Katrina's Feed
Jun 30, 2010

Rights concerns, debt wrangle cloud Congo jubilee

KINSHASA, June 30 (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo
celebrated its 50th independence anniversary on Wednesday amid a
row over mining rights that threatens to delay billions of
dollars in debt relief.

The event, to be attended by U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon and Albert II, king of former colonial power Belgium,
also drew fire from rights groups who cited growing concerns
over human rights abuses in the central African state.

Jun 28, 2010

Clouds darken Congo’s 50th independence jubilee

KINSHASA, June 28 (Reuters) – President Joseph Kabila wants
to use Wednesday’s independence jubilee to buff up Congo’s
troubled image, but armed rebellions, widespread graft and
concerns over rights abuses are dampening the party mood.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Albert II, king of
the former colonial power, Belgium, will attend 50th anniversary
celebrations for which Congo’s capital Kinshasa is being given a
last-minute makeover.

Jun 24, 2010

Congo strips Tullow of oil block rights -documents

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo has
stripped British energy firm Tullow (TLW.L: Quote, Profile, Research) of its rights to
develop two oil blocks on Lake Albert, according to documents
seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Presidential decrees awarded little-known energy firms
Caprikat and Foxwhelp, both registered in the British Virgin
Islands, development rights to Block 1 and Block 2 on the lake,
which straddles the Congo-Uganda frontier.

Jun 16, 2010

U.N. peacekeepers start Congo withdrawal

KISANGANI, Congo (Reuters) – U.N. peacekeepers began leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday as part of a small but symbolic troop reduction before the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence on June 30.

More than 100 of a 458-strong battalion of Senegalese troops stationed in the east of the country with the U.N. mission MONUC were the first to leave after a 15-month tour, with the rest due to follow by the end of the month.

Jun 14, 2010

Congo mining contract proposes 35 pct state share

KINSHASA, June 14 (Reuters) – The mines ministry in the
Democratic Republic of Congo says it wants state-owned mining
firms to hold a 35 percent stake in all future mining joint
ventures, in contrast to a wide range of shareholdings in
existing ventures.

A new proposed contract, written in May and awaiting
government approval, will serve as a basis for negotiation, said
Valery Mukasa, interim chief of staff at the Ministry of Mines.

Jun 14, 2010

Activist death irks Congo before independence fest

KINSHASA (Reuters) – The mysterious death of Democratic Republic of Congo’s top rights activist threatens to undermine President Joseph Kabila’s attempt to draw a line under the nation’s troubled past with a lavish independence jubilee.

Floribert Chebeya, who has faced past harassment for work against arbitrary killings and torture of political dissidents, was found dead in his car two weeks ago after being summoned to meet the chief of the national police.

Jun 3, 2010

Congo’s leading human rights defender found dead

KINSHASA (Reuters) – A leading human rights activist in Democratic Republic of Congo was found dead on the outskirts of the capital, Amnesty International and a Kinshasa police official said on Wednesday.

Floribert Chebeya, head of the national network of human rights NGOs and of local NGO Voice of the Voiceless (VSV), died of unknown causes after being summoned to meet the head of the national police force in Kinshasa on Tuesday evening, Amnesty said in a statement.

May 24, 2010

Congo’s copperbelt wants to recover “illegal” taxes

LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 24 (Reuters) -
Mining firms in Congo’s copperbelt say they will withhold
millions of dollars of end-of-year tax payments to the
government this year in a row over export levies.

Katanga, Congo’s southern mining province, imposed a $60 per
tonne tax on semi-finished product exports, which include the
copper concentrate from which the metal is derived, following
negotiations to overturn a ban on such shipments announced by
national government in April.

May 24, 2010

First Quantum ready for arbitration over Congo mines

LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 24 (Reuters) -
Canada-based mining group First Quantum Minerals Ltd <FM.TO> is
ready to seek international arbitration over a move by a court
in Democratic Republic of Congo to annul its rights to two mines
there, the company said on Monday.

The legal setback for its Frontier and Lonshi mines comes
after the company began international arbitration over a
government decision last year to halt the separate $750 million
Kolwezi mining project.

May 23, 2010

Congo court overturns First Quantum mine rights

LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 22 (Reuters)
- Canada’s First Quantum Minerals <FM.TO> has suffered a new
legal setback to its Congo business with a court ruling to
annul its rights to two copper mines in the south of the
country.

The Congolese Supreme Court decision on its Frontier and
Lonshi mines comes after the government last September closed
its Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings (KMT) mining project and means
a total of $1 billion of investments are under legal threat.