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From Blood Rubber to Blood Minerals

FROM BLOOD RUBBER TO BLOOD MINERALS: THE SLAUGHTER OF A NATION FOR INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) minerals have been valued at $24 trillion dollars according to IHS experts with more than 1,100 different minerals. The main ones include: copper, cobalt, silver uranium, lead, zinc, cadmium, diamonds, gold, tin, tungsten, manganese and a rare metal such as coltan. The latter, is one of the so called 3Ts, or tantalum, tungsten and tin, and together with gold they have been instrumental in driving deadly atrocities in the eastern DRC for nearly two decades now. Since the invasion of DRC by neighbouring countries, Rwanda and Uganda, we have witnessed the DRC’s rich resources being plundered for the benefit of few. Militia and armed groups are used to terrorise civilians, mainly woman and children, using rape as a weapon of fear. DRC is not at war with anyone.

My family owned a mine. My Dad was a landowner and he had a longstanding agreement with miners in his village that they could mine on his land. When they found minerals they would give him a portion. We also used to dig for minerals. Many families could live based on this mine. North and South Kivu, in eastern DRC, are huge territories rich with minerals. This land was taken away from us in the invasion in 1996. We just had to leave.

Since 1997 DRC has been invaded by Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda using their proxies. In 1998 Rwandan and Ugandan armies invaded Kisangani. On October 17th 1998 I witnessed how Rwanda’s army led by Laurent Nkunda Batware and Uganda’s army led by Brigadier James Kazini fought inside Kisangani killing thousands of Congolese while the world just watched. Since 1998, according to a UN statistic every 8 minutes a women or a girl is raped in DRC. That is 8 women an hour, 180 women a day and 65,700 a year. Approximately 1.1 million women have been raped in the past 17 years of the Rwandan invasion and attempted occupation of Congo. Congolese people have suffered torture every day for the sake of being born Congolese in a wealthy land. Genocide has been committed every day in DR Congo. The UN mapping report has already named those who are committing this crime. Namely Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. The Head of the Congolese State, Hipolite Kanambe, alias Joseph Kabila, has also been named in the UN Mapping report for having committed genocide against the Congolese people.

After the horror of World War II in 1945, with one voice, the world said “never again” so why have we let this happen again in DRC?  Paul Kagame said to an American reporter, I quote “Leopold the second of Belgium has killed and no one has said anything, so...”

On the 9th of December 1948 a Convention on the Prevention of Genocide was adopted by the UN General Assembly and entered into force on the 12th of January 1951. It said ‘all participating countries are to advise to prevent and punish actions of genocide in war and peace time”. 142 countries have currently ratified this. In September 1991 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 713 in reaction to in which condemned Yugoslavia by causing a heavy loss of human lives and material damage. The resolution placed an arms ambargo on Yugoslavia for all deliveries of weapons and military equipments. Why that doesn’t apply to Rwanda and Uganda Why is it  Rwanda after been named by the UN mapping rapport of committing genocide in  DR Congo is now sitting at the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member? When the UN constitution states that all participating countries are to prevent and punish actions of genocide in war or peace time.

Articles 6 of the UN constitution state that a member of the UN that has persistently violated the principles contained in the Charter may be expelled from the organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. Why are the rules different for Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Ugand? We, Mothers of Congo, are a voice for the voiceless women and children of Congo who are saying: Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni and others have violated every principle contained in this present charter, therefore we request to the UN and The European Union to act accordingly for the restoration of human dignity and respect of the Congolese people. More than 6,000,000 were killed in DRC. A genocide has been committed in DRC. There is only one way to end this. The International Criminal Court should take evidence contained in the UN mapping report and ensuing UN Group of experts report incriminating the high-ranking officials of the government of Kigali, Kampala and Kinshasa for war crimes against humanity and the plundering of the natural resources in the eastern of DRC.

The UN, US and UK should place those incriminated on a sanction list for travel bans and frozen assets.

We want to thank the British Government for putting pressure on Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to stop their 20 years of violence and terror against the Congolese people.

Thank you

Charlotte Simon

Views expressed are authors and not necessarily a UPF belief or policy.