Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DRC Group of Experts Report Leaked

The DRC Group of Experts' Report, which is due to be discussed by the Security Council today, was, it seems, pretty systematically leaked to the media. Usually, that means that it's extremely controversial and that there's concern that it might get watered down by annoyed member states. Leaking it like this basically forces the Secretariat and the Council to discuss the report and its findings.

Anyway, you can read the stories about it in the following outlets: Reuters, BBC, New York Times, and Associated Press.

Finally, Jason Stearns, over at Congo Siasa, has excerpts of the report itself. I've pasted the Summary below and I will provide the link to the full report once it's out.

Summary

This report concludes that military operations against the FDLR have failed to dismantle the organization’s political and military structures on the ground in eastern DRC. The increasing rate of FDLR combatant defections and the FDLR temporary removal from many of its bases are only a partial success considering that the armed group has regrouped in a number of locations in the Kivus, and continues to recruit new fighters. This report shows that the FDLR continues to benefit from residual but significant support from top commanders of the FARDC, particularly those officers in the 10th military region (South Kivu), and has sealed strategic alliances with other armed groups in both North and South Kivu. External support networks, both regional and international, have been used by FDLR in the field to counteract the effects of Kimia II, for instance networks in Burundi and Tanzania. [...]

The Group investigated the FDLR’s ongoing exploitation of natural resources in the Kivus, notably gold and cassiterite reserves which the Group calculates continue to deliver millions of dollars in direct financing into FDLR coffers. This report illustrates how FDLR gold networks are intertwined tightly with trading networks operating within Uganda and Burundi as well as the UAE. The Group also documents that a number of minerals exporting houses, some of whom were named in the Group’s previous report in 2008, continue to trade with the FDLR. This report shows that end buyers for this cassiterite include the Malaysia Smelting Corporation and the Thailand Smelting and Refining Company, held by Amalgamated Metals Corporation, a UK entity.

The report analyzes the integration of non-state armed groups into the FARDC through the rapid integration in January 2009; as well as prior and during the FARDC/RDF joint operation Umoja Wetu and Kimia II. In this context, the CNDP officer class, in particular General Bosco Ntaganda, has continued to retain heavy weapons acquired during its period of rebellion in spite of its official integration into the FARDC and still controls revenue generating activities and parallel local administrations. The Group also presents documentary evidence showing that Gen Ntaganda continues to act as Kimia II deputy operational commander.

CNDP military officers deployed as part of FARDC Kimia II operations have profited from their deployment in mineral rich areas, notably at the Bisie mine in Walikale, North Kivu, and in the territory of Kalehe, in South Kivu. In both these areas, the FARDC commanding officers on the ground are ex-CNDP officers. The Group includes evidence in the report showing direct involvement of CNDP military officials in the supply of minerals to a number of exporting houses in North and South Kivu, some of which also supply the same international companies mentioned above. [...]

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