War Resources (III)

GOMA/KINSHASA/BERLIN | | kongo-kinshasa

GOMA/KINSHASA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Government has been forced to postpone the adoption of the resolution permitting its planned military operations in the Congo because of persistent resistance within its own ranks. The German expedition corps is facing a "war engagement", which should "not be played down," says the Reservist Association of the German Armed Forces. Numerous parliamentarians are also warning against precipitated military measures. Therefore, the German Foreign Minister has announced that "persuasive work" must be undertaken and wants to submit the resolution for the international mission for a parliamentary vote, at the beginning of May. Reports to the effect that German troops are being sent to obtain access to Congolese raw materials, are causing concern. Berlin asserts concrete claims on the mineral deposits of the Lueshe Mine, an important repository in the east of the country, from which raw materials for nozzle engines and rocket parts are extracted. The Ministry of Economics and the Foreign Ministry are involved. The managing director of the majority German owned company running the mine, maintains contacts with a Congolese organization, that has been designated by the UN as an organization to be punished in international relations, because of its violations of the arms embargo. According to the UN, the area of the mine is a well-known retreat for armed militias.

Yesterday's announcements concerning the Congo deployment, immediately followed the Berlin cabinet decision to extend military operations in the Sudan. The forthcoming Congo adventure would increase, still further, the number of German intervention forces stationed abroad and thereby strain internal structures of the German military. The current misgivings are directed more against this over-extension of the military, than against the rampant militarization of policy.

Insurgents

The Congo deployment will be commanded by a German general in Potsdam. These EU troops will receive their own plan of action, their own chain of command and are not subordinated to the UN Congo mission, the (MONUC). Berlin claims that the mission is limited to a duration of four months and will only be in the capital, Kinshasa. European parliamentarians, on the other hand, speak of plans that impose limits of neither time nor location on the European troops. A deployment of EU police troops to the Congo, for repressing demonstrations, is also in discussion. Whereas officially, the deployment is being justified with the intent of preventing possible revolts during the elections, planned for June, UN reports make known that, for years, German state authorities have been protecting potential Insurgents. One of their centers of operations is the Lueshe mine, one of the most important repositories of raw materials in the Eastern Congo.

UN Sanctions

In Lueshe, German diplomatic personnel cooperated with persons, who have a direct relationship to an organization, that the UN Security Council has stipulated for punitive sanctions. The UN accuses the organization, "Tous pour la paix et le développement" (TPD) of a breach of the Congolese arms embargo. This is why TPD members have a world-wide travel prohibition and their accounts are to be frozen in all UN member states.[1] Modé Makabuza, brother of the leader of the TPD and, according to the UN, a close associate of the organization [2], has publicly emerged, since April 3, 2004, as a managing director of Somikivu, the majority German-owned enterprise, which had had mining rights in Lueshe up to 1999, and, despite the assignment of the mine to a competitive enterprise, at that time, still seeks to defend its further exercise of these rights. Somikivu is subject to German government control by virtue of a trust contract.[3]

No Problem

Contacts between Berlin's diplomatic personnel and the TPD were already documented in 2004. At the time, the former German ambassador to Rwanda, Johanna Koenig, visited the Lueshe mine. According to documents, on hand at german-foreign-policy.com, she was accompanied during her visit by the leader of the TPD and his brother, Modé Makabuza. Earlier, the German ambassador had worked for the network of German firms engaged in the organization of the sales of the minerals mined in Lueshe, as well as, of other raw materials taken from the Congolese civil war zone.[4] Sharp criticism on the part of the UN and the EU could not halt her activities. The German ambassador let the Foreign Ministry be her guide, as is apparent from minutes of a meeting of the company under her supervision: "She checked with the German Foreign Office, no problem". The "Executive meeting" of the dubious mining company, in which the German Diplomat and financial backers of the Congolese civil war were doing business, dates from May 2002.[5]

Sanctuary

German government cooperation continues with those, the UN accuses of being belligerents. On December 10, 2005, an employee of the German embassy in Kinshasa arrived at the mining site, where coveted raw materials are being extracted, and made known, that he had come to Lueshe on the explicit instructions of the Foreign Ministry - "in the company of local coworkers of the Somikivu". The "local coworkers" are subordinates of Modé Makabuza and therefore of the warmongering network of the TPD, for whom the UN called for punitive measures. Two days after the German diplomat's visit, regular troops of the Congolese army routed the foreign militias from the mining territory. The belligerents from Rwanda, had already found sanctuary in Lueshe, following an abortive civil war assault in May 2004 - in plain view of the Somikivu managing director, Modé Makabuza.[6]

Shell

German interests in the Lueshe mine go beyond merely the yield of raw materials, to try to secure wide influence in Central and Eastern Africa. Lueshe lies in the proximity of the border with Rwanda, which plays a special role in German Africa policy - as a former colonial territory of the German empire, with an infrastructure and accessibility to the elite favorable to Berlin.[7] As for the former colonial powers of the Congo, Belgium and France, which, competing with Berlin, still have their connections in Kinshasa, the Foreign Ministry has an ironclad advantaged position in Rwanda. The cross-border operations of Rwandan militia resemble operations of raiding parties, that collect protection funds in Lueshe, to then leave again, once the job has been accomplished in the Congo. The tactics of German foreign policy are similar: diplomats intervene in the peripheries of the neighboring country, from the Rwandan side of the border, which after being eviscerated of its resources is left only a hollow state shell - booty of European troops under a Potsdam command.

[1] Resolution 1596 (2005). Adopted by the Security Council at its 5163rd meeting, on 18 April 2005. Security Council Committee issues list of names of individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 13 and 15 of Security Council Resolution 1596 (2005). Die UN-Bestimmungen wurden bestätigt durch die Verordnung Nr. 1824/2005 der EU-Kommission vom 09.11.2005.
[2] "Mode Makabuza (...) is (...) closely affiliated with the sanctioned civil society group TPD". Bericht der Expertengruppe für die Demokratische Republik Kongo; Security Council Document S/2006/53
[3] see also War Resources (I)
[4] see also Kriegsressourcen (II)
[5] Das Protokoll datiert vom 24.05.2002. König gibt an, ihre Tätigkeit im Firmennetz Karl-Heinz Albers' am 01.07.2002 aufgenommen zu haben.
[6] Bericht der Expertengruppe für die Demokratische Republik Kongo; Security Council Document S/2006/53
[7] see also Region of the Great Lakes