Netherland Institute of Southern Africa (NIZA) apology to Joseph Kabila
NIZA admits it got it wrong over mining contracts and embezzlement and apologises to Joseph Kabila. The question now is what are some of these "holier than thout" or do-gooders" NGOs working for?
Edward Marek, editor of marekinc.com, once said: “Humanitarian aid groups and NGOs operate from among the most plush building in cities throughout the western world, their staff are paid among the highest salaries, and the funds available come from multiple sources, and the measure of their output is of ten cloudy at best.”
“But they have one other advantage. They have a valid storyline, one that is highly emotionally charged [powerful lobbying effort], one that strikes at the heart and intellect of most caring and thinking people,” he added.
Marek cited the case of Human Rights Watch Africa, a US-based NGO, which reportedly, urged western donors in 1997, to provide nothing to the new government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, then led by President Laurent Désiré Kabila, until guarantees of protection for human rights had been received and that all aid should be tied to democratisation and civil liberties. It spearheaded a negative campaign against the new regime through western media, accusing Laurent Désiré Kabila of having the same dictatorial vibes as his predecessor. Mobutu Sese Seko.
“Until then no one has placed money on the table,” he concluded.
With Laurent Désiré Kabila assassinated, his son Joseph Kabila took over in difficult circumstances. We did think that NGOs would give him a a break, but no way. Joseph Kabila has particularly been subjected to a negative campaign in the western media by the Netherland-based NGO Netherland Institute for Southern Africa (Niza), which caracterised Joseph Kabila’s form of leadership as “a State against its own people, citing mineral exploitation as the main feature of the transitional regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo” . It may well be, but Mr Peter Hermes, Director of Niza has just issued a statement, in which he apologised to Joseph Kabila, admitting that his organisation “Fatal Transactions’report” was not objective and that it was based on false information (given by Kabila’s political opponents?). Please read the letter for yourself:
NIZA, Amsterdam, 04 May 2006.
Subject: NIZA and mineral exploitation in the DRC.
Please find attached here the report published recently by Fatal Transactions on the relation between the transitional government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the mining industrie in the Katanga region: “The State against its own people: the governance, mineral exploitation et the transitional regime in the DRC.”
The organisation NIZA and myself wish to seize this opportunity in order to express how deeply sorry we are as far the lack of objectivity in the information relayed in this report is concerned. We are equally concerned of the risk that this can engender about the security of our Congolese partner organisations. We wish also to clarify our own position with regard to this problem.
From the 18th –19th of last April, , the Dutch Institute for Southern Africa (NIZA) and its partners ASADHO, NDS, OCEAN, CENADEP, GAERN, Radio Mandaleo and JED organised a workshop in Lubumbashi on the role of the media and the civil society the question of the extraction of mineral resources in the DRC. The report, “The State against its own people: the governance, mineral exploitation et the transitional regime in the DRC”, was presented during that workshop, as well as other various reports in which the situation related to the exploitation of natural resources in the DRC was analysed at the same time. The final declaration of the workshop, together with this present was signed by all the participants, and officially launched and presented to the attention of the local and national media on 19.04.2006, during a press conference.
Contrary to the information that was circulated, both the final declaration and the press conference in itself, aimed at exclusively denouncing the system of illegal exploitation and looting of natural resources, in a way that the people are practically not benefiting from the wealth of their country. NIZA insists in order to stress that none of the participants named specific names, companies or NGO during the press conference.
After the press conference and the publication of Fatal Transactions’report, troubles arose between the congolese media and members of the transitional government. This was mainly due to the fact that the content of the report was interpreted in a selective way in the Congolese media. Whereas the report was meant to denounce system involving a big number of different parties, including the World Bank among others, the press exclusively pointed its finger at the PPRD, President Joseph Kabila’s party and its implication in all this. This done, the media gave the impression that NIZA and its partners tageted one particular political party in the debate on the natural resources. NIZA is very keen to stress that NIZA and its partners do not play any political role, and have no ambition in that sense in the DRC.
NIZA supports its Congolese partners in their struggle against an exploitation for a much more transparent and equitable natural resources in a truly democratic Congo. Together, we ask to all political parties, companies, public autorities and political parties involved and the international community to commit themselves to the development of a common vision and a long-term strategy for the natural resources sector, articulated around an equitable principle of economic growth. The review, in a transparent manner of contracts of mineral parastatal mining companies and the launch of legal proceedings against those who do respect their obligations will play, in our understanding, an essential role in this commitment.
NIZA is worried about in the highest point about the security of its Congolese partner organisations. We hope that this letter et the report here attached (www.fataltransactions.org) have allowed us to clarify be it little our position and that of our partners vis-à-vis the question of natural resources in the DRC.
We thank you for the attention that you pay to this question and we want to assure you that we are at your disposal should you need us to supply further information on the publication of this report et the actual developments.
Please, accept our sincere greetings.
Director of the NIZA.
Back to top