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Author Topic: Rwanda genocide, Kagame, the RPF and looting the Congo  (Read 2748 times)

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Firestarter

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Chinese investment skyrocketed from $1 million in 2000 to $1.6 billion by 2008. China has become a major player in Congo; its influence is primarily exerted through infrastructure projects and acquisitions and has formed partnerships with DFID and delivered loans to Congo’s government.
Former president Joseph Kabila was trained at the military academy in Beijing.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank declared Congo bankrupt in 1994 and forced it into “liberalisation” in the early 2000s.
Congo’s economic crisis forced the government to sign the Millennium Initiative,
Liberalisation has removed control of economic resources from Congo, which through offshore companies made it possible for the elite to loot Congo of its valuable resources, while bribing politicians and funding violence to keep the population under control. Liberalisation has extended Kabila’s tenure and as such was anti-democratic. Kabila provided a favourable environment for foreign investments (and made a bundle in the process).
Mineral sales contributed heavily to the (second) presidential campaign in 2011 that cost over $1 billion. Most of the funding came from Congo, with 40% coming from international donors. The elections were decried by international observers and Joseph Kabila won from Etienne Tshisekedi.
The third presidential election cost an estimated $1.4 billion. In May 2014 US Secretary of State John Kerry (of Skull & Bones), promised $30 million for the campaign on the condition that Kabila did not run for a third time.

In 2010, US Congress passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, article 1502.
The act imposed that potential buyers report egregious minerals – like tin, tantalum and tungsten - to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), instead of a penalty.
The Act also required supply chain due diligence. The non-governmental organisation (NGO), Pact, funded by USA Aid (USAID) described the due diligence approach:
Quote
In the mining sector, Pact works in partnership with government, industry and civil society to help ensure that minerals make it to international markets without interference, promoting development rather than conflict.
DFID’s position became more overt; its plan for Congo for 2011–2016 stated:
Quote
the portfolio of our projects is already shifting to deliver a more coherent, focused and ambitious approach to economic development. We are helping to build strong and investable business environments in developing countries and improving access to finance for entrepreneurs.

While the international community has spoken on the tremendous corruption in the Congo, it has “forgotten” to address the secrecy of international trade, without which this wouldn’t be possible on such a large scale.
Global Witness’s “Out of Africa” report estimates that Congo suffered $1.36 billion in lost revenue during the last election cycle, which were routed out of Congo through British tax havens, with several companies involved listed on the London Stock Exchange.
British Member of Parliament Eric Joyce published a list of 59 shell companies operating in Congo in 2011; 47 of them were registered in the British Virgin Islands. The Panama Papers confirm that offshore companies have been widely used in Congo. The most reported profession in the Panama Papers is “politician”…

Kabila and his aide Augustine Katumba Mwanke (now deceased) were increasingly associated with Israeli businessman Dan Gertler, who is named in more than 200 files in the Panama Papers.
Gertler bought Congolese mining assets and sold them at profits of thousands percentage points to companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
In 2005, Gertler formed Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC), owned through a company registered in the Isle of Man, the chief assets of which were 75% of 2 huge copper mining projects in the province of Katanga (with 25% for Congo’s defunct state company Gécamines). Gertler’s investment of £3 million was valued at more than £1 billion.
In 2010, Kabila signed a presidential decree granting oil concessions in Lake Albert to Caprikat and Foxwhelp, both associated with Gertler and registered in the British Virgin Islands by Mossack Fonseca.
Since his arrival in Congo in 1997, Gertler has built an estimated $2.5 billion empire.

In October 2016, the US Justice Department and SEC fined the hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Company under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act on bribery charges. The company’s front man in Congo, Dan Gertler, alongside Kabila and his aide Katumba Mwanke received over $100 million in bribes.
Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi responded:
Quote
For us an attack on [Gertler] is an attack on the Congo … Mr. Gertler’s businesses are legitimate. He pays his taxes, making a good contribution to our government in monetary terms.
Och-Ziff has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $412 million fine: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01436597.2018.1447373
(http://archive.is/AGzv5)

 

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