Sunday, April 13

Let's End Mass Rape & Mutilation In The Congo: Part 2

Naming names

See also ABW's/Elaine's list and Lisa's list.
Series part 1 of 2 is here.

(Click here to expand to the full post.)

The "mineral" you hear about in the mainstream media. It's actually 2 minerals chemically attached as found in the ground.
One is "columbium" and the other is "tantalum."
Keith Harmon Snow refers to "columbium" as "niobium"--another name for it.

A special kind of coltan.

You're gonna love this. Where do I start? Mixed into:

  • Stainless steel
  • Heat-resistant steel for construction
  • Steel for oil pipelines
  • Glass for corrective eyeglasses
  • Jet engine ferroniobium
  • Rocket assembly ferroniobium
  • Furnace part ferroniobium
  • Automobile & truck body ferroniobium
  • Railroad track ferroniobium
  • Ship hull ferroniobium
  • Turbine ferroniobium
  • Nuclear reactors
  • Airframes
  • Jewelry
  • Chemical processing equipment
  • MRI machines
  • Superconducting magnets
  • "Nanotechnology" of various kinds
Another lovely list.
  • Electronic capacitors
  • Cell phones (not sure which part)
  • Laptops (not sure which part)
  • Video game systems (not sure which part)
  • Pacemakers (not sure which part)
  • Surgical instruments
  • Pagers (not sure which part)
  • Automotive electronics
  • Camera lenses
  • Digital cameras (not sure which part)
  • GPS
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Prosthetics
  • Surgical implants
  • Fiberoptics
  • Heat-resistant jet-engine materials
  • Heat-resistant nuclear reactor materials
  • Heat-resistant missle parts
You want tin? You'd better get yourself some cassiterite. There's tin in it, and it's easy to extract--just smelt the stuff.
You can also coat automotive metal in it and the metal won't corrode very easily.

Replaces what used to be lead in solders and other things that environmentalists think lead shouldn't be in. (Solder = sticking electronics parts together!)

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

Companies, People, & Organizations
(Click here to expand to the full post.)
The mid-2007 "Blood Minerals" article by David Barouski where I found most of the mineral use information gave me twice as many names as I'd catalogued from Snow's "Three Cheers" article. I think I will have to do a "Part 3" to list them. This list will simply come from Snow's article and followup I did with Wikipedia, etc.

Lueshe mine
Where you get perchlorate in Central Africa.

A company set up for the sole purpose of being "in charge" of a mining concession that was about to be given to "Mettalurg Inc." by the Congolese/Zairian government in 1982.

Controls Lueshe mine somehow, according to Snow.

GfE Nuremburg
Owned 70% of SOMIKIVU.

Metallurg Inc.
US-based. Owns Arraxa & GfE Nuremburg.
Got the 1982 Lueshe mine 20-year mining concession.

Metallurg Holdings
US-based. (Pennsylvania.) Owns Mettalurg Inc.

The government of Zaire/Congo
Gave Metallurg Inc. the Lueshe mine "mining concession" for a 20-year term in 1982, but gave the operations duties to SOMIKIVU.

Hermes AG
Insured SOMIKIVU. According to Snow, this had to do with getting SOMIKIVU to not actually mine much out of Lueshe (so the price of niobium/columbium would be high).

The German government
Backed Hermes AG.

Laurent Kabila
President of Congo, 1997-2001.
A cruel man, it seems, but he did at least one great thing (or tried):
In 1999, his government dissolved SOMIKIVU, which left GfE without legal control of the Lueshe mine. Instead of giving it back to GfE somehow, his government gave the mining concession to a company they thought would actually bother to mine the mine (which would mean taxable money for the Congolese government): E. Krall Metal Congo.

E. Krall Metal Congo
From 1999-present, owns the Lueshe mining concession.

E. Krall Investment Uganda
Owns E. Krall Metal Congo

Michael Krall
Owns E. Krall. Australian. I can't imagine he's any Mother Teresa, since he owns a copper & cobalt plant in Uganda, but his company does seem to have refused to buy soldiers occupying its Lueshe mine weapons. In addition, it seems his company has refused to hire counter-militias to get control of their mine--instead they've been trying for 9 years to take their case to court with the official governments of various countries.

Karl Heinz Albers
He's been the manager of SOMIKIVU, is the man whose company GfE sold off its 70% share of SOMIKIVU to, and was affiliated with the German Embassy in Congo. (He is German.) It sounds like he had connections to pretty much every mineral-related businessperson in Rwanda.
He has personally ordered E. Krall employees killed by African soldiers (though that was thwarted).

Paul Kagame
President of Rwanda. Willing to order ANYONE killed or send troops to assist in another army's killing of ANYONE for profit or retention of his position as President of Rwanda.
He's one of the asshats who has, in the past, set his forces to raping people. (Though that was largely in Rwanda and in the 90's.)

Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame's party.
Though before it was the president's party, it was the militia Kagame was leading.

Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA)
The name of Rwanda's military. (As far as I can tell.)

Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD)
A Congolese political party.
Snow refers to them as militias, too, but Barouksi separates the party from its "armed wing" and refers to its armed wing as the Congolese National Army (ANC).

At first, the RCD just let Albers use the Lueshe mine despite the fact that he no longer had any rights to it. Soon, though, the RCD loaned him armed guards. Heck, some of the time, they were operating the mine instead of him or his companies.

This political party and its armed forces are supported by the Rwandan government, army, and president.

"The chief of the RCD's secret service in Goma, North Kivu"
Refused to kill E. Krall members on Karl Albers's orders and even let them go.
(Had to flee to Uganda and still had trouble escaping Albers's hit men there.)

Gen. Laurent Nkunda
With the RCD. Or at least part of it. Whoever the heck is doing his dirty work, he's got a helluva lot of power in North Kivu thanks to them. Oh, and the RPF (Rwandan government & its army) support him when he needs their help.
Apparently his invasion of Bukavu in 2004 had something to do with helping Rwanda get firmer control of Lueshe mine. (It made Congolese and UN forces head from North to South Kivu to chase him down.)
He's one of the asshats who sets his forces to raping people.

Dr. Johannes Wontka
German. Technical director of SOMIKIVU. Ordered 2 sets of murders:
1) The leader of the labor union that was on strike at Lueshe mine (they hadn't been paid in months)
2) Krall Metal employees who were on their way to check out Lueshe's mine (that they had rights to)
Foiled by the man he gave the order to, who reported his orders to the police.
Arrested and almost put on trial, but released by the Congo's national Minister of Justice when the German Embassy declared that all German businesses would pull out of Congo if this one man were not released.

"A major of the RCD army"
Got the killing orders from Johannes Wontka. Turned him in to the police instead.

Doretta Loschelder
German Ambassador to Congo.
Told Congo that if Germany didn't release Wontka, all German businesses would pull out of Congo.

Johanna König
German ambassador to Rwanda.
A member of Karl Albers's company's board.
Visited Lueshe mine in 2004, told striking workers (who were also locals to the area) that the German government owned the mine now and ordered them to get back to work, without pay, or be punished by the RPA (Rwanda's military).

H.C. Starck
Bought a lot of coltan from Albers / the RPF even when they knew they shouldn't.

Bayer AG
Owns H.C. Starck.

A&M Minerals
A British company who's purchased pyrochlore even when they knew they shouldn't.

Alfred Knight Holdings (AKH)
"Tested" a lot of pyrochlore before re-exporting it, cassiterite, and coltan to Europe.
Barouski asserts they should've known exactly what it took to get that pyrochlore out of the ground and to them, since pyrochlore only comes from Lueshe mine.

Rotterdam, Netherlands
The port lots of niobium/coltan/pyrochlore came into Europe through

They're the "black men pulling the trigger" that Snow refers to--committing a lot of the violence--but Barouski declares that it actually isn't clear exactly what chains of power their commanders are from...or even who they are.
(But as Snow says, let's start going for the ones we can figure out pretty easily.)

The United Nations Panel of Experts
Reported on raw material plunder in the Congo and named names of corporations and people and syndicates acting illegally.

The United Nations
Removed the names named on the Panel of Experts Congo report.

GTZ, Nokia, Intel, Sony, Barrick Gold Corporation, Anglo-American Corporation, Banro, Moto Gold, DeBeers, Royal/Dutch Shell, John Bredenkamp, Billy Rautenbach, George Forrest, Louis Michel, Yoweri Museveni, Salim Saleh, James Kabarebe, Walter Kansteiner, Maurice Tempelsman, Philippe de Moerloose, Dan Gertler, Etienne Viscount Davignon, Simon Village, Ramnik Kotecha, Jean-Pierre Bemba, Romeo Dallaire...
Copmanies and people that Snow suggests we investigate and, depending on what we find, possibly demand "help the victims of sexual violence in the Congo."

Most of the names I've chronicled from Keith Harmon Snow's article relate to the Lueshe mine story. But he warns us not to zoom in and only focus our outrage on those white, Western, rich people ordering black, African, poor people to protect "their land."

He speculates that:
these activities certainly apply to...other corporations--this is how the system works, and who works it. The Lueshe Niobium mining scandal merely provides us an excellent case study where the thief has been caught red-handed...


Elaine Vigneault said...

Awesome! Great job collecting all this info!

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