Monday, July 17, 2006

Looting the Congo

an article by Friends of the Congo
"The Congo is a classic case of modern day serfdom and the depravity of those seeking to benefit at the expense of others even if millions more Congolese must die."

Looting of Congo Friends of Congo (2006-07-10) London based Global Witness recently published a scathing report entitled Digging in Corruption: Fraud, Abuse and Exploitation in Katanga's Copper and Cobalt Mines.

The United Nation's four reports from 2001 -- 2003, reports by Human Rights Watch, Fatal Transactions reports, independent journalist Keith Harmon Snow's work and the Congolese parliament's Lutundula Commission Report all clearly identify the link between corrupt Congolese officials and foreign mining companies, mainly from Europe, Canada, United States, Australia, South Africa and of late India and China.

Global Witness says the mining sector in Katanga is characterized by "widespread corruption and fraud at all levels."

See the reports section of the FOTC website!

The rapid pace at which the wealth of the Congo is being sold at below bargain basement prices is shameless.

The rebels, turned so-called politicians, and multi-national corporations are the primary beneficiaries of the Congo resource grab.

Gerhard Kemp of the Rand Merchant Bank, of Johannesburg, SA is quoted in the Global Witness report (p.34) saying "The Congo is so rich in mineral wealth, you can't just ignore it.

Without a doubt this is the greatest land grab party of the modern era.

The South African Mail and Guardian reported that there is an international scramble for the wealth of the Congo and that "billions of dollars will be made."

Congolese live on an average of $100 per year and 80 percent of the population lives on 30 cents per day.

The Congo is a classic case of modern day serfdom and the depravity of those seeking to benefit at the expense of others even if millions more Congolese must die.

Surely, King Leopold II would have a rye smile on his face knowing that over 100 years later the plunder and pillage that he began continues uninterrupted with impunity.

Many of these contracts are signed for an entire generation, 30 -- 40 years, which for all intents and purposes condemn a generation of Congolese to serfdom and poverty, whereby their resources are plundered to benefit foreign corporations.

In fact, Global Witness reports that deals signed with Phelps Dodge, Global Enterprises Corporate Ltd and Kinross-Forrest (Kinross Gold Corporation of Toronto, Canada and George Forrest International of Belgium) deliver 70 percent of the Congo's known copper reserves to these foreign corporations.

Should the pilfering continue unchecked, Katanga province will serve as a precursor of what is to come for the entire country.

This reinforces what Congolese say is the under-belly of the election process whereby the international community is working feverishly and spending heavily to legitimize the current client regime so that the unfettered pilfering of the Congo can continue (See interview with Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja by Pambazuka News).

The underdevelopment and impoverishment of an entire generation is being carried out while a perverse alliance between corrupt government officials and big business line their pockets. Surely such a proposition is repulsive to any nation or people who claim to be moral, just or civilized. No human rights group or concerned celebrity can claim to be fighting poverty with any moral veracity and be silent or ignore the plunder and rape of the Congo. People of conscience and goodwill can hardly sit idly and do nothing as another generation of Congolese is in the process of being condemned to forced labor, poverty, and mass death. Friends of the Congo

Email: Voice: 202-584-6512 web: The Friends of the Congo (FOTC) is a collaborative effort of people of African ancestry and others of goodwill who believe that the vast potential of the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be realized with strong support from the International community.

Become a Friend of the Congo and change the future of Africa and the African world.

* Please send comments to or comment online at

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.