DR Congo + 1 more

DRC-Uganda: Museveni convenes cabinet to discuss DRC inquiry report

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, 14 February (IRIN) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni convened a special cabinet meeting on Friday in the capital, Kampala, to discuss a report on allegations that Ugandan army officers were involved in looting natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to The New Vision government-owned newspaper.
"This is a serious report, and cabinet must discuss it before the minister responsible acts on it accordingly. The president, who summoned cabinet, will chair the discussions," the newspaper quoted a source close to the cabinet as saying.

The 211-page report, compiled by a commission of inquiry headed by Justice David Christopher Porter, was submitted to the minister of state for international affairs, Tom Butime, on 31 January. It details the Ugandan army's role in the controversial plunder of the DRC's wealth by foreign armies.

"The president has summoned the cabinet so that it can take a collective decision before the report is published a few hours later. It will be published within 48 hours after the special cabinet meeting," the source told the newspaper.

In November 2002, the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the DRC submitted a report to the UN Security Council accusing Uganda and Rwanda, among other countries, of exploiting the DRC's natural resources. The Council gave those named in the plunder up to 31 March to submit their defences.

The five-member panel, which was established in September 2000, recommended a moratorium on imports of gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, timber, coffee and other valuable commodities from rebel-held areas of the DRC.

After submitting its findings to the Security Council on 12 April 2001, the panel was given three more months to complete outstanding work and to respond to observations and complaints raised by governments, individuals and companies implicated in the exploitation of the DRC's wealth.

The panel had named Museveni, his brother, Salim Saleh, and several senior army officers as being involved in the exploitation of DRC's natural resources. It also implicated Rwanda, among others.

Museveni rejected the panel's findings, but subsequently appointed the Porter commission to investigate the allegations made by the UN panel.


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