In early November, ended the ninth rotation of Ukrainian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 250 Ukrainian soldiers, together with colleagues from 49 countries took their positions in the Eastern provinces of the country. Here they gain valuable experience restoring order in the territories covered by the business and ethnic wars. In addition, Ukraine receives from the UN certain funds: 570 million hryvnias this year, and with the previous debts of nearly 1 billion hryvnia.
On December 23 of this year will be held long-awaited elections of the President of the DRC. Two years, opposition forces have achieved this, as the tenure of Joseph Kabila in this post to have ended in 2016. Two years of continuous demonstrations, rallies killed hundreds of people. Really didn’t want Kabila to leave power. For three terms (since 2001) almost got used to it. With the help of the Catholic Church, the warring parties finally sat down at the negotiating table, and agreed. Kabila even agreed not to stand again for election. A special delegation of the UN security Council on 7 October, the aim of which is to confirm the date of the election, said: “the Elections… will lay the Foundation for the first in this country in a democratic and peaceful transfer of power”. 130 international experts will guarantee the peaceful nature of the election (to the extent possible).
At the end of October in Geneva, passed a little known “Crans Montana Forum”. The representative of the Prime Minister Bruno Kalala, the DRC stated it: “… given our geostrategic location, we can say that we are in the heart of Africa. If the DRC will face problems, explode the risk of the whole continent.”
Therefore, what this country — the DRC? What is happening there?
DRC, a former Belgian colony, gained independence 30.06.1960 Second largest country in Africa — 2.3 million sq km 4 times more than Ukraine. Almost 80 million people; according to UN forecasts, in 2050 will reach 142 million by year 2100 — 438 million. Has 37 km of coastline with access to the Atlantic ocean. Processed 6,7% of the land.
In the country a mixed form of government. In addition to the President, there is a bicameral Parliament. In the lower house — the national Assembly has 500 deputies, representing 69 parties. In the upper house — the Senate has 108 members, representing 26 parties, 18 of which have 1 Senator. Only 560 country parties (we still have room to grow).
The Ukrainian Embassy in the DRC, as the DRC Embassy in Kiev, no.
The DRC in the first place — a treasure trove of natural resources. Everything is there. When Congo was still a personal possession of king Leopold of Belgium, each worker in the gold mines was to bring 1 kg of gold dust; if not, cut off a hand. Times have changed. In the XXI century, their metal-Pets.
50 years of Congo has been simmering war, which is called “Congolese civilians,” and “the second African” and “world of coltan”.
Coltan (columbite — tantalum): tantalum impossible without the production of batteries for modern electronics, primarily mobile phones, smartphones, and electric vehicles. 70% of it is concentrated in the DRC. On the one hand, the wealth of the country, the other, her misery. Over the last 10 years in the wars he killed 6 to 10 million people. But who knows about these wars?
Their interests in Congo. The US military industrial complex is 50% dependent on imports of tantalum from the DRC. For coltan fighting ethnic groups, the Tutsis and Hutus (backed by the Franco-American conflict of interests), religious sects, missions of foreign countries, regular military units of neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Angola, Russian and Ukrainian pilots, Chinese “spetsy” and the French mercenaries, guards of private Belgian and French firms. Enough to call the main company-consumers of coltan: Nokia, Samsung, Philips, Canon, Panasonic, Motorola, sharp, Sony, Apple, Bayer, and others. Alberto vázquez-Figueroa (Spain, 82) in the novel “Coltan” (2008) points out: “Very soon, those who will not be plundered, there will be nothing to do in the telecommunications industry. Whoever controls the Congo controls the market.” Coltan is needed by all. Even many of the peacekeepers who come, preference is given to the business, not the protection of the population. More than a hundred military groups in the Eastern provinces are waging a war of all against all.
Here is, for example, an army of mercenaries Nkunda is a Rwandan pastor of the Church, “Adventists of the 7th day,” the 20-thousandth army of the sects, which secretly sponsored America Mineral Fields Inc. (a controlling stake in the couple’s Clinton). This year, having received weapons from Rwanda, she pushed the Angolan army (Chinese interests) and the government troops of the DRC, demanding to break the 9-billion contract with China for the development of soltanovich fields. Coltan is necessary for all, because its profitability exceeds the profits to be made from gold, diamonds, uranium.
Besides, deposits of coltan are mixed with deposits of uranium ores (50% of world reserves). Extracted it manually with a shovel and a metal basin. The miners are just radioactive ore in her pockets. As a result, almost half of the children stillborn. Another and related issue of rich country — hunger. In armies, legal and illegal military forces — is fighting to 70% of the male population; the remaining mined coltan, getting $ 1-2 per day.
The coltan mines are concentrated in two Eastern provinces of the DRC in the territory of two national parks under UNESCO protection. In recent years, there are almost no beasts. Hungry army ate all the gorillas, elephants, giraffes, hippos, and very reminiscent of a “lunar landscape”, or the result of the extraction of amber in Ukraine.
Agriculture is not engaged in, almost nobody — there is no reason. Anyway, today or tomorrow will come some army and all taken away. Only women still swarming in the gardens to feed the children. On the verge of starvation for nearly 8 million people. But these women have another related problem: the local legend, the man who raped the woman, the bullet passes. In the UN report indicated that only in the South Kivu province raped every day about 40 women. And this is only the official data. Eastern Congo is called the “rape capital of the world”. Local gynecologist Denis Mukwege (63 years) has devoted his life to helping victims of violence. The international community appreciated the awarding of the Nobel peace prize in 2018.
Human life here is worth nothing. Each day 1 person is killed by police and 2 people from the hands of the militants. For example: according to the United Nations in the province of Kasai for three months (March — may 2018) killed 251 people, including 62 children. Two million people fled to neighboring countries. More than 4 million internal refugees.
Ten years of UN demands to impose an embargo on supply of weapons to the region, but the results are not visible. Coltan and arms linked. As the President has said neighboring Rwanda, which takes an active part in the battle for coltan (first on the side of the French companies, and then on the side of the American Cobatt): “This war will Finance itself”. Only one of the Congo spends in a day about $ 1 million for the war, the same Rwanda. Often, weapons are bought and IMF loans.
Supply chain of coltan is quite complicated. Local artisanal miners mined it by hand for pennies and sell it to small dealers-dealers. They hire private planes from Ukraine and Russia and deliver ore to neighbouring countries (mainly Rwanda, where coltan smuggling is a significant place in the economy). Further ore through the government of the company held by the relatives of the presidents of Rwanda and Uganda, delivering it to Europe. Here is already dominated by the Belgian company. Aircraft returned back with weapons from Eastern Europe and Russia. And coltan through companies registered somewhere in Cyprus, delivered to processing plants. They are few, but their owners are, in fact, the main sponsors of the war in the Congo: Cobatt (USA), H. C. Starck (Germany), Ningxia (China) and the plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Kazakhstan). This plant is claimed to be controlled by the Swiss magnate Chris Huber. It is here to recruit pilots in the post-Soviet countries. By the way, there is such joke: “the sky of Africa could not fly without the knowledge of the Russian language”.
The same stories happen around another metal of the XXI century — cobalt. In the DRC, concentrated 70% of its world reserves. Already mentioned the US military industrial complex is 75% dependent on imports from the DRC. That is why in a seemingly strategic concept States, the DRC is recognized as a zone of strategic interests of the United States. Yet its production is controlled by the company Glencore (Switzerland). The company US Cobalt (USA) intends to compete for control of the market. Hopes pinned on election of a new President of the DRC. According to experts, the future of the DRC is located in the office of the US Cobalt. However, they are afraid that things can intervene, the Russians with the TSAR, as Glencore is an old partner of Rosneft. It is worth Recalling that in December 2017, the DRC and Russia signed a military Treaty. The Russians can support the Chinese: 47% of DRC exports going to China.
What the DRC government in Kinshasa, on the opposite side of the country? In the political, the military, the government, practically, has no influence on events in the Eastern provinces. Tracking the growing demand for coltan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo cobalt from powerful transnational corporations, the government decided to take advantage of this and adopted a new Code of mining:
— state company Gecaminec must have its share in each project for the extraction of mineral raw materials;
— introduced 50% tax on profits of foreign companies, as well as an additional 10% royalty on the extraction of cobalt.
In protest against such draconian and are not consistent with the companies ‘ activities some companies withdrew from Congo — Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton. In their place are happy is the company of China. And already announced plans to invest in opening five new projects for the extraction of cobalt.
Summarizing the information is to include the view of the famous magazine “the Economist” (London): “the Territory of the Congo 4 times more than France, but there is less sealed roads than in the small Luxembourg. On average, women in the Congo 6 children; nearly half of the Congolese population under the age of 14. And they are pitifully poor. Only one in seven of them earns more than $ 1.25 per day.
Life expectancy does not exceed 58 years.” And completes this sad analysis the conclusion is the same English experts: in 2030, this country will occupy first place in the world in terrible poverty. And this is with rich resources. That is the world where the score continues to rule the profit. Karl Marx formulated the General law of capitalist piling up more wealth at one pole of society, the more poverty, hunger in the other extreme. The DRC is a wonderful illustration of this law. It acts in Ukraine. To all the woes of the people of this region, added another the next epidemic of Ebola. Today it already died, more than 200 people. The UN Security Council, world health organization, make every effort to localize it and to cure the sick. To do it in conditions of permanent shooting difficult, dangerous and not as effective as it should be.
For example, the DRC, we see a striking inconsistency in overall positive processes in Africa. On the one hand, the construction of nuclear power plants, space programs, the largest for today the solar power plant, attempt to enter in 4G, the transition to e-governance and the like. On the other hand, almost the slave of magnitude; only the slave owner cared for his slaves and did not allow child labor, and here — a complete disregard for human life, 40% of the working children, because it is cheaper.
And in conclusion. Ukraine secures its East European values. And they value the venerable Western companies in Eastern Congo? Or they profess their only home? And here, where they interfere to make huge profits, they neglect the elementary. Conclusion for Ukraine suggests a simple — you need to protect first and foremost the national interests. Again, this requires strong government.
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