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Sunday, 23 March 2008
DR Congo's 'dangerous' superstition
By Angus Crawford
BBC News, Kinshasa
Gracia

Gracia is traumatised by the witchcraft accusation
Gracia is traumatised by the witchcraft accusation
Gracia likes watching television — mostly soaps and cartoons, but sometimes the news.
The young woman, tall and thin with braided hair coiled on her head, is doing well at school and wants to be a doctor.
In the two-and-a-half years since I last saw her, her life has been transformed.
Then, she was living with 30 people in one house, too poor to afford school fees.
She had been sent back to DR Congo by her father and step-mother, after living with them in Tottenham, north London, for several years.
She is thought to be among hundreds of African children living in the UK and sent back to DR Congo or Angola after being accused of witchcraft.
Traumatised
The issue came to light in the summer of 2005, when a court in London heard the case of a young girl who was tortured after being accused of being possessed.
The jury learnt a new word, kindoki. It is what the Congolese call witchcraft.
After I first reported on Gracia's plight in Kinshasa, one listener was so moved she began sending money to support the girl.
Gracia's mother

She isn't happy, she always thinks of returning
She isn't happy, she always thinks of returning
Gracia's mother
Now, Gracia lives with her aunt and can afford school fees.
Inside her home there is a television and three sofas, and her mother has come to visit.
Gracia tells me how thankful she is for the financial help she has received, and talks about her favourite lessons, living with her aunt, and the holidays.
But when I ask her to tell me what led her father and step-mother to accuse her of witchcraft, she does not reply.
Often these accusations can be a way of ridding a family of an extra mouth to feed.
Gracia is "very traumatised", says Adolphine Kumbaki, who runs a charity called Bantu Cocorico, which has been helping to look after Gracia.
"To say a child is a witch is very, very dangerous," she says, and many such children are abandoned.
Aid agencies think that the most of the 13,000 children sleeping rough in Kinshasa have been accused of kindoki.
Stigma
Gracia's mother says that even though life is much better for her daughter, her daughter longs to return to London.
Asked if London or Kinshasa feels like home, Gracia replies simply: "London."
"I don't like being here, I don't like the schools here, I don't want to stay here," she says.
Gracia's school in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

Gracia is doing well at school, and wants to be a doctor
Gracia is doing well at school, and wants to be a doctor
Her mother says she would like Gracia to return to the UK.
"She isn't happy, she always thinks of returning," she says.
But there is no prospect of return.
Kinshasa, desperately poor with its streets full of hawkers and smell of diesel and sewage, is alien, but Gracia has got to stay.
Though she feels trapped, she does talk of her future. She is doing well at school, especially in maths.
A good education then may prove to be her way out, by providing a cure for the stigma.
MMVIII
Saturday, 30 July 2005
Congo's child victims of superstition
By Angus Crawford
BBC, DR Congo
Aerial view of Kinshasa

Poverty in Kinshasa has led to it being called 'the dustbin'
Aerial view of Kinshasa
Poverty in Kinshasa has led to it being called 'the dustbin'
At least four million people are to be moved from the area around China's Three Gorges Dam amid warnings of an "environmental catastrophe".
Poverty, civil war and a widely held belief in witchcraft means children in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be extremely vulnerable.
Angus Crawford hears the stories of some of the young victims in the capital, Kinshasa.
When Maria starts to cry, she does not make a sound.   She sits rigid and silent, staring straight ahead.
She allows just a trickle of tears from each eye.   She does not even blink.
She has good reason to be sad.
Three years ago, she lived in London and went to primary school.   She still has photographs of the friends she made there.
But her stepmother made a discovery — she decided Maria was possessed, that she had what the Congolese call "kindoki" — witchcraft.
Poverty, ignorance and a twisting of traditional beliefs mean Maria is now a pariah
An aide to the governor of North-West Province, speaking on condition of anonymity
Abandoned
Her father bought a single ticket and within days Maria was getting off a plane in Kinshasa.
She spoke little French and almost none of the local language, Lingalla.   She was told it was just a holiday.
When I track her down, three years later, she is living in a two-room house in one of the poorest areas of the city.   She shares it with 29 members of her extended family.
She has braided hair and a shy smile, and is fashion-conscious like only girls desperate to be teenagers can be.
She is dressed in shocking lime green from head to toe.
The tears only start when I ask her what she remembers of the night she arrived back in the city.
It is the terror of that chaotic airport, with its bribe-taking officials, its guards and their guns, the choking heat, the pungent smells.
A seven-year-old girl abandoned and lost.   You can read it all on her face.
How can gifts that bring so much happiness have come from so much pain?
Valentine’s Day: Labor Conditions at US-Owned Plantations Show Hidden Realities of Flower Industry — Click Here
Nora Ferm of the International Labor Rights Fund talks about a new report on labor conditions at US-owned flower plantations in Colombia and Ecuador.
Beatriz Fuentes, President of the Sintrasplendor Union at Dole’s largest flower plantation in Colombia which has become the site of a growing worker’s struggle, joins us.
“Diamond Life”: Documentary Examines How Diamonds Funded the Civil War in Sierra Leone
— Click Here
We turn now to the issue of conflict diamonds—also known as blood diamonds.
The documentary “Diamond Life” looks at how diamonds funded the civil war in Sierra Leone.
Excerpt of “Diamond Life”, the documentary produced by Stephen Marshall and Josh Shore of the Guerrilla News Network.
Child Labor: The Hidden Ingredient to the Billion-Dollar Chocolate Industry?
— Click Here
On Valentine's Day, chocolate is the currency in which people are supposed to trade their love.
Little do they know that chocolate might have been made with slave labor. We speak with Brian Campbell, an attorney with the International Labor Rights Fund.
Global Witness Founder Charmian Gooch: “The Diamond Industry is Failing to Live Up to Its Promises” — Click Here
For more on the diamond industry, we’re joined by Global Witness founder and director Charmian Gooch.
Gooch says diamond companies have failed to deliver on promises to reduce the prevalence of blood diamonds.
Picture on right is of a child being followed by a vulture waiting for child's death due to starvation
Greg Palast on the Battle to End Vulture Funds
— Click Here
Greg Palast looks at the battle to end "vulture funds", where companies buy up debts of poor nations cheaply and then sue for the full amount.
Map of DR Congo
Street children
Maria, at least, has a roof over her head.
Christian, like 20,000 other street children here, sleeps anywhere he can.
He is tiny.   He looks about five or six but tells me he is nine.
He is filthy and his clothes are in tatters.
When he speaks I can barely hear him.   Because I am an adult — and so command respect — he calls me "Papa".
I ask him why his family threw him out.
Again that word "kindoki" — witchcraft.
Objects of fear
His grandmother says he tried to eat another relative.
He tells me that all he hopes for in life now is for the bad spirits to leave him.
It seems extraordinary but aid agencies believe the vast majority of street children are there for the same reason, as are countless others in orphanages.
It is almost as though this country is in the grip of a collective paranoia, where children have become objects of fear.
I asked pastors how they knew a child was a witch — the answer was almost always that God had shown them
It is not that the Congolese do not love their children.   Of course they do, they are still the heart of community life.
But the belief in a second, invisible world where witchcraft thrives is widely held.
Combine that with a country in economic freefall, where the extended family is collapsing under the weight of Aids and poverty.
Remember, too, that the foot soldiers of the armies which deposed former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, were children.
A child soldier in DR Congo.

Children as young as eight were recruited as soldiers, the UN says
Children as young as eight were recruited as soldiers, the UN says
Social cleansing
The image of pre-pubescent boys with machine-guns striding into Kinshasa is etched onto people's memories.
They call them the "Kadogos", which very roughly translates as, the "little ones".
Add to that an explosion of evangelical Christian churches which advocate muscular — sometimes violent — exorcism, and you have a gigantic exercise in social cleansing.
And often it is the children who become the scapegoats for all society's ills.
For salvation from these so called "witch children", many families turn to people like Mama Gena.
She is obviously powerful.
It is not just her three mobile phones or even her two designer handbags.
Her diamond encrusted watch is impressive too, almost as impressive as the picture of her in police uniform hanging above her desk.
Exorcisms for a fee
But her real power comes from the fact that she is a self-appointed prophetess, who will both identify your child as a witch and then perform an exorcism — for a fee, of course.
And business appears to be good.
Congolese friends tell me her ceremonies are mild.   She only starves her charges for five days.
Other pastors burn, hit and sexually abuse the children.   Some are killed.
Again and again, I asked pastors how they could tell that a child was a witch.   The answer was almost always that God showed them.
The head of one non-governmental organisation put it more bluntly.   If you are too fat or too thin, too quiet or too noisy, if you wet the bed or you are disabled as a child you are at risk.
Even more so if you are not a blood relation of the person pointing the finger.   It is no surprise that stepmothers frequently appear as the chief accusers.
If they are not yours and you cannot feed them, they are possessed.
So Maria really has good reason to weep.
Poverty, ignorance and a twisting of traditional beliefs mean she is now a pariah.
She knows her old life in London with her school friends is over.   Her new life in Kinshasa is one of poverty, fear and the threat of disease.
And so she cries because, she says, she wants to go home.
Saturday, 18 October, 2003
Africa's forgotten and ignored war
Fergal Keane
By Fergal Keane
BBC correspondent in DR Congo
Danny leaned into the plane and asked if we we are all strapped in.   Then he paused, as if thinking about what he was going to say next.
"Folks, as we are missionaries, we always start our flights with a prayer," he said.
Then he began to pray.
He asked that we be safe on our journey.   He asked, too, that his passengers might find the story they were looking for in Congo.
By now Danny would have known exactly the kind of story we would find.
Congolese teenager panning for gold
Congolese teenager pans for gold, but the war has affected the trade
He had grown up in Africa.   It was his home.
Every other day he flew into north-eastern Congo.   He had helped evacuate hundreds of people when the fighting erupted around Bunia in late spring and summer.
Danny knew Congo alright but he wore his faith like armour, and from his world above the clouds this missionary pilot saw a different Africa.
Peaceful
From up there, one could see the well tilled fields of Uganda, the silver immensity of Lake Victoria, the occasional fishing boats speckled on its surface, and then the land sloping upwards into mountains and forest and another expanse of water, Lake Albert.
An invisible line divides the lake and at half past three on a sunny afternoon we crossed into Congo.
As I said, from the vantage point of these skies, one saw a different Africa.
It was a green place, a peaceful place.
We passed over small brush fires, the thick white smoke curling into the sky and then dissipating as it hit the cold air further up.
From here Congo was at peace.   Then we began to descend.
We crossed a line of hills and banked to the left, then circled and flew over a large town.
This was Bunia — our destination, its streets busy in the sunlight.
Coming in to land we could see the tents of the UN troops, their white armoured vehicles, the barbed wire encircling the airport perimeter.
Blue helmets, white vehicles, the green hills of Central Africa.
Congolese children

Children have been the target of militias
Children have been the target of militias
Echoes of Rwanda
For one jolting moment I was carried back to another place, a central African nation where I had watched the UN fail to halt genocide.
Rwanda.
Over the next few days the echoes of that other tragedy would follow wherever we went.
The UN compound in Bunia is encircled by razor wire and guarded by Uruguayan troops.
They looked tired, dusty and uncomfortable.
There were Bangladeshis too, and Pakistanis and there are Nepalese on the way.
The armies of the world's poorest countries, just as was the case in Rwanda.
For, here at the outset, let us be clear about one matter: that Congo is a tragedy the developed world has done its best to ignore.
Congolese soldier

A Congolese soldier in a war-torn country
A Congolese soldier in a war-torn country
Four million people have died from massacre, famine, disease.
Four million in just five years.
In that period the armies of no fewer than seven African countries have fought here.
They did not fight for the good of the Congolese but as part of a latter day scramble for Africa, a war for the country's rich resources of diamonds, gold and minerals.
In recent years we've recoiled at fresh accounts of the horrors inflicted on Congo under the colonial rule of the Belgian king Leopold.
Heroes
Yet even as a powerful new account of his terrible reign was being published, a new age of evil was overtaking Congo.
That night in the Lushakavini hotel I pulled out a copy of the latest report on Congo by Human Rights Watch.
Its chief researcher is a remarkable woman called Alison Des Forges.
I remember during the Rwandan genocide, meeting a group of survivors and one of them pressing into my hand a letter for Alison.
"She is my friend, and she must be told what has happened to us," the woman said.
He saw the corpses of his family, including his nephew who wasfive-years-old, with his stomach cut open. They were cutting the fleshand eating the victims
Witness to a massacre
Alison Des Forges and the brave Congolese activists who help her are heroes of our time.
They are brave because recording the testimonies of the traumatised survivors of Congo's horror is in itself traumatising work.
They are brave because it can also be dangerous work: human rights activists have been abducted, tortured and murdered.
It is only when you hear the testimony that they record, that you understand why they are so driven to bear witness.
For example, this story recorded from a Pygmy man, in late 2002.
"About 20 miles from Mambasa, the militia attacked a pygmy camp."
"A man called Amuzati who was hunting in the forest heard shooting.   As he wasn't far from his camp he returned to see what was happening."
"About half a mile away from the camp he heard shouts and crying, and then there was silence."
Congolese mother and child

Congolese are weary of the war, but there is no hope in sight
Congolese are weary of the war, but there is no hope in sight
"He came closer and saw several militia men."
"He saw the corpses of his family, including his nephew who was five-years-old, with his stomach cut open."
"They were cutting the flesh and eating the victims... he was filled with emotion and afraid that if he shouted, they would catch him too, so he crept away."
Or there was the story told by the aunt of a rape victim — there is an epidemic of sexual violence in north-eastern Congo.
This is the story she told: "One day in early November we were on the road near Mambasa when we ran into the militia."
"Some had camouflage uniforms and others just had green ones; some of them had green berets."
"They took our things from us including our bicycle and goats and then they took our niece who was only 15-years-old and they raped her in front of us."
Congolese child

Even children are sent off to fight
Even children are sent off to fight
"Then they took her away with them.   We have not seen her since."
"Her name was Marie Anzoyo.   I know other girls who were taken including a girl called Therese and another called Vero."
Marie Anzoyo, Therese, Vero.
Three names out of millions.
We rose before dawn on the second day and set out on the road north.
I use the word "road", but it hardly describes the dirt track which leads, over five bone-crunching hours to the village of Kachele, scene of Congo's latest massacre.
The landrover slid in the mud, bounced over ruts.
In places the bush was so thick it brushed the windows of the car.
The country is full of refugee camps like this with people living in fear
The country is full of refugee camps like this with people living in fear
Ethnic wars
This was perfect ambush country, a landscape of concealment and hidden watchers.
In this part of Congo, alone 50,000 people have been killed in the past five years.
Many of them members of two warring ethnic groups: the Hema and the Lendu.
Close to Kachele we saw a log lying across the track leading into the hills.
Our guide, Dego, told us it had been placed there by Lendu tribesmen, those accused of carrying out the slaughter of Hema people at Kachele.
"They are just over that hill," he said.
Not for the first time in Central Africa, I was reminded of WB Yeats' line: Little room / great hatred.
Survival
Here, desperately poor people fought each other for the sake of land.
This is not mindless tribal violence.
In this part of the world land means food and that means survival.
If these people lived in a country with a functioning state, these disputes over land would likely never have erupted into such appalling violence.
UN peacekeeper in Kachele

UN peacekeepers approach a Congo village
UN peacekeepers approach a Congo village
Congo's vast natural wealth should provide prosperity for all of its people.
But instead, they have been cursed to live in a land ruled first by a venal Belgian king, and by Mobutu Sese Seko, the world's most corrupt dictator, and now a country where foreign armies like Uganda and Rwanda have come to plunder and fight.
In Kachele the survivors sat around in their rags.
Some looked bewildered. An old woman crouched outside the hut in which her family had been murdered.
A cluster of children sat together in the open space between the mud and thatch huts.
Too late
Here are the facts of the massacre at Kachele.
Shortly after 0500, as the light crept over the valley, a party of Lendu militiamen approached the village.
One of them fired shots.   It was the signal for the killing to begin.
Families panicked by the shooting ran out of their huts.
They ran into the militia and were cut down, mostly with the weapons used by Africa's poor: machetes, clubs and spears.
Sixty-five people were killed.
Forty of them were children.
Forty children hacked and bludgeoned at the hands of adults.
The killers escaped as they nearly always do, and a few hours after that the UN peacekeepers arrived.
Too late to do anything but count the corpses.
Kachele's chief is bitter.
Antoine Dhabi is 37-years-old.   He inherited the chieftaincy from his brother who was murdered by the Lendu.
He told me that his daughters — eight-year-old Esperance and 13-year-old Antoinette — had been abducted by the attackers.
Antoine Dhabi said he felt like giving up and leaving for the town.
The land of his ancestors had become too dangerous.
"The Lendu want to wipe us all out," he said.
But talk to Lendu people who have been attacked by the Hema militias and you will hear the same thing.
They too have suffered appalling massacres.
Howl of grief
As we were leaving the village we heard singing.
I got out of the landrover and walked in the direction of the voice.
I say singing, but it is hardly an accurate description
It was partly song, but also, partly, a howl of grief.
An old woman was performing a ritual of mourning — dancing on the mass graves which contained the bodies of the dead.
Her name was Marianne and she had just come back to the village to find that her son and several of his children were dead.
I asked our guide Dego what she was singing.
"She sings that her children are gone, that they are decaying in the earth," he said.
Then the old woman climbed down from the grave and got down on her knees, and then threw her arms across the mound of earth.
And in this way, she said farewell to her children.
Monday, 17 April 2006
Scramble for DR Congo's mineral wealth
Miners examine find of copper stones.

The mines have created some new jobs — but poverty remains rife.
Miners examine find of copper stones.
The mines have created some new jobs — but poverty remains rife.
A scramble for minerals has brought foreign money into the Democratic Republic of Congo province of Katanga — but not everyone is benefiting, reports the BBC's Michael Buchanan from Lubumbashi.
Lubumbashi has attracted the bulk of the foreign investment in DR Congo since a peace deal was signed in 2002 and it looks far better off than the capital, Kinshasa.
The traffic lights work and there are far fewer pot-holes in the roads.
Of the scores of business signs I have seen, my favourite is for the local fast food outlet, KFC — Katanga Fried Chicken.
The UN says there was almost $1bn of inward investment in 2004, the last year for which figures are available: an almost six-fold increase on the previous year.
Much of the money has come to mineral-rich Katanga, and specifically to Lubumbashi.
Ritchie Callaghan, a British businessman who has lived here for eight years, pointed out one of the new petrol stations that have recently been opened to cope with the increase in traffic, and the micro-finance bank that is helping the Congolese to take advantage of the new opportunities.
DR CONGO MINERAL EXPORTS
Katanga province
Cobalt
Coltan
Copper
Manganese
Zinc
Ituri province
Gold
Kasai province
Diamonds
"There have been definite signs over the past two years that things are on the up", Mr Callaghan says.
Foreign money
Much of the foreign money here comes from American, Canadian, European and South African mining companies, keen to get their hands on some of DR Congo's vast mineral reserves of gold, diamonds, cobalt, copper and coltan, which is used in mobile phones.
As DR Congo grapples with the logistics of organising the first multi-party elections in more than 40 years, the country's business community is looking on warily, since any instability that the elections might cause could hamper the progress that has been made.
Lubumbashi's most distinctive landmark is called Big Hill, a huge cone-shaped slag heap of copper, coltan and zinc.
It is now being processed by a joint venture between the state mining company, the George Forrest Group — a Belgian-Congolese conglomerate — and the American OM Group, which with more than $100 million invested in the project is the majority shareholder.
Jean-Pierre Zinzen, the secretary general of George Forrest, says DR Congo is an inviting location for foreign investors.
"The possibilities are so huge that it would be stupid to miss them," he says.
Scrutiny
Such joint ventures are nevertheless being closely scrutinised.
Jean-Pierre Zinzen.

Jean-Pierre Zinzen denies that his company is exploiting DR Congo.
Jean-Pierre Zinzen.
Jean-Pierre Zinzen denies that his company is exploiting DR Congo.
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.
However Jean-Pierre Zinzen denies any wrongdoing.
"We are convinced that everybody here will profit from such investments, the people and the government because of all the taxes and indirect returns they will get," he says.
"If you have a look around, you will see that expect for the new projects [that include] the participation of these foreign companies, there are not many other industrial activities."
Happy barber
Lwishiwishi mine.

A tenth of world cobalt consumption is extracted from the Lwishiwishi mine in Katanga.
Lwishiwishi mine.
A tenth of world cobalt consumption is extracted from the Lwishiwishi mine in Katanga
Not everyone is sharing in the dividends. On a busy street lined with some grocery stores, a pharmacist, a small clothes shop and a hairdresser, the young pharmacist told me that he earned $4 per day.
"I haven't really seen the effects of this investment," he said.
"I actually studied law at university but because there isn't enough employment I had to open this pharmacy."
It was a sentiment expressed by several other shopkeepers, although further along, the barber was more optimistic.
He had cut an Indian man's hair that day, and had recently had American, Lebanese and Chinese customers — all of them working for mining companies, he said.
"I'm happy to see foreigners coming to my country. If foreign people are coming, we can move forward together. If foreign people are not coming, you can't go anywhere."
DR CONGO CRISIS
TROUBLE IN THE EAST
Man throwing leaflets out of helicopter window in Democratic Republic of Congo electionsPropaganda war
Leaflets and radio broadcasts to entice rebels out of forests

EASTERN TOUR

FEATURES

BACKGROUND


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21 October, 2002
Sanctions urged for Congo plunderers
A United Nations panel has called on the Security Council to impose financial sanctions against companies and individuals who plunder the Democratic Republic of Congo's wealth.
Congo rebel soldiers.

Natural resources are being used to fund all sides fighting the war.
Natural resources are being used to fund all sides fighting the war
In the report, the five-member panel details how the Rwandan Government and army, the Ugandan army, and Congolese and Zimbabwean Government officials plan to continue to exploit the DR Congo's resources.
The central African nation is rich in gold, diamonds, cobalt, copper and coltan, which is used in mobile phones, and medicinal barks.
The scramble for those resources has helped fuel a four-year war in which two million people have died.
The Council is set to debate the report on Thursday 24 October.
More than 27,000 foreign soldiers, including at least 20,000 Rwandans, have now left the country, the UN said last week, but fighting is continuing in the east of the country between the rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and the Mai-Mai militia, which Rwanda accuses of being supported by the Congolese government.
Most of the 29 companies named are African but the list includes four Belgian diamond firms and the Belgian Groupe George Forrest mining group, which has a joint venture with the US-based OM Group.
Child in Kindu hospital.

DR Congo faces a huge humanitarian crisis.
Child in Kindu hospital.
DR Congo faces a huge humanitarian crisis.
The panel recommended 54 individuals face travel bans, a freeze on their personal assets and the same financial restrictions as the businesses.
Prominent among the individuals named is the Ukranian born arms trader, Victor Bout, who was once described by UK minister Peter Hain as a "merchant of death".
Elite exploiters
The plunder continues, despite the withdrawal of foreign troops, by "elite networks" running a self-financing war economy on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the report said.
"The elite networks derive financial benefit through a variety of criminal activities, including theft, embezzlement, diversion of public funds, undervaluation of goods, smuggling, false invoicing, non-payment of taxes, kickback to public officials and bribery," it said.
Several senior political and military figures are named from African countries including:
  • Rwandan army Chief of Staff James Kabarebe
  • DR Congo Minister of the Presidency Augustin Katumba Mwanke
  • Ugandan army Chief of Staff Major General James Kazini
  • Zimbabwe Parliament Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa
  • The report also names 85 multi-nationals in South Africa, Europe and the US for violating the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ethical guidelines on conflict zones.
    These include the world's largest gem and mining firms, such as Anglo American, Barclays Bank, Bayer and De Beers diamond company among others.
    Cashing in
    While Rwanda, with the largest force, has withdrawn troops, it has left soldiers behind to operate the "Congo Desk of the Rwandan Patriotic Army," which in 1999 contributed $320m or 80% of the Rwandan military budget, the panel said.
    Congolese and Zimbabwean government and military officials have transferred the ownership of at least $5bn in assets from the state mining sector to private companies "with no compensation or benefit for the state treasury", it said.
    Zimbabwean officials claim their contracts are legal payment for troops, which support the Kinshasa government.
    The Ugandan army is accused of provoking ethnic fighting in eastern Congo and of training militias to control "directly and discreetly" trade and tax collection.
    The panel suggested that these individuals and companies be given a four to five month "grace period" before the restrictions begin.
    It also said an embargo or moratorium on the export of Congolese minerals and resources was impractical.
    No companies or individuals named in the report have responded so far.
     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Davis Loyn
    "The report estimates 3.5 million people have died in the conflict"
    Expert on illegal diamond trading Christine Gordon
    "This trade was very specifically set up by the rebels in 1998"
     
     

     
     
     
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