Dikembe Mutombo caught in gold-smuggling scandal

by Joseph Bamat
AFP
January 26, 2012

Former NBA basketball star Dikembe Mutombo has been accused of playing a leading role in a failed gold-smuggling operation in his native Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last year. While the botched plan to illegally fly $10 million worth of gold out of the DRC made international headlines in March 2011, Mutombo was only linked to the affair in a news report on January 15.

Texas businessman Carlos St. Mary told the Houston Chronicle on Sunday that Mutombo was the instigator of the operation. According to St. Mary, Motumbo approached Kase Lawal, a Houston energy mogul, to present him with the original plan in November 2010.

St. Mary says he was recruited by Lawal to execute the transaction, which Motumbo repeatedly described to St. Mary and Lawal as legal.

However, on February 3, 2010, Lawal’s private jet was grounded in the eastern Congolese city of Goma. Local newspapers reported at the time that 400kgs of gold and $4 million in cash had been seized from the plane.

The jet’s four passengers, including St. Mary, were held by the authorities on charges of mineral smuggling and were transferred to the Makala prison in the capital of Kinshasa, according to local reports. But when the news first broke, the former basketball star was not mentioned.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Mutombo’s name surfaced in a recent UN report. Contacted by the daily, St. Mary said Mutombo was involved in the gold transaction until just before the arrests at Goma airport.

The former Houston Rockets player would not talk about his involvement when contacted by phone, the daily reported. Through a spokesman, businessman Lawal also declined to comment.

The towering basketball centre was a notorious shot-blocker for the NBA, but also gained broad recognition through his humanitarian efforts in his native DRC and across Africa. The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation website boasts of opening a $29 million hospital in the DRC, and as recently as August 2011, Mutombo toured the Horn of Africa with UNICEF to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.

Gold in the Congo

News organizations quickly picked up the Houston Chronicles scoop, but the claims of Mutombo’s involvement in gold smuggling did not immediately make headlines in his home country, where he is revered as a hero.

Mineral trafficking has been a blight on the DRC, promoting corruption and fuelling decades of war. According to John Katunga, an expert on peace building with Catholic Relief Services who has written on illegal mineral trafficking in eastern Congo, violence in the region is explained by poverty and the central government’s weakness when it comes to controlling the abundant mineral resources.

“This has led to a persistent situation of insecurity and violence that continues today, although more covertly,” Katunga said.

According to a March 22 article by Congolese daily L’Observateur, armed men loyal to General Bosco Ntaganda, a Goma-region warlord, helped escort the 400 Kgs of gold allegedly linked to Mutombo to the airport before they were seized. Gen. Ntaganda is wanted by the International Criminal Court for enlisting children to fight as soldiers.

The Houston Chronicle also referred to the involvement of Gen. Ntaganda in the affair, raising suspicion that Mutombo was not just potentially guilty of gold smuggling, but of affiliation to a wanted war criminal.

For many DRC experts like Katunga, the illegal extraction of minerals, including gold, coltan and other precious metals, still threatens regional security.

“Just two weeks ago members of the FDLR [Rwandan Hutu rebel movement] killed 42 Congolese civilians in retaliation for an army attack on a position where they were mining gold,” Katunga said. “People continue to suffer in the DRC as a result of minerals smuggling and exploitation.”

Rwanda: The Pentagon’s African Holocaust

Spanish High Court investigates genocide committed by US-backed dictatorship.

By  Gearóid  Ó Colmáin
Global Research
December 15, 2011

On November 29th investigative journalist and genocide expert Keith Harmon Snow testified before Spain’s Highest Court (Audencia Nacional) to support the indictments against 40 Rwandan officials for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during the western-backed invasions of Rwanda and Congo/Zaire by Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).

In 2005, the relatives of 9 Spanish nationals killed in Rwanda and the Congo in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2000, filed a lawsuit against the government of Rwanda resulting in the issuing of Interpol international arrest warrants for 40 Rwandan officials of Kagame’s régime.

On 6 February 2008, the Spanish Investigative Judge Andreu Merelles issued an indictment charging 40 current or former high-ranking Rwandan military officials with serious crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and terrorism, perpetrated over a period of 12 years, from 1990 to 2002, against the civilian population, and primarily against members of the Hutu ethnic group.

While the investigations were initially based on complaints from families of nine Spaniards who were killed, harmed or disappeared during the period at issue, the indictment was subsequently expanded to include crimes committed against Rwandan and Congolese victims, based on the universal jurisdiction doctrine. The indictment rules out the prosecution of Paul Kagame, arguing that he may not be prosecuted as long as he holds the position of President of Rwanda.

According to Spanish lawyer Jordi Palou Loverdos:

“Spain’s Audencia Nacional was only met by silence when it duly and formally asked the U.N. to hand over the evidence of these crimes perpetrated against people in 1996 and 1997 or the evidence of the pillaging of valuable mineral resources conducted in these same years or earlier. The international media which had access to the UN report have made public the fact that the UN High Commissioner responsible for the report  keeps- separately from the latter- a confidential  data bank containing evidence that implicates individual Rwandan and Ugandan military officials.”[1]

In spite of threats and intimidation from agents linked to Western governments and from the United Nations, the Spanish High Court authorities are continuing to hear evidence against the Ugandan and Rwandan proxy forces of the United States in Africa.

Keith Harmon Snow has been researching the real facts of the tragedy known to the world as the “Rwandan genocide” (put in quotes?) since 1994, and has, along with many other experts, evidence to prove that the United States, Britain and Israel were responsible for the training, financing and covert military and logistic support of Kagame and Museveni’s forces.

On 6 April 1994, the UPDF/RPA proxy forces assassinated the Rwandan and Burundian presidents (Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira), their military chiefs of staff, and the French pilots of the plane they were flying on, thus provoking and participating in the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Hutus and Tutsis in one of the most violent civil wars in modern history.

Snow also presented detailed evidence of the war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Kagame and Museveni’s proxy forces, after they invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1996, again backed by the Pentagon, Israel and NATO allies. The Congo/Zaire invasion was commanded by generals Paul Kagame and James Kabarebe, and they involved an officer attached to Kabarebe named Hyppolite Kanambe — alias Joseph Kabila, the strongman in Congo today.

The ongoing Rwandan occupation and plunder of eastern Congo has resulted in the deaths of some ten million people, making this the worst war since the Second World War. The Central African holocaust has been largely ignored by the global mass media corporations who are calling for “humanitarian intervention” in Syria, much as they did to justify invading Libya, by the same countries responsible for supporting mass carnage in Africa.

In spite of orders from Laurent Désire Kabila (Congo’s interim president of 1998-2001), to disengage from the Congo, the RPA and UPDF re-invaded the Congo in 1998, resulting in the Second Congolese War. Although the war is said to have ended in 2001, mass killing of the populations in the mineral rich Kivu provinces of Eastern Congo under the leadership of these US-backed dictators has continued to this day.

Contrary to its stated “peacekeeping” mission, the United Nations Observers Mission for the Congo (MONUC) and its follow on dependent, Monusco, has been deployed in the Congo since 2000 and has been involved in sexual violence and contraband activities. MONUC has provided cover for the Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundi forces, USAID, the Pentagon’s new Africa Command (AFRICOM), and scores of Western mining corporations who are plundering the Eastern Congo.

Snow gave detailed testimony to the Audencia Nacional of the American, British, Belgian, German, Israeli and Australian mining corporations who have profited from the Pentagon’s holocaust in the Congo.  Many of these companies such as Banro Corporation, Barrick Gold and companies run by the Blattner dynasty.

Snow alleges that these corporations have direct links to the criminal networks run by Paul Kagame, who are plundering the Kivu provinces of the Eastern Congo and massacring the Hutu Rwandan refugees there.

Though the majority of victims have been from the populations of Rwandan Hutus, Rwandan Tutsis and Twa have also been targeted, both in Congo and Rwanda, and many Congolese ethnic groups have been targeted in the Congo. The Kagame regime is determined to eliminate all possible opposition to its rule and to occupy and annex eastern Congo to create a “Republic of the Volcanoes” controlled by Rwanda and populated with sattelite US military bases.

Snow told the Spanish court that details collected by the UN Panel of Experts report of 2001 to 2010, detailing the illegal occupation, plunder and war crimes in the Congo, have been watered down by special interest groups linked to Western governments, thus shielding Western corporations and governments from scrutiny by the International Criminal Court and the Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda.

Trained in the notorious Fort Levenworth, Kansas (USA) and advised by former British prime minister Tony Blair, Paul Kagame is without question one of the most evil dictators in modern history. The scale and intensity of his atrocities dwarf those of Pinochet, Suharto and Somoza combined.

Rwanda and the Congo belong to the ninth circle of global capitalism’s Dantesque inferno . It is the circle of betrayal; betrayal of the high ideals of the United Nations to uphold the rule of law and work towards the goal of international peace and stability; betrayal of the trust that ordinary citizens of the world have in media corporations to tell them what is really happening in the world, so that leaders and potentates can be held to account.

In spite of expertise gained on the ground throughout Central Africa spanning 20 years,  expert testimony to the US House of Representatives in 2001, extensive work as genocide consultant to the United Nations and numerous meticulously documented reports, Keith Harmon Snow’s work continues to be ignored by the corporate media and many outlets who claim to be ‘progressive’ and ‘independent’ .

According to  Snow,

“U.S.-based groups fronted by the intelligence and defense establishment and pretending to be ‘grass roots non-government organizations’ — such as the ENOUGH project, Raise Hope for Congo, Resolve, STAND and Save Darfur — have co-opted the grass roots movement and are whitewashing the issues and controlling the media, academic and public spaces to prevent the true grass roots voices for Central Africa from being heard and to prevent the deeper issues from being understood.” [2]

In preparation for a documentary film to be released next year on the African holocaust, Keith Harmon Snow has just completed a series of interviews with distinguished scholars, investigative journalists and lawyers from France, Spain, Germany, Camaroun and Rwanda. The film, as yet untitled, is expected to be aired in film festivals throughout the world and will also be available online for mass viewing.

Rwanda and the Congo belong to the ninth circle of global capitalism’s Dantesque inferno . It is the circle of betrayal; betrayal of the high ideals of the United Nations to uphold the rule of law and work towards the goal of international peace and stability; betrayal of the trust ordinary citizens of the world have in media corporations to tell them what is really happening in the world, so that leaders and potentates can be held to account.

Uncovering the truth about the role of Western imperialism in the violence that has beset Central Africa since the fall of the USSR to the present day, is of vital importance, as the obscene and racist myth of an African genocide America “failed to prevent” constitutes the mendacious and  insane basis for the Orwellian “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Western governments and their pro-Kagame lobbies in the mainstream media are prompt to smear as ‘genocide deniers’ those who challenge the lies and distortions of the official genocide narrative of the current Rwandan régime by exposing the inconvenient and politically incorrect facts. In the case of Rwanda and the Congo, it should now be abundantly clear who those genocide-deniers are.

Pro-War Perception Management Media Operation

Corporate Media Enhances Western Attention to an attack on Libya, other countries in the Middle East

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
March 9, 2011

While a former U.S. Ambassador blatantly says on international television that United States foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by the country’s interests in the region and the rest of the world, which includes possession of petroleum, Barack Obama together with Nikolas Sarkozy and David Cameron prepare a document to propose the creation of a no-fly zone over Libya.  Meanwhile, United States Special Operations commandos touched ground in Libya to prepare the field in the eventuality a full military operation is is launched in a unilateral or multilateral fashion.

But much of the preparation for war against Libya is also being done over the traditional corporate media.  On what is defined as a psychological operation (psy-op), United States based corporate news outlets are making sure western puppet Muammar Gaddafi is being painted as the devil he is so the western world is sold on the idea that a military operation is necessary.  The creation of an environment that publicly approves another war in the Middle East as an excuse to liberate innocent people is going at full speed on the corporate media, which for the most part has reported on the crimes committed by the Libyan dictator, while omits those perpetrated by the United States and its allies in the Middle East.

Why is the corporate media paying so much attention to Libya?  Why aren’t journalists giving equal attention to conflict in Congo? Why isn’t the U.S. military and government acting so forcefully in Sudan?  As far as Congo goes, no one in the government and the media is interested in reporting on it despite the fact there have been at least 10 million deaths as a result of the conflict.  The reason? There are U.S. multinationals in Congo extracting diamonds, gold and other resources.  If U.S. based media were to report on it, it would shed lots of light on how the scheme of “order out of chaos” is allowing corporations to rob the Congolese people blind while their relatives and neighbors die on the bloody battlefields.

In Sudan meanwhile, there aren’t any significant sources of Gold, Diamonds or Oil, so it isn’t worthwhile to send large numbers of United States or NATO troops to Sudan to protect inexistant resources.  Since oil was discovered in Libya, the United States, many think, has not had his fair share of it, with countries like England and France managing most of the operations there. But now, more and more news reports are pushing for a U.S. led military intervention for what many talking heads have called “terrible crimes” perpetrated by dictator Gaddafi.

It is no accident that the corporate media is using the “genocide” card to propel a U.S. led invasion of Libya.  That very same corporate media does not state, however, how the American support of the rebels in that country is causing the killing of hundreds of innocent Libyans on a daily basis.  Reporting on genocide is only well done and sexy when it advances the agenda of the Anglo-Saxon Military Industrial Complex, which intelligently uses its mouth pieces -the corporate media- to spur support of unnecessary wars.

What the globalists behind the rebel movements in Libya, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries want is to have complete control of the oil fields in those nations in order to further consolidate power of energy resources.  Complete power allows them to create artificial scarcity and to more easily manipulate the prices of oil.