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Vol 42 No 9

Published 4th May 2001


War economy

The UN report on the pillage of Congo saw just one side of the issue

A report from a United Nations' expert group on the pillage of Congo-Kinshasa's wealth by outsiders is having unexpected consequences. A group of President Joseph Kabila's advisors touring Europe last weekend to drum up financial support for the Kinshasa regime were bolstered by the findings of the report, released on 16 April: it blames rebels fighting the government for the bulk of the pillaging of resources. Kabila's aides insist the report will make it easier to bring in legitimate investors and financiers: there is talk of suing Rwanda and Uganda for reparations for the plunder of resources. Then on 29 April, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced in Kampala that he would be pulling his troops out of Congo forthwith. He added, however, that Uganda would also withdraw from the Lusaka peace process. The UN report accuses Museveni's brother Salim Saleh of involvement in mineral exploitation in the Congo, a charge Museveni vehemently rejects.

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