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Final report of the UN Group of Experts on the DRC released

UN Security Council | Published on December 07, 2009
Conseil de Security des Nations Unis

The present report concludes that military operations against the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) have failed to dismantle the organization’s political and military structures on the ground in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The increasing rate of FDLR combatant defections and 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. The report shows that FDLR continues to benefit from residual but significant support from top commanders of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), particularly 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” (FARDC-led military operations against FDLR), for instance networks in Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania. The Group has also documented that FDLR has a far-reaching international diaspora network involved in the day-to-day running of the movement, the coordination of military and arms trafficking activities and the management of financial activities. This report presents two case studies on the involvement of individuals linked to faith-based organizations.

The Group investigated FDLR’s ongoing exploitation of natural resources in the Kivus, notably gold and cassiterite reserves, which the Group calculates continues to deliver millions of dollars in direct financing into the FDLR coffers. The present report illustrates how FDLR gold networks are tightly intertwined with trading networks operating within Uganda and Burundi as well as in the United Arab Emirates. The Group also documents that a number of mineral exporting companies, some of which were named in a previous report of the Group in 2008 (S/2008/773), continue to trade with FDLR. This report shows that end buyers for this cassiterite include the Malaysia Smelting Corporation, and the Thailand Smelting and Refining Company, which is held by Amalgamated Metals Corporation, based in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The report analyses the integration of non-State armed groups into FARDC through the rapid integration process in January 2009, as well as prior to and during the FARDC/Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) joint operations “Umoja Wetu” and “Kimia II”. In this context, the officer class of the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), in particular General Bosco Ntaganda, has continued to retain heavy weapons acquired during its period of rebellion in spite of its official integration into FARDC and still controls revenue-generating activities and parallel local administrations. The Group also presents documentary evidence showing that General Ntaganda continues to act as the deputy operational commander of Kimia II. 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 former 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 international companies mentioned above.

The Group has monitored compliance with paragraph 5 of resolution 1807 (2008), by which the Security Council decided that all States are to notify the sanctions committee in advance regarding the shipment of arms and related material for the Democratic Republic of the Congo or any provision of assistance, advice or training related to military activities, especially given the Group’s findings on the continued diversion of FARDC military equipment to non-governmental armed groups, notably FDLR. The Group has conclusively documented irregular deliveries of arms to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Sudan, as well as deliveries of trucks and aircraft that have been used by FARDC. The present report also documents the failure of a number of States to notify the sanctions committee of training they provided to FARDC.

The Group also reports on violations of human rights committed in contravention of subparagraphs 4 (d), (e) and (f) of resolution 1857 (2008) and concludes that FARDC and non-governmental armed groups continue to perpetrate human rights abuses, in the context of Kimia II operations in contravention of international humanitarian law. FARDC and FDLR have been involved in significant killings of civilians and other abuses from March to October 2009, causing additional waves of displacement of several hundred thousand civilians. The findings of the report underline the need for the urgent establishment of a vetting mechanism and the strengthening of accountability and the justice system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A list of FARDC commanders currently deployed in the Kimia II operation with an established record of human rights abuses is annexed to the present report (annex 124).

The Federal Police of Germany arrested Mr. Ignace Murwanashyaka and Mr. Straton Musoni, the president and vice-president of FDLR respectively, on 17 November 2009, following the submission of the present report on 9 November 2009 by the Group of Experts to the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004). Mr. Murwanashyaka and Mr. Musoni were arrested on suspicion of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as on the basis of other charges related to the forming and membership of a foreign terrorist organization.

Read full report (pdf)

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