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Salim Saleh, Kazini Meet UN Team On DR Congo

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th August 2001 03:00 AM

Maj. Gen. Salim Saleh and Brig. James Kazini on Saturday met the new UN panel of experts and denied looting the national resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Maj. Gen. Salim Saleh and Brig. James Kazini on Saturday met the new UN panel of experts and denied looting the national resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By Emmy Allio Maj. Gen. Salim Saleh and Brig. James Kazini on Saturday met the new UN panel of experts and denied looting the national resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN team is probing allegations that Uganda plundered resources of DR Congo. The team, led by ambassador Mahmoud Kassem of Egypt, met the senior Uganda army officers at the Nile Hotel Conference Centre. The meeting was held in camera. “They asked us about the allegations raised against us in the first report released in April. We answered their questions as they expected of us,” Kazini, the acting chief of staff of the UPDF, said yesterday. “They asked us about Bafwasende diamond mines in Congo. We told them that we have never controlled or traded in Bafwasende. I told them that I have never stepped in Bafwasende,” Kazini said. On Thursday, the panel met the Minister of Defence, Mr. Amama Mbabazi, UPDF army commander, Maj. Gen. Jeje Odongo, and other defence ministry staff at the army headquarters in Bombo. The report by the first panel of experts led by Madam Safiatou Ba-N’Daw of Ivory Coast, was considered shallow and rejected by Uganda and Rwanda. The report said Saleh and his wife Jovia Akandwanaho owned Victoria and Trinity companies dealing in mining and purchase of diamond and gold in Uganda-controlled DR Congo. The report said Kazini, as the commander of UPDF’s operations in Congo, was instrumental in advancing Saleh’s business interests and that he appointed Adele Lotsove governor of Ituri province to advance his economic interests. Kassem’s team left for Nairobi on Saturday night. The Panel will also visit Belgium, the United Kingdom and France to collect data, analyse it in depth and come up with balanced facts on the ground. They will also visit Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa among others countries. Ends

Salim Saleh, Kazini Meet UN Team On DR Congo

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