the Atibho.  Several
responded that he should not be killed as “they thought enough blood had been
spilled already.”[279] 
Commander Jérôme then brought the soldier to the center of town in Ariwara and
asked the population what should be his fate.  According to a witness, some of
Commander Jérôme’s own guard said he should be spared. The witness said,

Jérôme then said to some of his guards, “Those who said
no should be whipped.”  They took out three soldiers and whipped them.. . .
Then Jérôme asked the crowd again what he should do.  They said to kill the
soldier. . . .Jérôme pushed him from the truck and said, “Execute him.”  One of
the bodyguards then shot him in his upper back.  He wasn’t dead yet and then he
shot him again in the back of his head.  The soldiers then threw the body into
the truck and drove away.  His mother was there.

[280]

According to Ariwara residents, Commander
Jérôme on January 17, 2004 also asked a large public crowd to judge the fate of
a combatant accused of killing motorbike taxi driver Claude Kiombe. A witness
said that after the crowd called for his execution, Commander Jérôme then gave
the order to kill him. “Jérôme was present throughout,” said a witness, “as
were Major Theo, Commander Salumu, Captain Mutumbo and others.”[281]

Commander Jérôme also carried out public executions in Durba
when he was in control of the 5th operational zone for the RCD-ML. 
Among those so executed was a soldier called Masumboko executed in May 2002 on
charges of rape and murder.[282]

In these cases and others documented by Human Rights Watch
researchers, there were no investigations, trial procedures, or independent
judgments.  Commander Jérôme was the sole arbiter of the law and, in ordering
these men executed, he committed war crimes.

In an interview with Human Rights Watch researchers,
Commander Jérôme said that the FAPC had a military tribunal with lawyers and
judges but was unclear if it had authority to impose the death penalty. He
claimed that he needed to carry out executions in order to maintain law and
order.  He said, “We are in a time of war.  We are still rebels.  We are here
to satisfy the population.  We need popular measures to maintain discipline.”[283] 
Local residents, however, fear Commander Jérôme.  As one said, “There is no one
to appeal to.  It is Commander Jérôme who controls everything. Civilians have
no rights here at all.  The population really suffers.”[284]

Executing and Torturing Supposed
Political Opponents

Commander Jérôme and his troops detained, beat, and killed
combatants and civilians who were perceived to support Commander Jérôme’s
rivals for power. In Durba in 2002 Commander Jérôme sought out persons who had
been close to his predecessor and rival Colonel Monga, including a civilian
named Anygobe who was killed by Commander Jérôme’s combatants in mid-2002.  Witnesses
close to his home reported hearing him scream as he was taken away. His mother
hoped to buy his release with two goats, but failed and Anygobe
was reportedly shot the next morning and his body was dumped in an old latrine
at the military camp.[285]

 

Commander Jérôme also sought out civilians accused of
spying.  In early June 2002 Kamile Leta, aged 25, was arrested along with two
women in Tora, a town outside Durba, accused of spying for Commander Jérôme’s
enemies.   According to witnesses, Mr. Leta was taken from his cell on June 12, 2002 to see Commander Jérôme.  Shortly thereafter a guard took him behind the
building, stabbed him numerous times, and left him for dead in a pit with other
decomposing bodies.  Still alive, the victim crawled out of the pit and sought
help from persons who took him to the hospital in Watsa.  A witness reported
that he saw Mr. Leta with multiple stab wounds and covered with maggots.[286] 
Hospital records show the victim arrived at 19:30 on June 13, 2002 with “multiple wounds on the neck and body from stabbing by the military.”[287] 

According to witnesses at the hospital, the territorial
administrator arrived with the police commander and combatants loyal to
Commander Jérôme led byCommander Banda Yowa Likimba, known as Jaguar.  Commander
Jaguar, who appeared to one witness very angry, demanded to see Mr. Leta. The
witness said,

We were obliged to get him.  Commander Jaguar said they
would treat him themselves.  They demanded a stretcher.  They tied his hands. 
They made him lie down on the stretcher and then they covered his body and his
face with a sheet.  The victim was crying and said he was innocent, that he had
done nothing wrong.  They took him.

About one hour later, the police commander came by and
told us that the man was no longer alive.  He told us Jaguar had asked the
prisoners to dig a grave.  He said Jaguar had said that since the man would not
die by the knife he would now die his own way.  He kicked the man into the
grave they had dug and then threw the first shovel of dirt on him.  They buried
him alive.  It was in the yard of Commander Jaguar’s house.  The police
commander was there throughout and he told me all this.  [Commander] Jérôme
gave the order that the victim be killed in the first place. 

For two months the hospital was almost empty.  People
were too scared to come for treatment after that.

[288]

  

Outright opposition to Commander Jérôme was rare, but
combatants led by Raymond Isala sought to oust him and take control of the FAPC
on May 22, 2003 while Commander Jérôme was across the border in Uganda.  They failed when Ugandan forces based in Arua[289] crossed into Congo at the Vura border
point and helped forces loyal to Commander Jérôme defeat the mutineers.[290] 
Later that day Ugandan soldiers helped Commander Jérôme’s FAPC arrest Congolese
believed to have been involved in the mutiny attempt who had fled into Uganda. Among those arrested were Jacques Nobirabo, Paul Avoci, Leti Leopold Apo, Commander
Idrise Bobale and two of his bodyguards, some of whom were detained in the
Ugandan military barracks in Arua. According to witnesses, Commander Jérôme and
officers loyal to him killed other mutineers in Aru, including Commander Mboio,
Commander Kato, Commander Rasta and others.[291]  The leader of the mutiny, Raymond Isala,
fled.

Several days later, Ugandan Major Besisira handed over to
Commander Jérôme refugees captured in Uganda, an action that violates
international conventions regarding refugees.[292]   In some cases, the
persons were delivered in a clandestine fashion, suggesting the Ugandan
soldiers may have wished to avoid responsibility for having delivered them.  To
further distance themselves from the eventual fate of those handed over, some
Ugandan soldiers asked the FAPC not to harm the detainees and required them to
sign a document promising not to harm them.[293]  According to witnesses, many of those
handed over to Commander Jérôme were tortured and some were reportedly killed,
including the cases described below.  A U.N. inquiry on Ituri reported credible
testimony that Major Besisira was paid by Commander Jérôme for various
services, including delivering to him FAPC combatants who had fled to Uganda. Some of these persons were reportedly later executed in Aru.[294]

A detainee delivered by Ugandan soldiers to Commander Jérôme
on June 7, 2003 at the Ugandan military barracks in Arua said that he was
returned that night with others to the military camp in Aru. He said,

The next day we were taken
out and five soldiers told us we had to dig our own graves.  All of us went out
and we started to dig a big hole about two meters deep.  Commander Idrise was
very weak. [Commander] Jérôme came and started to threaten him and us.   He
said we were under his control.  He said he would make us suffer till we died.
He ordered that Idrise be beaten.  First they stripped him and then put him
face down on the ground.  Some soldiers held his feet and arms while another
sat on his head.  Then they beat him five hundred times with whips made from
ropes and branches.  After finishing with Idrise they took [another prisoner]
and pushed him with their guns.  They stripped him and then ordered he be given
one hundred strokes.  They also sat on his head and held him down.  Then it was
my turn and the same thing happened. Throughout all this time Jérôme was there
and watched.   Then he gave the order not to give us water or food. We spent
four days like that in container with nothing.  We really suffered.

[295]

The Ugandan Major Besisira intervened on June 12 and took
several of the detainees back to Uganda. After keeping them for several days,
he released them, warning them to speak to no one, especially not to
journalists.[296] 
At least one of those originally detained in Uganda, Leti Leopold Apo, was
supposedly executed.  Commander Idrise, suffering from diabetes and
hypertension, remained in detention in Aru in very poor health until December
2004.[297] 

After the attempted mutiny, Commander Jérôme continued to
hunt down any political opposition in the area under his control. Beginning on
January 7, 2004 Commander Jérôme detained and himself interrogated persons
suspected of opposing his leadership, seeking to learn the names of others who
might have participated in the attempted mutiny in May, 2003.[298]
Detainees were beaten, sometimes twice a day, for over a week and were forced
to do labour including cleaning and digging toilets.  Some of the civilians
were later released.[299]

Arbitrary Detention and Torture

 

As determined to ensure his economic dominance as his
political power, Commander Jérôme authorized and carried out arbitrary
detention and torture of gold traders in order to assure his own control and
that of his business colleague, Mr. Omar Oria, over the lucrative trade. In one
case, the ill-treatment of a victim resulted in his death.

Mr. Oria, a Ugandan citizen, is one of the largest gold
traders in the area, buying gold from Durba and selling it to traders in Kampala (see below).[300] 
According to several witnesses, Mr. Oria and Commander Jérôme had a close
business relationship and Mr. Oria provided assistance, including financial
assistance, to the FAPC.[301] 
Mr. Oria told a Human Rights Watch researcher that he was not involved in
politics, but that he was a contractor for Commander Jérôme and was building a
hotel for him in Ariwara.[302]
Human Rights Watch researchers documented a number of cases of arbitrary
detention and torture involving Commander Jérôme and Mr. Oria, including those
described below.

On June 17, 2003 Mr. Oria and some of his employees including Likambo Lumaya, abducted Floribert[303], a gold dealer whom they accused of cheating Commander Jérôme by
selling him ore that was not gold. They beat Floribert with sticks, kept him
overnight, and the next day took him to Commander Jérôme in Aru who, according
to Floribert, “judged” him. Floribert said,

Jérôme gave the order for me to be whipped five hundred
times.  [The soldiers] tied me to a tree with a rope like those use for goats. 
I had my arms around the tree, facing it.  They beat me five hundred times.
There were lots of military hitting me, two on the left, two on the right. 
They used ropes. Jérôme and Oria were there throughout. Jérôme was sitting in a
chair.

[304]

 

Floribert was then kept for three days in a shipping
container, used as a place of detention, with six combatants and three other
civilians. Mr. Oria arranged for his release, Floribert believes, but the next
day demanded that he pay him $2,480.  “He said if I didn’t pay him the money,
he would send me back to Aru,” said Floribert. “I couldn’t say anything as he
was much stronger than me.” Floribert sold his home and bicycle to be able to
pay the money demanded, although he saw this as extortion. He claims that the
gold was good quality and that he considered taking them to justice. He said,
“I thought about bringing a complaint against them but I don’t think it is
possible.  How could I accuse them?  They are stronger.”[305]

In a similar case, Mr. Oria and his employee Likambo Lumaya
abducted Lipanda Lumeri on September 28, 2003, accusing him of having stolen
fifty-four grams of gold. They drove him to Commander Jérôme’s residence, a
hotel named Don de Dieu, in Ariwara where Commander Jérôme, surrounded by
seventeen combatants, threatened to kill Lipanda and pointed his revolver at
him. At Commander Jérôme’s order, his combatants undressed him and tied his
arms and legs together behind his back. They threw him in Commander Jérôme’s
vehicle and took him to Angarakali, the FAPC military camp.  Lipanda said,

They [six combatants] threw me onto the ground and
whipped me three hundred times, from the back down to the buttocks.  They made
me count.  They whipped me with small pieces of wood. . . . Each had a stick
and they were beating me at the same time. It lasted about forty-five minutes
or an hour.

[306]

   

Lipanda was then confined in a hole in the ground with
twelve combatants and another civilian, all of whom had been beaten. He was
taken out and beaten again at midnight that night and twice a day for the next
four days. According to his count, he was struck at least 1,300 times. During
his ill-treatment, he was urinating and excreting blood.  Lipanda said that he
was told repeatedly to return the stolen gold or pay for it. He said,

I told them I didn’t have the gold or the money.  They
said the gold was for Commander Jérôme and he needed money to build his house. 
They said if I didn’t give the money, Jérôme would give the order for me to be
killed. 

On the fifth day Jérôme came with his officers to the
prison . . . and pointed his gun at me.  He said:  “Since the first day, I said
I would kill you.  I don’t joke.  Today it’s the end of your life.” They made
me get out of the hole and lie down. Jérôme loaded his revolver and put it to
the back of my neck.

[307]

  

The first revolver misfired several times, so Commander
Jérôme took another weapon and shot Lipanda twice in the left hand and then
twice in the right hand.  Lipanda was put back in the prison.[308]  Upon
his release, Lipanda went to the hospital in Ariwara
where the doctor said that the bones in his hands had been fractured by the bullets.[309] 
Lipanda claimed that the missing gold had been taken by
one of Mr. Oria’s employees and said he intended to file a criminal complaint
against Commander Jérôme, Omar Oria and Likambo Lumaya.[310]  

Tolerating Abuses by Business
Allies

Commander Jérôme, the most powerful person in the area,
tolerated the abduction and beating of a Mr. Kokole on orders of Mr. Oria in
January 2004. Mr. Kokole died of his injuries the same day.[311] Commander
Jérôme’s combatants protected Mr. Oria from Kokole’s family and others who
demanded his arrest and escorted him to safety at the Ugandan border. 

 

Mr. Oria abducted Mr. Kokole in Ingbokolo and took him back
to his own home where had Mr. Kokole beaten in an effort to recover $19,000
owed to him by the victim. A witness saw Kokole, dressed only in his underwear
and with signs of having been badly beaten, at Oria’s house the day of his
death. Kokole’s head and arms were swollen, his back showed a large wound, and
there was blood visible. According to the witness, Mr. Oria and others to whom
Kokole owed money were present, all trying to get him to say where he had
hidden the money owed to them.  Kokole was so badly injured that he could not
sit upright. At about 3p.m. five FAPC combatants arrived, one officer and his
bodyguards. According to the witness, “The officer pointed a gun at him and
said:  ‘If you don’t give us the money, I’ll kill you.'” When Kokole replied
that the money was in Ingbokolo, the combatants threw him in a black Suzuki
truck that belongs to Oria. Kokole was taken away in the truck, with the
combatants accompanying it in their own vehicle. Some two hours later, the
combatants delivered Kokole to the hospital.[312] 

An agent of the Congolese government administration was
present at the hospital when Kokole was brought there, about thirty minutes
before he died. He said,

He [Kokole] had wounds to the chest and side of his head as if he had been hit with a hammer. I went to Oria and asked him why he had done it. Oria said he owed him money. He did not deny that Kokole had been at his house. Oria killed Kokole. [313]

According to witnesses, some of Mr. Kokole’s family and
others assembled in a threatening way at Mr. Oria’s house. FAPC combatants who
were there fired in the air to protect Oria and escorted him to the Ugandan
border so he could make his escape.[314]

Mr. Oria admitted to a Human Rights Watch researcher that
Mr. Kokole had owed him money, that he had brought him from Ingbokolo to his
own house and that he had been present when Mr. Kokole was beaten.  He denied
having struck Mr. Kokole himself, saying, “I did not use my two hands to hit
anyone. I did not.”[315] 
He said he had been interrogated by Congolese police who came to Arua in Uganda to interview him, but the case has now been dropped because he had reached an
arrangement with Mr. Kokole’s family, agreeing to erase his debt and to build
the family a warehouse in Ariwara to provide them with income in the future.[316]

 

Commander Jérôme told Human Rights Watch
researchers that another person responsible for the killing had himself died
soon afterwards and hence the case was closed.[317]   No
further investigations or arrests have been carried out for this or other cases
of arbitrary arrest and torture. When Human Rights
Watch researchers discussed these and other cases with Commander Jérôme, he
denied that such abuses took place saying, “There is no torture here. We don’t
torture people. This is wrong and ultra wrong.” (“La
torture n’existe pas. On ne torture pas les gens. 
C’est faux et
archi-faux
.’)[318]

Djalasiga: Continued Conflict over
Gold Mines

Ugandan support to the FAPC, important at its founding and
since, not only helped Commander Jérôme contend with a mutiny but more recently
assisted FAPC forces in fighting to control Djalasiga and surrounding areas, part
of Concession 39 of OKIMO’s reserves and home to the gold mines of Zani.[319] 

FNI forces and Commander Jérôme’s FAPC forces had worked
together since the establishment of the FAPC in early 2003. The two agreed not
to attack each other, to carry out joint patrols in areas that shared a common
boundary, and to split tax and customs receipts on trade between their areas of
control.  But in mid-2004 the FAPC National Secretary of Mines, Pierre Nzia,
signed a contract with a Ugandan-based company to mine gold in the Zani river
in Djalasiga. Once operations were launched, it was critical for the FAPC to
retain control over the Zani area and they appointed administrators there.[320] Soon
after, there were allegations that Lendu in the area were being mistreated. 

In June 2004 FNI and the FAPC forces began fighting one
another and control of Djalasiga changed hands frequently over the following
months.  Tens of thousands of civilians fled their homes.[321] In one counter-attack a
number of senior FAPC combatants were killed and heavy weapons, including
rockets and mortars, lost to attacking FNI forces.[322]  Commander Jérôme later
admitted to a U.N. group of experts investigating violations of the arms
embargo that the weapons lost had been those supplied to him by Uganda.[323]   In early
July FAPC combatants arrested two local Lendu civilians in Aru and accused them
of spying. The Lendu were summarily executed a few days later on the order of
Commander Ali Mbuyi Gatanazi, whose younger brother was killed in the fighting.[324] 

Faced with losses to the Lendu, Commander Jérôme requested
assistance from Uganda.  Numerous witnesses reported seeing Ugandan soldiers
arriving to assist FAPC forces.[325] 
In one incident, Ugandan Colonel Peter Karim[326] held a public meeting in the Kud’i Koka
market area in Congo to support the FAPC.  He reportedly provided ammunition to
Commander Jérôme to assist in the war effort.[327]   In a later incident
on November 7, 2004 a shipment of weapons from Uganda intended for the FAPC
fell into the hands of the FNI.  The U.N. group of experts investigating
breaches to the arms embargo reported the captured truck contained mortars,
rocket propelled grenade launchers, arms and other ammunition.[328]

Thomas Lubanga’s UPC forces also helped the FAPC against the
FNI.  According to local sources, Commander Jérôme’s FAPC and Lubanga’s UPC
negotiated a new agreement during July and September 2004, with Commander Ali
representing the FAPC. In early September 2004 the two former enemies reached
an agreement that included a division of control over gold mining areas as a
key component.[329] 
FAPC forces also reportedly received assistance from SPLA troops operating to
the north in the DRC-Sudan border areas.[330]

The control of the gold in Djalasiga was one of the main
causes of the conflict.  An FNI representative told a Human Rights Watch
researcher that there had been dissatisfaction between the two groups and “that
the FAPC wanted all the gold and the money for themselves.” “This”, he said,
“created the conflict.”[331]
A MONUC official who sought to mediate the dispute said that although the
parties refused to say why they were fighting, it was clear from the
discussions that they were fighting over control of gold and other money flows.[332]

Local sources claimed numerous civilians were killed during
the fighting over Djalasiga.[333]
Due to continued insecurity in the area, Human Rights Watch researchers have
thus far been unable to document the human rights abuses committed.

VIII. Trade in Tainted Gold

International mining companies restarted mining operations
in northeastern DRC only in 2003.[334]
But while modern mining methods may not have been available, gold has continued
to be mined by local artisanal miners throughout the duration of the conflict,
sometimes in large quantities.  The gold mining and trading activities are
controlled by the armed groups and their business allies.  They funnel this
gold out of the Congo to Uganda via a network of traders who operate outside of
legal channels. The trade in gold allows armed groups to transform the gold
into money to sustain their operations. Without the proceeds from the gold
trade, armed groups in Ituri would face serious difficulties in carrying out
their military operations; activities which frequently include widespread human
rights abuses.   

Click to expand Image

A gold trading
house in Beni where gold from Mongbwalu is bought and sold.

© 2004 Human Rights
Watch

From 1996 through the present, the Congolese transitional
government has had little, if any, control over some eastern parts of the
country where the richest sources of gold are found. Hidden by the “fog of war”
in this region, unlicensed parties grew rich by trading gold while armed groups
that protected and were supported by them continued conflict and human rights
abuses against civilians.   The U.N. panel of experts on illegal exploitation
in the Congo reported that the complexity of relationships among those who
support, protect, and benefit from such trade and their dependency on it, makes
ending these activities very difficult.[335]   A conclusion confirmed by another U.N.
group of experts investigation into breaches to the arms embargo who reported
in January 2005 that the business networks, including gold traders, which
helped to sustain arms trafficking remained active in eastern DRC.[336] 

Human Rights Watch researchers traced the trade in gold
between the local buyers in Mongbwalu and Durba to a second group of purchasers
who in turn sold the gold to larger-scale trading houses in
bigger towns. These trading houses and their owners fraudulently exported the
gold to legally registered traders in Uganda.  Ugandan traders sold the gold to
companies abroad, primarily in Switzerland and other parts of Europe, thus
completing its integration from the conflict zone into the global economy. 
Those who participate in buying tainted gold from northeastern DRC may
indirectly be providing a revenue stream for armed groups who carry out massive
human rights abuses.

The New DRC Mining Code

In July 2002 the Congolese government, assisted by the World
Bank, established a new Mining Code to regulate the extraction and trade in
certain listed minerals, including gold.[337]  Many investors applauded the code,
expecting it to bring order to the extractive industries. Some regulations,
like those on artisanal exploitation of minerals, were similar to previous
legislation.  Artisanal miners, licensed by the state, were to be permitted to
extract minerals throughout the country, except in areas restricted by
concessions granted by the government. To show they were authorized to extract
gold, diamonds, or other minerals, artisanal miners had to obtain cards valid
for the area concerned.[338] 
Artisanal miners were permitted to sell gold only to state-authorized traders,
exchange markets, or trading houses[339]
Traders, who generally brought at the mining site and sold to trading houses in
larger towns, could sell only in the Congo and were not authorized to export
gold.[340]
The new mining code permitted the export of gold only by trading houses so
authorized by the Minister of Mines in Kinshasa, who had authority to limit the
number of export licenses granted.[341]

In an interview with a Human Rights Watch researcher,
officials from the Ministry of Mines deplored the lack of funding from the
government and international donors to implement the new regulations, a process
they expect to take years.[342] 
Ministry officials in Kinshasa know little about mining contracts or how the
code is being applied in former rebel-held territories and claim there is no
funding for them to go to the east to enforce regulations.  They further claim
the Minister of Mines, an appointment from civil society, was often left out of
decisions on mining made by the President or the Vice-Presidents. He was
removed from his position by President Kabila for mismanagement and corruption
in December 2004, charges the minister denied.[343]  One senior official at
the Ministry of Mines said,

The multinational companies don’t care whom they talk to. They just want to go and see the boss … the Vice Presidents or the President. The Ministry of Mines is simply not involved. The politicians are just pursuing their own interests. We are powerless to control all of this. We have no means to do so. It’s all the same, nothing has changed since the U.N. Panel report came out. The rebels and other government people who have arrived all have different agendas and they are not united. The big problem is money. If you want to succeed in politics you need money. So they are not in a rush to review the contracts signed previously. [344]

Organization of the Gold Trade
through Butembo and Ariwara

With government officials lacking the means to enforce
regulations, a few important traders based in Butembo, North Kivu Province, and Ariwara, Oriental Province, have monopolized the gold trade from Mongbwalu
and Durba. Several of them are accused of providing transport services,
including the transport of arms, to leaders of armed groups in return for their
help in controlling the gold trade and assuring the smooth export of their gold
(see below). According to the U.N. group of experts investigating violations of
the arms embargo in eastern DRC, armed groups and their business partners
generate the revenue needed to buy weapons and carry out military activities by
controlling the trade in gold and other commodities and manning strategic
border posts.[345]

In Butembo, one of the largest trading houses (comptoirs)
is owned by Dr. Kisoni Kambale and, in Ariwara, one of the major houses is
owned by Mr. Omar Oria.  Other traders estimated that these two control over
fifty percent of the gold trade from northeastern Congo.[346]

The artisanal miners in northeastern Congo estimate they earn about $10 a day selling their gold for cash to local traders.  In Mongbwalu
for example, miners sell to one of some forty traders who then sell it to one
of a second group of ten purchasers who in turn sell to trading houses in
Butembo.  In some cases the trading houses provide cash advances to the local
traders to facilitate their purchases. Owners of the major trading houses
generally set the local price to be paid for the gold and control the means of
transportation to and from the mining areas.[347]

Dr Kisoni in Butembo

Dr Kisoni Kambale, owner of the Congocom trading house, is
the most important gold trader in Butembo.  Congocom handles so much gold that
it operates its own foundry to melt the ore into ingots before exporting it, as
Congocom customers have seen.[348]
According to one such customer, Kisoni bought the machinery with help from
Ugandan associates.[349] 

Traders in Mongbwalu told a Human Rights Watch researcher
that they bought gold for Dr. Kisoni,[350] an assertion confirmed by the FNI
Commissioner of Mines. He said,

Dr Kisoni gives money to people and they buy the gold in
Mongbwalu.  Nearly all of the gold purchasers work for Dr Kisoni.  There are
about ten of them and they control the gold buying.  Dr Kisoni owns Butembo
Airlines.  The gold goes straight from the plane to his office in Butembo.

[351]

Click to expand Image

The aviation
company Butembo Airlines run by Dr Kisoni Kambale unloading its cargo after a
flight to Mongbwalu.  The plane is frequently used to transport gold.

© 2004 Human Rights
Watch

Local traders and other informed sources estimated that
between twenty and sixty kilograms of gold left the Mongbwalu area each month,
most of it destined for Butembo. Based on the price of gold at the time of
writing, this would have a value between $240,000 and $720,000.  Human Rights
Watch could not confirm such estimates, which may be below the actual amount
traded (see below).[352]

Dr. Kisoni and his company lease a small Antonov plane that
flies under the name of Butembo Airlines (BAL) and that transports merchandise,
including gold. Butembo Airlines makes regular trips to Mongbwalu, sometimes
flying on a daily basis. At the time of writing, it offered the only transport
by air to Mongbwalu, which is hard to reach by road.  Some traders who used BAL
to transport their gold said the plane also carried weapons for the FNI.[353] A
British Parliamentary report in October 2004 quoted Dr. Kisoni as saying that
he regularly supplied food to the armed groups in Mongbwalu and that he did not
check the contents of the cargo on his plane.[354]   The U.N. group of
experts investigating violations to the arms embargo reported that BAL had
gained exclusive landing rights into Mongbwalu on the condition it facilitated
outward shipment of gold for the FNI.  They went on to express concern that the
contents of the plane were never checked.[355]  Mavivi Air, another transport company
that once flew between Mongbwalu and Butembo had its craft impounded at Beni airport for carrying weapons in July 2003.  A MONUC investigation into the affair
reported that Mavivi and other such airlines were playing an important role in
the trafficking of arms in the region.[356]  Mavivi Air has since gone out of
business.

Numerous witnesses in Mongbwalu, Butembo, and Kinshasa described the connections between gold traders and the RCD-ML armed political
movement. Although at the time of research in early 2004, the RCD-ML was
nominally a partner in the transitional government, it continued to act as an
autonomous agent profiting from the gold trade in the region it controlled. One
important member of RCD-ML told a Human Rights Watch researcher that Dr Kisoni
was essential in financing his movement. He said, “Kisoni was the cashier of
the rebellion.”[357] 
Another witness explained the reciprocal arrangement between RCD-ML authorities
and the traders. He said, 

When the [RCD-ML] movement needs money they ask the traders. They in turn get exemptions from taxes [collected by RCD-ML agents] at the border for their trade and this is how the deals are done. The movement then uses this money to buy weapons. [358]

An official from the Ministry of Mines agreed that there was
an important tie between Kisoni’s company and the RCD-ML. He said, “Congocom
has the monopoly on the gold trade and they are sustained by the [RCD-ML]
rebellion.”[359]  

Click to expand Image

A gold ingot from ore mined in Ituri made at the foundry of Dr. Kisoni
Kambale in Butembo.  The gold is smuggled to Uganda, from where it is exported
to global gold markets in Europe.   © 2004 Human Rights Watch

Traders who export gold illegally, without paying taxes or
duties to the state, violate articles 120 and 126 of the Mining Code and are
liable to fines of between $10,000 and $30,000 and to being prohibited from
engaging in the gold trade for five years. Any person who threatens mining
officials carrying out their lawful duties is subject to six months
imprisonment.[360]
But mining officials in North Kivu told Human Rights Watch researchers that
they lacked the resources to enforce the provisions of the code and for this
reason had not executed ministry instructions to put an official in each
trading house in Butembo. They said they also feared retribution from powerful
commercial and political interests should they attempt to enforce the law.[361] 

One ministry of mines official told Human Rights Watch
researchers that no trading house in Butembo had a license from the Congolese
government to export gold, including Congocom.  He said that Congocom had never
declared its exports to state agents even though it was-as he knew–the largest
gold exporter in the area.[362] 
He said that because much of the gold was traded in violation of the mining
code, it was impossible to know the amount of gold exported from the area. “We
just watch our country’s resources drain away with no benefit to the Congolese
people” he said.[363]

Omar Oria in Ariwara

Human Rights Watch researchers visited the thriving town of Ariwara in March 2004 and found more than forty gold trading houses in the central market
area. Gold traders and other local sources estimated that between 80 and 160
kilograms of gold were traded each month through Ariwara, which is located near
the Ugandan border.  Such estimates cannot be verified but seem to fit
generally with statistics for the export of gold from Uganda (see below).[364] At
the time of writing the trade was valued at between $1 to $2 million per month.[365]

Ariwara lies in the zone controlled by Commander Jérôme’s
FAPC forces, whose abuses have been extensively discussed previously. Gold
traders must purchase permits (carte de negociant d’or) from the FAPC to
trade gold, a requirement modeled on state practice.[366]  The FAPC keeps all
registration fees for its own use.  The U.N. group of experts investigating
violations of the arms embargo concluded that Commander Jérôme organized strict
control over key exports such as gold together with businessmen willing to do
his bidding.[367]

Omar Oria,a Ugandan citizen, is one of the main gold
traders in Ariwara, according to other gold traders and residents, and as
previously mentioned, works closely with Commander Jérôme.[368] One trader told Human
Rights Watch researchers that Mr. Oria advanced each of his local purchasers
between $5,000 and $10,000 a week to buy gold on his behalf.[369] Much of
this gold was bought in Durba and the immediate surrounding area. Many local
traders in Durba confirmed that they worked for Mr. Oria.[370] In an interview with a
Human Rights Watch researcher, Mr. Oria said that he traded gold, explaining
that he sold gold in Uganda for Congolese clients and then depositing the
proceeds into foreign bank accounts on their behalf.[371] 

Mr. Oria’s business is not authorized by the state as a
trading house and so cannot legally export gold from the Congo nor is it licensed to operate in the foreign exchange market.[372]   Mr. Oria’s
relationship with Commander Jérôme facilitates his illegal trade. Mr. Oria is
protected by some of Commander Jérôme’s combatants, several of whom have
beaten, tortured, and even killed gold traders accused by Mr. Oria of having
cheated him (see above). Witnesses claimed Mr. Oria helped finance the FAPC
movement and regularly provided food and perhaps other supplies for FAPC
combatants.[373] 
The U.N. group of experts investigating violations of the arms embargo
concluded that proceeds from customs and immigration, including those from the
gold trade, were channeled into the coffers of the FAPC and used to pay for its
military infrastructure.  In one case, the group of experts obtained forty handwritten
receipts signed by FAPC commanders withdrawing cash from border proceeds for
“military emergencies” and “combat rations.”[374]  Several witnesses said that Mr. Oria
and Commander Jérôme were frequently seen together and that Mr. Oria on
occasion stayed in Angarakali, the FAPC military camp in Ariwara.[375]

 

Congolese Gold Exported to

Uganda

The gold traded from northeast Congo goes principally to one
destination – Uganda.  Both Dr Kisoni and Mr. Oria sell their ‘tainted gold’ to
Ugandan traders based in Kampala, many of whom in turn sell gold to companies
in Switzerland and other destinations.[376]  Most of this gold is exported illegally
from Congo:  traders have no export permits or exchange documents, are not
authorized trading houses, do not keep accounts at the Central Bank of Congo
and do not pay relevant taxes and duties as required under Congolese law.[377]  The
Congolese population gain almost no benefit from this trade; instead they
suffer grave human rights abuses by groups seeking to control the trade and the
gold mines.  

Click to expand Image

Gold traders
conducting business.  © 2004 Marcus Bleasdale

The gold is “legalized” in Uganda.  Traders in Kampala do not require their Congolese clients to present documents authorizing the export
of gold, operating on an “ask no questions” basis. They treat the gold as if it
were a transit good, filling out customs forms and other documents required to
make its export legal from Uganda and acceptable in the unregulated global
market.[378] 

In the 1990s most unlicensed exports of gold from Congo went to Burundi, but civil war in Burundi and a regional trade embargo declared in 1997 made Burundi less attractive as a transit point.  After a brief shift through Kenya, the trade moved to Kampala where the climate was more favorable.  In 1993 the Ugandan Central
Bank eased restrictions on gold sales and decided not to tax gold exports.[379]  
This change followed five years later by the establishment of Ugandan army
control over rich gold mining areas of northeastern Congo resulted in a
dramatic increase in gold exports from Uganda (see chart below).  

Gold Export Figures from

Uganda

According to official statistics, Uganda exported nearly $60
million in gold in 2002, a peak year, and about $46 million in 2003. But in
2003 specialists in the trade valued it still at $60 million.[380]  According to the
Central Bank of Uganda, data from these industry experts may be more accurate
than that compiled from government customs data.[381]  Whether using industry
or official statistics the increase in gold exports has been remarkable.  Gold
is currently the third top Ugandan export, after coffee and fish.[382]  In
2001 gold accounted for 84 percent of the total value of all minerals exported
from Uganda; in 2002 it was 99 percent.[383]

Most of the gold exported from Uganda comes from Congo.  Domestic production in Uganda is negligible, despite encouragement from the World
Bank and new mining regulations introduced in 2001. Statistics from the
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and official export figures shows
that Ugandan gold production accounts for less than 1 percent of the official
gold exports.[384]
In the annual report of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development,
discrepancies between gold production and gold exports are striking.  In 2002,
for example, domestic gold production was valued at $24,817 while gold exports
for the same year were listed as just under $60 million.[385]  When Human Rights
Watch researchers asked Ministry representatives about this discrepancy, they
refused to comment.[386] 

Import statistics fail to show the real scale of the gold
trade. Officially, gold brought into Uganda should be declared upon entry as an
import if expected to stay in the country, or as a transit good if intended for
another final destination. But official Ugandan import statistics show a tiny
amount of gold imported to the country and show no statistics for transit goods.
The unofficial trade in gold is likely facilitated by the lax enforcement of
regulations at the Uganda-Congo border posts. According to a study conducted in
2004 by the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), over 50 percent of all imports
and exports went unrecorded at six border posts.[387]  In cases where people
wanted to hide precious minerals, the study estimated the entry of such goods
went completely unrecorded.  The U.N. group of experts monitoring the arms
embargo to eastern DRC observed that at the northern border post of Vurra,
between Aru (DRC) and Arua (Uganda), there was limited or no customs and
immigration inspection, especially in the case of FAPC combatants who were
allowed to cross freely.[388]

Since Ugandan gold production figures are less than 1
percent of official exports, most gold being exported must have entered Uganda from elsewhere. Official statistics fail to record the entry of significant amounts
of gold hence most of this trade must be illegal and unrecorded.  In 2004 the
discrepancy between gold produced in the country and that exported was just
over $45 million per year, as shown by the official figures below.

Table 1:        

Official Ugandan Gold Import, Export and Production, Figures
in US$

Year

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Gold
Exports

18,600,000

38,360,000

55,730,000

50,350,000

59,900,000

45,760,000

45,590,000

Gold
Imports

0

2,000

3,076,000

890,000

0

2,000

n/a

Local Gold
Production

n/a

40,307

477,000

1,412

24,817

23,000

21,000

0

60460000

758430000

2460000

44436000

0

0

Discrepancy

18,600,000

38,317,693

52,177,000

49,458,588

59,875,183

45,735,000

45,569,000

Note:
Statistics for 2004 are estimates

Source:
Ugandan Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and
Central Bank of Uganda.

Gold Traders in

Kampala

Gold industry experts in Kampala acknowledged and readily
explained the discrepancy between domestic production of gold and amount of its
export, as shown by official statistics.  In interviews with Human Rights Watch
researchers, gold traders confirmed that most of the gold they exported came
from Congo. They estimated the trade to be worth about $60 million per year.[389] 
There are three main gold export businesses in Kampala.  The largest two,
Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd and Machanga Ltd, control an estimated 70 percent
of the export trade from Uganda.  Since profit margins on each trade are
relatively small, these traders make profits by trading in high volume and by
offering good quality gold, for which they need a reliable source of supply.

Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd. is the largest gold exporter in
Uganda.  In an interview with Human Rights Watch researchers, its
representatives said that nearly 90 percent of their gold came from Ituri and
they confirmed that Dr Kisoni Kambale from Butembo was “one of their
customers.”[390] 
Company representatives explained they paid their customers cash for the gold
or transferred funds into the customer’s bank accounts held either locally or
abroad.  Like Dr. Kisoni, they had their own refinery on the premises, to
process any gold that arrived as ore before exporting it to Switzerland and South Africa.  Representatives of the company stated they declared the gold upon
export, ensuring that a customs form and airway bill accompanied each shipment.[391] 

Representatives of Machanga Ltd, the second largest gold
exporter, also told Human Rights Watch researchers that the gold they traded
came from Congo and they confirmed that one of their customers was Mr. Omar
Oria.[392] 
They further explained they advanced cash for the purchase of gold, sometimes
as much as 30 percent of the anticipated purchase price, a system used also by
Mr. Oria in Ariwara.  Machanga representatives stated they exported all their
gold to Metalor Technologies SA, a gold refining company in Switzerland.[393]  Other
traders stated they also sold gold to Switzerland as well as to other locations
such as South Africa and Dubai.

Trading companies in Kampala do not operate illegally but
rather benefit from the loose regulation of the gold trade. Not required to
request import documentation or to ask the origin of the gold, they buy
smuggled Congolese gold as if it had entered Uganda legally and export it as a
legal commodity. An essential bridge to the global economy, they benefit from
the risks taken by Congolese dealers like Dr. Kisoni and Mr. Oria and from
their relationships with local armed groups.

They may however be breaching a U.N. arms embargo. The U.N.
group of experts concluded that firms and individuals entering into financial
relationships with Ituri armed groups may be in violation of the U.N. arms
embargo on eastern DRC.[394]

Encouragement of the Gold Trade by the Ugandan
Government

President Museveni has sought to expand the weak economic
base in Uganda by increasing exports. Coffee, the most important export
commodity in the past, provided some 40 percent of overall export earnings. But
a drop in world price for coffee hit the Ugandan economy hard, as did increased
international oil prices. Continuing poor revenue return and corruption have
further weakened the economy. The impact of joining the East African Community
customs union, expected to be beneficial in the long run, may be negative at
first.[395]
Increase in the export of gold, one of the fastest growing non-traditional
export sectors, offers some hope in this otherwise bleak picture.  The
government believes that trade in minerals has the potential to rival coffee as
a source of foreign exchange for Uganda.  In January 2004 the Ugandan
government signed a $25 million loan agreement with the World Bank to finance
exploration of the country’s mineral deposits.[396]  Domestic mineral
production may at some point substitute for some of the gold imported from Congo, but such a development is a long time in the future.

Since 1999 the Ugandan government has rewarded Ugandan gold
exporters for their efforts to promote the trade.  In 2002 Uganda Commercial
Impex Ltd. received the President’s Export Award for best performance in the
gold trade sector and Machanga Ltd. placed second in the competition. Hon.
Omwony Ojok, the Minister of State in the office of the President responsible
for Economic Monitoring, represented the President at the gala awards ceremony,
attended also by five other government ministers.[397]  The companies were
honored for encouraging the export trade and for fulfilling social
responsibilities as part of their business.  It is not clear how carefully the
selection committee examined their business relationships with Congolese
traders, themselves linked to armed groups responsible for human rights abuses
in Congo.

The Ugandan government has proposed tighter controls on gold
imports, perhaps in an effort to increase its own revenues. Among the
regulations being discussed is one that requires permits for all precious
metals imported into Uganda and that imposes an import tax of .5 percent of the
purchase price.[398] 
These regulations have not yet been accepted as law. Stricter regulation of the
gold trade in Uganda and other transit countries would assist in stamping out
the illegal smuggling and in cutting the link between the gold traders and
armed groups who commit human rights abuses.  The proposals by the Ugandan
government would increase Ugandan revenue and may help somewhat in recording
the gold trade coming from the DRC but without requiring further checks such as
exit certificates, it is unlikely to curb the trade by illegal smugglers.

Buyers of Tainted Gold

According to the U.N. panel of experts on the illegal
exploitation of Congolese resources, companies who buy gold from Uganda may also be contributing indirectly to human rights abuses in the Congo.  After mapping the
interconnections between Congolese parties to the conflict, foreign
governments, and companies, the panel maintained that some business activities,
directly or indirectly, deliberately or through negligence, contributed to the
prolongation of the conflict and related human rights abuses.[399]   Gold industry experts
and companies who trade in gold must, or should be, aware that most of the gold
traded from Uganda comes from a conflict zone in the Congo and that it was
likely to have been exported illegally.  

Switzerland: Unaccounted Gold?

According to industry experts in Uganda, over 70 percent of
the gold exported from Uganda is destined for Switzerland.  Switzerland is one of Uganda’s main trading partners.  According to Ugandan trade statistics,
exports to Switzerland jumped from $29 million in the year 1999 to $99 million
in the year 2000, a record high for trade from Uganda to Switzerland. Although trade decreased to $70.6 million and then to $69 million in the following two
years, it remained considerably higher than in the years before war began in Congo. According to Ugandan trade figures in 2002, Switzerland was Uganda largest single trading partner receiving over $69 million worth of goods,  with Kenya its second largest trading partner receiving goods valued at $61.5 million.[400]

It is likely that a large percentage of the trade from Uganda to Switzerland is gold.  According to official Swiss information, imports from Uganda, excluding gold, amounted to just over $11 million in both 2002 and 2003; most of
this trade was in coffee.[401] 
Swiss imports of gold are classified as “sensitive data.” The Swiss government
provides only the total amount of gold it imports and exports each year,
without producing a breakdown of the country of origin. But Swiss government
officials estimated imports from Uganda, to have been approximately $13 million
in 2003 (see table below).[402] 

Table 2:

Swiss Import and Ugandan Export Statistics:

Some Glaring Discrepancies

Year

2001

2002

2003

Swiss
imports from Uganda excluding gold

$6,965,000

$11,405,898

$11,637,025

Swiss gold
imports from Uganda (unofficial number)

$14,315,187

$1,684,140

$12,631,047

TOTAL
Swiss imports from Uganda according to Swiss import statistics (gold plus
other imports)

$21,280,187

$13,090,037

$24,268,072

TOTAL
exports from Uganda to Switzerland according to Ugandan export statistics

$99,104,000

$70,674,000

$69,011,000

Discrepancy

$77,823,813

$57,583,963

$44,742,928

Source:
Administration Federale des Douanes (AFD), Commerce Exterieur de la Suisse; and
Ugandan Bureau of Statistics.  Unofficial figures come from Swiss
federal government sources.

A comparison of Ugandan export and Swiss import statistics
in 2001, 2002 and 2003 shows some glaring discrepancies. In 2003 goods from Uganda worth over $44 million were not registered at the point of entry into Switzerland and were unaccounted for; in 2001 the figure was $77 million.  When questioned about the
discrepancies, Swiss customs agents told Human Rights Watch researchers that it
was possible the goods had entered Swiss free port zones; areas normally based
around airports which effectively operate outside of Swiss government control.[403] 
Goods entering such zones are not registered or taxed, are not reflected in
Swiss import statistics and are sent to other locations without export duties. 
As the most valuable commodity imported from Uganda, gold could form a
substantial part of the Ugandan goods entering the free port zones.   According
to one Swiss trade official, Swiss banks are possible candidates who may be
buying gold through free port zones.[404]  While free port zones are part of Swiss
territory, they operate outside of Swiss customs control.  A Swiss customs
official told Human Rights Watch researchers, “The control of free ports is
beyond us.”[405] 

Free ports are not transparent and may hide illegal
activities.  Recognizing these risks, the Swiss government in December 2003
submitted a new Customs Act to parliament to tighten control at free ports.  At
the time of writing the new act was still under discussion with no consensus on
which goods should be more closely monitored by customs agents. But a Swiss
customs official told Human Rights Watch researchers that gold was unlikely to
be subject to stricter controls under the new law.[406]  Were Switzerland to impose stricter controls on gold transiting through free ports, it could facilitate
efforts to stop the trade in tainted gold from Congo to other parts of the
world.

Metalor Technologies SA

While a large part of the gold traded from northeastern Congo via Uganda is difficult to trace, it is clear that an estimated $13 million worth of gold
entered Swiss territory from Uganda in 2003 and was officially registered as an
import.[407] 
According to research done by Human Rights Watch, some of this gold imported
into Switzerland is bought by Metalor Technologies SA based in Neuchâtel,
Switzerland, one of the oldest manufacturers of products for the international
gold market. Metalor ranks among the leading refiners in the world of gold and
other precious metals.  In 2003 the company’s net sales were $225 million.[408] 

A representative of the Ugandan-based gold exporting agency
Machanga Ltd., told Human Rights Watch researchers that his company exported
all its gold to Metalor.[409]
Representatives of Machanga also confirmed to Human Rights Watch
representatives that they bought gold from Mr. Omar Oria,[410] a close
business associate of Commander Jérôme, based in northeastern Congo.  Mr. Oria directly participated in human rights abuses including cases of torture and
arbitrary detention carried out by Commander Jérôme and his FAPC armed group as
documented by Human Rights Watch (see above). A United Nations group of experts
monitoring the arms embargo on eastern DRC also reported that Metalor was a
buyer of gold from Machanga.[411] 
Thus Metalor through its purchases of gold from Machanga may be indirectly
involved in a trade that supports an armed group responsible for serious human
rights abuses.

In a December 17, 2004 letter responding to an inquiry from
Human Rights Watch, Metalor declined to say whether Machanga was a supplier of
gold to the company without first seeking Machanga’s approval, stating that
“disclosing information on our suppliers and certain transactions would be
contrary to confidentiality and secrecy obligations imposed on us.”[412] It
is not clear from this or subsequent correspondence if the company attempted to
contact Machanga to obtain such permission.[413]  In a meeting with Human Rights
Watch on April 21, 2005, a representative from Metalor confirmed the company
bought gold from suppliers in Uganda, though the company insisted on retaining
confidentiality as to the identity of those suppliers.[414] 

In its meeting with Human Rights Watch and in its letters of
December 17, 2004 and April 14, 2005, Metalor stated it did not accept goods
originating from criminal activity, from criminal or terrorist groups or goods
used to finance criminal activities.  It claimed to comply with all measures
required by a Swiss federal law on money-laundering and the Swiss precious
metals control act, including requiring assurances from its suppliers that they
owned the goods, that such goods had been acquired legally and that all
necessary measures had been taken to prohibit the trade of goods from unlawful
origin.[415] 
In its meeting with Human Rights Watch, the company representative explained
that Metalor’s client managers regularly visited their suppliers, including any
in Uganda, to conduct due diligence checks, though she was unclear as to when
the last visit had taken place to the company’s suppliers in Uganda.[416] 

In an email communication on February 1, 2005, Metalor
claimed, “Due diligence [was] carried out by all reasonable and lawful
available means (such as governmental bodies, official institutions, diplomatic
representations, financial information providers, registries of commerce,
etc.).”[417] 
In its April 2005 meeting with Human Rights Watch, a Metalor representative
stated that as part of these checks the company had sought information from
authorities such as the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).[418] 
When questioned about the results of these checks, the Metalor representative
explained that such contacts were not always formal or documented but that the
company had received no “negative responses” in relation to the trade of gold
from Uganda.[419] 

Despite these assurances, questions remain about the
thoroughness of Metalor’s due diligence checks.  Since Uganda’s domestic gold production is negligible and since Uganda does not import gold from other
countries, gold exported from Uganda to Metalor is almost certainly mined in
northeastern Congo.  When presented with publicly available gold export and
mining production statistics from official Ugandan sources, the Metalor
representative expressed surprise at the obvious discrepancy.[420]  The representative
stated Metalor had never seen such statistics and was unaware of any
discrepancy, even though the company admitted to having met on more than one
occasion with the Ugandan mining commissioner,[421] an individual likely to have
been well aware that the vast majority of gold exported from Uganda originated
from northeastern Congo as reflected by the statistics published in
department’s annual report.[422]  
Metalor stated the information presented by Human Rights Watch during the
meeting of April 2005 would be fed into its due diligence process.

The Metalor representative stated to Human Rights Watch that
the company “believed the gold [it bought] was of legal origin.”[423]  Yet
the gold traders in Kampala from whom Metalor acquired its gold were clear when
interviewed by Human Rights Watch researchers that the gold they bought
originated from Congo and that they did not request documentation from their
Congolese suppliers such as import and export certificates.[424]   Between 2001 and 2004
numerous reports were published, including ones in Swiss newspapers, about the
trade in natural resources from the Congo describing the horrific human rights
abuses that the revenue helped to finance.[425]   In its April 2005 meeting with Human
Rights Watch, the representative from Metalor stated the company was unaware of
such information and had not heard about a series of public U.N. panel of
experts reports published between April 2001 and October 2003 describing in
detail how the exploitation of Congo’s resources had funded armed groups in
eastern Congo and how the trade in gold from Congo was being funneled through
Uganda.[426] 
In its meeting with Human Rights Watch, the Metalor representative explained
that on occasion the company carried out additional checks on its suppliers in
circumstances when it noticed ‘red flags’ – information from public or private
sources raising questions about a specific country of origin or the ethics of a
supplier.[427] 
Until recently when Metalor was mentioned in a report by a U.N. group of
experts monitoring the arms embargo in eastern DRC,  it appears no red flags
were raised in relation to the gold Metalor bought from its suppliers in Uganda.  Metalor representatives did inform Human Rights Watch that they were carrying out
further checks with their suppliers in light of the U.N. report.[428]

Metalor knew, or should have known, that gold bought from
its suppliers in Uganda came from a conflict zone in northeastern DRC where
human rights were abused on a systematic basis.  Under international business
norms such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, to which Switzerland is a party, companies are obliged to encourage suppliers to apply principles of
corporate conduct compatible with the OECD Guidelines, including provisions on
human rights.[429]
The U.N. Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other
Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, state that companies “within
their respective spheres of activity and influence,”[430] including through their
suppliers, have an obligation to promote and ensure respect for human rights.
Metalor should have considered whether its own role in buying gold resources
from its suppliers in Uganda was compatible with ensuring respect for human
rights and it should have actively checked its supply chain to verify that
acceptable ethical standards were maintained. In its own annual report, the
company reaffirmed its commitment to do so.[431] 

Armed groups in Ituri would face serious difficulties in
supporting their military operations if they were unable to turn gold into
funds to buy arms and other necessities.  The chain of Congolese middlemen,
Ugandan traders and multinational corporations together generate the revenue
stream from which armed groups reap substantial financial benefits. Through any
purchases of gold made from this network, Metalor Technologies may have
contributed indirectly to the revenue stream that supports armed groups in
Ituri who carry out widespread human rights abuses.  Any failure to terminate
relationships with suppliers in Uganda dealing with armed group leaders in Congo may indirectly implicate Metalor in the human rights abuses these groups were
committing.

IX. International
Initiatives to Address Resource Exploitation in the DRC

Continued fighting in eastern DRC throughout 2004 and early
2005 was a stark reminder of the fragility of the peace process.  During the
first two years of the transitional government, the international community
focused on short-term crisis management and failed to provide consistent
diplomatic assistance to implement the peace process.  While timely
intervention from the U.K., U.S.A. and South African governments twice pulled Rwanda back from new military operations in Congo, such efforts were sporadic and in the end Rwanda temporarily sent its troops back across the border in November 2004.  Key
international actors paid little attention to tackling the underlying causes of
the conflict.  While most international governments acknowledged that resource
exploitation played a central role in exacerbating and prolonging the conflict
in the DRC as a result of the U.N. panel of experts reports, few efforts were
made to deal with the issue. The DRC example of conflict and resources raised
broader questions of corporate accountability in the developing world,
particularly in conflict zones where the exploitation of natural resources
could help fund military operations and fuel war.  

U.N. Panel of Experts Reports on
Illegal Resource Exploitation in the DRC

The U. N. Security Council first expressed concern about the
link between conflict and natural resources in the DRC in June 2000 when it
appointed an independent panel of experts to research and analyze the matter.[432] The
U.N. panel of experts produced a series of reports, the last in October 2003
that detailed how the exploitation of resources had funded many of the
different armed groups (local and foreign) fighting in eastern DRC, enriching
individual officers of the Rwandan, Ugandan and Zimbabwean armies that
intervened in the conflict, as well as elite Congolese actors.[433] 

The U.N. panel of experts not only documented the link
between resource exploitation and conflict in the region, but also considered
the connection between the exploitation of resources and international
business.  The minerals and other resources from Congo were predominantly
destined for multinational companies based in Europe and North America.  In an
unprecedented step, the U.N. panel of experts in its October 2002 report listed
twenty-nine companies and fifty-four individuals against whom it recommended
the Security Council impose financial restrictions and travel bans including a
list of eighty-five other companies, which it declared to be in violation of
the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.[434]

The naming of companies by the U.N. panel of experts
resulted in considerable controversy. Some governments criticized the panel for
basing its allegations on evidence that was not always solid or well-explained.
The panel lumped together companies against which it had strong proof together
with others for which it did not, thus casting doubts on the whole effort. 
Companies and civil society groups criticized the panel for its failure to
provide more detailed information on the activities of certain companies. 
Numerous corporations responded to the report with swift denials and lobbied
governments to ensure their names were removed from the panel’s list, a process
which lacked transparency and may have been subject to abuse.[435]  The Security Council
requested the panel to open dialogue with the named companies.

In their final report published in October 2003, the U.N.
panel of experts annexed a list of companies categorizing them according to
whether the allegations against them had been resolved to the panel’s
satisfaction.   In this final report the panel claimed that the cases of
forty-one companies were now ‘resolved’, though it provided no information on
how it had come to such a decision.  To complicate matters further, the panel
added an important caveat stressing that the category of ‘resolved’ should not
be seen as invalidating their earlier findings.[436]  This left the question
of whether companies had breached the OECD guidelines hanging.  Speaking to a
British parliamentary group, some companies expressed concern about the
categorization process claiming that those companies who had breached the
guidelines had “got away with it,” while others who had not were unable to
clear their names with certainty.[437] 
The parliamentary committee recommended that the panel’s categorization process
should not be relied upon to determine whether a case had been resolved.[438]  

The experience of the U.N. panel of experts in the DRC
illustrates that there should be stricter guidelines used by U.N. panels to
ensure an adequate level of proof is obtained, that such investigations are
thorough and that transparency is assured.  But as this report has shown,
corporations like AngloGold Ashanti have violated international business norms
and did breach the OECD guidelines.  Lack of thorough investigations may indeed
exonerate those whose behavior ought to be questioned.

Despite the controversy about the named companies, the U.N.
panel of experts’ reports contributed to a growing consensus amongst U.N.
Security Council members and other international actors that resource
exploitation was a key factor in the DRC war.  The council passed four
presidential statements and two resolutions drawing attention to the natural
resource exploitation in the DRC and its link with the conflict.[439]  In
Resolution 1457 the council strongly condemned the illegal exploitation of
natural resources in the DRC, noted its concern that this plunder fuelled the
conflict, and demanded that all states act immediately to end these illegal
activities.  It urged all States “to conduct their own investigations as
appropriate through judicial means, in order to clarify credibly the findings
of the Panel” adding that exploitation should occur transparently, legally and
on a fair commercial basis, to benefit the country and its people.[440]

The panel’s reports raised the expectation that U.N. member
states would hold to account those companies that were responsible for
misconduct, but these hopes were misplaced.  After the publication of their
final report in 2003, its mandate of the U.N. panel of experts was ended and
the information uncovered by the panel was archived for 25 years.  The failure
of the U.N. to follow up on the panel’s recommendations has been a major blow
to further progress on the critical issue of the link between conflict and
natural resources in the DRC and beyond.

Investigations on Breaches of the
OECD Guidelines

 

The U.N. panel of experts’ reports significantly increased
the profile of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises for monitoring
corporate behavior in conflict zones.  The OECD Guidelines, adopted by
governments in all thirty OECD member countries and by eight non-members, are
recommendations addressed directly to companies setting down ‘shared
expectations for business conduct’.They are the first international
instrument on corporate social responsibility to provide a government-supported
(though voluntary) mechanism for monitoring and influencing corporate behavior.
The guidelines provide standards of conduct for all key aspects of company
operations including respect for human rights and sustainable development
amongst others that are to be observed wherever a company operates.[441]  The
guidelines are not directly binding on companies. Adhering governments who have
signed up the guidelines, however, are required to set up an implementation
procedure. These governments are obliged to set up ‘National Contact Points’
(NCPs) to promote the guidelines and to examine specific instances of company
misconduct.[442]

The U.N. panel of experts recommended that NCPs conduct
follow up investigations of companies whose cases were listed by the panel as
‘unresolved’.  With the exception of Belgium and the U.K., no other OECD member
state launched investigations into any of the companies mentioned. Governments
and their NCPs repeatedly blamed the panel for failing to forward the relevant
evidence to them and claimed they could carry out no fact finding
investigations of their own, despite provisions for such activity under the
implementing rules of the guidelines. NGO consortiums in the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, USA and Canada filed complaints to the relevant NCPs on
specific breaches to the guidelines by companies listed by the panel. In
countries like the U.K. where the NCP did attempt to take cases forward, a
parliamentary committee found that progress by the British government “had been
slow.” The committee added that it was concerned civil society groups had been
excluded from the complaints procedure despite practices to the contrary by
other national NCPs and clear guidance on their right to be included as set out
in the implementation procedures.[443]

The NCP procedure for dealing with these complaints in all
relevant countries has been slow and ineffective.  Most government
representatives have chosen to use the most narrow, and sometimes unjustified,
interpretations of the guidelines.  In a complaint brought by civil society in
the Netherlands, the NCP decided the guidelines did not cover trading
relationships, only companies that invest, rendering the guidelines
inapplicable in this type of common business activity.[444]   As a result of the
narrow interpretations, civil society groups and trade unions have questioned
the political will of member states to use them as a corporate accountability
instrument.[445] 
The British parliamentary committee recommend in their report that more
resources and a higher ranking civil servant be appointed to deal with the
outstanding British cases, a recommendation that could be picked up by other
governments.[446] 
The parliamentary committee added that there should be “more international
attention focused on how the take the [whole] process forward.”[447]  The
DRC example illustrated that governments have shown a minimal commitment to
fully tackling the causes of conflicts.

Response of Regional Governments

The Ugandan Porter Commission

Following the first report by the U.N. panel of experts,the
Ugandan government established the Porter Commission to look into allegations
of Ugandan involvement in illegal exploitation of resources from the DRC.  It
produced its final report in November 2002.  The mandate of the Porter
Commission was narrow and it was only allowed to investigate allegations made
by the U.N. panel of experts.   From the start of its work, the Commission was
hampered by lack of funds for investigation. General James Kazini, in charge of
Ugandan forces in the DRC, blocked the commission from going to Ituri to speak
with witnesses according to Mr. Justice Porter, and claimed there was no transportation
available for commission members.[448] 
On the basis of its hearings, the Porter Commission report exonerated the
Ugandan government and its army of any official involvement in the exploitation
but supported the U.N. panel of experts’ findings in relation to senior Ugandan
army officers who, said the Commission, had “lied to protect themselves.”[449]  It
particularly singled out General Kazini for having “shamed the name of Uganda”[450] and it
recommended disciplinary action against him.   It also recommended further
criminal investigations into Salim Saleh, the brother of President Museveni,
who had violated the Ugandan Companies Act.[451]   

To date no judicial action has been taken against either of
these two senior officers mentioned above. The supporting documentation sent
twice on different occasions by the Commission to the Ugandan Ministry of
Foreign Affairs was ‘lost’.[452] 
In 2003 General Kazini was sent for retraining in Nigeria and in 2004 Salim
Saleh went back to school.

Although the Ugandan army withdrew its forces from
northeastern DRC in May 2003, it continued to provide support to armed groups
in the DRC. A confidential supplement from the U.N. panel of experts to the
U.N. Security Council in 2003 stated direct transfers of funds were made from the
Ugandan Office of the Presidency to support armed groups in Ituri and further
claimed arms and military supplies were provided to these groups on a
coordinated, institutional-basis.[453] 
In a move to continue to protect his allies, President Museveni wrote on August 26, 2004 to the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan requesting provisional immunity
from prosecution for Ituri armed group leaders and the suspension of
investigations by the International Criminal Court.[454]

Rwandan Investigations

Rwanda responded to both the October 2002 and October 2003
reports of the U.N. panel of experts which accused it of organized mass scale
looting through a centralized apparatus in the armed forces known as the ‘Congo
desk’.[455]
In its response to the October 2002 report, the Government of Rwanda said that
the panel’s report lacked credibility and was “biased, subjective and not based
on credible evidence.”[456] 
In response to the final panel report a year later, the Rwandan Government
objected to the panel’s methodology, suggesting it was being unfairly targeted
calling the report a “deliberate effort to tarnish Rwanda’s image, while
denying it the opportunity to defend itself.”[457]  In October 2003,
Rwandan Foreign Minister Charles Murigande pledged that his government would
set up a commission of inquiry under the Office of the Prosecutor General to
investigate two cases of alleged illegal exploitation of DRC resources by
Rwandan companies and individuals.”[458] 
To date, there have been no results published of this inquiry.

Meanwhile, numerous witnesses and a confidential supplement
to the U.N. panel of experts report stated Rwanda continued to help Lubanga’s
UPC in Ituri with advice, military training and the delivery of ammunition.[459]  As
described above, UPC combatants had control of gold mining areas from November
2002 until March 2003. The U.N. also reported that UPC elements went for
training in Rwanda between September to December 2002, that senior UPC officers
reported directly to Kigali and that Rwandan forces evacuated Lubanga from
Ituri in March 2003 when UPC troops were losing ground to joint Ugandan and FNI
troops in and around the gold mining areas.[460] A former UPC spokesperson informed a
Human Rights Watch researcher in February 2004, “It is not a secret that we
were supported by the Rwandans,” adding, “everyone is interested in our gold.”[461]

DRC Government Response

In response to the U.N. panel of experts’ allegations, the
Kabila government initially suspended a number of government ministers and
advisors who were named as having been involved in the illegal exploitation. In
2003 Kabila ordered an internal review of the allegations against individuals. 
The review carried out by Professor Akele after the U.N. panel of experts’
findings recommended criminal prosecutions but Human Rights Watch is not aware
that the recommendations of this review were implemented. Many of the ministers
initially suspended returned as government advisors.

The accords between the main Congolese rebel groups and the
DRC government signed in Sun City in 2002 agreed to the creation of a special
committee to review the legality of commercial mining contracts signed by all
parties during the war and to ensure that contracts were beneficial to the DRC
state.[462]
Chaired by Christophe Lutundula the committee was authorized to demand
compensation from companies for state losses. Although slow in starting and
initially blocked by Kabila’s own party in the national assembly, the committee
took on an active role reviewing a number of contracts and over ruling some previous
decisions.  In one case, a decision by President Kabila to cancel a contract
with Canadian gold mining company Banro entered into by the RCD rebel group was
reversed.[463]
In another case, a shareholding obtained by a company in Katanga from the post-transition government was reduced.[464]  
In September 2004, the committee received financial backing from the World Bank
and logistical support from MONUC.  Its first report is due in early 2005 but
the Chairman has expressed fear that “powerful and corrupt forces may succeed
in shutting it down.”[465]

MONUC

In October
2004, the U.N. Security Council renewed the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping
force in DRC, MONUC, increasing its troops by 5,900 to a maximum of 16,700,
though this number fell short of the 23,000 troops requested by the U.N.
Secretary General.  The mandate of MONUC was strengthened giving the
peacekeeping force authorisation to use force to deter threats to the peace
process, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, and
U.N. personnel, to support disarmament operations, to implement the arms
embargo and to provide a secure environment for elections.[466]  There was
however only passing reference to the issue of natural resources in the new
mandate.  The U.N. Security Council categorically condemned the illegal
exploitation and urged all states, including the DRC itself, to carry out
investigations and other appropriate steps to end these activities. But it made
no further reference to what it would do to cut the link between arms trafficking
and resource exploitation, a link the panel itself drew attention to in its
public reports and in a confidential supplement it sent to U.N. Security
Council members in November 2003.[467]

Some MONUC personnel expressed frustration
at the lack of capacity to deal with issues of economic exploitation. The
mission has not integrated the link between resources and conflict into its
political analysis, seen as an absolute minimum by many observers to
understanding the political context.[468] As a result there has been
little follow-up to the findings of the U.N. panel of experts within MONUC and
no action taken to monitor or tackle the link between conflict and control of
natural resources which continue to take place in Ituri (see above) and other
areas. 

Click to expand Image

MONUC peacekeepers on
the streets of Bunia.  MONUC has a limited presence in the gold mining areas in
Ituri, the site of widespread ethnic killings and human rights abuses.

© 2004 Human Rights
Watch

International Financial Institutions

Uganda is often cited as an economic success story in Africa, but there has been little scrutiny by international financial institutions (IFIs)
regarding the role of its illegal exploitation of resources in the DRC in
bolstering its economy. The U.N. panel of experts reported in 2001:

[T]he illegal exploitation of gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo brought a significant improvement in the balance of payments of Uganda. This in turn gave multilateral donors, especially the IMF, which was monitoring the Ugandan treasury situation, more confidence in the Ugandan economy. [469]

This problem has not been publicly
acknowledged by the IFIs. Thomas Dawson, the director of the External Relations
Department in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), wrote in June 2002, “in recent
years, the Ugandan government’s economic policies have proven quite successful
in containing inflation and promoting strong economic growth – the IMF has
fully supported this program with advice and lending.” In a September 2003
review of Uganda’s performance under the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP) process, the IMF and World Bank praised the country for its export-led
growth. Although the report raised concerns about human rights and the
humanitarian situation in northern Uganda, it was silent on the country’s role
in the DRC.

The IMF has illustrated in other countries
that it can be a forceful proponent of transparency and accountability of
government revenue but it has been inconsistent regarding transparency
globally. It has been notably silent on Uganda’s role in the DRC despite
significant evidence that government revenue is coming from the illegal
exploitation of resources across the border.

The World Bank has also been moving towards
a consistent approach on transparency. A two-year-long review by the World Bank
assessing its role in the extractive industries has largely concluded that the
bank should consistently address these issues by requiring audits and accurate
public disclosure of revenues and expenditures. Despite such conclusions, it
has not been forceful on promoting such an approach in Uganda, Rwanda or the DRC.  Should such an approach be followed, the public in resource-rich
countries could have an opportunity to exercise oversight over government
accounts.

Other bilateral donors have taken few steps
to support initiatives to further investigate resource exploitation.  The U.K.
Department for International Development (DfID) has been an exception funding
some projects looking at resource management and corruption.  The U.K. has also promoted the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative which seeks to increase transparency in transactions between governments and
companies within the extractive industries sector.  The DRC government,
however, is not a participant.

International Criminal Court

Justice is an essential element in rebuilding the DRC and
ending impunity.  As the U.N. secretary general highlighted “[i]mpunity…can be
an even more dangerous recipe for sliding back into conflict.”[470]   On
June 23, 2004 Luis Moreno Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court (ICC) announced the beginning of the first-ever investigation by the
prosecutor’s office into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in
the DRC.  Earlier in the year, the transitional government triggered the action
by requesting the ICC prosecutor to investigate crimes in the Congo.  One of the priority areas for the ICC is to be Ituri.  The ICC prosecutor stated in
September 2003 that crimes committed in Ituri appear to be directly linked to
control of resource extraction sites and that “those who direct mining
operations, sell diamonds or gold extracted in these conditions, launder the
dirty money or provide weapons could also be authors of the crimes, even if
they are based in other countries.”[471] 
He added that his office would independently verify links between the killings
and the exploitation of resources[472],
thereby providing a glimmer of hope that justice might be done for crimes
committed in Mongbwalu and other similar resource rich areas in the DRC.

X. Conclusion

Gold has been a critical factor in human
rights abuses in northeastern DRC.  War crimes, crimes against humanity and
other serious human rights abuses have been committed by armed groups seeking
to control gold mines or key customs posts in Congo.  While the international
community acknowledged that natural resource exploitation played a central role
in exacerbating the conflict, minimal steps have been taken to stop it.
Continued fighting in eastern Congo has been a stark reminder of the fragility
of the peace process.  It risks failure unless attention is focused on the
underlying causes of the conflict and serious attempts made to cut the links
between conflict and natural resource extraction.  The re-engagement of multinational
companies needs to promote peace and respect for human rights, not work against
it.  The DRC government, its neighbours, the U.N., international donors and the
private sector need to work together to stop the trade in illegal smuggled gold
and other resources.  Working in collaboration they need to ensure no support
of any kind is provided to armed groups responsible for serious human rights
crimes.   Congolese citizens deserve to benefit from the country’s rich
resources, not be cursed by them.

XI. Acknowledgements

This report was researched and written by Anneke Van
Woudenberg, senior researcher in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. 
Additional research was provided by Alex Vines of the Business and Human Rights
Division, Carina Tertsakian and Karen Stauss of the Africa Division, and
Carroll Bogert, Associate Director of Human Rights Watch.  Research assistance
was provided by Alison Holder, Lizzie Parsons and Sébastien Gillioz.

The report was edited by Alison Des Forges, senior advisor to
the Africa Division with input from Arvind Ganeasan, director of the Business
and Human Rights Division; Alex Vines, senior researcher; Georgette Gagnon,
deputy director of the Africa Division; Peter Takirambudde, executive director
of the Africa Division; Iain Levine, program director; Ken Roth, executive
director.  Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director, provided valuable input
and extensive legal review.  Production assistance and coordination was
provided by Lizzie Parsons, associate in the Africa division; with help from
Andrea Holley, publications director; and Veronica Mathushaj, photo editor. 
Anne Fonteneau translated this report into French.

We wish to thank all those individuals who contributed their
time and advice to the legal review of this report.  Special thanks to Derek
Spitz, Barrister at One Essex Court Chambers and to legal counsel at Morrison
& Foerster MNP, amongst others.

We wish to especially thank our Congolese colleagues in
Justice Plus and other individuals who cannot be named for security reasons for
their commitment and assistance.  They risk their lives to defend the rights of
others.  We greatly appreciate all those who took the time and courage to speak
to our researchers, in particular those who have themselves been the victims of
abuse.

XII. Appendices

AngloGoldAshanti

A. Human Rights Watch letter to AngloGold Ashanti, October
21, 2004

Dr. Charl Du Plessis

Managing Director Geology Africa

AngloGold Ashanti

Goldfields House

Accra, Ghana

Via Fax

Dear Mr. Du Plessis:

Human Rights Watch is preparing a report on the human rights
situation in the district of Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a
specific focus on the links between the trade in gold by armed groups and
abuses of human rights.  Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental
organization that since 1978 has conducted investigations of human rights
abuses throughout the world.  As you may be aware we have to date published two
detailed reports on the widespread human rights abuses in Ituri as well as
numerous other reports, articles and press releases on the situation in the
DRC.

We have been in regular contact with representatives from
AngloGold Ashanti in the DRC and Uganda to discuss the economic and security
situation in Ituri, as well as our continued concerns about human rights
abuses.  During these meetings representatives from your organization have
outlined to us AngloGold Ashanti’s plans for exploration and exploitation of
the gold deposits in Concession 40 around the town of Mongbwalu.  We would be
grateful for any updated information you might be able to provide on current
plans for exploration and exploitation of the gold in Concession 40.

We also have a number of additional questions and points of
clarification and would welcome any information on the issues specifically
raised below.  In the interests of balanced and fair reporting, we strive to
reflect all perspectives in our research and publications and look forward to
your response.

Attached are questions regarding AngloGold Ashanti’s contractual relationship with OKIMO in the DRC, legal disputes with the Congo state, access to Mongbwalu and Concession 40, and questions about policies pursued by
AngloGold Ashanti to ensure respect for human rights. We would appreciate any
information you care to supply.  Your response will be taken into account in
our forthcoming report.  In light of our publishing schedule, we would be
grateful to receive your response by November 20, 2004.

Please send any information to the Human Rights watch office
in London at 2 – 12 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF or by fax on 44 207 713
1800. 

Thank you very much.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Anneke Van Woudenberg

Senior Researcher

Human Rights Watch

CC:  Mr. Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti Representative
Uganda

B. Fax from AngloGold Ashanti, December 7, 2004

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C. Human Rights Watch letter to AngloGold Ashanti, December 8, 2004

Steven Lenahan

Executive Office, Corporate Affairs

AngloGold Ashanti

11 Diagonal Street, Johannesburg

Via Fax

Dear Mr. Lenahan,

Thank you for your letter of December 7, 2004 responding to
our queries on AngloGold Ashanti’s operations in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC).  We are just in the process of completing the final edits on our
report and your information came just in time.

We wanted to clarify one paragraph of your response to Human
Rights Watch.  In Part C on page 2 of your response, you stated that AGK
representatives had discussions with government officials in October 2004.  IN
various discussions Human Rights Watch held with AngloGold Ashanti representatives in DRC and Uganda, they indicated that such discussions had taken place in
2003.  We would appreciate clarification from you on whether it was October
2003 or 2004. 

We would also be grateful if you could clarify the response
of each of the individuals you met with – namely the Ministers of Mines and
Planning, Mr. W. Swing of MONUC and DRC Presidents Ruberwa and Bemba – on your
intentions to access Concession 40 and whether any such responses were in
writing.

Again, we would appreciate any information you care to
supply.  In light of our publishing schedule, we would be grateful to receive
your response by next week at the latest.

Thank you very much.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Anneke van Woudenberg

Senior Researcher, Human Rights WatchD. Fax
from AngloGold Ashanti, December 13, 2004

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E. Human Rights Watch letter to AngloGold Ashanti, April 13, 2005

Mr. Steven Lenahan

Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs

AngloGold Ashanti

11 Diagonal Street

Johannesburg, South Africa

Via Fax 

Dear Mr. Lenahan:

Thank you again for your previous correspondence with Human
Rights Watch dated December 7, 2004 and December 13, 2004.  As you know, Human
Rights Watch is preparing a report on the human rights situation in the
district of Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a specific focus on
the links between the trade in gold by armed groups and abuses of human
rights. 

Since our last correspondence, new information about the
situation in Ituri has been brought to the attention of Human Rights Watch. 
Attached below are specific questions relating to this new information.  We
would be grateful for any additional comments and clarification from you on the
issues raised.  As we have mentioned in our previous correspondence, in the
interests of balanced and fair reporting, we strive to reflect all perspectives
in our research and publications. Your response will be taken into account in
our forthcoming report. 

We would be grateful for any information you care to
provide.  As we are now in the final stages of our report preparation, we would
appreciate a response by April 20, 2005. 

Please send any information to by fax to Human Rights Watch
in London on 44 207 713 1800. 

Thank you very much.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Anneke Van Woudenberg

Senior Researcher

Human Rights Watch

To: AngloGold Ashanti

From: Human Rights Watch

Date: April 13, 2005

Subject: Mining Operations in Ituri, DRC 

We would appreciate any information, comment or
clarification you wish to provide on the following questions:

1.          Human Rights Watch researchers have  received
allegations that AngloGold Ashanti paid taxes to the Front for National Integration
(FNI) including: (a) an $8,000 safety tax in January 2005, (b) taxes on
incoming cargo at six US cents per kilogram, (c) taxes on personnel arriving at
the Mongbwalu airport and (d) other taxes, fees and small items.  We would
appreciate your comments and further clarification on these payments. 

2.          We would also welcome additional clarification
on the advice (if any) received from the local District Commissioner on the
payment of the taxes mentioned above and whether any previous or subsequent
payments have been made by AngloGold Ashanti to the FNI.

3.          Human Rights Watch has received allegations that
Floribert Njabu’s house and that of other senior FNI leaders in Mongbwalu has
been provided by AngloGold Ashanti.  Could you please comment on this allegation.

4.          Human Rights Watch has been informed that on
March 7, 2003 the representative of Ashanti Goldfields in Kinshasa, Mr. Trevor
Schultz, participated in a board meeting with the joint venture partner OKIMO
to discuss the relaunching of operations in Mongbwalu.  Could you please
confirm this meeting and its outcomes.

5.          The United Nations Group of Experts on the arms
embargo in the DRC stated in their report of January 25, 2005 that “AGA
[AngloGold Ashanti] find themselves in an ambiguous position vis-à-vis the arms
embargo.”  They added that “although AGA is compelled to abide by FNI rules if
it is to operate, AGA could arguably be in violation of the arms embargo
through its direct payment and assistant to an embargoed party.”  We would
appreciate your comment on this statement.

6.          While conducting research in Mongbwalu, Human
Rights Watch researchers received allegations that AngloGold Ashanti used
consultants to liaise directly and frequently with FNI officials.  Could you
please comment on such allegations.

7.          In your letter to December 7, 2004 to Human
Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti stated it had “no working or other relationship
with the FNI” which appears inconsistent with other information provided in the
same letter that in late 2003 and again in March, May, July and September 2004
AGK officials met with FNI representatives.  We would welcome your comments on
this contradiction.

F. E-mail from AngloGold Ashanti, April 27, 2005

Email addresses withheld

Subject: Response to Questions Regarding AngloGold Ashanti Kilo

From: Steve Lenahan

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:12:27 +0200

To: Anneke van Woudenberg

Dear Ms Van Woudenberg and Ms Parsons

Thank you for your letter of 13 April, 2005.  I apologise
for the time taken to respond but, as I had a trip to the DRC scheduled, I
thought it better to delay responding until I had had the benefit of visiting
Bunia and Mongbwalu.

I have answered your questions in the order that you
presented them in as much detail as I hope will be helpful.  I do not at this
time have a response for you to your question regarding the March 7, 2003
meeting, but will get back to you on this issue.

1.       Human Rights Watch researchers have received
allegations that AngloGold Ashanti paid taxes to the Front for National
Integration (FNI) including: (a) an $8.000 safety tax in January 2005.  (b)
taxes on incoming cargo at six US cents per kilogram.  (c) taxes on personnel
arriving at the Mongbwalu airport and (d) other taxes, fees and small items. 
We would appreciate your comments and further clarification on these payments.

a.       In January 2005, AngloGold Ashanti staff in Mongbwalu were approached by FNI operatives, who demanded that the company provide
the FNI with $8,000 to allow a delegation to travel to Kinshasa for meetings
with Government and other political organizations.  The request was initially
refused but, after it became clear that the safety of the staff and the
company’s assets were at risk, and on the advice of the Bunia District
Commissioner, the local staff acceded to the request and, under protest and
duress, gave the FNI representatives the $8,000 demanded.    The incident was
confirmed with the District Commissioner and reported to OKIMO with a request
that the information be passed on to MONUC.  This payment was never approved by
executive management at AngloGold Ashanti and, while payments of this kind are
not consistent with AngloGold Ashanti’s business principles, the decision by
the local staff to comply with the demand was taken at that time in the
interests of their personal safety and with the knowledge of appropriate
agencies.

b.       Until September 2004, there had been a common
practice in Mongbwalu of paying to the FNI, on its instruction, a levy of 6 US
cents per kilogram on all goods arriving at the local airport.  Because of the
insignificant quantity of freight which the company had been bringing onto the
site, this practice had not come to the attention of the company’s officials in
Kinshasa until September.  However, when management was informed of the
practice and the fact that it contravened the provisions of the UN Resolution,
it was discontinued.

c.       We are not aware of a practice of paying a tax on
personnel arriving at the Mongbwalu airstrip.

d.       We are not aware of the payment of any further
taxes, fees or small items.

2.       We would also welcome additional clarification
on the advice (if any) received from the local District Commissioner on the
payment of the taxes mentioned above and whether any previous or subsequent
payments have been made to AngloGold Ashanti to the FNI.

As we note in response to your question 1a, when we sought
the view of the District Commissioner in Bunia, she gave us the advice that we
should comply with the demand of the FNI with respect to the payment of $8,000.

No further payments have been made by AngloGold Ashanti to the FNI or any other militia group.

3.       Human Rights Watch has received allegations that
Floribert Njabu’s house and that of other senior FNI leaders in Mongbwalu has
been provided by AngloGold Ashanti.  Could you please comment on this
allegation.

There are a number of houses on land adjacent to the
AngloGold Ashanti exploration camp in Mongbwalu which were previously occupied
by employees of the Kimin/OKIMO joint venture, from which company AngloGold Ashanti acquired the property.  These houses were unoccupied until 2004, when members of
the FNI took occupation of several of them, without either seeking our
permission or receiving our approval.  One of these houses was, we understand,
occupied by the FNI leader, Ndjabu.

4.       Human Rights Watch has been informed that on
March 7, 2003 the representative of Ashanti Goldfields in Kinshasa, Mr Trevor
Schultz, participated in a board meeting with the joint venture partner OKIMO
to discuss the relaunching of operations in Mongbwalu.  Could you please
confirm this meeting and its outcomes.

I will revert to you on this issue.

5.       The United Nations Group of Experts on the arms
embargo in the DRC stated in their report of January 25, 2005 that, “AGA
(AngloGold Ashanti) find themselves in an ambiguous position vis-à-vis the arms
of embargo”.  They added that “although AGA is compelled to abide by FNI rules
it is to operate, AGA could arguably be in violation of the arms embargo
through its direct payments and assistant to an embargoed party”.  We would
appreciate your comment on this statement.

As we noted in our response to the United Nations Group of
Experts, we do not agree that AngloGold Ashanti has acted intentionally in any
way that could be considered to be in violation of the embargo. There has been
no intention on the part of AngloGold Ashanti to violate the embargo either
acting by itself or in concert with any party.

6.       While conducting research in Mongbwalu, Human
Rights Watch researchers received allegations that AngloGold Ashanti used
consultants to liaise directly and frequently with FNI officials.  Could you
please comment on such allegations.

AngloGold Ashanti employs agents and consultants to assist
in the conduct of its affairs in the DRC.  However, the company has not
employed consultants to act on its behalf in dealing with the FNI.  Where there
has been unavoidable contact with the FNI, we have sought to ensure that any
such contact took place directly between ourselves and the militia group and
that any such contact was transparent.

7.       In your letter of December 7, 2004 to Human
Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti stated it had “no working or other relationship
with FNI” which appears inconsistent with other information provided in the
same letter that in late 2003 and again in March, May, July and September 2004
AGK officials met with FNI representatives.  We would welcome your comments on
this contradiction.

We do not believe that our comments have been
contradictory.  It is not the policy or practice of this company to seek to
establish continuous, working relationships with militia groups in conflict
zones.  There have been circumstances in the recent past in the DRC where contact
between our management and the FNI has been unavoidable and, in those cases, we
have attempted to keep the contact to a minimum and have ensured that the
meetings and their outcomes are communicated with all interested parties.  In
carrying on our business in the DRC we have, however, persistently made and
maintained contact with the Government, both through our partners, OKIMO, and
directly with Government officials and military, political and logistical
officials of MONUC, in both Bunia and Mongbwalu.

I trust that our answers address your concerns and confirm
our willingness to address any further queries you may have.  I would add that
we would be quite willing to discuss these and related issues with you and your
colleagues in person, which we think would be a more constructive means of both
addressing any remaining concerns which you might have and affording us the
opportunity of describing our experiences and approach to operating under these
and similar circumstances in various locations around the world.

Sincerely

Steven Lenahan

Executive Officer – Corporate Affairs

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd

G. AngloGold Ashanti Mission and Values

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Metalor
Technologies S.A.

A. Human Rights Watch letter to Metalor, December 8, 2004

Metalor Technologies S.A.

Dr Scott Morrison

Head of Operating Refining Division

Marin, Switzerland

Via Fax

Dear Dr. Morrison:

Human Rights Watch is preparing a report on the human rights
situation in the district of Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a
specific focus on the links between the trade in gold by armed groups and
abuses of human rights.  Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental
organization that since 1978 has conducted investigations of human rights
abuses throughout the world.  We have to date published two detailed reports on
the widespread human rights abuses in north-eastern DRC as well as numerous
other reports, articles and press releases. 

We would be grateful for information you could provide on
the gold trade from Uganda to Switzerland. Based on research conducted by Human
Rights Watch in Uganda and export statistics from the Ugandan government, we
understand that much of the gold exported from Uganda originates from the DRC
and is destined for Switzerland. We would be grateful for information you might
be able to provide on your suppliers in Uganda and whether the gold Metalor
Technologies purchases from these suppliers originates in the DRC.

We also have a number of additional questions and points of
clarification and would welcome any information on the issues specifically
raised below.  In the interests of balanced and fair reporting, we strive to
reflect all perspectives in our research and publications and look forward to
your response.

Attached are questions regarding Metalor Technologies
purchases of gold from Ugandan based companies and questions about policies
pursued by Metalor on monitoring your supply chain, in particular with respect
for human rights. We would appreciate any information you care to supply.  Your
response will be taken into account in our forthcoming report.  In light of our
publishing schedule, we would be grateful to receive your written response by
January 7, 2004.

In the meantime, myself and a colleague, Alex Vines, will be
traveling to Switzerland on December 22, 2004 and would appreciate an
opportunity to meet with you or other members of your staff to discuss these
issues further.  Please let me know if this is convenient for you.

Thank you very much.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Anneke Van Woudenberg

Senior Researcher

Human Rights Watch

To: Metalor Technologies S.A.

From: Human Rights Watch

Date: December 8, 2004 

Subject: Gold Purchases from Uganda or the DRC 

A.         Purchases from Ugandan Based Gold Exporting
companies

Human Rights Watch has received information that Metalor
Technologies purchased gold from two Ugandan based exporting companies:  Uganda
Commercial Impex Ltd and Machanga Ltd., both based in Kampala.  We would be
grateful if you could confirm this information and indicate the length of your
relationship with each of these companies, the amount of gold you purchase from
each one annually, and whether these companies continue to act as your
suppliers. 

B.         Supply Chain

Human Rights Watch has been informed that the vast majority
of gold traded from Uganda originates from north-eastern parts of the DRC, as
confirmed by low local production of gold in Uganda itself and the high export
of gold from the country as published in official Ugandan statistics. Could you
please clarify the origin of the gold you purchase from Ugandan based traders. 

Specifically, we would welcome clarification on the
followings points:

1.          If you have carried out checks with your
suppliers in Uganda to determine the origin of the gold they purchased.  If
yes, when and how were these checks carried out and what was the result.

2.          If you have carried out checks with your
suppliers in Uganda to determine the legality of their purchases of gold.  If
yes, when and how were such checks carried out and what was the result.

 

C.         Ensuring Respect for Human Rights

We would appreciate information about the policies Metalor
Technologies has adopted regarding respect for human rights by those in your
supply chain from whom you purchase gold.  We understand that Metalor
Technologies recently enacted a landmark compliance and monitoring program in
your organization.  We would welcome any information you care to supply on how
this program is being implemented in your supply chain, particularly with
regard to your suppliers from Uganda.

Specifically, we would welcome your responses to the
following questions:

1.          What steps has Metalor Technologies taken to
ensure its purchases of gold from Uganda do not in any way support armed groups
operating in the DRC?

2.          What conditions, if any, has Metalor
Technologies placed on gold suppliers in Uganda to determine they do not trade
with groups of individuals who carry out human rights abuses in the DRC?

3.          What checks has Metalor Technologies undertaken
to ensure that its gold purchases do not in any way contribute to groups or
individuals who carry out human rights abuses in the DRC?

B. Fax from Metalor, December 17, 2004

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C. Letter from Human Rights Watch to Metalor, January 13, 2005

Metalor Technologies S.A.

Dr Scott Morrison

Avenue du Vignoble

CH-2009 Neuchâtel

Via Fax

Dear Dr. Morrison:

Thank you for your fax dated December 17, 2004 in which you
responded to some of the Human Rights Watch queries concerning your company’s
trade with Ugandan gold suppliers.

As mentioned in our previous correspondence, Human Rights
Watch is preparing a report on the human rights situation in the district of
Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a specific focus on the links
between the trade in gold by armed groups and abuses of human rights.  Based on
information we have received we understand that the vast majority of gold
traded from Uganda originates from north-eastern parts of the DRC and that your
company purchases gold from Uganda.

An important principle of our work is balanced and fair
reporting which we seek to reflect in all our research and publications.  Your
earlier response to our queries was very helpful in highlighting the general
principles your company abides by and the assurances you require from your
suppliers on how they acquired their goods.  However, we would be grateful for
further clarification on checks your company carried out on two suppliers which
we understand you trade with: Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd. and Machanga Ltd.,
both based in Kampala, Uganda.

The questions we have in relation to these two suppliers are
attached.  We would appreciate any information you care to provide.  Your
response will be taken into account in our forthcoming report.  We are now in
the final stages of our publishing schedule and so would appreciate receiving
your written response by January 21, 2005. 

In the meantime, I will be in Switzerland in the coming ten
days and would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you or other members of
your staff to discuss these issues further.  Please let me know what day would
be convenient for you.

Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Anneke Van Woudenberg

Senior Researcher

Human Rights Watch

 

To: Metalor Technologies S.A.

From: Human Rights Watch

Date: January 13, 2004 

Subject: Gold Purchases from Uganda or the DRC 

A.         Supply Chain

Human Rights Watch has received information that Metalor
Technologies purchased gold from two Ugandan based exporting companies:  Uganda
Commercial Impex Ltd. and Machanga Ltd.  You mentioned in you previous
correspondence that you require assurances from your suppliers on the legality
and origin of the goods you purchase. Could you please clarify the checks you
carried out with regard to these two suppliers.

Specifically, we would welcome clarification on the
following points:

1.          When you carried out checks with the two
suppliers mentioned above to determine the origin of the gold they purchased. 
How were these checks carried out and what was the result.

2.          When you carried out checks with the two
suppliers mentioned above to determine whether they were the beneficial owners
of the goods and that their goods had been acquired legally.  How were such
checks carried out and what was the result.

3.          When you carried out checks with the two
suppliers mentioned above to ensure they bought goods from others who were the
legitimate owners of the goods and brought evidence to that effect. How were
the checks carried out, what evidence was presented and what was the result.

4.          When you carried out checks to the two suppliers
mentioned above to ensure all necessary means had been taken to prohibit  the
trade of goods of unlawful origin.  How were such checks carried out and what
was the result.

5.          When you carried out checks with the two
suppliers mentioned above to ensure the goods they imported from DRC were in
compliance with the legislation of the DRC.  How were such checks carried out
and what was the result.

 

B.         Ensuring Respect for Human Rights

We would appreciate information about the policies Metalor
Technologies has adopted regarding respect for human rights by those in your
supply chain from whom you purchase gold.

Specifically, we would welcome your responses to the
following questions in relation to Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd. and Machanga
Ltd.:

1.          What steps has Metalor Technologies taken to
ensure its purchases of gold from these Ugandan suppliers do not in any way,
even indirectly, benefit armed groups operating in the DRC?

2.          What conditions, if any, has Metalor
Technologies placed on these gold suppliers in Uganda to determine they do not
trade with groups of individuals who carry out human rights abuses in the DRC?

D. E-mail from Metalor, February 1, 2005

Subject: Human Rights Watch Letter

From: Irene Froehlich

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 18:06:00 +0100

To: Anneke van Woudenberg

Dear Mrs Van Woudenberg,

We acknowledge receipt of your fax message of January 13,
2005.

The checks we carry out on our gold suppliers and the origin
of the goods provided by them are those imposed on us by the Swiss federal law
on money laundering. Due diligence is carried out by all reasonable and lawful
available means (such as governmental bodies, official institutions, diplomatic
representations, financial information providers, registries of commerce,
etc.).

As indicated in our earlier correspondence, we are afraid
that we cannot provide you, nor any third party, with information as to the
identity of our suppliers or the details of our transactions without the
approval of our suppliers.

Yours Sincerely,

On behalf of Mr Scott Morrison

Irène Froehlich

CEO Assistant, Metalor Technologies SA

E. Letter from Metalor, April 14, 2005

Letter from Dr. Scott Morrison to Anneke van Woudenberg on
April 14, 2005.  Information confidential and not for publication at the
request of Metalor Technologies.  Letter on file at Human Rights Watch. 

International Rescue Committee and Burnet Institute, Mortality in the
Democratic Republic of Congo: Results from a Nationwide Survey
, December
2004.

The
northern Hema group is often referred to as Gegere, a sub-clan of the Hema.

This
included temporarily the southern Lendu group known as the Ngiti, who had
formed the FRPI miltia.

Another
group, the Popular Forces for the Democracy of Congo (FPDC) was also born but
it has played only a minor role.  PUSIC has not been active in the gold mining
areas of Mongbwalu and Durba and so goes largely unmentioned in this report. 

Assistance was received from the pre-transition Kinshasa government before
mid-2003, though support allegedly continued from certain components of the
transitional government after mid-2003.

Human
Rights Watch, “Ituri: ‘Covered in Blood’ – Ethnically Targeted Violence in
North-eastern DRC”, A Short Report, July 2003.

Letter
from the U.N. Secretary General to the President of the Security Council, “Special
Report on the Events in Ituri January 2002 – December 2003”, July 16 2004, p.
5.

The local
chief was actually called Krilo, but the Australians mistook the name for Kilo.

Pasteur
Cosma Wilingula Balongelwa, General Director of OKIMO, “Written Presentation on
OKIMO”, Kinshasa, January 31, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, gold industry experts, Bunia, Kampala, London, February – May 2004.  Industry experts use the term ‘ore body’ instead of the lay
term gold reserve.

Known as
the U.N. Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and
Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo; hereafter the U.N.
panel of experts.

See
reports from the U.N. Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural
Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo, April
12, 2001 (S/2001/357), May 22, 2002 (S/2002/565), October 16, 2002 (S/2002/1146),
October 23, 2003 (S/2003/1027) plus other addendums.

Ibid.,
U.N. panel report (S/2002/1146), October 16, 2002.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO engineers and geologists, Durba, May 13, 2004. 
Estimates were based on regular observation and monitoring.

Rassemblement Congolais Pour La Démocratie (RCD), Cabinet du
Coordinateur, Décision No. 004/RCD/CD/LB/98, Goma, October 28, 1998.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Durba, May 11, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO employee, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Congolese miners and other sources, Durba and Watsa,
May 10 – 13, 2004.

OKIMO
Internal Memorandum to General Management, “La sécurité au
Groupe d’Exploitation Moto”, March 17, 2000.  Further details also provided in
internal OKIMO memos of September 9, 1999 and May 29, 2000.  Documents on file
at Human Rights Watch.  See also, William Wallis, “Warlords and Adventurers in
Scrambles for Riches,”  Financial Times, July 15, 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Ibid.,
OKIMO Internal Memorandum, March 17, 2000,  Also Human Rights Watch interview,
OKIMO engineer, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Ibid.,
OKIMO Internal Memorandum, March 17, 2000.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO employee, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Ibid.,
OKIMO Internal Memorandum March 17, 2000.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Durba, May 13, 2004.  See also OKIMO Internal
Memorandum, March 17, 2000.

Wallis,
“Warlords and Adventurers in Scrambles for Riches”.

Human
Rights Watch interview, engineer, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former engineer, Durba, May 11, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Watsa, May 12, 2004.  There have been previous
outbreaks of Marburg fever in the area in 1992, 1994 and 1997.  See also
medical papers by Dr Matthias Borchert.

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Rapport de
mission du Conseiller Humanitaire: Epidémie de Fièvre hémorragique de
Durba/Province Orientale,” May 1999. Also Human Rights Watch interview,
medical professional, Watsa, May 13, 2004.

Ibid.,
OKIMO Internal Memorandum March 17, 2000.

Article
55 of the Hague Regulations (Convention IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of
War on Land and its annex:  Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War
on Land, The Hague, October 18, 1907.

U.N.
Panel of Experts, Report (S/2001/357), April 12, 2001, p. 11.

“Final
Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations into Illegal
Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic
Republic of Congo 2001 (May 2001 – November 2002)”, November 2002.  Hereafter,
this will be referred to as the “Porter Commission report”.  

Ibid., p.
69 and 70.

Article
55 of the Hague Regulations (Convention IV).

David
Musoke and A. Mutumba-Lule, “DRC Wants $16 billion for Plunder by Uganda, Rwanda,” East African, September 27, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Human Rights
Watch interviews, Durba and Watsa, May 11 – 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch, “Ituri: ‘Covered in Blood'” and “Uganda in Eastern DRC: Fuelling
Political and Ethnic Strife”, A Short Report, March 2001 and “Chaos in Eastern Congo: U.N. Action Needed Now,” A Briefing Paper, October 2002.

United
Nations Security Council, “Special Report on the Events in Ituri”, July 16,
2004, p. 5.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI and Lonu Lonema,
Foreign Affairs Commissioner FNI, Kampala, July 3, 2004.

See
Human Rights Watch, “D.R. Congo: Army Should Not Appoint War Criminals,” Press
Release
, January 14, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 1, 2004.

Ibid.,
Panel of Experts, “Confidential Supplement to the U.N. Security Council”,
November 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interviews Mongbwalu, Bunia, Kinshasa, February and May 2004. 
Also Letter from OKIMO Director General, Etienne Kiza Ingani to Thomas Lubanga,
President of the UPC.  Ref DG/SDG/172/2002, October 1, 2002.  Annex,
“The Expectation of OKIMO”, October 2002.

Letter
from OKIMO Director General, Etienne Kiza Ingani to Thomas Lubanga, President
of the UPC.  Ref DG/SDG/172/2002.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO employee, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former combatant, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Ibid.

Ibid.,
Panel of Experts, “Confidential Supplement to the U.N. Security Council”,
November 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former combatant, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Ibid.,
Panel of Experts, Confidential Supplement to the U.N. Security Council,
November 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 27, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Oicha, February 2003.

Justice
Plus interviews, Ituri, March 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 27, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Oicha, February 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu and Bunia, May 6 and October 8, 2004.

Lendu
combatants sometimes wear traditional arm bands or necklaces known as ‘grigri’
that they believe ward off harm and protect them against attackers.

Human
Rights Watch interview, village near Mongbwalu, May 6, 2004.

Ibid.,
United Nations Security Council, “Special Report on the Events in Ituri”, p.
24.

It is
nearly impossible to get accurate statistics on death rates.  It is possible
the death toll of civilians could be much higher.

Human
Rights Watch interview, displaced persons camp, Beni, February 27, 2004.

For more
information on similar conduct by UPC in Bunia, see Human Rights Watch, “Ituri:
Covered in Blood”, July 2003.  Also United Nations Security Council, “Special
Report on the Events in Ituri”, p. 34 – 38.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Oicha, February, 2003.

In total
three nuns and five priests have been killed since 1999 in Ituri. The most
recent one was killed in Fataki in August 2003. According to Catholic Church
officials, two Hema priests killed in Bunia in May 2003 by Ngiti and Lendu
combatants may have been targeted in retaliation for the killing of Abbé
Bwanalonga. Human Rights Watch interview, Catholic Church officials, Bunia, May
10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Catholic Church officials, Bunia, May 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 2003.

“UPC
Rebels Grab Mongbwalu’s Gold”, African Mining Intelligence No. 53,
January 15, 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO employee, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004; Bunia, February 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former gold miner, Oicha, February 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 1, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 1, 2004.

Ibid.

Ibid.,
Panel of Experts, “Confidential Supplement to the U.N. Security Council”,
November 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2 and 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, MONUC human rights section, Bunia, February 20, 2004.

Donors
involved in security sector and army reform in the DRC include the Belgian and
South African governments and the European Union.

Ibid., 0
Nations Security Council, “Special Report on the Events in Ituri”, p13

Human
Rights Watch interview, former Lendu militia leader, February 21, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, local analysts, Bunia, October 10, 2004.  Also Human
Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 24, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, local analysts, Bunia, October 10, 2004.  Also Human
Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 23, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 24, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, local authorities, Bunia, October 8, 2004.

Letter
from Brigadier Kale Kayihura to the Regional Director of MONUC in Bunia, RE:
Disposition of UPDF in the Two Command Sectors of Bunia and Mahagi., April 17,
2003.  The document also confirms that 1 Infantry Coy was left in Kilo.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2 and 4, 2004.

Ibid.

UPDF
Restricted Document, “Withdrawal of Ugandan Peoples’ Defence Forces from the
Democratic Republic of Congo,” UPDF Form No. AC/DRC/01 signed in Mongbwalu, May
1, 2003.  Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Confidential U.N. internal report on the investigation into the plane seizure
in Beni, July 25, 2003.

Letter
from local authorities to MONUC Human Rights Section in Bunia, “Transmission of
report on the tragic events carried out by Lendu combatants in Banyali/Kilo
from March 9, 2003 till present against the civilian population”, Ref No
323/09/1,180/2003, September 26, 2003.

Letter
from local authorities to MONUC Human Rights Section in Bunia, “Table of Human
Rights Violations in B/Kilo Sector”, Ref No 323/21/1,180/2003, November 20,
2003.

Ibid.,
Panel of Experts, “Confidential Supplement to the U.N. Security Council”,
November 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, FNI authorities, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004 and local
residents, May 3, 2004.

Human Rights
Watch interviews, Beni and Mongbwalu, February 27 and May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI authorities, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 27, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Beni and Mongbwalu, February 27 and May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 1, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI officials, May 2, 2004.

May Day
Celebrations, Mongbwalu Stadium, May 1, 2004 attended by a Human Rights Watch
researcher.

Human Rights
Watch interview, President Floribert Njabu of the FNI, Mongbwalu, May 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, international journalist, London, January 12, 2005.

Ibid.,
See also Helen Vesperini, “DR Congo villagers reel from second massacre in four
months,” Agence France Presse, July 27, 2003.

Ibid.

Operation Artemis was the name of the Interim Emergency Multinational Force
sent by the European Union and authorised by the U.N. Security Council under
Resolution 1484 on May 30, 2003 to contribute to the security conditions and
improve the humanitarian situation in Bunia.  It was a limited three month
mission with a geographical scope to cover only the town of Bunia.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 27, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 27, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, village outside Mongbwalu, May 6, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Arua, Uganda, February 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu, May 2 and May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, and Mongbwalu, February 19 and May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI President Floribert Njabu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI President Floribert Njabu, May 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Justice Plus, Bunia, February 24, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Justice Plus, Bunia, February 24, 2004.

After
the killing of the two MONUC observers, no other MONUC staff were posted to
Mongbwalu until April 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, local residents, Mongbwalu, May 3 and 4, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 20, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Jean Pierre Bikilisende Badombo, Chef de Cité and Sukpa
Bidjamaro, Deputy Chef de Cité, May 3, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 23, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Manu Ngabi, local authority and Gerard Kitabo, Police
Commander, Saio, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch visit to Adidi mine, May 3, 2004.  Statistics from the entrance
book kept by FNI security officials at the entrance mine.  Book clearly labeled
as FNI.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 23, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 25, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, February 20, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former gold engineer, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.  Also Human
Rights Watch visit to Adidi and Makala mines, Mongbwalu, May 3, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO engineer, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, gold miner, Bunia, February 21, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, gold miner, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mr. Basiani, FNI Commissioner of Mines, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, gold miner, Bunia, February 23, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former FNI commander, Bunia, February 21, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI President Floribert Njabu, Kinshasa, October 7,
2003.

U.N.
internal report on the investigation into the plane seizure in Beni, July 25, 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI President Floribert Njabu, Kinshasa, October 7,
2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mr. Basiani, FNI Commissioner of Mines, May 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OKIMO managers, Kinshasa, March 1 and October 2, 2004

Anglo
American plc owns 54% of AngloGold Ashanti. The companies have a separate
management structure though there is some overlap of key executives. 

Such
contracts are referred to as ‘Contracts d’Amodiation’ under which OKIMO as the
holder of the mining concession leases out exploitation and exploration rights
to a third party. The contract between MINDEV and OKIMO was signed on October
10, 1991; in it OKIMO held 51%.

Congo’s first war started in October 1996 and lasted till April 1997 when Laurent Kabila’s
forces overthrew President Mobutu Seso Seko.  Congo’s second war led by rebel
groups backed by Uganda and Rwanda started on August 2, 1998 officially ending
in June 2003 with the installation of a transitional government in Kinshasa.  Despite the official end of the war, there has been no peace in vast parts of
eastern DRC.

Fax
from Steven Lenahan, Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, December 7, 2004.  Document on file
at Human Rights Watch.

See
Vincent t’Sas, “Ashanti to fight Kabila’s Congo in Court”, Reuters,
April 15, 1998; Erik Kennes, “Le secteur mineur au Congo: ‘Déconnexion
et Descente aux Enfers'”, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs, Annuaire 1999-2000,
2000; IPIS, “The Political Economy of Resource Trafficking in the DRC,”
September 2003, p. 20; “New Mining Imbroglio in Congo,” African Energy and
Mining
, May 13, 1998; William Wallis, “New Congo Terminates Kilomoto Gold
Contract”, Reuters News, September 10, 1997;  Els Botje, “Ashanti
finally gains control of Congo Mine,” Reuters News, November 20, 1998.
See also Mining Convention between OKIMO and Russell Resources International
Ltd, Projects Kilo and K.M.R., November 1997; and Ministry of Mines, arrêté
ministériel No. 0225/CAB.MINES/00/ MN/98, signed by Frédéric Kibassa-Maliba,
November 4, 1998. Documents on file at Human Rights Watch. 

OKIMO Internal document, “Argumentaire de L’OKIMO Pour l’Equilibre Des
Intérêts Dans AGK,” September 2003.  Also Presidential Decree No 090
“Autorisant les modifications apportées aux statuts de KILO-MOTO Mining
International, en abrégé ‘KIMIN’, S.A.R.L.” Kinshasa, June 23, 2000.

Avenant
au Contract d’Amodiation, signed by Pasteur Cosma Wilungula, OKIMO, and Trevor
Schultz, Ashanti Goldfields, September 25, 2001.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Floribert Njabu, October 7, 2003 and other government
officials, October 7 – 9, 2003

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Floribert Njabu, October 7, 2003 and Thomas Lubanga,
October 8, 2003.  During the interviews both leaders frequently took calls they
said were from Ituri.

Human
Rights Watch requested confirmation and further details about this meeting from
AngloGold Ashanti.  At the time of writing, no response had been received to
our query.

“Congo: The People Behind Ashanti’s Return,” Africa Mining Intelligence No 57, March
12, 2003.

In
addition to two detailed reports from Human Rights Watch there were also
reports by Amnesty International, “DR of Congo: Ituri – a need for protection,
a thirst for justice”, October 2003; International Crisis Group, “Congo Crisis:
Military Intervention in Ituri”, June 13, 2003, and U.N. Security Council, “Special
Reports on Events in Ituri”.  There were also numerous other press reports.

On July
16, 2003, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced
his intention to closely follow the situation in Ituri.  See ICC press release
at www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/67.html (retrieved February, 2005).

Ibid.,
Annex III of the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2002.

Ibid.,
Addendum to the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, June 20, 2003.  Response No. 15.

Ibid.,
U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2003.

Ibid.,
paragraph 23.

For
further information see Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID),
“Unanswered Questions: Companies, Conflict and the Democratic Republic of
Congo,” April 2004; and the British All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great
Lakes Region and Genocide Prevention, “The OECD Guidelines for Multinational
Enterprises and the DRC,”  February 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti representative, Bunia,
May 13, 2004. See also Brendan Ryan, “Rumble from the Jungle”, Financial
Mail
, Denver, October 10, 2003

Ibid.,
Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004.  Document on file at Human Rights
Watch.

Human
Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Bunia, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba, Kinshasa, October 1,
2004.

Fax
from Steven Lenahan, Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, December 13, 2004.  Document on file
at Human Rights Watch.

There
were numerous public reports about the situation in Ituri and the human rights
abuses of armed groups operating there, including the FNI.  In addition to two
detailed reports from Human Rights Watch there were also reports by Amnesty
International, DR of Congo: Ituri — a need for protection, a thirst for
justice, October 2003; International Crisis Group, Congo Crisis: Military Intervention
in Ituri, June 13, 2003; U.N. Security Council, Special Reports on Events in
Ituri, July 2004. In July 2003 the prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court announced his intention to follow the situation in Ituri.  There were
also numerous other press report. 

Human
Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall and
Jean-Claude Kanku, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, senior UPC officials, Bunia, February 21, 2004.

Letter
from OKIMO Director General, Etienne Kiza Ingani to Thomas Lubanga, President
of the UPC.  Ref DG/SDG/172/2002, October 1, 2002 with Annex, “The Expectations
of  OKIMO,” October 2002.

In the
region, the company is ordinarily referred to simply as “Ashanti.”

Human
Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, Kampala, July 3, 2004.

Ibid.,
Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004. Document on file at Human Rights
Watch.  Also Human Rights Watch interviews, Mr. Basiani, FNI Commissioner of
Mines, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004; Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI,
Mongbwalu, May 3, 2004; Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; Ashanti
representatives, Mongbwalu and Kampala, March 10 and May 4, 2004; Iribi
Pitchou, FNI Defence Commissioner, February 19 and October 10, 2004.

U.N.
Security Council resolution 1493 (S/2003/757), paragraph 18, July 28, 2003.

Ibid.,
paragraph 20.

U.N.
Security Council, “Letter from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee
established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic
Republic of Congo [on the arms embargo]”, (S/2005/30), January 25, 2004, para
134; hereafter called report of the group of experts on the U.N. arms embargo.
See also S. Brummers , “AngloGold Aided Warlord,” Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg, February 4, 2005.

E-mail
communication, Steven Lenahan, Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, April 27, 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Bunia, February 20 – 23, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner and
acting President, February 19, 2004 and October 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Emmanuel Leku, Bunia, February 18, 2004 and MONUC
staff, Bunia February 24, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Dominique Ait-Ouyahia McAdams, MONUC Head of Office,
Bunia, February 23, 2004.

This
presumably refers to the Ashanti Goldfields office in London.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner and
acting President, February 19, 2004 and October 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, OKIMO official, Bunia, February 22, 2004; Mongbwalu
businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; Ashanti representatives, Mongbwalu and
Kampala, March 10 and May 4, 2004; Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence
Commissioner and acting President, February 19, 2004 and October 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Kinshasa, October 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; Ashanti representatives, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Ashanti internal report written by Howard Fall, “Mongbwalu Sitrep – AGK site visit 17/18
March 2004.”  Copy on file at Human Rights Watch.

Human
Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall and Jean
Claude Kanku, Kampala, March 10, 2004 and Ashley Lassen, May 13, 2004 and Mark
Hanham, July 8, 2004.

“AngloGold Ashanti hits rich vein of savings from merger,” Business Day,
South Africa, July 29, 2004.

Presentation by Charles Carter, AngloGold Ashanti Vice-President, Diggers & Dealers Forum, Kalgoorlie, Australia, July 2004.  See also “AngloGold Ashanti hits rich vein of savings from merger,” Business
Day
, South Africa, July 29, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Lee Smith, Head, Armor Group, Kampala, July 8, 2004 and
ArmorGroup Chief Executive Officer, Noel Philip, London, July 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall and Jean
Claude Kanku, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004; Also Human Rights Watch
interviews local leader, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004 and civil society activist,
Bunia, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu, May 4 and civil society activist, Bunia,
May 13, 2004.

E-mail
correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti consultant, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti, Bunia, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, observers to events in Mongbwalu, Bunia, October 10,
2004 and Europe, April 26, 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall,
Jean-Claude Kanku, and Mark Hanham, Kampala, July 8, 2004.

Antony
Sguazzin, “AngloGold says it paid ‘safety tax’ to rebels,” Bloomberg,
February 7, 2005; Tim Wood, “Can AngloGold Lock its Congo Pandora’s Box?”Resource Investor, South Africa, February 7, 2005; S. Brummer, “AngloGold Aided Warlord,” Mail and
Guardian
, Johannesburg, February 4, 2005.

Ibid.,
E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

Ibid.

Ibid.,
also the Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25,
2005, para 133.

Ibid.,
Antony Sguazzin, “AngloGold says it paid ‘safety tax’ to rebels”.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ashanti consultant, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Commander Iribi Pitchou, Bunia, October 10, 2004;
Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, Kampala, July 3, 2004.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
133.

Observations made by a Human Rights Watch researcher, Mongbwalu, May 1 to May
7, 2004.

Ibid.,
E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

E-mail
correspondence between Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti, and MONUC officials,
March 20, 2004.  Copy on file at Human Rights Watch.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, Mongbwalu, May 3 and Kampala, July 3,
2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, local analyst, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Ibid.,
E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former OKIMO employee, Mongbwalu, May 6, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, civil society leader, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Congolese Senator, Kinshasa, October 4, 2004.

All
quotations in this section are taken from the December 7, 2004 and December 13,
2004 letters of Lenahan to Van Woudenberg plus e-mail correspondence of Lenahan
to Van Woudenberg on April 27, 2005.  Documents on file at Human Rights Watch.

Ibid.,
Human Rights Watch interviews, OKIMO employee, Bunia, February 19, 2004; OKIMO
official, Bunia, February 22, 2004; union member, Bunia, February 22, 2004;
local journalist, Bunia, February 20, 2004; MONUC officials, February 23 and
October 8, 2004; Ministry of Mining official, Kinshasa, February 29, 2004;
senior OKIMO official, Kinshasa, March 1, 2004; local leader, Mongbwalu, May 4,
2004; civil society activist, Bunia, May 13, 2004; Mr. Basiani, FNI
Commissioner of Mines, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004; Vice President Jean-Pierre
Bemba, Kinshasa, October 1, 2004; Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI,
Kinshasa, Mongbwalu, Kampala, October 7, 2003, May 3, July 3, 2004; local
analyst, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004; Congolese senator, Kinshasa, October 4, 2004;
Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; AngloGold Ashanti
representatives, Mongbwalu and Kampala, March 10, May 4, May 13, July 8, 2004; 
Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner, Bunia, February 19 and October
10, 2004; OKIMO manager, Kinshasa, October 2, 2004; E-mail correspondence
AngloGold Ashanti, and MONUC officials, March 20, 2004; AngloGold Ashanti
internal report, March 2004; Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms
Embargo, January 25, 2005; Fax from Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7,
2004. Copies of all documents on file at Human Rights Watch.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, July 3, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Commander Iribi Pitchou, Bunia, October 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Kinshasa, March 1, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former OKIMO employee who worked in Bambu, February 22,
2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, union representative, Bunia, October 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch Interview, Senator Uringi-pa-Dolo, Vice Chair of Parliamentary
Investigation Committee on OKIMO, Kinshasa, October 4, 2004.

Lenahan
to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004. Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

Draft Norms on
the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business
Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/12 (2003), Section
A, General Obligations.

Ibid.,
Section C, Rights to Security of Persons.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
134.

The
U.N. Global Compact is an initiative launched by the Secretary General to
advance responsible corporate citizenship.  It seeks to mainstream ten principles
in relation to human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.  Both
AngloGold Ashanti and its parent company Anglo American are participants in the
Global Compact.  See www.unglobalcompact.org.

“AngloGold Ashanti’s Business Principles: Living Our Values,” May 2004 from the
AngloGold Ashanti website at www.anglogold.com/Social+Responsibility/. In their
response to the U.N. Panel of Experts, Ashanti Goldfields stated that their
exploitation and mining activities are guided by the Guidelines. Commitments to
the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Addendum to U.N. Panel of
Experts on Illegal Exploitation in the DRC report, (S/2002/1146/Add.1), June
20, 2003.

See
“Global Agreement between AngloGold Ltd and ICEM, The Promotion and
Implementation of Good Industrial Relations in AngloGold Operations Worldwide”,
September 2002, at www.icem.org (retrieved February 2005).

Ibid.,
“AngloGold Ashanti’s Business Principles: Living Our Values,” May 2004.

Ibid.,
Annex III of the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2002.

OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (Paris: OECD), Section II, General
Principles, point 2, 2000.

Ibid.,
Addendum to the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, June 20, 2003.  Response No. 15.

Ibid.,
U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2003.

In
December 2000 the U.K. and USA governments together with companies in the
extractive industry sector and non-governmental organizations, agreed the
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.  Companies who have signed
up to the principles include Amerada Hess, BG Group, BHP
Billiton, B.P., ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Freeport-McMoRan,
Marathon Oil, Newmont, Norsk Hydro, Occidental Petroleum, Rio Tinto, Shell, and
Statoil.

Kevin
Morrison, “Dollar’s troubles put new gleam in gold commodities”, Financial
Times
, London, November 6, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Durba and Watsa, May 10 – 14, 2004 and also interviews
in Aru and Ariwara, March 6 – 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Watsa, May 12, 2004.

U.N.
internal report on the investigation into the plane seizure in Beni, July 25, 2003.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005,
pages 31 – 34.

Human
Rights watch interviews, Bunia, October 7 – 9, 2004.  See also Report of the
Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para 135.

Letter
from Commander Jérôme Kakwavu Bukande, Commander of the 5th
Operational Zone to the Director of OKIMO based in Doko-Durba, No. 105/APC/EM-5
ZOPS/COMDT/2002, Watsa, August 12, 2002.

OKIMO
internal document, “Process Verbal De Constat Au Coffre Au Labo Durba”, signed
by all present, August 13, 2002.  Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 8, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Durba, May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Commander Jérôme Kakwavu Bukande, Aru, March 8, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 6, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Watsa, May 12, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Watsa, May 12, 2004.

Watsa
Hospital Admittance Records for patient Kamile Leta, aged 25 from Tora. 
According to hospital records the patient was admitted to the hospital on June
13 and left hospital on June 14, 2002, signed by attending doctor.  Hospital
records seen by Human Rights Watch on May 13, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Watsa, May 12, 2004.

Arua is
in Uganda just opposite the Congolese town of Aru across the border.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Kampala, March 10, 2004; Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004; Aru,
March 8, 2004.  See also U.N. Security Council, “Special Report on the Events
in Ituri”, July 2004, p. 39.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

Human
Rights watch interview, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Ibid.

U.N.
Security Council, Special Report on the Events in Ituri, July 2004, p. 39.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, December 1, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Aru, March 8, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Ariwara, March 6 – 8, 2004 and gold traders in Kampala, July 7 and 8, 2004.  Representatives from Machanga Ltd, a gold exporting business
in Kampala, stated they bought gold from Mr. Oria.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Omar Oria, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

The
name of the victim has been changed for his protection.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 6, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 6, 2004.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Ariwara, March 6 and 7, 2004. 

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 6, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Omar Oria, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Commander Jérôme Kakwavu Bukande, Aru, March 8, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Bunia, October 7, 2004 and by telephone to Ariwara,
October 10, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, OCHA official, Kinshasa, October 2004.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
135.

Ibid.,
para 135.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Bunia, October 9, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Bunia, October 7 and 9, 2004 and by telephone to
Ariwara, October 10, 2004.  See also Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N.
Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para 135.

Ugandan
UPDF Commander Peter Karim is also mentioned in Ibid., Human Rights Watch,
“Ituri: Covered in Blood”, and in the report from Judge Porter, Ibid., Porter
Commission report.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI official, Bunia, October 10, 2004.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
136.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Bunia, October 7 and 9, 2004 and by telephone to
Ariwara, October 10, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, FNI official, Bunia, October 10, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, MONUC political officer, Bunia, October 8, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interviews by telephone to Ariwara, October 10, 2004.

Current
multinational activities in both Mongbwalu and Durba are predominately at an
exploration stage.  AngloGold Ashanti at the time of writing was not yet
extracting ore.

Final
Report of the U.N. Panel of Experts, October 16, 2002, S/2002/1146, p 152.
Recent academic research has also shown how informal or “shadow” economies are
subject to criminalization and are often linked with armed groups. See Mark
Taylor and Anne Huser, “Security, Development and Economies of Conflict: 
Problems and Response,” FAFO AIS Policy Brief, November 2003.  See also
Ballentine, K. and J. Sherman, eds., “The Political Economy of Armed Conflict:
Beyond Greed and Grievance”, (International Peace Academy, 2003).

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
36.

Law
No.007/2002 of July 11, 2002 Relating to the Mining Code and replaced the
previous Decree/Law No. 81-013 of April 2, 1981 as well as subsequent
legislation.  Legislation available in English and French at
www.miningcongo.cd.

Mining
Code, Article 111.

Mining
Code, Article 116. 

Mining
Code, Article 117. 

Mining
Code, Article 120 and 122.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ministry of Mining officials, Kinshasa, February 29,
2004.

Ibid., Le
Potentiel Newspaper, Kinshasa, November 29,
2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ministry of Mining official, Kinshasa, February 29,
2004.

Ibid.,
“Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo”, January 25,
2005, para 95.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, gold traders, Butembo, Ariwara, and Mongbwalu, March,
May 2004.  Also interviews with gold traders in Kampala, July 2004.

Ibid.

Customers purchasing gold from Dr. Kisoni in February 2004 saw his gold foundry
and the ingots it produced at his place of business. Human Rights Watch
interview, Butembo, February 25, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Butembo, February 25, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview with gold traders in Mongbwalu, May 1 – 5, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mr. Basiani, FNI Commissioner of Mines, Mongbwalu, May
5, 2004.

Gold
export statistics from Uganda indicate the trade is $46 million per year for
2003, of which the vast majority comes from the DRC.  Based on such figures it
is possible the trade from Butembo could be higher.

Human
Rights Watch interviews with gold traders, Mongbwalu and Butembo, February –
May 2004.

British
All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes, “Arms Flows in Eastern DR
Congo”.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
129 and 130.

U.N.
internal report on the investigation into the plane seizure in Beni, July 25, 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, RCD-ML insider, Kinshasa, March 1, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Beni, February 25, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ministry of Mine officials, Butembo, February 25, 2004.

Mining
Code, Article 309.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ministry of Mines officials, Butembo, February 25,
2004. 

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Butembo, February 25, 2004.

Ugandan
Bureau of Statistics, Value of Exports by Commodity 1998 – 2003.  In 2003 the
trade was valued officially as $46 million.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, gold traders and other gold industry experts, Ariwara,
March 7 and 8, Watsa, May 12, 2004 and Durba, May 11, 2004.

This is
in violation of the DRC mining code which reserves the authority to issue such
licenses exclusively to the state.  Mining Code, Article 16.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
116.

The
U.N. group of experts on the arms embargo also named Mr. James Nyakuni, Vincent
Adjua and Ozia Mazio as other gold traders who work with the FAPC.  Ibid.,
“Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo”, January 25, 2005,
para 118.

Human
Rights Watch interview, gold trader, Ariwara, March 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview with gold traders and business people in Durba, May 13,
2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Omar Oria, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

Mining
Code, Articles 120, 126 , 128.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Ariwara, March 6 and 7, and Aru March 7, 2004.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
109.

Human
Rights Watch interviews Ariwara, March 6, 2004 and March 7, 2004.

While
the primary destination is Switzerland, gold is also traded to Dubai, South Africa and other European countries.

All
these requirements are set out under the Mining Code of July 2002.

Human
Rights Watch interviews with representatives from Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd,
Machanga Ltd and A. P. Bhimji Ltd, Kampala, July 7 and 8, 2004.

U.S. Geological Survey, “The Mineral Industry of Uganda”, 1997.

Human
Rights Watch interviews with representatives from Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd,
Machanga Ltd and A. P. Bhimji Ltd, Kampala, July 7 and 8, 2004.

E-mail
correspondence with the Central Bank of Uganda, July 12, 2004.

Ugandan
Bureau of Statistics, Value of Exports by Commodity 1998 – 2003.

Annual
Report 2002, Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development available at www.energyandminerals.go.ug
(retrieved at February 2005).

Based
on statistics on production from the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral
Development and official export figures from the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics
from 1998 to 2003.

Annual
Report 2002, Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development
Representative, July 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Ugandan Bureau of Statistics, Trade Representative, Entebbe, July 2004.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para
98.

Human
Rights Watch interviews with representatives from Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd,
Machanga Ltd and A. P. Bhimji Ltd, Kampala, July 7 and 8, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Kanal Chune, Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd, Kampala, July 7, 2004.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Jigendra Jitu, Machanga Ltd, Kampala, July 8, 2004.

Ibid.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005,
pages 30-33.

Human
Rights Watch interview, World Bank economist, Kampala, July 2004 and diplomatic
economic advisors, Kampala, July 2004.

Steven
Odeu, “Uganda gets funds to explore minerals,” New Vision, January 22,
2004.

Ugandan
Export Promotion Board, Export Bulletin, News Highlights: Presidents’
Export Aware (PEA) 2002, Edition 3, Jan-March 2004.  Also President Export
Award 2002, Evening Programme, December 5, 2003.  Ugandan Commercial Impex Ltd
also won the Gold Award in 1998 and 1999.

Ugandan
Government Draft Mining Regulations 2004, Subsection 3, Section 117.

Ibid.,
U.N. Panel of Experts reports, April 12, 2001 (S/2001/357) para 215, and
October 16, 2002 (S/2002/1146) paras 174 and 175.

Ugandan
Bureau of Statistics, “Statistical Abstract 2003”, Exports by Region and
Country of Destination 1998 – 2002.

Administration Fédérale des Douanes (AFD), Commerce Extérieur de la
Suisse, “Statistiques Selon Les Pays et Marchandises”, 1998, 1999, 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Swiss official, Berne, January 26, 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interviews, Swiss customs agents, Berne, January 26, 2005. Free
ports also exist in other countries, but control of free ports in Switzerland is considered weaker than that in other European countries, making it
attractive for many traders.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Swiss trade official, Berne, January 26, 2005.  A
statement supported by a Ugandan based trader who stated he sold gold to Swiss
banks, Human Rights Watch interview with representatives from Uganda Commercial
Impex Ltd, July 7, 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Swiss customs agent, Berne, January 26, 2005.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Swiss industry expert, Berne, January 26, 2005.

“Annual Report 2003”, Metalor Technologies International SA.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Jigendra Jitu, Machanga Ltd, Kampala, July 8, 2004

Human
Rights Watch interview, Jigendra Jitu, Machanga Ltd, Kampala, July 8, 2004.

Ibid.,
Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, p.
32.

Dr.
Scott Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, Metalor Technologies to Anneke Van
Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, December 17, 2004.  Document on file at Human
Rights Watch.

Ibid.,
Also Letter from Dr. Scott Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, Metalor
Technologies to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, April 14, 2005. 
Also e-mail from Morrison to Van Woudenberg, February 1, 2004.  Documents on
file at Human Rights Watch.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Mrs Nawal Ait-Hocine, Head of Legal and Compliance,
Metalor Technologies SA, Neuchâtel (Switzerland), April 21, 2005.

Ibid.,
Morrison to Van Woudenberg, December 17, 2004 and April 14, 2005. Documents on
file at Human Rights Watch.  Also Human Rights Watch interview, Mrs Nawal
Ait-Hocine, Head of Legal and Compliance, Metalor Technologies SA, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, April 21, 2005. 

Human
Rights Watch interview with Mrs Nawal Ait-Hocine, Head of Legal and Compliance,
Metalor Technologies SA, Neuchâtel, April 21, 2005. Also Ibid., Metalor Annual
Report 2003.

Ibid.,
Morrison to Van Woudenberg, e-mail correspondence, February 1, 2005. Document
on file at Human Rights Watch.

Ibid.,
Morrison to Van Woudenberg, April 14, 2005.

Human
Rights Watch interview with Mrs Nawal Ait-Hocine, Head of Legal and Compliance,
Metalor Technologies SA, Neuchâtel, April 21, 2005.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Government of Uganda, Annual Report, 2002.

Ibid.

Human
Rights Watch interviews with representatives from Uganda Commercial Impex Ltd,
Machanga Ltd and A. P. Bhimji Ltd, Kampala, July 7 and 8, 2004.

There
were numerous public reports about the situation in Ituri and the human rights
abuses of armed groups.  For reports published in Swiss
newspapers see, for example, “Or: la descente aux enfers,” L’Hebdo, July
29, 1999; David Haeberli, “Justice: La Suisse bloque 13 millions de
dollars issus d’un trafic de minerai congolais”, Le Temps, November 30,
2002; Alexis Masciarelli, “Après le départ de l’armée ougandaise, les
massacres interethniques reprennent à Bunia,”  Le Temps, May 12,
2003;”Les vraies causes des guerres civiles: Misère ethnique? Non,
économique”, L’Hebdo, June 19, 2003; “La CPI s’intéressera tout d’abord
au Congo. Deux priorités pour le procureur de la CPI: L’Ituri et le
business de la guerre”, La Tribune de Genève,  July 17, 2003.  See
also Ibid., Reports from Human Rights Watch, March 2001, October 2002 and July
2003; Amnesty International, October 2003; International Crisis Group, June
2003; U.N. Security Council, July 2004 amongst others.  

See
reports from the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural
Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo, April
12, 2001 (S/2001/357), May 22, 2002 (S/2002/565), October 16, 2002
(S/2002/1146), October 23, 2003 (S/2003/1027) plus other addendums.

Ibid.,
Human Rights Watch interview with Mrs Nawal Ait-Hocine, Head of Legal and
Compliance, Metalor Technologies SA, Neuchâtel, April 21, 2005.

Ibid.

Ibid.,
OECD Guidelines Paragraph II.10 and General Policies, paragraphs 1 and 2. A
recent study in the OECD looked specifically at the issue of trade from
conflict zones.  See OECD Working Party of the Investment Committee,
“Conducting Business with Integrity in Weak Governance Zones: Issues for
Discussion and a Case Study of the DRC,” November 26, 2004.

Draft Norms on
the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business
Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/12 (2003), Section
A, General Obligations.

Ibid,
Metalor Annual Report 2003.

U.N
Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2000/20), June 2, 2000.  The
mandate of the Panel was (i) to follow up on reports and collect information on
all activities of illegal exploitation of natural resources and others forms of
wealth in the DRC, including violation of the sovereignty of that country; (ii)
to research and analyse the links between the exploitation of the natural
resources and others forms of wealth in the DRC and the continuation of the
conflict; and (iii) to revert to the council with recommendations.

See
reports from the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural
Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo, April
12, 2001 (S/2001/357), May 22, 2002 (S/2002/565), October 16, 2002
(S/2002/1146), October 23, 2003 (S/2003/1027) plus other addendums.

See
Annexes of the Final Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation
of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo, October 16, 2002 (S/2002/1146).

Ibid.,
RAID, “Unanswered Questions,” April 2004; and Ibid., British All Party Group on
the Great Lakes Region, February 2005.

Ibid.,
Panel of Experts Report, October 23, 2003 (S/2003/1027), para 23.

Ibid.,
British All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region, February 2005,
p. 12.

Ibid.
p17.

U.N.
Security Council Presidential Statements, June 2, 2002 (S/PRST/2000/20), May 3,
2001 (S/PRST/2001/13), December 19, 2001 (S/PRST/2001/39), November 19, 2003
(S/PRST/2003/21) and Security Council resolutions 1457 and 1499, January 24,
2003 and August 13, 2003.

U.N.
Security Council Resolution 1457 (S/RES/1457/2003), January 24, 2003. 

OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (Paris: OECD), 2000.

Ibid.,
Implementation Procedures.

Ibid.,
British All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region, February 2005,
p. 4, 16, 17.

Oxfam-Netherlands (NOVIB) and Nederlands Instituut voor Zuidelijk Afrika
(NIZA), “Dutch NGOs Disappointed with Outcome of Case Against Traders in
Congolese Coltan,” June 15, 2004.

Ibid.,
RAID, “Unanswered Questions.”

Ibid.,
British All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region, February 2005,
p. 5.

Ibid.,
p. 5.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Justice David Porter, Uganda, July 8, 2004.

Final
Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations into Illegal
Exploitation of Natural resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic
Republic of Congo 2001 (May 2001 – November 2002), Kampala, November 2002, p
199. 

Ibid.,
p. 203.

Ibid.,
p. 204.

Human
Rights Watch interview, Justice David Porter, Uganda, July 8, 2004.

Ibid.,
Confidential Supplement to U.N. Security Council, November 2003.

Letter
from President Yoweri Katuga Museveni to H.E. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of
the U.N., Re:  Integration of Ituri Armed Groups, July 3, 2004.

Ibid.,
U.N. Panel of Experts Report (S/2002/1146), October 16, 2002.

Ibid.,
U.N. Panel of Experts Report, Addendum Report, (S/2002/1146/Add.1) June 20,
2003.

U.N.,
“Reaction of Rwanda to the final report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal
Exploitation of the Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of DR Congo”,
S/2003/1048, October 30, 2003.

“DRC-Rwanda: Kigali to probe allegations of plunder of Congo’s resources”, IRIN News, October 23, 2003,

Human
Rights Watch interviews with a range of sources in Beni, Bunia, Kampala, February 2004.  Also Ibid., Panel of Experts, Confidential Report to U.N. Security
Council, November 2003. 

Ibid.,
United Nations Security Council, Special Report on the Events in Ituri, July
2004, p. 13.  Also, Ibid., Confidential Supplement to the U.N. Security
Council, November 2003.

Human
Rights Watch interview, former UPC spokesperson, Bunia February 21, 2004.

Established under the Global and All Inclusive Agreement on the Transition in
the DRC.

Francois Misser, “Once the Wild West for business, the DRC is now reviewing all
its resource contracts,” Business Report, October 2004.

Human
Rights Watch interview by telephone from London, December 8, 2004.

Misser,
“Once the Wild West for business, the DRC is now reviewing all its resource
contracts”.

U.N.
Security Council Resolution 1565 (2004), S/RES/1565 (2004), October 1, 2004.

Ibid.,
Confidential Supplement of the U.N. Panel of Experts.

Human
Rights Watch interview, diplomatic analyst, Kinshasa, September 30, 2004.

Ibid.,
U.N. Panel of Experts Report, April 2001 (S/2001/357).

U.N.,
“Report of the secretary-general to the U.N. Security Council on the protection
of civilians in armed conflicts”, S/2004/431, May 28, 2004.

Luis
Moreno-Ocampo, “Report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to
Second Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute”, September 8, 2003.

Ibid.

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