cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

11.25.2009

common denominators: minerals and psychopaths

1. Rwandan genocide militia has global support network

PARIS-- Military operations have failed to contain Rwandan-Hutu rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo and international action is needed to restrict their financing, said a new report by UN experts.

In a major report for the United Nations Security Council, unpublished but seen by AFP, researchers said Congolese, Rwandan and UN forces have tried to disarm the FDLR rebels, who still pose a potent threat to regional stability, but have failed to impose order in a region still wracked by faction fighting.

"This report concludes that military operations against the FDLR have failed to dismantle the organization's political and military structures on the ground in eastern DRC," the detailed 93-page document begins.

The report also alleges that the FDLR is managing to recruit fighters using profits from a corrupt international trade in minerals.

The militia sprang up in camps in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) housing mainly ethnic Hutu refugees who fled Rwanda after their leaders launched the 1994 genocide, which left some 800,000 people dead.

The campaign has been undermined by corruption and brutality within the official Congolese armed forces and by the FDLR's ability to fund its campaigns through the international mineral trade, it says.

Companies are buying minerals from jungle mines controlled and operated by Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) cadres, while middlemen are smuggling millions of dollars in gold to Dubai every year.

The document was researched on the ground in Congo and the region over six months by a five-strong stream of experts hired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in order to prepare a report for Security Council members.

It calls on international governments to step up measures to stifle the FDLR support network, which includes members of the Rwandan diaspora based in Europe and North America and foreign sympathizers in Catholic charities.

The experts also warn that since March an offensive against the militia by Congolese forces, some of whose officers have supplied weapons to the rebels, has made life even worse for the beleaguered civilian population.

"Scores of villages have been raided and pillaged, thousands of houses have been burnt and several hundred thousand people have been displaced in order to escape from the violence generated by these military operations," it says.


Official Congolese records show only a few kilos of gold exported legally every year, but the country's own senate estimates that in reality 40 tons a year -- worth 1.24 billion dollars -- gets out.

The UN report details how both the anti-Rwandan government FDLR and their enemies in pro-Kigali militias use the same ethnic Indian middlemen to smuggle gold to souks in the United Arab Emirates.

It also says the FDLR profits from the export of cassiterite.

In September, the British group AMC said it would stop buying Congolese cassiterite, insisting the trade was legal but complaining of "negative campaigning from advocacy groups and adverse coverage."

The UN experts also "collected information on individuals affiliated with the Catholic Church and other religious and charitable organizations ... who provide financial and material support to the FDLR."

This is said to include "regular financial, logistical and political support from individuals" linked to two Spanish organizations, including the Fundacio S'Olivar, which is funded by the government of the Balearic Islands.

The islands' regional parliament issued a statement defending the Fundacio, denying that it supports armed groups and insisting that it works "in defense of peace, justice and solidarity, always applying pacifist principles."

Meanwhile, FDLR leaders command their troops from the safety of Europe.

"Some of these supporters and leaders are suspected participants in the 1994 Rwandan genocide," the report says, going on to detail telephone traffic and cash transfers between exiled Rwandan politicians and militia warlords.

The experts tracked down 240 calls between German-based FDLR leader Ignance Murwanashyaka and militia commanders in Congo, while these commanders were in turn in touch with contacts in 25 countries in Europe and America.

The report was addressed to the chairman of the UN Security Council committee on September 9. It is not known when it will be published.

source: inquirer.net



2. Charles Taylor the man who "forgot" he killed thousands

Sitting at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Charles Ghankay Taylor still holds the charisma that once propelled him to become one of Africa’s most prominent warlords. Listening to his seductive tone, one almost feels sorry for the man accused as the initiator of a brutal 1991-2002 civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone, which left over 200,000 people dead.

Dressed in a flowing traditional virgin white Liberian gown and acing his prosecutors, Charles Taylor is often caught sporting an uneasy smile as he continually states that he “doesn’t recall” many of the key accusations brought up against him before the Court, including a claim that he had trained Sierra Leonean rebel fighters and supplied arms and ammunition to rebels from The Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

The first African Head of State to be tried before an international tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Charles Taylor appears to rely entirely on his ‘charming’ persona, considering his visibly lackadaisical defense, to convince the Courtroom that he tried to bring peace to the West African nation rather than fan the flames of war.


The accused former Liberian President, ironically known as ‘Ghankay,’ which means warrior in the Gio dialect, faces an 11-count indictment for acts of terrorism, unlawful killings, sexual violence, physical violence, use of child soldiers under the age of 15 years old, enslavement, and pillaging.

Charles Taylor has, however, denied all charges despite the testimony of about 90 witnesses who shared with the Court the cruel acts that he had ordered in the West African countries (Sierra Leone and Liberia). Rebels are believed to have indiscriminately cut off limbs, kidnapped and drugged children and burned down villages. The court also heard stories of cannibalism, as a way for Liberian rebels to show superiority over their enemies.

Indicted in June 2003, while on his first trip outside of Liberia and transferred to The Hague three years later, Charles Taylor is currently at the cross-examination stage of his trial, which is being conducted by the UN-backed Sierra Leone Tribunal, housed in Freetown.


read more @ afrik.com



3. DR Congo - The Hague: warlords killed out of self-defense

Congolese warlords facing trials in The Hague for the genocide of villagers of the ethnic Hema, in the mineral-rich Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, have said they acted out of self defense. Prosecutors at The Hague plan to call 26 witnesses, out of which 21 of them are expected to give evidence veiled from public view for fear of reprisal attacks.

...

Leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots [UPC] a militia made up of the Hema ethnic group, Thomas Lubanga controlled Bogoro until the ethnic Lendu militia group headed by Mr. Katanga and the Ngiti fighters headed by Mr. Ngudjolo attacked them [UPC]. Luanga’s army fought ethnic battles over gold and mining rights with the rival Lendu community. It has been recorded as one of the bloodiest conflicts in DR Congo with more than 30,000 child soldiers involved. The conflict in Ituri was part of a war that raged in DR Congo following the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda and involved troops and fighters from several neighboring countries.

Human Rights Watch called on the ICC to also investigate officials from DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, accusing them of arming rival militias in Ituri. Militia leaders from all sides including Uganda and Rwanda, which at different times backed Congo’s various rebel groups, in exchange for a share of the wealth, have been accused of using the conflict to profit from the region’s mineral reserves, especially gold, coltan and casseterite. The rights group also warn that impunity will continue unless those who committed war crimes in the mineral-rich country are held to account. This is only the second trial or Congolese war criminals at the ICC in The Hague.

read more @ afrik.com


4. Philippines - "what kind of animals are these killers?"


MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Leila de Lima Tuesday said the perpetrators of the mass murder in Maguindanao were “not human.”

Saying she had been shaking with rage since Monday night, De Lima let loose a mouthful on the killings, the Ampatuan family, and the national government.

“What kind of animals are these killers?” she told reporters at her office. “We are so shocked and enraged. This is beyond words. It is most despicable. This is the work of someone who is not human. It is a bestial act of the highest order. I have never seen anything like it. It’s brutal ruthlessness all in the name of power. It’s an affront to all forms of civility.”

...

She wondered aloud where the 100 armed men who had carried out the killings came from.

“This only confirms that [the Ampatuans] maintain a private army. Why is this allowed? I would understand that the local police and military fall within their sphere of influence. But the national government? They know. What have the police and military been doing all this time?”

She also noted reports that the killings were carried out near a military detachment, and that policemen were among the 100 armed men.

...“I call on the media as well to be on guard and to continue to unearth the human rights crisis brewing in Maguindanao. Only when we are able to bring the true state of violence in Maguindanao, the true character of the power-wielding clans, to national attention, can we unremorsefully reprimand our national government for neglecting their duties to maintain peace in Maguindanao,” De Lima said.


read more @ inquirer


5. from this page on 11/10/09 - several stories:


convicts and lawbreakers contest Philippine election

Hong Kong, China — Not only is the Filipino electorate likely to have to choose between “evil and lesser evil” in the country’s general elections next May; as the names of contestants are being announced it appears they might end up choosing from a list of convicts, coup plotters, lawbreakers and human rights violators.

...Among those running for president is a convicted plunderer, while a group of coup plotters are seeking Senate seats and local government positions. Also on the ballot are people who helped engineer and implement martial law during the regime of the late Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos.

read more @ upiasia



March 2009: Philippines ranks second to Africa in GOLD PRODUCTION

ZNext Mining Industries, Inc., with OTC.PK Stock Symbols: announces today that ZNXT is getting closer to completing the compliance requirements to obtain the large scale mining permit after 12 months of reorganization. New ZNXT Management sent a new team of expert mining /mechanical engineers and metallurgists to further explore the final documentation needs of Region V Mining Licensing Agency. ZNXT was assigned 100% Interests of the MPSA and Exploration Development on the XYZ Gold Mine that was owned by Pearl Asian Mining. This is a golden opportunity for ZNXT to capitalize on the Philippines’ rich gold and other mineral reserves that have been untapped since 1991.

Worldwide, the Philippines had been an important gold producer, ranking 29th in 2002. In 1988, the country placed second to South Africa in terms of gold production per unit land area. Total production from 1946-2003 amounted to 1,172,912 kg gold valued at about PHP 225 billion (about $4,787,234.00) according to the Data from Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Mineral News Service.

read more @ mining exploration news



July 2009: Medusa doubles Philippines mine gold reserve

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed gold producer Medusa Mining, though its Philippines operating company, Philsaga Mining Corporation, has completed a Joint Ore Reserve Committee compliant ore reserve estimation for the Co-O mine. Thee probable reserve now stood at 1,04-million tons, at 14,9 g/t gold, containing 500 000 oz of gold.

This represented an increase of 101% over the 251 000 oz over the probable reserve of 249 000 oz at 18,8 g/t gold, announced in August last year. Mine depletion since the 2008 estimate was excluded from the new estimate. Medusa said in a statement that this ore reserve would allow for an estimated five years life of mine, at a production rate of 100 000 oz a year.

read more @ mining weekly



January 2008: Xstrata copper and gold mining project in the Philippines US $2b

Global mining group Xstrata, which has coal and alloys operations in South Africa, on Wednesday confirmed that its US$2bn Tampakan copper and gold mining project in the Philippines had been raided and two buildings had been torched.

Communist rebels representing the New People’s Army claimed responsibility for the raid, saying its singular objective was “punishing the giant Swiss mining firm for land grabbing, plunder and environmental destruction”.

The Tampakan copper and gold mining project, the country’s largest mining project, is 62.5% owned by Xstrata and 34% held by Australia’s Indophil Resources, and the attack is seen as a setback to Philippines’ long-held hopes of reviving its mining industry. Other mining majors that are interested in the Philippines are Anglo American (AGL) and BHP Billiton (BIL) while the Phelps Dodge Corporation is another bid player.


read more @ mining exploration news


and who shows up all of a sudden in the Philippines???? HILARY CLINTON. November 11th. In a dispute involving the CATHOLIC CHURCH and some MUSLIM REBELS.

you have to ask yourself, with everything going on in the world, how does this seemingly local dispute rise to the top of Hilary Clinton's priority list?


MANILA - A war of words between the Philippine government and a separatist Muslim rebel group over the kidnapping of an Irish missionary threatens to derail the lobbying efforts of the United States to bring the two sides back to peace negotiations.

The renewed animosity has flared up ahead of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's scheduled arrival in Manila on Thursday for a two-day visit to press Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to resume their stalled peace talks. Clinton, who will later proceed to Singapore for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, is expected to reiterate Washington's long-standing offer to help push the talks to restore peace and normalcy in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

...The possibility of resuming negotiations also appears dim after Manila accused the MILF of involvement in the October 11 abduction of an Irish priest, Michael Sinnot. The 79-year-old Sinnot was seized by armed men in Pagadian city, 1,000 kilometers south of Manila, and reportedly brought to MILF-controlled areas in the predominantly Muslim province of Lanao del Sur.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the MILF was responsible for the Catholic priest's abduction and that the government would not entertain the kidnappers' demand for a US$12 million ransom in exchange for the prelate's freedom.

...Despite the row over Sinnot's kidnapping, senior US Embassy officials in Manila have held clandestine meetings with MILF leaders in their Maguindanao camp. The US Embassy has kept mum on the meetings, but on its website, the MILF confirmed in a statement that it had held talks with a visiting group of American diplomats led by the US Embassy charge d'affaires, Leslie Basset, on October 16. [see item 1. coincidence? ]

read more @ asia times



go here for the whole summary of articles


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