UN Report: Arms from Sudan Fuel Humanitarian Disaster as Congo/Rwanda Initiative Fails

Image: Luofu Burial Copyright ©HRW

Image: Luofu Burial Copyright ©HRW

On May 18, Turkish diplomat Baki I`lkin sent the Interim Report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations Security Council. I`lkin’s cover letter sounded hopeful, but resigned. “I would appreciate it if the present letter, together with its enclosure, were brought to the attention of the members of the Council and issued as a document of the Council,” he wrote.

International media has yet to review or investigate this report despite the fact that what is left of the world’s “free” press has been consistently manipulated by special interests, including the US State Department. Without some digging on the part of journalists, I`lkin’s important report, along with the truth and incinerated Congolese children, might well become buried.

Diplomat Baki I`lkin’s group arrived in Kinshasa DRC on March 20, 2009 and spent five weeks in the field before it issued a report detailing the spectacular failure of the joint Rwandan/Congolese military operation, Umoja Wetu. The Congolese (FARDC) and Rwandan (RDF) initiative was ostensibly advanced to eliminate the Rwandan Hutu militias (FDLR) and remnants of the genocidaires who were responsible for up to one million deaths in Rwanda in 1994. This theater of operation took place against a backdrop that included 1.2 million refugees in Congolese IDP camps. An additional 250,000 have been displaced since operation Umoja Wetu began, and there have been untold rapes, burnings, murders, pillaging and tortures against innocent civilians in the interim. Umoja Wetu began days after the ouster of CNDP (Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple) rebel General Laurent Nkunda and his betrayal by his former ally Rwanda.

Forces loyal to Laurent Nkunda have consistently maintained that the Congolese government has used the FDLR as a kind of “allied-force” in its battles against Nkunda, who was gaining territory and presented a real threat not only to the Government of Joseph Kabila, but also to Rwanda’s Tutsi President Paul Kagame. Kagame found himself facing competition from a charismatic Congolese Tutsi rebel leader whom he once supported, but who now was reaping territory and a popularity that could become problematic. Rwanda is a country the size of the state of Maryland with no resources. At stake: Congo’s mines (gold, cassiterite), forestry, real estate, and control over a country that could be the breadbasket of the region if given the leadership and opportunity to do so. It should not go unnoticed that the United States and the European Union have strategic interests in the minerals of this region and the United States has a new $80 million dollar embassy in Kigali.

Image: General Laurent Nkunda one week before his detention Copyright © G. Nienaber

Image: General Laurent Nkunda one week before his detention Copyright © G. Nienaber

Joint military operations were conducted in January 2009 within the framework of a secret agreement between Kagame and Kabila. It can be demonstrated that the United States was the prime mover and shaker behind this agreement, which resulted in a humanitarian crisis that is almost beyond imagination. The drumbeat against the CNDP and Nkunda and other central African rebel leaders has existed since at least 2004 and is easily reviewed. The failure of media to scrutinize reports coming out of the State Department, and the media’s tendency to accept statements from diplomats at face value can be construed as contributing to the continuing bloodshed in Congo’s wars. The total death toll is six million and counting. Operation Umoja Wetu was a dismal failure, and the United States was solidly behind it. The public record supports this.

Umoja Wetu: A Catastrophic Failure and Arms from Sudan
Excerpt from the May “Special Rappateur” UN report:

During Umoja Wetu, the FARDC-RDF (Congolese/Rwandan) alliance was able to push back FDLR (Rwandan rebels) from some of its key locations, but the military operation suffered from a short time span, logistical bottlenecks and the reported embezzlement of operational funds, and failed to break the FDLR command and control apparatus, which remains intact. Since the withdrawal of RDF (Rwandan military), FDLR has counterattacked in various locations across North and South Kivu, resulting in increased civilian casualties. Delays in the disbursement of FARDC (Congolese army) salaries have also exacerbated indiscipline within the newly integrated FARDC units, resulting in ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by FARDC, including looting and attacks on the civilian population.

Image: CNDP territory before Umoja Wetu Copyright © Georgianne Nienaber

Image: CNDP territory before Umoja Wetu Copyright © Georgianne Nienaber

Human Rights Watch and other groups have been screaming about the military failure and its impact upon the civilian population of eastern Congo for months. The 27 page Interim Report supports what HRW, OXFAM, CNDP remnants, humanitarians, informants, and others have been saying.

The report also details something new and worrisome–massive airlifts of arms and ammunitions to the Congolese military (FARDC) through Khartoum, Sudan.

The Group of Experts has obtained information to the effect that arms and ammunition were transported to FARDC from the Sudan in December 2008 and February 2009. The military equipment was loaded at Khartoum International Airport on to a Boeing 707 aircraft registered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that had been requisitioned by the Ministry of Defense of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in September 2008. Flights of the aircraft occurred on 4 and 5 December 2008, and on 12 and 14 February 2009. The Group has submitted a request to the Permanent Mission of the Sudan for further clarification. The Group is concerned that continued violations of paragraph 5 of resolution 1807 (2008) could further hinder mechanisms to promote effective stockpile management by FARDC. The Group is looking into further violations and will report to the Committee in due course.

This is a stunning report, especially given the tremendous US presence in Sudan, a United Nations base at Khartoum, and the appointment of a State Department Special Advisor for Conflict Resolution, Tim Shortley. Shortley has worked hand in hand with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer in Congo, Uganda, and as Director of Sudan Programs at the State Department. Frazer is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the George W. Bush administration and joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in January 2009.

The Special Rappateur deserves an international response, through the United Nations Security Council, regarding this arms shipment. He has asked for serial numbers, identification numbers, and marking codes. It is hard to imagine that the recent airlifts of munitions from Sudan to Congo could have gone unnoticed by the State Department and its agents, given our intense military and espionage presence in the region. The panel of UN experts deserves media support for their request regarding manufacturing and serial numbers on the munitions and arms that were smuggled into DRC in December 2008 and February 2009. These munitions, which packed a Boeing 707 on at least four separate flights, will be used by the Kabila government against civilians. The track record has been demonstrated.

US State Department Dictates Policy through Frazer and Shortley

Shortley’s imprint is all over Central Africa, including a stint at USAID, the Defense Department, and in 2007 a “special appointment” by the State Department as “Senior Advisor on Conflict in Africa”. As more and more information comes in, it seems that there has been a pattern of disinformation at best and outright lying at worst on the part of the State Department in order to manipulate impressions on what is truth in eastern Congo. The initial focus of Mr. Shortley’s work was conflict resolution in northern Uganda. A recent Newsweek story mentions Shortley and his close ties to Secretary Frazer. Newsweek reports it was Frazer who suggested assassination as a possible solution to problems with rebel leaders in Uganda.

Kony’s (rebel leader in Uganda) interest rose visibly when the Bush administration sent a young American, Tim Shortley, to push for a comprehensive agreement. Frazer-who says she never thought Kony was serious about peace, especially not after the ICC (International Criminal Court), issued its arrest warrant for him in 2005-nevertheless urged Shortley to “go out there and do more, do everything you can to get this guy to sign.” The United States contributed more than $10 million to underwrite the process. The United Nations had passed a resolution conveying “deep concern” about the LRA, and was pushing hard for an end to the conflict. Museveni (President of Uganda) even sent Kony’s own mother to meet with her son in the bush and beg him to surrender. But behind the scenes, Frazer was getting frustrated. At one point she quietly asked Museveni, “Why don’t you just ambush Kony when he’s in one of these meetings?” “We don’t ambush people,” Museveni told her. “If we’re in the bush and somebody’s back is turned, before we strike, we’ll cough.”

Image: Where is MONUC in all of this? Copyright © HRW

Image: Where is MONUC in all of this? Copyright © HRW

Frazer had also been committed to neutralizing CNDP rebel leader Laurent Nkunda since at least 2007, according to reports we have been receiving from CNDP factions still loyal to Nkunda. Frazer’s public statements corroborate these accusations by CNDP officers who were advisors to Nkunda before his detention by Rwandan authorities in January 2009.

From CNDP contact:

Just to let you know that Mrs. Jendayi Frazer with his (sic) Special envoy for US Department Mr. Tim Shortley who is now in Sudan, were working for KABILA, because always when Tim was coming with Kabila’s proposals after convincing him that he will oblige us to adhere to his proposals and when we refused, he always says that the USA is going to take strong measures against us, just trying to exercise a kind of terrorism. Jendayi was supporting Kabila too much and was against us. And you know how Government proposals are regarding to the revolutionaries.

So, the question arises: How involved was the United States State Department in the destabilization of the Kivu provinces in eastern DRC? Did our State Department officials become “terrorists” in the eyes of a revolutionary movement in Congo? The United States has supported rebel armies before, especially if it served our interests. What exactly happened behind the scenes that journalists have not explored?

There are a series of documents and briefings that suggest the United States was, and is still, involved in covert support of the government of Joseph Kabila and is conducting a systematic propaganda campaign in international media to discredit the CNDP movement. The ultimate prize is unrestricted access to the mining interests in eastern Congo through ties with Rwanda and Kabila. This support may also include arms transfers from Sudan.

Bush, the EU, and Flawed Elections
As far back as 2002 the United States was actively involved in Congolese/Rwandan politics when President George W. Bush met with Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of Congo in New York. Kabila took office in January 2001, 10 days after the murder of his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila. In 2006, Joseph Kabila was confirmed as President following the July 2006 general election.

The European Union (EU) in the person of Louis Michel, Belgium Foreign Minister and current EU Development Commissioner, had actively supported Laurent and Joseph Kabila’s reign of terror. The EU election observers in Congo declared the 2006 election fair, free, transparent, and democratic despite evidence of violence and massive fraud. Former US President Jimmy Carter observed and issued a statement that while not damning the process, does not really endorse the results either.

In many places around the country, the collection of results fell into disarray. Voting center chiefs generally did not receive a security escort, and the electoral materials, which lacked proper packaging, were very often not kept intact, nor efficiently collected and accounted for upon arrival…envelopes containing the tally sheets were either received unsealed or were opened by the voting center chiefs upon arrival…either to obtain information that was sealed inside or to redistribute the contents between envelopes. In the face of popular anxieties regarding manipulation, such disregard for essential procedures posed a considerable vulnerability for the process.

Human Rights Watch was severely critical of the aftermath of the voting process. The 96-page report, “We Will Crush You,” documents the Kabila government’s use of violence and intimidation to eliminate political opponents. Human Rights Watch found that Kabila “set the tone and direction by giving orders to ‘crush’ or ‘neutralize’ the ‘enemies of democracy,’ implying it was acceptable to use unlawful force against them.

This report focuses on some of the most violent episodes of political repression in Kinshasa and the western province of Bas Congo during the two years following the 2006 elections. The brutal and repressive tactics used by President Kabila and his advisors are emblematic of the resort to violence to stifle opponents. During our research, Human Rights Watch received reports of other incidents of repression, often smaller in scale and sometimes less violent, that are not included here. The violence in eastern Congo, where the Kabila government is in a military confrontation with an insurgency led by former general Laurent Nkunda, has been documented in other Human Rights Watch reports.

The government’s lack of popularity in western Congo, and the fear of losing power through a military overthrow, have dominated policy discussions amongst Kabila and his advisors in their first two years of administration. According to many military and intelligence officials and others close to Kabila who were interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Kabila set the tone and direction of the repression. In giving orders, he spoke of “crushing” or “neutralizing” the “enemies of democracy,” “terrorists,” and “savages,” implying it was acceptable to use unlawful force against them.

It would not be long before Secretary Frazer would appropriate Kabila’s term “Crush” to describe United States policy with regard to “rebel” movements which did not serve its own interests in Africa.

Tripartite Commission Sets the Tone and Frazer Coins “Negative Forces”
In October 2007, Jendayi E. Frazer, then Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Frazer crowed to Chairman Russ Feingold that she had “a good story to tell.” She spoke of “Negative Forces” (Nkunda and the FDLR) and “reliable partners” (Rwanda), and introduced her “newly-appointed Senior Advisor for Conflict Resolution, Timothy Shortley,” who “will work to makes sure US views are “taken into account.” At this point in time, Shortley was working on the Juba peace initiative in Uganda.

In addition, Shortley would be her new point man in Congo. According to reliable testimony from Congo and the CNDP, Shortley wasted no time in making certain that US views were taken into account and threatened Tutsi rebel leader Laurent Nkunda if Nkunda would not voluntarily go into exile.

Frazer to Feingold:

In order to respond to the current humanitarian and security crisis in eastern Congo, I directed Mr. Shortley to take the lead in expanding and intensifying implementation of our strategy to resolve the crisis in North Kivu. He has met with government officials, UN Organization Mission to DRC (MONUC) political and military leadership, and European partners in the Congo, New York and Washington. This training will underpin diplomatic efforts in the east to neutralize renegade military units and foreign armed groups. He will continue on to Rwanda to discuss efforts to neutralize the ex-FAR and Interahamwe

There was no denying who the “negative forces” were in Frazer’s eyes. They would be “eliminated.”

Frazer to Feingold:

Ministers from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda met as the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission in Kampala, Uganda most recently in September 15-17 (2007). As usual, the United States Government served as the Facilitator. The Ministers reaffirmed the core mission of the Tripartite Plus to end the threat to regional peace and security from Negative Forces, and agreed to redouble efforts to achieve that objective. They agreed on the importance of accelerating integration of Congolese armed forces in order that they may act against Negative Forces and assure the security of the local population. Member delegations appealed to the United Nations Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to intensify efforts to work with Congolese armed forces (FARDC) to eliminate the Negative Forces through full application of its mandate

The “Tripartite Plus Joint Commission”, was set up in 2004 with a mandate to boost peace and security in the Great Lakes region. It became a defacto method of facilitating secret agreements between its principals. The “plus” designation was added in 2005 when Burundi joined the group. Frazer’s message to Feingold was clear. The US would serve as “Facilitator” and Rwanda would be the “neutralizer.”

All delegations expressed concern about deteriorating security conditions in Eastern Congo, in particular the destabilizing roles of former General Laurent Nkunda and the ex-FAR/Interahamwe. All delegations committed to support the DRC in its efforts to end the violence and reduce the regional security threat of these and other Negative Forces in Eastern Congo.

Democracy is in the Eye of the Beholder
In subsequent months, the Congolese military (FARDC) and the government of Joseph Kabila were accused of egregious human rights violations. It can be demonstrated that the United States failed dismally, if it even tried at all, to uphold human rights for the Congolese. It was now 2007; one year after the Congolese elections, and Frazer was using the same terminology Kabila used as she spoke of the necessity to “crush” dissenting “negative” forces. In September 2007 Frazer met with met with journalists at Ugandan Ambassador Steven Browning’s residence and responded to their questions concerning U.S. perspectives on northern Uganda, as well as the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Somalia. Frazer again invoked the code phrase, “negative forces.”

Charles Mwanguhya: MONUC (UN Mission in Congo) last night announced that they are going to back the Congolese forces in the fight against Laurent Nkunda. What’s your view of that?

Frazer: What did you ask me?

Mwanguhya: What do you comment on that? And then the other thing is, what is the genesis of these renewed conflicts from your understanding of the situation?

Frazer: Well, that’s a very good question. The first part of it is about time we support MONUC working with FARDC to address negative forces. So, we’re supportive of it. I think that the problem is a political one and again, the issue is how do the communities in eastern Congo feel part of Congo as a whole. Do the minority populations, as one might call them, feel that they have a stake in the Congo as a whole.

Three times in her statements to journalists, Frazer would focus on the “negative forces,” which obviously meant Nkunda and, less-so, the FDLR. Her dismissive reference to the ethnic Tutsi Banyamulenge also sent a signal to the region. The Banyamulenge was a “minority” in the eyes of the US State Department. This is significant because the 2004 slaughter of Banyamulenge at Gatumba by Burundian forces in collusion with the FDLR was the impetus behind Tutsi Nkunda’s break in 2004 with the government of Kinshasa. The United States was ready to “crush” any rebellion, especially Nkunda’s, which was in place to protect minorities. “Crush” it.

So, the Banyamulenge and others, you’ve got to make sure that there’s a political process in place – that’s why I keep saying it’s a political solution. But you know when you have a rebellion, you have an army that is not well integrated where you have a rebel, you know, officer, who’s able to pull from the different brigades, that’s essentially what you have. And, you know, every country has a right to crush a rebellion of former members of their military that go on rebellion. Every country has that right, but you know, that’s not to say they have the right to crush communities that are disaffected. That’s where the political solution comes in.

The Banyamulenge are ethnic Tutsis. Frazer’s “political solution” has resulted in as yet untold and incomprehensible terror for this civilian population. The only factions “crushed” are the innocents, and it is business as usual for the Kabila government and smuggling operations run out of Rwanda by its own military. It spite of Frazer’s rhetoric, ethic communities and villages in eastern Congo have been crushed–obliterated. The most recent killings happened at Busurungi (20 km northeast of northern Hombo), in the territory of Walikale. At least 35 villagers were murdered and burned to death by the FDLR and most of the 15,000 residents are now refugees.

Looking at the present-day fallout from the failed operation Umoja Wetu, it is clear that the FDLR (Interahamwe) is still very much in operation and in collusion with the US supported Kabila government. Shortley and State failed in Uganda and Congo. They failed despite suggestions to Uganda to use assassination, despite threats of serious reprisals to the CNDP, and despite State Department attempts through its proxy, Rwanda, to “crush” the CNDP and the Interahamwe (FDLR). The fact remains, and it has not been widely reported, that the violence has escalated exponentially since the removal of Nkunda and the implementation of Umoja Wetu.

The Mines Are All Mine
The end result is that mining operations in Congo, especially in the Walikale sector, have come under control of the rejuvenated Rwandan rebels (FDLR) who are working covertly with the FARDC. Who stands most to benefit? The European Union and US strategic interests do. The Special Rappateur’s Report makes it clear that mining interests are the big prize and the end game for the conflict. The Congolese people will pay the ultimate price.

From the May 2009 UN Report:

The Group of Experts visited Walikale, close to the site of the Bisie mine, the most prolific cassiterite mine in the Kivus, where it gathered information on the control of the mine by different military officials responding to rival command structures and collaborating with various mineral-exporting companies.

According to interviews and Government documents obtained by the Group, part of the mine is under the control of some senior FARDC officers appointed by Kinshasa before January 2009, but it has also now been partially occupied by elements taking orders from an ex-CNDP commander, now part of the FARDC 1st Integrated Brigade, which has expelled Government mining agents from the mining site. The Group will continue to evaluate whether competition for control of the mine will affect the integration process and the arms embargo.

The Walikale sector is the same area in which the civilian population was brutalized in April 2009. Human Rights Watch reports:

In at least 12 villages in North Kivu province, including Miriki, Bushalingwa, and Kishonja in Lubero and Walikale territories, soldiers burned to the ground hundreds of homes and numerous schools and health centers. They pillaged and looted homes, and arbitrarily arrested at least 85 persons whom they accused of supporting rebel forces. Many of these people have been held without charge, subjected to beatings, and often released only after significant sums were paid. Civilians told Human Rights Watch researchers that they feared army soldiers as much as the Rwandan militias the army is supposed to be neutralizing.

The UN team makes it very clear that Tripartite Plus Joint Commission members are involved, mentioning Uganda, Burundi, Congo and Rwanda. The Burundi connection is is significant because Hutu forces intent on destroying ethnic minorities in Congo operate from bases there.

But what about the mysterious arms airlifts from Sudan in recent months?

Frazier’s close ties with Sudan are apparent in the press briefing she gave in Kampala, Uganda in 2007. During her stay, she met with President Yoweri Museveni, MPs and leaders from northern Uganda. Following her meetings, she met with journalists at Ambassador Steven Browning’s residence and responded to their questions concerning U.S. perspectives on northern Uganda, as well as the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Somalia.

Coincidentally or not, Frazier and Tim Shortley met with Sudanese officials in November 2008. According to the AFP, she met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor in Khartoum on November 3, 2008.

The Sudan Tribune reported:

Frazer was accompanied by Bobby Pittman, the president’s lead official for African affairs at the National Security Council, and Tim Shortley, who leads the State Department’s Sudan bureau.

The delegation was in Juba for two days before arriving in Khartoum on Monday. Frazer left that same evening, wrapping up a tour in which she also met with African leaders in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.

Copyright © HRW

Copyright © HRW

This meeting took placeless than two months before Laurent Nkunda was sidelined by detention in Rwanda. Nkunda was not on the run as international media has consistently reported. He had agreed to meet with members of the Rwandan high command after he allowed several units of the Rwandan army (RUD) to enter Congolese territory on January 20. On January 20, Nkunda went willingly from his headquarters at Jomba to Gisenyi, Rwanda to meet with the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Defense Forces where he was betrayed by his former allies. Here is a description of the encounter from members of Nkunda’s military staff who were with him.

He reached Gisenyi at 22:00 pm. High Officers of the RDF, including the Chief of Staff James KABAREBE were there. A working meeting started with apparent normalcy until 3:00 am, closing with the promise, by the Rwandan part to continue working on the following day. However, the CNDP, the whole of Kivu and Rwanda, were to wake up to an unbelievable surprise: all official media, followed by international bulletins of news, were reporting General NKUNDA’s arrest. The source was a triumphant communiqué released by General John NUMBI, who had negotiated the secret agreement between RDC and Rwanda, on behalf of Joseph KABILA.

He announced, on behalf of the RDC-Rwanda armed coalition, the arrest of General Laurent NKUNDA, pretending the latter was running away after the battle that concluded with the fall of his HQ. This has been obviously a grotesque lie. The CNDP’s Chairman had freely left Jomba, using a common itinerary. He had evidently reached Gisenyi with no incident whatsoever. He was accompanied by this deputy Chief of Staff, his Chief of Military Security, his special advisor in security affairs, his aide de camp, and about 40 members of his personal guard.

While Frazer is in semi-retirement in academia, Nkunda is in illegal detention in Rwanda with no formal charges against him. Laughably, the Rwandan court system has put the burden of proof on Nkunda’s legal council to prove that he has been held against his will. The United States holds this court system up as a model to the region and the press never questions it efficacy. The following is a partial translation (from the French) filed April 22, 2009, in which the Rwandan court says that Nkunda cannot complain that he is being held without charges.

Objet : Demande de jonction des procès RP 0103/09/TGI/RBV et RP 104/O9/TGI/RBV

The action has no legal basis. The plaintiff (NKUNDA) accuses the Rwandan State / Department of Defense (of) illegal detention of a person. This offense and the penalties against the author are provided in the Penal Code.

Under the principle “societas deliquere non potest,” ie, legal persons with legal entities in this state (Rwanda) are not prosecuted for unlawful acts. The complainant (Nkunda) can not prove what is based to the State of Rwanda / Ministry of Defense represented by the Minister of Defense.

Since the complainant can not prove that the defendants were part of those who are entitled to detention or freedom (OMP), is another reason for lack of legal basis for its action.

Unless Nkunda proves why he is being held he has no basis to complain about being held or take legal action against Rwanda for holding him with no charges–Catch-22 for a person with no formal charges pending. Paul Kagame told the BBC that Nkunda was his “guest.”

The State Department confirmed its “prudent” efforts in the region at a Press Briefing immediately after Nkunda’s arrest in January 2009.

MR. WOOD: Well, we have been providing, you know, any type of assistance that we thought was prudent to these countries in the region. We’ve been focused primarily on trying to help the refugees and IDPs of the region, who are very large in number. And that’s where a lot of our efforts have been focused. We’ve been trying to bring about a diplomatic solution to the situation in the Congo, as you know, and those efforts will continue. And as I said, it’s a high priority for the Administration.

QUESTION: (Inaudible). I’m not sure I – it’s a high priority for the Administration, but in 21 phone calls, the Secretary (Clinton) couldn’t make a single call to an African?

Tim Shortley is now in Sudan, the source of the arms shipments to Joseph Kabila in Congo. The US State Department was compelled to put out the following press release after the Sudanese press reported that Shortly was allegedly meeting recently with rebel factions in Sudan:

Tim Shortley is the Director of the Sudan Programs Group in the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. News reports of why he is in Khartoum are false. His primary purpose for visiting Khartoum (following his attendance at the African Union Summit) is to meet with officials of the Government of National Unity and various Non-Governmental Organizations to discuss the situation in Darfur and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Plausible denial? Time will tell if more rebel leaders in Africa are “crushed” in the name of peace for the corrupt and misery for the innocent. Perhaps the Sudanese press with access to Shortley can request the serial numbers on those munitions for diplomat Baki I`lkin. It would be interesting to see where they were manufactured.

georgiianne

A State Department official today confirmed this statement regarding policy on arms shipments:

The United States Government remains concerned by any and all shipments of arms or related material to the DRC that is not notified in advance to the DRC Sanctions Committee etablished by the Security Council, as required. We take all such reports seriously and work with the DRC government and other interested countries to ensure that weapons entering the DRC are kept to a minimum.

Researcher Rena Ali contributed to this report

Calls and emails to Secretary Jendayi Frazer and to the Carnegie Mellon Press Office have gone unanswered and unreturned.

Georgianne Nienaber

Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists’ Online Quill Magazine, The Ugandan Independent, Rwanda’s New Times, India’s TerraGreen, COA News, ZNET, OpEdNews, Glide Magazine, The Journal of the International Primate Protection League, Africa Front, The United Nations Publication, A Civil Society Observer, Bitch Magazine, and Zimbabwe’s The Daily Mirror.

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Comments

  1. Georgianne Nienaber says

    In a press release that is simply mind-blowing, MONUC reports that the fifteen member SECURITY COUNCIL members who visited the Kivus say “they were impressed with the progress achieved in the province.”

    http://monuc.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1042&ctl=Details&mid=1096&ItemID=3854

    This was posted the SAME DAY that Turkish diplomat Baki I`lkin sent the Interim Report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the same United Nations Security Council. No wonder I`lkin begged them to read his report.

    The Security Council delegation reported that victims of the Kiwanja Massacre were “smiling.” Talk about spin!

  2. Mac McKinney says

    Congratulations on such a hard-hitting, well-researched article. As usual, the State Dept is part of the problem, not part of the solution. That is because they see the world through the jaundiced framework of America first, humanity last. My win depends upon your loss, zero sum game. But the opposite is true. Humanity’s loss is America’s loss. We are all sinking together.

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