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Otafiire Blasts New UN Report On Congo

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st November 2001 03:00 AM

COLONEL Kahinda Otafiire, the state minister for foreign affairs in charge of regional co-operation, has said it is a shame for the UN Panel of Experts to publish its report on Congo basing on rumours.

COLONEL Kahinda Otafiire, the state minister for foreign affairs in charge of regional co-operation, has said it is a shame for the UN Panel of Experts to publish its report on Congo basing on rumours.

By Emmy Allio COLONEL Kahinda Otafiire, the state minister for foreign affairs in charge of regional co-operation, has said it is a shame for the UN Panel of Experts to publish its report on Congo basing on rumours. “I never signed the alleged document involving Roger Lumbala and some foreigners. I never even met any member of the panel. “It is sad that the UN Security Council could accept the report based on rumours,” Otafiire said. The minister, who is also a presidential adviser on Congo affairs, said, “I challenge the UN or any other group to produce evidence of my dealings in Congo or the alleged document I am purported to have signed.” The panel’s report said the RCD-National leader, “Mr. Lumbala, had signed two commercial agreements bearing the signature of UPDF commander Kahinda Otafiire and Belgian and Austrian parties.” The report also pin-pointed Lt. Gen. Salim Saleh, acting army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini on one hand, and Congolese rebel leaders Jean Pierre Bemba, Adele Lotsove, John Tibasima Ateenyi and Mbusa Nyamwisi as conduits on the other. Lumbala’s RCD-Nationale controls the diamond-rich Bafwasende, Niya Niya and Mambasa areas in northeastern Congo. The report said the plunder of natural resources in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo continues unabated, while softening a previous call for punitive measures to stop it. In a report to the Security Council, the five-man panel recommended a moratorium on imports of gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, timber, coffee and other valuable commodities from rebel-held areas of the central African nation. It said the ban should include coltan, a mineral ore found in parts of the country where Rwandan troops have been present. Ends

Otafiire Blasts New UN Report On Congo

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