Current situation: Exploitation, arms flows and trends

1. Since the Panel's last report on 16 October 2002, there has been a great deal of progress in the peace process. In December 2002 the Global and Inclusive Agreement on transitions was signed in Pretoria in South Africa. In July 2003 the Government of National Unity took office with the four vice presidents taking office on 17 July with the first council of ministers on 25 July. The new parliament convened for the first time on 22 August.

2. While this represents hope and opportunity for the people of DRC, it has to be recognised that various interests, in particular the elite networks identified in the last report, stand to lose with the implementation of the GNU's agenda. As a result, they feel threatened. The Panel has gathered a considerable amount of information showing how these interests are adjusting to the new environment. This information shows that there are risks and threats to the GNU that the international community has to be aware of if the momentum of the peace process is to be maintained.

3. As a result of the intense competition to maintain political, military and economic control and the pressures to reassert State authority over the national territory, exploitation of natural resources such as coltan, cassiterite, gold, timber and diamonds has not attained the same levels that existed prior to the pull-out of foreign armies. There are however indications that competition for control over precious minerals such as diamonds and gold, which can easily be used in the place of hard currency in transactions, has intensified. The networks have also increasingly focused on control of sources of cash revenues such as customs border posts and other public revenue collection systems.

4. As a coalition government, the main belligerents in the conflict came together. In joining the GNU, each had to compromise with the main losers being the elite networks who have been benefiting from the conflict. For these networks, the exercise of authority by the government over the whole territory is likely to result in a major reduction in their revenue sources and local power. They are, therefore, having to adapt to the new situation/environment. All three networks now have a presence in Kinshasa, with some members holding posts in the transitional institutions. What is clear is that while at the political level in Kinshasa there is a lot of goodwill towards the GNU, at the elite network level there is hostility and opposition. Specifically, the Panel has obtained information showing that a number of people in the elite networks are actively working to undermine the peace process and the GNU as they see it as a direct threat to their survival. They have therefore devised strategies to continue their business activities and economic control over the territories and natural resources, and taxes and similar revenues where they have been active in the past several years.

5. The main actors that pose a threat to the GNU are the elite networks sponsored by Rwanda and Uganda and the previous Kinshasa administration. It should be noted that the threats uncovered by the Panel differ between networks. In particular the threat posed by the Rwandan and Kinshasa networks can be characterised as governments in waiting, or parallel/shadow structures, that could be installed if the GNU were to fail or collapse. Such structures have several dimensions including political, economic and military proxies. In the case of Uganda network the threat posed by the GNU is primarily an economic one. Accordingly, this network has developed strategies to maintain its control over natural resources in north-eastern DRC, especially Ituri. Also linked to the Ugandan network is the MLC that sees its interests at risk. Its agenda is mainly defensive in that the object is to keep MLC as a major political party and actor.

6. To gain a better understanding the risks or threats it is necessary to look at each network separately.

Rwanda-linked network

7. This network is considered to be the most serious threat to the GNU. The key feature is the role of Rwanda as the architect and orchestrator. The network is part of Rwanda's strategy to bring under its control and influence large tracts of land in eastern DRC, in particular the provinces of North and South Kivu. The reestablishment of control by the GNU over all the territory in DRC would threaten this goal of territorial control. In examining the strategy, it is important to distinguish between the political and military elements on one hand and the economic dimension on the other. The major political element is the RCD-Goma movement, which comprises political representatives in the GNU, led by a vice president, and its headquarters in Goma on the border with Rwanda. Its military wing is the Armee Nationale Congolais (ANC). In addition there is the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) militia, which is active in northeastern DRC but remains outside the GNU. A key military and political figure is the Governor of North Kivu, Eugène Serufuli. More recently, the veteran Congolese politician, Etienne Tshisekedi, has allied himself with this network. On the economic front, the Congo Holding Development Company (CHDC) represents the networks interests.

Rwandan Defence Forces' support to the ANC

8. The Panel has information and documents indicating that, consistent with the findings of its last report and despite the Rwandan Government's emphatic denials, the Rwandan Defence Forces still play an important but highly discreet role in the ANC's operations, including its command and control structures. This is accomplished, for example, through several Rwandaphone officers who are ANC brigade commanders and the liaison officer in the office of the ANC Chief of Staff, who coordinates with the RDF.

9. The Panel has collected extensive information and documentation regarding the ANC's training camps in eastern DRC. These camps remain active. According to Panel sources, the RDF has responsibility for engineering and intelligence training and exercises a command and control function within the camps. The Panel is also in the possession of military training manuals used by the ANC, which were issued by the Rwandan military academy of Gako. Not only has the RDF operated training camps in the DRC, but officers of the ANC have also received training in Rwanda. These training activities have been conducted at facilities in Kami near Kigali, Cyangugu and Gisenyi.

10. The Panel has obtained documents detailing the transfers of arms from the RDF base in Cyangugu to the ANC in Bukavu between 23 December 2002 and 5 August 2003. These arms were then passed to various ANC units. The RDF officer overseeing these transfers was Commander Wilson of the 301 Brigade.

11. Furthermore, according to documents and witness statements obtained by the Panel, arms and ammunition shipped from Albania to Rwanda in late 2002 and mid-2003 were passed on to Rwandan-backed rebel groups in eastern DRC. At least three of the shipments used a British-based carrier, African International Airways (AIA), whose activities are currently under investigation by the British authorities. The shipments included several million rounds of ammunition, with at least one shipment containing grenades and rocket launchers.

The Local Defence of the RCD-G Governor of North Kivu Province, Eugène Serufuli

12. Based on its analysis of documents and other information, the Panel holds the view that Governor Serufuli's Local Defence is one of several parallel structures that have been put in place by the elite network to maintain the same level of military and economic control previously exercised through the Rwandan armed force's deployment. The Local Defence does not appear to form part of the ANC. Intensive recruitment over the past year and half has boosted the Local Defence militia's ranks. Its rapid expansion has been accompanied by allegations that Rwandan Hutu soldiers demobilized by the RDF have been secretly recycled into it. International NGOs have also documented in detail a pattern of forced recruitment of minors in North Kivu by the Local Defence. Families are obliged to make a cash payment to the militia or donate cattle. Those that cannot afford to do so are coerced into providing one of their children to serve in the militia.

13. Placed under Governor Serufuli's command, this militia appears to operate outside the reach of the transitional institutions' authority and oversight. The intention appears to be of using it as a vehicle for facilitating destabilization, blocking effective reunification and camouflaging the elite network's efforts to deepen its control over the eastern DRC. At the same time, it provides this network's members in Kinshasa and Kigali with the cover of plausible deniability.

14. The Panel is in possession of a letter dated 30 June 2003 from Governor Serufuli to RDF Chief of Staff General James Kaberebe, which describes the deployment of RDF elements in North Kivu and refers to the operational links between the Local Defence and the Rwandan army. In it he stated "I also support your good idea raised in your letter of 27 June 2003 with regards to security and good interethnic cohabitation in our province of North Kivu by the deployment of your elements throughout the entire province and the imposition of our policy in the territory of Lubero and Beni." Also, he stated "the Popular Local Defence force that we have created under your guidance today counts 18,000."

15. The Panel has also obtained documents relating to the purchase by Mr. Serefuli of 50 hand-held Motorola radios. According to a source, the radios were to be used by Governor Serufuli within the framework of a massive recruitment effort for new members of his militia in Goma, Bukavu and Lodja.

16. Along side his militia, Governor Serufuli oversees an NGO, Tous pour la paix et le développememt (TPD), originally established to assist Congolese refugees in Rwanda to return to the DRC. Several credible sources have described it as the political wing of the parallel structure presided over by Governor Serufuli, who is seen as a mobilizer and defender of the Banyarwandan communities in North Kivu. These sources have detailed how the TPD is used to systematically replace traditional community leaders with its own members or others loyal to the Governor of North Kivu, allowing the elite network to wield increasing political control at the grassroots level. This is also crucial to the Rwandan-linked network's objective of permanent, autonomous control over territory in the eastern DRC. Many speak of Governor Serufuli's involvement in reclaiming lands in North Kivu, particularly around Masisi, for resettlement of Banyarwandan populations and cattle ranching operations backed by elite network members. This could rekindle long-standing conflicts with other ethnic communities over land.

A new rebellion in Kasai

17. Etienne Tshisekedi of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) is reportedly preparing, with the support and advice of Rwanda, to initiate a rebellion in Kasai Oriental to destabilize the GNU. The Tshisekedi Rebellion is one part of the overall plan of Rwanda to destabilize the GNU for the purpose of continuing to exercise control over the Kivus and perhaps also to re-enter the DRC with the RDF. Sources indicated that a concurrent intention of the Tshisekedi Rebellion is also to act as a catalyst for other disaffected parties to join in and generate a widespread rebellion against the GNU.

18. The plan for the rebellion consists of two primary parts: one part is political in nature - assuming Tshisekedi's Rebellion is successful, he has identified certain individuals to occupy key governmental and administrative positions in a newly installed government. These individuals were in Goma where they received training and instructions.

19. The second part of the plan consists of a military dimension and involves the creation of a cadre of military trainers, who following completion of their six months of training in a sub-Saharan Africa country, will go to Goma. Those individuals receiving the training are about 42 Congolese nationals who travelled to this country in early July 2003.

20. Weapons to be used by Tshisekedi's militia originate, according to the source, from the same sub-Saharan Africa country. The weapons are transported to Rwanda from where they then transit Goma before they are delivered to Tshisekedi's UDPS militia in Lusambo. The Panel learned from credible sources that during mid-July 2003 an Antonov 32 with the registration number 9XR-SN was detained at Goma Airport. The aircraft contained a shipment of armaments destined for Etienne Tshisekedi in the Kasai. The sources told the Panel that the arms had come to the Kasai via Kigali. There are already individual weapons in the Kasai. The Panel was informed that the militia's size is about 3,000 and the headquarters are located in the Kasai town of Lusambo.

21. The main financiers of this rebellion are Katebe Katoto, Victor Mpoyo (Kasaien and a former Minister under Laurent Kabila) and Rwanda financed the operation. In addition, some diamond dealers have promised to provide support.

Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC)

22. Rwanda provides three levels of support to UPC. First there is military support in the form of officers and other senior staff. Second, Rwanda provides training both within DRC and also in Rwanda. Third, Rwanda supplies arms. It should be noted that UPC was aligned with Uganda until mid 2002.

23. During the three-month deployment in Bunia of the International Emergency Multinational Force (IEMF) UPC's military capability was degraded. Following IEMF's withdrawal in September, UPC has been trying to rebuild its influence, although preliminary indications are that this has been unsuccessful, due to the effectiveness of MONUC's Ituri brigade.

24. To fulfil its own agenda of Hema domination of Ituri, the UPC turned last year to the competing networks linked to Uganda and Rwanda for support. Regional antagonisms and economic competition soon ended that dual support. The Rwandan-linked network invested heavily in building the military superiority of its new proxy and expanding its grip over territory and revenue sources to the detriment of rival networks' interests. It has used this proxy to extend its control over the eastern DRC northward, in the hopes of carving out an independent territory comprised of a large arc stretching from Uganda's borders south through the Kivus. Through the UPC, the Rwandan network has also challenged the Ugandan and Kinshasa-linked networks for control over one of the potentially wealthiest regions within the DRC. The network hopes that the ethnic tension will derail negotiations on power sharing and reunification, destabilize the GNU, and weaken the rapprochement between the Ugandan and Kinshasa-linked networks

25. UPC includes between 6,000 and 10, 000 regulars, as well as thousands of irregulars. Rwandaphone officers occupy high-level position within the UPC structure. These officers report directly to the Rwandan army's high command. The UPC army commander, for example, General Kisembo, reports directly to RDF Chief of Staff, General Kabarebe. Other Rwandans occupying high-level positions in the UPC Headquarters include General Rafiki, General Bosco and General Mogabu. The Chief of RDF Intelligence, General Jack Nziza, oversees UPC operations

26. Rwanda provided military training to the UPC from September to December 2002. In total, some 107 UPC officers were trained in Gabiro training centre in Rwanda. Sources also informed the Panel that UPC intelligence officers were trained in Bunia.

27. Between November 2002 and January 2003, mortars, machine guns, and ammunition to Mongbwalu. On other occasions the arms were sent from Kigali and were para-dropped in Mandro.

28. Between 9 and 12 May 2003, a new airstrip was built some 30 kilometres from Mongbwalu. A white unregistered aircraft from Rwanda delivered ammunition to the UPC. The Panel's source further informed that in July 2003, the head of PUSIC, Chief Kawa Mandro Panga, gave ammunition, which originated from Uganda, to the UPC. Supplies of ammunition to the UPC from Rwanda have slowed down, due to the pressure exerted on Uganda and Rwanda and the presence of the IEMF and MONUC. Rwanda also provides uniforms to UPC, which are different than regular Rwandan army uniforms.

29. The Panel has information indicating that some of UPC's arms originated from the Balkans and South Africa. Furthermore, land mines with battery detonators with Arabic writing on them were seen by the source.

Parallel economic structure: Congo Holding Development Company (CHDC).

30. The CHDC is a commercial entity with headquarters in both Goma and Rwanda. It is a diversified company, involved in the mining and marketing of gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds, the distribution of bottled water imported from Rwanda, the printing of license plates for vehicles, the exclusive control and operation of an airfield in Manungu (near Kamituga in South Kivu) and the distribution of cement. The company operates throughout most of the areas that have been under RCD-G's control - such as Kisangani, Kamituga, Goma, Bukavu and Lodja.

31. The Panel is in possession of an internal RCD-G document that refers to the CHDC as "our company" and further describes the crucial commercial and financial role of the CHDC on behalf of RCD-G. Various sources, including former ANC commanders, have described to the Panel how the RDF has established a system by which the weapons and ammunition recovered on the battlefield in the DRC were, after being inventoried, immediately shipped to Rwanda. The ANC then barters mineral resources, such as gold, for use of these weapons and to cover transport costs. CHDC fills the niche perfectly for RCD-G by supplying the minerals needed to pay for weapons leasing.

32. CHDC was created by Félicien Ruchacha Bikumu and Gertrude Kitembo, recently appointed Minister of Postal Services and Telecommunications in the Government of National Unity. The husband of Mrs. Kitembo, Wa Ngera Rukangira, is an advisor to the Rwandan Presidency. We understand that following her appointment as a minister, Mrs. Kitembo resigned from her post with CHDC.

33. The Panel is in the possession of documents and information showing that the commercial operations of the CHDC have benefited from the protection of RCD-G's army. One of the ANC officers involved in the operations of CHDC is Lt. Colonel Thierry Ilunga, who represents himself as the Special Envoy of the Chief of Staff of the ANC to the CHDC. He has stated that CHDC's operations participated in the "war effort". A local NGO has denounced the ANC for using forced labour in gold mines areas around Kamituga.

34. Documents obtained by the Panel show that CHDC has been granted tax exemption benefits not available to other companies.

The Kinshasa-linked network

35. This network has managed to position itself well. It has benefited from the advantage of having controlled all the levers of State power during the lead up to the transition and having inherited a certain political capital based on its image of national legitimacy. Following the publication of the Panel's last report, a number of the network's Congolese members were suspended from their Government posts and a preliminary inquiry was conducted by the Procureur Général de la République (Attorney General) into their involvement in exploitation activities. However, most have resurfaced, with posts in transitional institutions, as behind-the-scenes advisors, or in key positions in the network's new political vehicle, the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD). This network sees itself as constituting a kind of a host government that has invited selected members of the other factions to join it , although, de facto, on a less than an equal footing.

36. The Panel has reviewed documents which, along with additional information it has obtained, confirm that during the three months leading up to the launching of the ANC offensive on North Kivu, the former DRC Government transported 280 tons of weapons to Beni, intended for RCD-ML. Transported by Antonov-32 aircraft, the shipments took place between 13 December 2002, days before the finalizing of the power sharing agreement, and 20 March 2003. Over 40 roundtrip flights were required to complete the deliveries.

37. The Panel has information that in June 2003 there were three flights with cargos of weapons and ammunition shipments from Lubumbashi to Lulingu (northeast of Shabunda in South Kivu) destined for Mayi Mayi commander General Padiri. The aircraft used, an Antonov-32 with registration ER-AFI, is the property of Renan Air and was leased to Africa West, based in Togo. Lt. Colonel Delphin Kahimbi of the FAC coordinated these shipments.

38. The Panel has also received many other reports about the Kinshasa-linked network's supply of Mayi Mayi and allied forces including Banyamulenge and foreign armed groups through other airstrips in South Kivu, for example in Minembwe in the Hauts Plateaux. Shipments of arms and materiel to this area are described as being routed through Kamina and Lubumbashi in Katanga.

39. While the same Congolese political and military elites still comprise the core of this network, the overt role of the Zimbabwean Government officials has faded. This followed the dissolving late last year of COMIEX, a State holding company, and COSLEG, a Congo-Zimbabwe joint stock company, both touted as representing State or public interests. However, the main private commercial partners that represented the interests of a small group of Zimbabwean military entrepreneurs remain active in the original joint ventures. The liquidation of COMIEX and COSLEG further privatised those ventures. Revenues from them are now primarily routed through private corporate entities located offshore, with smaller percentages of the benefits flowing to DRC State enterprises.

40. Information and documents collected by the Panel indicate that the Kinshasa-linked network continues to control substantial revenue streams generated by resource exploitation, and has begun to diversify its commercial partners. The Panel has also received repeated and credible allegations that certain network members are siphoning funds monthly out of state enterprises, such as the public water utility Regideso. Exploitation activities still encompass or are associated with criminal activities such as theft, embezzlement and money laundering. Most of these revenues are being concentrated in private hands or directed towards building a political organisation geared to ensuring a victory in the coming elections.

41. There are fears within the Kinshasa network over the very real threat posed by the Rwandan-linked network's parallel agenda, which is being actively implemented in a highly coordinated and strategic manner. Consequently, this network, has set up covert military structures, including hiving off a force of 2,000 from the Groupe Spéciale de Sécurité Presidentielle (GSSP) before the transitional government was sworn in. This force is based in Bankana outside of Kinshasa. This special unit has reportedly been issued with tanks from Mbanza Ngungu military camp. The Panel has information indicating that the Kinshasa-elite network received between 10 and 15 containers of small arms and light weapons from Jordan that were shipped via ocean cargo to the Port of Matadi and from there to Kinshasa by train. There is no official paper trail, either at the customs or within FAC logistics operations, recording these shipments.

42. Sources also report that the Kinshasa-linked network has dispatched several thousand FAC soldiers to two other sub-Saharan African countries for covert training. These forces will remain positioned outside the DRC and could also be deployed as back-up rapid reaction force in the event of a coup attempt.

Emaxon Finance International Inc. and MIBA

43. A secret agreement between state diamond company Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) and Emaxon (an entity controlled by Israeli diamond traders Chaim Leibovitz and Dan Gertler) was at the centre of the first major dispute in the power-sharing government over mining revenues. The existence and terms of the agreement between Emaxon and MIBA, dated 13 April 2003, were kept secret by leading officials of the former DRC government - even from the new Minister of Mines Eugene Diomi Ndongala who represents the non-armed opposition in the new government.

44. Under the terms of the agreement, Emaxon is to lend MIBA $5 million for capital investment in its production plant and advance it a further $10 million, which will be redeemed against future diamond sales. However, some of MIBA's creditors say that the agreement between Emaxon and MIBA contravenes an undertaking, which the state diamond company gave promising to consult them about any change in marketing and export sale arrangements. The Panel is in possession of a copy of the agreement which is dated Johannesburg, 25 February 2003. The agreement is between MIBA, Groupe Van De Ghinste, Demimpex, Ken Overseas, Chanic and OSS. The agreement stipulates that MIBA must consult the creditors if it changes its marketing agreements.

45. A businessman representing one of the MIBA creditors reported that Secretary General to the government Augustine Katumba Mwanke instructed MIBA's President Administrateur Delegue Gustave Luabeye Tshitala and MIBA's Director of General Services Michel Haubert to sign the Emaxon agreement, and explained that there may be deliberate under-pricing of the MIBA shipments to fund Emaxon's "credit line" to MIBA. Other credible sources have made the same claims, explaining that the Secretary General played a key role in negotiating the agreement with Mr. Leibowitz.

46. Concerns have also been expressed concern about the legal accountability of Emaxon, should there be a dispute over sales revenues or the enforceability of payment agreements. Although Emaxon Finance International Inc. (the entity that signed the agreement) gives its address as Suite 2900 at 1000 de la Gauchetiere West, Montreal, Canada; it does not have a publicly listed telephone number. The majority shareholder in Emaxon is FTS Worldwide Corporation whose business address is stated to be that of a firm of lawyers, Mossack Fonseca & Co in Panama City.


47. The Panel has learned from credible sources that believed that Rwanda is intentionally strengthening the ex-FAR/Interahamwe by infiltrating RDF officers into ex-FAR/ Interahamwe units, which have links to both the Kinshasa and Rwandan networks. The Rwandan officers are all edged deserters of the RDF. In the recent past months, there has been a noticeable increase of deserters passing through Kampala en route to ex-FAR/ Interahamwe units in the eastern DRC. The Panel also received information that the Kinshasa linked network has been providing arms to elements of the ex-FAR/ Interahamwe. The increased military capability the ex-FAR/Interahamwe has resulted in the ANC suffering increased casualties as a result of military engagements in Masisi and west of Rutshuru.

The Uganda-linked elite network

48. The thrust of this network is still overwhelmingly commercial. Control of Ituri, once one of the most prosperous districts in the DRC, is its primary objective. The district's wealth encompasses coltan, diamonds, gold, stands of timber, rare animal specials, potential oil reserves, fiscal revenues and profits from trade.

49. This network's secondary objective is a defensive one: limiting the Rwandan-linked network's efforts to encroach on what it considers to be its sphere of influence. The expansion of the Rwandan-linked network into Ituri district, previously under the exclusive control of the UPDF and its proxies, and the withdrawal of the Ugandan military in late April 2003 under mounting international pressure spurred this network to create and support a number of new armed proxies. In several instances, this also aimed at undermining Rwanda's own proxy, the UPC, itself once backed by Uganda. Armed proxies have been used to take up the role the UPDF previously played in fomenting ethnic conflict and maximizing economic control. The violence and chaos that resulted, fuelled by the effects of the UPDF's four-year policy of aggravating ethnic tensions, pushed the region to the brink of a full-scale genocide earlier this year.

50. Multiple, competing proxies offer this network more options for exercising leverage within the transitional government. Such influence could help ensure continued control over economic enclaves that have been formally reunified. The militia leaders, who are not signatories to the Lusaka Cease-fire Agreement, have also sought to use their military and economic leverage to win a place in the transitional institutions.

51. On 20 July, only days before an arms embargo on the eastern DRC was imposed under Resolution 1493 (2003), RCD-ML authorities discovered a shipment of mortars and small arms munitions on board a chartered Antonov 28 aircraft that had made an unscheduled stop at the Beni airport. An inquiry established that the arms were intended for FAPC militia fighters, then battling with various militias to secure control of the Mongbwalu gold mining area. The shipment illustrated the close link between resource exploitation and arms flows. Information obtained by the Panel indicates that the purpose of the shipments was to assist FAPC in establishing firm control over Mongbwalu in order to force the company Ashanti Goldfields, which already holds a legitimate agreement on this concession, to negotiate reactivating its operations with Ugandan-linked elite network members rather than authorities in Kinshasa. Moreover, flight expenses were reportedly paid with revenues from a taxation system created at the mining site. All persons involved in gold prospecting pay fees to the FAPC and allied FRPI forces in return for the security provided at the mining site by their respective militia.

52. The network now relies primarily on two powerful proxies - FAPC and PUSIC - which control the zones where the potentially most lucrative revenue sources in Ituri are located. These zones are also established entry points for smuggled arms. They include the customs points, the gold areas and the potential oil fields bordering Lake Albert.

53. Several independent sources have estimated that FAPC leader, Commander Jérôme, collects thousands of dollars per week in levies from the Mahagi and Aru customs posts. They report that a percentage of these receipts are shared with the Ugandan-linked elite network.

54. The Panel has obtained documents suggesting a shift to a more centralized, State-sponsored policy. For example, various documents and receipts dated from May and June 2003 show transfers of funds from the Office of the Presidency in support of PUSIC. This militia has also received arms and military supplies from the Ugandan army on a coordinated, institutional-basis and through individual UPDF officers. Some of these arms are delivered to PUSIC via Lake Albert. The Panel has photographs of some of these arms.

55. The Ugandan Government's rapprochement over the past year with President Kabila, partly driven by regional antagonisms, and the UPDF withdrawal created a certain convergence or overlap between this network and the Kinshasa-linked network representing the interests of the former DRC Government. Ugandan links with the former rebel movement RCD-ML provided the Kinshasa-linked network with an economic and military foothold in a strategic and sensitive area of the eastern DRC. Through its new ally, the Kinshasa-linked network found an entry into Ituri. It has used RCD-ML as a channel for arming and supporting Lendu-Ngiti militia.

Mouvement de Libération du Congo

56. MLC continues to be a player in this network. There are signs that the Uganda-linked network took measures to ensure MLC's continued association. For example, the Panel has information that around the time that RCD-N, backed by MLC troops, wound up its savage offensive known as Effacer le Tableau on territory held by RCD-ML late last year, Uganda supplied the MLC with at least seven mine-protected military vehicles.

57. After winning one of the vice presidencies in the transitional government, with responsibility for the influential economic and financial portfolio, and key positions within other transitional institutions in Kinshasa, the former rebel movement has found itself at the centre of a treacherous three-way power struggle among the networks, including competition for the backing of supporters of former President Mobutu. In these circumstances, MLC has sought to diversify its alliances, a lesson learned from the Ugandan military. Credible sources report that the MLC leadership received clandestine arms shipments in Kinshasa through Brazzaville at the beginning of August 2003, building up its own arsenal in what appears to be a precautionary move vis-à-vis the more aggressive tactics of the other rival networks.

58. With the overthrow of former President Ange-Félix Patassé in the Central African Republic, the MLC lost access to a platform through which it acquired military and other supplies and commercialised diamonds originating in the provinces of Orientale and Equateur that its army had controlled during the rebellion. Since coming to power, General Bozizé's regime has conducted a review of the mining sector, which resulted in the suspension of companies linked to former President Patassé's Government. According to a report of the Kimberley Process Review Mission to CAR, the new regime has also abandoned the practice of awarding "presidential concessions" which were made outside of normal control procedures. However the largest diamond trading companies in Bangui that were known to have commercialised MLC's diamonds in the past still maintain their prominent positions as official diamond exporters in CAR.

Summing Up

59. Despite the careful sharing out of all the formal trappings and levers of power, deep mistrust persists among the parties. Each doubts the commitment of the others. The manipulation of local conflicts or aspirations for greater autonomy from Kinshasa, often underpinned by economic grievances, provides a broad platform for pursuing armed confrontation and destabilization. So do rivalries among States in the region, whose own unresolved internal conflicts continue to affect prospects for sustainable peace in the DRC.

60. All three elite networks have played a direct role in the arms build-up in the DRC that spanned the lead-up to the finalisation of the Global All-Inclusive Accord, the repeatedly postponed installation of the Government of National Unity and the protracted negotiations over power sharing within the command structure of the new armed forces. This build-up of military capacity was spurred by the struggle for leverage in the power sharing equation and by calls for an arms embargo, which led to the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1493 on 28 July 2003. It is also a lynch pin of the Rwandan and Kinshasa-linked networks' parallel agendas, as well as the continued arms flows to the networks are ensured by an entrenched international network of manufacturers, brokers and transporters,

61. The three main platforms for receiving and distributing arms and materiel used in the micro-conflicts that persist in the DRC are Rwanda, the Kinshasa-linked elite network and Uganda. Once introduced into the DRC, a portion of the arms are often held by the receiving party, as in the cases of the Kinshasa-linked network and MLC, with another portion being distributed to proxies. This is the case of the elite network distributing arms to RCD-K/ML and the Ex-FAR/Interhamwe. Rwanda and Uganda are also distributing arms to their respective proxies.

62. As part of their strategies to ensure their survival, the elite networks have enhanced their military capabilities through recruitment and training of their militias and the purchase and distribution of large quantities of arms. The intelligence services of Rwanda, Uganda and the former DRC government are playing a crucial role in the development and implementation of these strategies.


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