Congo: Rare Objects And Practices

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August 24, 2021: Islamic terrorists continue to claim they are conducting successful terror attacks in Congo. In late June the so-called Islamic State in Central Africa Province (ISCAP) claimed it conducted a suicide bombing in the east attack in eastern Congo (North Kivu province), when a bar in the city of Beni was attacked. Islamic terrorists are particularly hostile to alcohol, especially when men and women are doing it together. For the record, ISCAP is also known as the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces). They now claim they are a component of ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). However, a number of analysts and security personnel doubt that ISIL has any influence over the ADF. It’s an information operation to give the appearance of a global coalition. The ADF existed long before the Islamic State. ISIL and ADF each also have ties to Al Shabaab in Somalia. ISIL also has similar affiliates in Mali, Nigeria, North Africa and possibly Mozambique (southern Africa) as well.

August 19, 2021: The U.S. confirmed that American special operations forces have arrived in eastern Congo. They are there to help Congolese security forces find and destroy ADF sanctuaries in Garamba and Virunga National Parks. There is no information on the size of the U.S. special ops contingent.

August 18, 2021: Rwanda confirmed it intends to continue providing Mozambique with security assistance with Islamic terrorists in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province. Mozambican forces are fighting rebels and Islamic terrorists there since late 2020.

Abdoul Karim Meckassoua, a former CAR (Central African Republic) president, fled CAR to Congo and then went into hiding on the other side of the Congo River in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). He was recently removed from the national assembly after being accused of belonging to a rebel group that opposes the current government, the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC). He was also charged with participating in an armed robbery. This resulted in an overseas travel ban as local prosecutors were prepared to arrest him

August 18, 2021: In eastern Congo (North Kivu province) several attacks in the last 48 hours by the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) have left nine civilians, a soldier and eight attackers dead. ADF is a Ugandan rebel organization with strong connections to Moslem tribes in northern Uganda and claims to be part of ISIL affiliate ISCAP.

August 17, 2021: Uganda has agreed to take in 2,000 Afghan refugees. The first group of 500 arrived today.

August 16, 2021: Across Congo’s southern border, Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was declared president-elect and victor in today’s presidential election. Incumbent president Edgar Lungu conceded defeat. Zambia has had peaceful transfers of power since 1991.

August 15, 2021: Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi announced several U.S. special forces had arrived in Congo on August 13. They will support Congolese security forces operating in eastern Congo.

August 12, 2021: Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, a mob attacked and looted Indian-owned businesses. Earlier this month a Congolese student in Bangalore, India died while in Indian police custody. The student had been arrested on drug possession charges. Sub-Saharan Africans have complained of discrimination against them in India. Most of the current violence took place in Kinshasa's Limete neighborhood.

August 10, 2021: Malawi's Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested the government’s energy minister, Newton Kambala, and two other officials. The men are charged with corrupt activities involving a state oil contract with state-owned NOCMA (the National Oil Company of Malawi). All three men belonged to the ruling Tonse Alliance. Diplomats and media noted the arrest demonstrates Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera is willing to target his own party in order to fight corruption in the country.

August 6, 2021: China Molybdenum Company announced it will spend $2.5 billion to double production of copper and cobalt at its Tenke Fungurume mine in Congo.

August 5, 2021: Congolese medical authorities estimated that 50,000 Congolese have become infected with the covid19 Delta variant.

August 3, 2021: In eastern Congo (Ituri province) a t least 16 people were killed in an attack attributed to the ADF. The 16 were taken hostage then knifed on a highway outside the town of Idohu. Ituri and neighboring North Kivu provinces still remain under an official state of siege mainly because of ADF violence. The state of siege, a form of martial law, was first declared on May 6th. It was supposed to be for 30 days but has been extended five times since May and parliament approved another extension today. Before the latest extension legislators criticized the effectiveness of the martial law because the police and soldiers appear to be using their enhanced powers to carry out more of their usual corrupt practices.

August 2, 2021: Congolese Catholic bishops demanded an end to attacks on Catholic churches and Catholic leaders. The bishops said they believe the attacks are intended to stop the church from calling for democracy and “national cohesion.” Attacks have occurred throughout Congo. Most recently, on August 1st a group of young people vandalized the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa.

August 1, 2021: Ugandan security believes that Rwanda used spyware manufactured by an Israeli firm to tap the phones of several senior Ugandan officials. A recent report said the hacked officials included former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, former Chief of Defense Forces Gen. David Muhoozi, and former foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa. Since 2017 Uganda and Rwanda have traded accusations that the other country has harassed their citizens. Several times their border has been closed to commercial traffic. Rwanda has denied it has spied on Uganda.

July 31, 2021: In northeastern CAR (Central African Republic) UN peacekeepers reported rebel group 3R (Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation) killed six civilians and wounded several others when they attacked a village about 550 kilometers north of the capital Bangui.

July 27, 2021: In eastern Congo (Ituri province) s even Army soldiers and 15 ADF rebels were killed in a series of clashes. An army spokesman announced the army had freed over 150 hostages in the operation that led to the clashes.

July 24, 2021: Burundi’s government confirmed that several international mining companies will not be allowed to mine rare earths in Burundi. In April the government suspended rare earth exports because of disputes with the foreign mining companies over how much of a cut the government gets. The rare earth mining is being carried out by Chinese, Russian and British firms. The Chinese and Russians are notorious because they offer large bribes to government officials to get mining permits that include low tax rates for the government. This often backfires because when a new government comes into power, they realize that their greedy predecessors sold out their successors and Burundi in return for a large bribe.

 

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