Photo by foto_morgana : http://www.flickr.com/photos/devriese/sets/72157594519310903/ © All rights reserved
In February 2010 we learn that U.S. special forces have begun training Congolese troops.
These same Congolese troops have been accused of attacking civilians and committing extreme abuses.
"The government army came to the village... They raped and killed people and burned them in their houses." (Congo: 'The soldiers meant to protect us are the same ones killing people')
Keith Harmon Snow, on 9 February 2008, produced an article (Dissident Voice : Gertler’s Bling Bang Torah Gang) which makes the following points:
Maurice Templesman was one of the top funders of Barrack Obama.
Families like Templesman, Oppenheimer, Gertler and Steinmetz are associated with mining companies in the Congo.
In 2007 there was fighting in the Congo between Jean-Pierre Bemba and Joseph Kabila. Each wanted to be the one who could make money from deals with the mining companies.
Most ordinary Congolese earn less than a dollar a day and any attempts at strikes are likely to be put down with violence.
According to an article at CorpWatch, 25 April 2001, CorpWatch : Africa: U.S. Covert Action Exposed :
Declassified memos and cables between former U.S. presidents and State Department officials over the last four decades named Mr. Tempelsman with direct input in the destabilization of Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda and Ghana.
He earned his stripes with western powers in the overthrow of Ghana's first elected president, Kwame Nkrumah, and the CIA-backed assassination of Congo's first-elected president, Patrice Lumumba, documents reveal.
As late as 1997, Mr. Tempelsman was named in the ongoing cover-up of U.S.-CIA covert support of the former president of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC]), Mobuto Sese Seko, who died in exile in 1997 after the overthrow of his regime by recently assassinated Congolese President Laurent Kabila.
Mr. Tempelsman is named as the agent in charge of selling off the gross excess of the strategic diamond stockpile in the United States that was used to fund the deceased dictator's exploits.
Congo - with Rwanda to the right (RW)
Who is going to get the Congo's mineral wealth, which includes everything from oil to gold?
1. "Eastern Congo's brutal conflict is a result of... a scramble for the region's mineral wealth...
"Cobalt, copper, diamonds, gold, silver, tin and coltan, the essential ingredient of cell phones, make Congo one of Africa's most mineral-rich countries."
2. "French oil company Total said (28 October 2008) that it was considering exploiting tar sands in the... Congo, where it is the chief oil and gas producer...
"The Italian oil company ENI in May signed a deal with Congo to exploit the tar sands at Tchikatanga and Tchikatanga-Makola in the south, estimated to hold reserves of between 500 million and 2.5 billion barrels. " (French oil giant mulls exploiting Congo tar sands)
3. "Congolese rebels continued their march toward the regional capital of Goma on Tuesday (28 October 2008), driving panicky Army soldiers and tens of thousands of displaced civilians out onto the muddy roads ahead of them." (Congo rebels push toward key city)
4. "The roots of Congo's instability trace back to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsis were slaughtered. Tutsi rebels from Rwanda then overthrew the Hutu-dominated Rwandan government in an ensuing civil war, forcing millions of Hutus to flee to Congo...
"Rwanda invaded Congo twice in an effort to rout the Rwandan Hutu extremists, first in a 1996-1997 war, and again in a 1998-2002 war. Many accused Rwanda of getting sidetracked, however, in pursuit of diamonds, gold and other minerals.
"Since 1994, Congo's civil war and tribal conflicts have left some 4 million people dead through fighting, famine or disease." (Congo's violence tied to 1994 Rwandan genocide)
5. "The former French president François Mitterrand supported the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide despite clear warnings that mass killings of the Tutsi population were being orchestrated, according to declassified French documents.
"The publication of the documents in today's Le Monde for the first time confirms long-held suspicions against France. The previously secret diplomatic telegrams and government memos also suggest the late French president was obsessed with the danger of "Anglo-Saxon" influence gripping Rwanda." (The Independent)
6. Around Lubumbashi there is a lot of copper, coltan and zinc.
It is being processed by a joint venture between the state mining company, the George Forrest Group (a Belgian-Congolese conglomerate) and the American OM Group.
"In 2002, a UN panel recommended that 29 companies - including the George Forrest Group - face sanctions for their operations in DR Congo.
"The panel's report accused the George Forrest Group of running its mineral operations in a way that took as much profit as possible out of the country, while bringing minimal benefit to DR Congo." (BBC Cached)
~~Photo: AP, 10,000 Supporters of military coup demonstrate in front of the National Assembly in Niamey, 20 Feb 2010
On February 18th 2010, the dictatorship of Mamadou Tandja was overthrown in Niger in a military coup.
"In Niger human rights organizations, trade unions, and opposition parties including the Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism are all supporting the coup.
"10,000 people rallied in support on February 20th.
"Meanwhile the US, France, UK, UN, and African Union all have been quick to condemn the coup.
"Tandja did the bidding of U.S. imperialism, meanwhile, according to the UN Development Program’s 2006 Human Development Index, Niger is the poorest country in the world.
"Sixty percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, life expectancy is only to 45-years old, and adult illiteracy is 71%." - US, French, & UK Imperialist Hands off Niger!