Citation(s) from the literature library

Amnesty International. 2005 ‘Democratic Republic of Congo: Illegal Arms Exports Fuelling Killings, Mass Rape and Torture.’ Press Release AFR 62/008/2005. London: Amnesty International. 5 July

Relevant contents

Democratic Republic of Congo: Illegal Arms Exports Fuelling Killings, Mass Rape and Torture

Large quantities of weapons and ammunition from the Balkans and eastern Europe are flowing into Africa's conflict-ridden Great Lakes region, despite evidence of their use in gross human rights violations, according to new research issued today. The shipments have continued to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite a peace process initiated in 2002 and a United Nations arms embargo.

In a detailed study, Amnesty International reveals the role played by arms dealers, brokers and transporters from many countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, the UK and USA. The study traces the supply of weapons and ammunition to the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and their subsequent distribution to armed groups and militia in the eastern DRC that have been involved in atrocities amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity…

The new report, Democratic Republic of Congo: Arming the east, documents evidence that during the entire peace process in the DRC, military aid has been provided from agents close to the Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC governments to armed groups and militia in eastern DRC. The report also provides evidence of the continuing role of Russian arms trafficker Victor Bout and his close associates, using local operators, who have secretly armed all sides in the DRC conflict.

Other military aid and arms transfers documented in the report include:

Up to 400 tonnes of mostly surplus Kalashnikov ammunition shipped from Albania and Serbia to Rwanda with the involvement of Israeli, Rwandan, South African and UK companies between the end of 2002 and mid 2003, followed by more flights from eastern Europe in mid-2004;
A further order for 130 tonnes of surplus arms and ammunition from Bosnia approved by the US government in November 2004 against the backdrop of new US military aid agreements for Rwanda;
Ongoing military support by Rwanda to armed groups in the DRC, particularly the RCD-Goma, linked to explotation of the country's natural resources.

The existence of arms-for-diamonds agreements involving the DRC government and companies in the Czech Republic, Israel and the Ukraine;
Evidence in 2004 of an arms trafficking network linking the DRC and Liberia involving international cargo companies;
The transfer of over 200 tons of arms to a pro-government armed group in north Kivu by a local company using aircraft from a South African firm supplying UN peacekeepers in 2003.

The Ugandan government's failure to report to the UN imports of weapons and ammunition from Croatia and Slovakia worth over US$ 1 million in 2002;
Donations of military vehicles from China in 2002 and attempts by the Ugandan government to import more arms from Israel in 2003;
Evidence that the Ugandan military authorities repeatedly supplied arms, ammunition and military support to armed opposition groups in the eastern DRC in 2003 and 2004, especially to groups controlling DRC gold mining areas and trade routes.

ID: Q5123

As many publishers change their links and archive their pages, the full-text version of this article may no longer be available from the original link. In this case, please go to the publisher's web site or use a search engine.