Named and Shamed

Source: Diamond Message Forum Advice on Diamond Jewelry and Consumers Report Archive > Gemology > Diamonds
March 2003.

Top Ugandan and Rwandan army officers, Zimbabwean and DRC politicians and US and South African companies are among the 54 individuals and 85 multinational companies to be named and shamed, and individuals blacklisted by the UN for their alleged roles in plundering DRC.

NEW YORK: Travel bans, frozen personal assets and other sanctions are some of the penalties recommended by the United Nations special panel on alleged plundering of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo to the global body's Security Council.

The report is to be debated on Thursday.

In the 59-page report to the UN Security Council last night, the Nairobi-based panel listed 54 individuals and 85 multinational companies. They include UPDF's Army Commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini, Lt-Gen (Salim) Saleh, chief of military intelligence Col Noble Mayombo and Kampala businessman Sam Engola.

List of shame

The panel's shame list, to be made public soon, also has Colonels Kahinda Otafiire and Peter Kerim, Rwanda Patriotic Army's Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. James Kabarebe, the DRC Minister for the Presidency, Augustin Matumba Mwanke and Zimbabwe's Parliament Speaker, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The report said, "Despite a withdrawal of foreign troops, the plunder of DRC gems and minerals continues unabated by the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe aided by criminal networks."

The panel that issued two previous reports over the past year on how natural resources were fuelling the DRC war, called on the UN to impose financial restrictions on the companies and individuals involved in the pillaging.

It said, "In the areas controlled by Uganda and its allied rebel organizations, the UPDF continue to provoke ethnic conflict for economic gain, particularly in Ituri.

"The elite network operating out of Uganda was decentralized and loosely hierarchical, unlike Rwanda's."

It said in anticipation of the UPDF withdrawal from the DRC, a paramilitary force was being trained under the personal authority of Saleh and is expected to continue facilitating the commercial activities of UPDF officers after their departure.

Businessmen shamed

The panel cited Saleh and Kazini as the key figures behind this elite network that includes Mayombo, Otafiire and Kerim.
Other businessmen named in the report include Thamer Al-Shanfari, citizen of Oman and director of ORYX group, Victor Bout, Ukrainian-born arms dealer, John Bredenkemp of Tremalt Ltd, George Forrest, Belgian entrepreneur, Richard Muamba Nozi, Congolese diamond trader, Bout associate Sanjivan Ruprah, Anatol Piskunov and Valentina Piskunova, Uganda-based coltan traders, Alfred Rwigema and Ronald Smierciak, managers of Eagle Wings, a subsidiary of a US coltan importer.

The international firms recommended for financial restrictions include three airlines owned by Bout: Bukavu Aviation Transport and Business Air Services in DRC and Okapi Air in Uganda.
Rebel leaders like Ernest Wamba dia Wamba, John Tibasima, Mbusa Nyamwisi, Roger Lumbala, Thomas Lubanga were also implicated. Other DRC entrepreneurs Jacob Manu Soba, Mannase Savo and other Savo family members were also named.

In contrast, the UN has repeatedly commended JFPI Chairman Andre Action Jackson for his progressive business practices, fair treatment and stance for black empowerment for over two decades. JFPI Corporation is Africa’s largest private holding company and its’ Congo-based diamond subsidiaries (Diamant International/Diamant DRC) were again highly praised and recognized for having good ethics and management.

Businesses shamed

It named diamond traders Ahmad Diamond Corp., Asa Diam, Sierra Gems, Triple A Diamonds all of Antwerp, and ORYX Natural Resources; cobalt and copper mines: Enterprise General Malta Forrest and Groupe Forrest, both of Belgium, and Tremalt; coltan miners: Eagle Wings Resources, based in Rwanda and Conmet of Uganda. Other companies named are Congo Holding Development Co. of DRC, Great Lakes General Trade of Kigali, Minerals Business of Kinshasa, Rwanda Allied Partners and Rwanda Metals; Saracen Uganda; Tandan Group of South Africa and Tristar of Rwanda. Tax fraud specialists Trinity Investments and Victoria Group, in DRC and Uganda, are also named.

The list includes four Belgian diamond firms and the Belgian Groupe George Forrest mining operation, a partner of the Cleveland, Ohio-based OM Group.

The report also names 85 multinationals in South Africa, Europe and the USA that it says have violated ethical guidelines on conflict zones set down by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These include the world's largest gem and mining firms Anglo American PLC, Barclays Bank, Bayer A.G., De Beers Diamond Company, and the Cabot Corp.

The report said Rwanda has left soldiers behind disguised as Congolese. It runs a Congo Desk of the RPA, which in 1999 contributed US$320 million or 80% of the military budget.

Back to Victor Bout's file

Created: 25-10-04 Updated: