The other day I was looking at an article that I’d tacked away among my Google alert prints and asking myself what in the end had been done about the confidential report it was talking about.
The article is on an unpublished United Nations (UN) expert report about deals of the Congo-based Rwandan rebel group, FDLR (Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda) that implicated countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.
The first time I read the article, the report was not yet published because it awaited discussion by the UN Security members. However, it was so explosive that members of the Council kept postponing the day of its discussion.
The contents of the report had been leaked to a German newspaper, because the FDLR leader, Ignace Murwanashyaka, and his deputy, Straton Musoni, were freely carrying on their operations in Germany. Somebody wise me up, what came of that report?
I remember that China was especially wary of discussing the report and used delaying tactics that included requesting for its translation in all the languages of the 5 permanent members of the Council and 10 non-permanent members!
Anyway, whatever happened to the report, it is evident that UN sanctions and embargo against FDLR are still being broken since the génocidaire force is still engaged in its atrocious activities.
In the report, it was revealed that all five permanent members were implicated. France was found to be a safe haven for FDLR leaders and other génocidaires while Great Britain, apart from being home to génocdaires, had the headquarters of the companies that were involved in breaking the sanctions.
Many of these companies had their bank accounts in USA, and Russia and China were implicated because they were buying minerals that financed FDLR atrocities. In addition to that, China, Ukraine, Belgium, Spain and Sudan supplied arms to the Congo, many of which found their way into the hands of FDLR rebels.
The most curious finding was the involvement of the government of the Spanish Islands in the Mediterranean, the Balearic Islands. The government financed two Spanish charitable institutions of the church, called Fundació S’Olivar and Inshuti.
The FDLR received regular financial, logistical and political support from members of the two institutions. Brothers of Charity was a foundation based in Kigoma, Tanzania, until then headed by a Belgian priest known as Constant Goetschalck, through which Fungació S’Oliver channelled its funds.
The foundation, in turn, forwarded money to an Ahadi Institute in DRC, from where the money reached the FDLR. This was confirmed to the UN experts by an Italian missionary, Pier Giorgio Lanaro, who was based in Eastern D. R. Congo and was passing money collected in Europe to the rebel militia.
The UN experts analysed the FDLR field commander’s satellite phone connections from D. R. Congo into 25 countries worldwide. The countries were as diverse as Germany, Belgium, France, Norway and the Netherlands.
Officials in France, where FDLR’s political wing’s leaders live, and in Great Britain and USA refused to identify FDLR correspondents on their end. In Belgium, some of the callers were found to be Rwandan military leaders from the time of the genocide.
It was into this murky mire of planners of a return to genocide, who had managed to build an intricate network of financial sources, that was found firmly fixed members of the so-called sole-opposition-party-to-be in Rwanda, United Democratic Forces (UDF-Inkingi).
No wonder then, that everybody is up in arms when FDU-Inkingi leader, Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza, who now seems to be running in confused circles like a headless chicken, is asked to toe the line of constitutional order. It would seem that she has that whole network behind her, not least Human Rights Watch.
Her rearguard-base, the D. R. Congo-based FDLR militia, can now afford to ship in arms via Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika and Burundi as the experts found out. The network, they say, has close connections with government, police and military officials in Tanzania and Burundi.
“Fuel is smuggled from Tanzania into the Congo,” says the report, “minerals are smuggled in the opposite direction. Burundi..…..is a ‘retreat base for FDLR recruitments and sympathiser networks’.….The FDLR generates the money for that through minerals exports, in particular gold and cassiterite.”
Dealers in, and transporters of, these minerals and guns, the report continues, include an array of companies like a Portuguese shipping company, a Ugandan aviation enterprise, the Malaysia Smelting Corporation, the Thai Smelting and Refining Corporation, et al.
So, whether the UN Security Council discussed the report or not, the important thing is to observe that these dirty deals are still going on and that it is incumbent upon the Government of Rwanda not to drop her guard nor rely on UN to enforce its resolutions.
No matter what others say, the government must closely watch these individuals who come to Rwanda from other lands proclaiming to be conveyors of hope. They must be swept over with a fine toothcomb, especially when they have had connections with FDLR, and some even participated in the 1994 genocide.
The world owes it to Rwanda to assist in eradicating this génocidaire chain.