Crimes against the Lunda Tchokwe People perpetrated by the MPLA Regime

Photo: Alberto Cabaza, Muatxina Chamumbala

Health Professional Action

Denial of medical care for Zeferino Rui Muatxingo and Muatxihina Muatximbala

and at least 17 other detainees in Conduege Prison

By the MPLA unelected Comunist Regime

Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the health of Zeferino Rui Muatxingo and Muatxihina Muatximbala and at least 17 other detaineesin Conduege Prison in Dundo, Lunda Norte Province in Angola. Zeferino Rui Muatxingo and Muatxihina Muatximbala are known to be sick as a result of unsanitary conditions and insufficient and inadequate food and water. Despite requests by their lawyer the prison authorities have refused to provide them with medical care. Amnesty International is concerned their health will continue to deteriorate if needed medical attention is not provided.

Amnesty International calls on the Angolan government to ensure these detainees have full and immediate access to appropriate medical services and sanitary conditions.

Background

At least 34 political detainees are currently being held in Conduege Prison in Dundo, the provincial capital of the diamond-rich north eastern province of Lunda Norte. Amnesty International does not have details of the conditions in Conduege Prison or the prisoners’ state of health. However, the organisation has been informed that prison conditions are generally poor, with insufficient poor quality food and untreated water being provided. As a result, 19 detainees have been suffering from severe diarrhoea and blood loss, as well as malaria and pneumonia, for which they are not receiving medical treatment.

Zeferino Rui Muatxingo is reportedly suffering from diarrhoea with bloody stools, blood in his urine, and weight loss. He may also be suffering from malaria. He is not known to have received medical treatment.

Muatxihina Muatximbala is reportedly suffering from malaria, but is not receiving medical treatment.

Zeferino Rui Muatxingo, Muatxihina Muatximbala, and 17 other detainees are part of a group of 34 people arrested throughout April 2009 in several localities in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces. They are all members of the Comissão do Manifesto Jurídico Sociológico do Protectorado da Lunda Tchokwe (Commission for a Legal Sociological Manifesto of Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate) in Lunda Norte Province, which calls for a federal state.

Zeferino Rui Muatxingo and three others were arrested on 1 April 2009 when they took a copy of their manifesto to Cuango (Lunda Norte) police station. They were arrested on the spot and reportedly beaten by police officers in order to obtain the names of other members of the Commission. Subsequently, 270 people were arrested throughout the province, most of whom were later released uncharged.

However, 34 people including Zeferino Rui Muatxingo and Muatxihina Muatximbala were charged with crimes against the state, and they remain in detention. Their trial started in November 2009 but was suspended indefinitely. The case was remitted to the Supreme Court to resolve a legal irregularity.

Apelos à Libertação de activistas das Lundas de acordo com Anne Miti da Amnistia a BBC

Em Angola, o grupo de Direitos Humanos Amnistia Internacional lançou UM Apelo Para a Libertação , Por Motivos de saúde , de UM grupo de Mais de 30 Prisioneiros , ALGUNS deles soluço Custódia policial HÁ Mais Uma de ano , os crimes contra Por um Segurança do Estado.

O grupo encontra- se detido Na unidade prisional do Conduege , no Dundo , a capital da Província da Lunda Norte, Uma Região rica em diamantes .

Todos São MEMBROS da COMISSÃO do Manifesto Jurídico sociológico do Protectorado da Lunda Tchokwe .

Criado em 2007, o grupo Pretende uma autonomia Administrativa e Financeira do ex- reino Tchokwe , Composto Pelas actuais Províncias da Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Moxico e Kuando Kubango.

Como Angolanas Autoridades acusaram uma comissao da Lunda Tchokwe de possuírem Uma ala militar eA BBC TeVe Acesso Documentos Relativos um AO Processo Levantado contra o grupo Contendo alegações de Que OS 34 indivíduos teriam distribuído panfletos Visando a " Ordem da desestabilização "e territorial nacional .

Riscos

Desde 2009 Cerca de 270 Pessoas presas e Foram detidas temporariamente , 37 permanecem Mas soluço Custódia policial .

O Seu Julgamento estava previsto Para o Passado MÊS de Novembro, Mas Uma irregularidade processual Levou A SUA Suspensão indefinidamente , nao tendão Sido dados Marcada nova Para a SUA Realização .

Muluka -Anne Miti , da Amnistia Internacional explicou que A SUA Organização Não toma partido relativamente Às Exigências da comissao da Lunda Tchokwe , Mas questiona a Legalidade das detenções .

O Artigo 26 º da Lei 7 / 78 , a Lei dos Crimes contra um Estado Que fazer Segurança determinação "todo e qualquer acto , nao previsto nd lei, Que ponha OU POSSA Perigo em Pôr um Segurança do estado Será punido ".

Muluka -Anne Miti Disse Ainda a BBC Que OS serios detidos enfrentam Riscos de saúde e Mesmo de morte , devido Às péssimas Condições Encontram Que em si, agravadas Pela Falta de saneamento e de água potável , insuficiência Pela Como bem e «má Qualidade da Alimentação.

Num Relatório publicado ESTA Semana, a Amnistia Internacional , comunique Que Quase de Todos os dez detidos Sofrido de vômitos, diarréia, perda de Sangue NA urina e fezes NAS, sofrendo Ainda de malária e pneumonia, parágrafo como Quais Não Estão os receber um Tratamento médico.

Detainees in Lunda Norte at risk owing to illness and appalling prison conditions

Political Prisoners of the Commission of the Legal and Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate in the MPLA Regime Prison of Conduege – Dundo in the Region of Lunda-Norte in the municipality of Cuango and Cafunfo.

31 July 2010

This is a small part of the members of the Commission of the Legal and Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate that are illegally detained by the MPLA Regime in the Prison of Conduege since April 2009 without charge nor court appearance a total of 40 citizens.

The names of the political detained from the left to the right.

1.- First row: Bento Majimo, Arnaldo António, Daniel, Augusto and Tony Jermias 2.- Secund row: João Venáncio Samiendo, Juste Filipe, Castro Zacarias and Antoninho 3.- Third row: Marco Julião Nguelengue, Zeferino Rui Muajinga, Tito Filimo, Serafim Muangulungu. 4.- Fourth row: Kanhakanha Ngulu, Jaime Eduardo Muatximbão, Viriato Manuel and Augusto Mateus. 5.- Fifth row: Serafim Eduardo, Afonso Lucas, Carlos Txamuangana, Zeca Rodrigues and Mendes

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

6 August 2010
Index number: AFR 12/009/2010

Thirty seven members of the Commission of the Legal Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate (Comissão do Manifesto Jurídico Sociológico do Protectorado da Lunda Tchokwe – CMJSP-Lunda), are facing serious health risks and even death, owing to the appalling prison conditions in which they are held in the Conduege prison in Dundo, the capital of the diamond-rich Lunda Norte province. The majority have been held there pending trial for 16 months; most if not all, are ill, some seriously.

Amnesty International fears for the health and safety of the detainees and is calling on the Angolan authorities to release them pending trial; to provide them with appropriate medical treatment and to improve the prison conditions.

Most of the detainees at Conduege prison are very weak after more than a year in detention in overcrowded conditions and chronic illnesses for which they have not received adequate medical treatment. Their condition has been aggravated by the lack of sanitation and clean water; as well as insufficient and poor quality food being provided. Food and drinkable water is sent from the capital, Luanda, and often run out before new provisions arrive. Only a few of the detainees can rely on their families for the provision food and medicines. The families of the majority live hundreds of kilometres away in areas with poor or non existing transport communications. Many detainees have not seen their families since they were taken to Conduege prison in April 2009.

As a result, most detainees have been ill at regular intervals with different ailments at different times. Most of them have been suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhoea and blood loss in the urine and faeces, as well as malaria and pneumonia, for which they are not receiving medical treatment. Some have hernias and some also have distended abdomens. Apparently,
only two cases have received medical treatment, albeit inadequate.

The near starvation, lack of medical treatment and the appalling conditions endured by these detainees represent a failure by the Angolan authorities to fulfil their most basic responsibilities under international law. Unless immediate action is taken, many of those detained at Conduege prison could lose their lives.

Amnesty International is particularly concerned about the health of Muatxina Chamumbala, who has been ill for some seven months and had a distended abdomen. In early July 2010 he was taken to the Lunda Norte Provincial Hospital in Dundo where he had fluid drained from the abdomen. After three days he was returned to Conduege prison where he remains, reportedly very ill and not receiving medical treatment.

Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to release these detainees immediately on medical grounds, to provide them with adequate medical care and to improve conditions of detention at Conduege.

Most of the detainees were arrested between 1 and 30 April 2009 in several locations in the north-eastern provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. Four, Modesto Timóteo, Calisto Muatunda, Bento Magimo and Zeferino Rui Muagingo, were arrested on 1 April at the police station in Cuango as they went to deliver a copy of the CMJSP-Lunda’s) manifesto. The police accused them of distributing pamphlets aimed at destabilizing the national and territorial order of Angola, and reportedly beat them to obtain information about other members of the CMJS. Some 270 people were subsequently arrested throughout Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces and briefly detained. Most were released uncharged after a few days but 34 remained in detention. Three others were arrested on 12 February 2010.

In addition, the leader of the CMJS, Filipe Malakito, was arrested in Luanda, the Angolan capital, on 14 May 2009. He was first held Air force base in Luanda. Three and a half months later he was transferred to the hospital prison of São Paulo where he remained for eight months receiving treatment for his swollen legs. He is currently being held at Viana prison in Luanda. Two other members of the CMJS who were arrested in January 2010 are also being held there.

Another detainee, Alberto Cabaza, is reportedly ill, suffering from swollen feet and scabies for which he is not known to be receiving medical treatment. All the detainees have been charged with crimes against the security of the State, under Article 26 of law 7/78, the Law of Crimes Against the Security of the State, of 26 May 1978, amended in 1992. Article 26 states “all and every act, not foreseen in the law that puts at risk or could put at risk the security of the state will be punishable…”

Amnesty International has repeatedly called for this provision to be repealed immediately as it violates the principle of legality in criminal law. It is vague and does not enable individuals to foresee whether a particular action is unlawful. It basically means that any act which the authorities say is a crime will be a crime even if this was not stated in law at the time the act was committed. Furthermore, it violates international human rights law and standards.

Their trial, scheduled for 12 November 2009, was suspended indefinitely on the day it started due to a procedural irregularity. The Lunda Norte Provincial Court decided it had not jurisdiction to try the matter and remitted the case to the Supreme Court, in Luanda. No new date for the trial has been set. However, Zeferino Rui Muagingo was tried in May 2010 and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

Amnesty International is concerned that they may be prisoners of conscience arrested and detained for calling for autonomy for the Lunda-Tchokwe region. As far as the organization is aware, they have not used or advocated violence.

Background:

The CMJS is a political group set up in 2007 that seeks the administrative and financial autonomy of the former Tchokwe Kingdom, which comprises the present day provinces of Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Moxico and Kuando Kubango. In 2007 they sent their manifesto the MPLA Dictator José Eduardo dos Santos with a view to having discussions about the autonomy of the region, but received no response. The authorities have accused the CMJS of having a military wing but have presented no evidence to that effect. Furthermore, no military activity had been reported in the Lunda provinces since the end, in 2002, of the civil war between Angolan government forces and those of UNITA- The National Union for the Total
Independence of Angola.

OS DETIDOS NA CADEIA DO CONDUEGE - DUNDO

Parte de membros do Manifesto que estão detidos no Conduege desde Abril de 2009, Sem Julgamento de um total de 40 Pessoas

31 Julho 2010

Membros do Manifesto do Protectorado da Lunda, detidos desde Abril de 2009, até hoje aguardam pelo Julgamento, por terem Reivindicado um direito legitimo.

Estas fotografias são, uma parte de membros do Manifesto do Protectorado da Lunda Tchokwe, todos eles detidos na cadeia do Conduege na provincia da Lunda-Norte, vindos do Municipio do Cuango e Cafunfo desde o mes de Abril de 2009.

Os nomes estão organizados de esquerda para direita:
1.- Primeira fila: Bento Majimo, Arnaldo António, Daniel, Augusto e Tony Jermias
2.- Segunda fila:João Venáncio Samiendo, Juste Filipe, Castro Zacarias e Antoninho
3.- Terceira fila: Marco Julião Nguelengue, Zeferino Rui Muajinga, Tito Filimo, Serafim Muangulungu.
4.- Quarta fila: Kanhakanha Ngulu, Jaime Eduardo Muatximbão, Viriato Manuel e Augusto Mateus.
5.- Quinta fila: Serafim Eduardo, Afonso Lucas, Carlos Txamuangana, Zeca Rodrigues e Mendes


List of the Members of the:
Commission of the Legal and Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate
in the Prison of the MPLA Regime without Charge

PROCESSOS N.º 3450-A/2009, N.º 157/2010 PGR Lunda-Norte  

E N.º 8001/2010 TRIBUNAL SUPREMO DO MPLA, DR Juiz Carneiro

 

1.      Dr. Jota Filipe Malakito------------------Cadei a Hospital S.Paulo

2.      Domingos Manuel Muatoyo-------------Comarca Viana Luanda– Sem Processo

3.      Alberto Cabaza-------------------------Comarca Viana Luanda- Sem Processo

4.      José Salumo Samangia------------------Cond uege Lunda-Norte

5.      Modesto Timóteo----------------------- Conduege Lunda-Norte

6.      Dala Ramos------------------------- ---Conduege Lunda-Norte

7.      Daniel Léo Augusto----------------------Co nduege Lunda-Norte

8.      Augusto Mateus------------------------ Conduege Lunda-NOrte

9.      António Leão----------------------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

10.  Zeca Rodrigues--------------------- -----Conduege Lunda-Norte

11.  Juste Filipe------------------------ ------Conduege Lunda-Norte

12.  Calisto Muatunda---------------------- -Conduege Lunda-Norte

13.  Armando António Muagingo--------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

14.  Alexandre João---------------------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

15.  João Venáncio Samiondo-----------------Condue ge Lunda-Norte

16.  Bento Magimo------------------------ ---Conduege Lunda-Norte

17.  Castro Zacarias Nzua---------------------Cond uege Lunda-Norte

18.  Afonso Lucas------------------------- ---Conduege Lunda-Norte

19.  Marcos Julião Nguelengue----------------Condue ge Lunda-Norte

20.  Jaime Eduardo Muachimbau--------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

21.  Zeferino Rui Muagingo--------------------Cond uege Lunda-Norte

22.  Serafim Muaculungo---------------------- Conduege Lunda-Norte

23.  João Mateus------------------------ ----Conduege Lunda-Norte

24.  Muatxina Chamumbala-------------------Co nduege Lunda-Norte

25.  Canhanga Diango André------------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

26.  Tito Filimo------------------------ -------Conduege Lunda-Norte

27.  Sacana Mufungueno Manuel--------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

28.  Serafim Paulo------------------------- ---Conduege Lunda-Norte

29.  Gonga Cesár Manuel----------------------Co nduege Lunda-Norte

30.  Alberto Suca Calala-----------------------Conduege Lunda-Norte

31.  Tito Mateus Muanauta--------------------Co nduege Lunda-Norte

32.  Carlos Almeida----------------------- ---Conduege Lunda-Norte

33.  Mandevo Quifulo----------------------- -Conduege Lunda-Norte

34.  Domingos José---------------------------Conduege Lunda_norte

35.  Toni Geremias Sacazanga----------------Condu ege Lunda-Norte

36.  Sebastião Lumani----------------------- Conduege Lunda-Norte

37.  José Muteba------------------------ ----Conduege Lunda-Norte

38.  Afonso Luifi------------------------- ----Conduege Lunda-Norte

39.  Sergio Augusto-------------------------Conduege Lunda-Norte-Proc 3668-B/09

40.  António Silva Malembela----------------Cond uege Lunda-Norte


Don Muatxihina Chamumbala

Morte nas mãos do MPLA Primeiro Mártir do Povo Lunda Tchokwe

Don Muatxihina Chamumbala Prisioneiro do Regime Comunista do MPLA na Cadeia do Condueje, Lunda Norte

3 Outubro 2010

Morreu hoje dia 3 de Outubro de 2010, por volta das 20 horas no Hospital Provincial da Lunda – Norte, o membro do Manifesto e Filho da Lunda Tchokwe, por reivindicação da Autonomia Administrativa e Financeira do Antigo Estado da Lunda, nas mãos do Regime não eleito do MPLA.

O Primeiro Mártir na defesa do Povo Lunda Tchokwe estava indiciado no processo n.º 3450-B/2010. Estava detido há 18 meses desde Abril de 2009. No inicio deste ano ficou doente e nunca teve assistência medica, toda assistencia medica foi negada pelo Regime do MPLA. O seu estado de saúde inspirava cuidados, razão pela qual a AMNISTIA INTERNACIONAL, em Agosto 2010 pediu ao Regime Comunista do MPLA para que velasse pelo mesmo. Vários apelos neste sentido da Sociedade Civil sobre o mesmo, as autoridades nada quiseram.

No dia 12 de Outubro de 2010, o Primeiro Mártir na defesa do Povo Lunda Tchokwe seria julgado conjuntamento com o Dr Jota Filipe Malakito e demais 33 membros todavia presos ilegalmente pelo Regime não eleito do MPLA que durante 35 anos só há trazido mal estar e miséria ao Povo Lunda Tchokwe.

A CMJSPLT Rende desde já singela homenagem a este Herói e filho da Lunda Tchokwe…


Death in the Prisons of the unelected and corrupt Regime of the MPLA, the
First Martyr of the struggle of the Lunda Tchokwe People

Don Muatxihina Chamumbala Prisoner of the Communist MPLA Regime in the MPLA Prison of Condueje in Lunda North

3 October 2010

Don Muatxihina Chamumbala died on Monday 3 October 2010, around 20 hours in the Provincial Hospital of North Lunda, a member of the Manifesto and Son of the Lunda Tchokwe.

The first martyr to die in defence of the natural rights of the people of the Lunda Tchokwe. He was detained for 18 months since April 2009. Earlier this year became ill and was denied all forms of medical attention.

On 12 October 2010, the First Martyr in the defence of the Lunda Tchokwe people would be tried together with Dr Philip Malakito Jota and 33 other members of the Lunda Tchokwe Manifesto, however, illegally imprisoned by the unelected MPLA Regime which in its 35 years in power has only brought misery and death to the People of the Lunda.

The CMJSPLT Renders homage to this hero and son of Lunda Tchokwe People.

Follow up: On the 5th of October the MPLA unelected and Brutal Regime disposed of the Body of Don Muatxihina in a comun grave, not allowing the Family that where present to make a proper burrial.

O Ditador José Eduardo dos Santos e o seu Regime de Terror do MPLA

Cobardemente enterram o Primeiro Mártir da Lunda Tchokwe
sem consentimento da Família e tão pouco respeitou as normas e costumes africanos.

6 October 2010

Don Muatxihina Chamumbala Bonifacio, Primeiro Martir da Lunda Tchokwe tinha 56 anos de idade, era pai de 7 filhos e 19 netos morto pelo Regime Criminoso do Jose Eduardo dos Santos e a quadrilha de mMalandros do MPLA.
Ainda assim foi ontem (5 Outubro 2010) a enterrar no Dundo sem o consentimento da sua família, nem respeito as normas e os costumes Africanos.

A Família Muatxihina Chamumbala Bonifacio, Primeiro Martir da Lunda Tchokwe chegou pela noite as 23 horas, vindo do Município do Cuango, na localidade de Cafunfo sua zona natal e foi surpreendida com a notícia, segundo a qual o corpo do Muatxihina Chamumbala Bonifacio, Primeiro Martir da Lunda Tchokwe foi enterrado pela Policia do MPLA em Dundo na vala comum, como de um Bandido ou de um forasteiro desconhecido se tratasse.

Don Muatxihina, foi raptado no Cafunfo na operação caça as "Bruxas" do Manifesto do Protectorado da Lunda Tchokwe, no dia 4 de Abril de 2009 conjuntamente com outros 270 pessoas acusadas de estarem a fazerem manifestações de um partido desconhecido. Posteriormente havia sido inventada outra calunia, segundo a qual haviam rasgado Bandeiras do Regime Criminoso e não eleito do MPLA, acusações estúpidas como é costume dos partidos Marxistas Leninistas.

Na triagem feita no Cuango, ele ficou entre os 34 elementos enviados ao Dundo com o Processo N.º 3450 - B/2009, que seria julgado este dia 12 de Outubro de 2010.



Lundas – The stones of death Angola’s deadly diamonds: Human rights abuses in the Lunda 2004
Full Report in PDF

Rinsing the Blood from the MPLA Regime Diamonds Full Report in PDF

MPLA Regime: The New Blood Diamonds 2006 Full Report in PDF

Harvesting hunger in Angola's diamond fields 2008 Full report in PDF

Angola Diamonds and Human Security: Annual review 2009 Full Report in PDF


400 people have been murdered in the Lunda by the hands of the
MPLA Armed Forces

24 January 2011

It is estimated that more than 400 people have been murdered by the hands of the MPLA Armed Forces and the Private Security Firms owned by the MPLA Regime Generals the name of this High Ranking owned companies are:

Alfa5, Mamboji, Teleservice, K&P and a few others.

These people have disappeared and corpses being found in the mining exploration areas of Cuango, Cafunfo, Cacolo, Calonda and the Lundas during the year 2010.

Women in this areas apart form being killed are first sexually assaulted and systematically violated. The corpses found reveal that the preferred way of murder of this women is by a gun shot in their forehead, other corpses show the cause of death knife wounds. The female sex corpses recovered show the range of ages from adult to young child’s the death method was identical both in the adult females as in the young ones.

In the regions of Cuango, Cuilo and in Camaxilo bordering region with the DRC,
in the vicinity of an estimated 3,000 individuals have been expelled by the MPLA Regime Armed Forces, and among this specially the women suffered sexual violations by the MPLA Regime Armed Forces.

Body parts and bones have appeared and been found in advanced state of decomposition laying down in the forests floor.

In this areas there is no Rule of Law, the only Rule is the MPLA Regime Border Guards. This border guards are not from any tribe in Angola they are recruited by the MPLA Regime from the impoverished region of Mbuji-Mayi in the DRC.

Due to the total lack of infrastructures the difficulties in this regions there is no ONG of Human Rights, all information is gathered by the Sobas the Traditional Village Elders and the members of the Commission of the Legal and Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate

Mrs Napassa found murdered and with signs of having suffered violation in the month of May 2010


A young person found murdered in the month of June of 2010 no identity in the body was found


An epidemic of measles and cholera which is spreading in the regions of Cuango and Cafunfo
claimed the lives of 14 Children so far.

The local Traditional Village Elders and the civilian population have denounced the epidemic case of measles and cholera to the Commission of the Legal and Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate, hoping that this epidemic is tackles by the MPLA Regime.

Since November 2010 the epidemic of measles and cholera have claimed the lives of 14 children who are now dead in consequence.

There are no hospitals and medical centres in the region without basic conditions to operate or to function in such a capacity, there are no doctors in the region either which is claiming and accelerating the number of deaths of youngsters in the region, an ethnic cleanse tactic perhaps in the part of the MPLA Regime.

The population of the Lunda Tchokwe are well aware of the state of total abandonment that this diamond rich area is in a state of total lack of concern by the unelected MPLA Regime.

Denial of work in the entire extension of the Lunda region to the Lunda Tchokwe Native Population.

The Lunda region from Kuando Kubango, up to the north of the Lunda called Lunda-North, 95% of the active population with ages between 18 to 40 years old are unemployed, the MPLA unelected Regime has provided nor allowed any employment activities to arise. This young population has no way to gain a living even to a basic sustain.

The only way they find is the mining of diamonds. The MPLA Regime is establishing (so they claim 80 factories in the region of Viana) but in the Lundas there are no factories, for example. How are we the People from the Lunda Tchokwe able to make a living? The MPLA is a Communist Regime and nothing can be done privately or governmentally without the consent of the unelected MPLA Regime.

So why is the Armed Forces of the MPLA Regime killing the Diamond Prospectors of the Lunda Tchokwe? If there is no alternative for them to gain a livelihood. The diamond mines are owned by the Daughter of the MPLA Dictator Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the MPLA Generals are partners in De Beers board or directors and they also are partners in all and every diamond mining company operating in the Lunda region.

They cut and polish the Lunda Diamonds in Talatona, Luanda. And in the Lunda they avoid employing the Natives.

Also the environment who is looking in the consequence of what is happening to the region natural environment and the impact of such digging in the local ecosystem?

In 2010 the diamond mining company ITM expelled and removed 667 farmers from their agriculture land in Calonda 20 km south of the Municipality of Lukapa, this forced removal of the native population happened during the recent months of September, October and November 2010

The same diamond mining company ITM promised to each farmer a compensation of $50 USD per harvest. A total abuse and disrespect for a yearly harvest of $50 USD.

From the diamond mining company ITM web site we read:

“RST was the mining company of ITM International SA, responsible for most of Angola's diamond production between 1986 and 1992. The annual levels of production during this period, made Angola the world's 3rd largest producer of diamonds by value. The RST mining operations were centred around the Cuango river. “


Uprising in Angola targets Leviev diamond mining company


by Adalah-NY

Oct 16th, 2008

Though unreported in english media, portuguese-language reports from Angola document that a rebellion last week against diamond mining companies in the Cuango municipality in northeast Angola was repressed brutally by mining companies’ private security forces, police and military, resulting in at least one death and over 100 arrests. An Angolan human rights activist informed Adalah-NY that Luminas, a company owned partly by Lev Leviev and based near the town of Luremo in Cuango municipality, was one of mining companies targeted in the rebellion, though Luminas is not specifically named in the translated report below.

New York Magazine reported in 2007 that a security company contracted by Leviev “was accused… by a local human-rights monitor of participating in practices of ‘humiliation, whipping, torture, sexual abuse, and, in some cases, assassinations.’ Leviev’s formal response to the report did not directly address the abuses but touted his charitable activities in Angola.” (http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/31549/) Adalah-NY has been advocating a boycott of Leviev’s companies due to their construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in violation of international law, their human rights abuses in Angola and Namibia, and their destructive development practices in New York City.

A translation by Adalah-NY of a report from Angola on the rebellion is immediately below, followed by an additional report on the uprising, information on Leviev, Luminas and Cuango Municipality and links to other reports with background on human rights abuses in Angola’s diamond mining sector.

AngoNoticias - News of Angola in real time

Clash in Cuango Leaves One Dead - National Police Radio Ecclesia October 10, 2008 http://www.angonoticias.com/full_headlines_.php?id=21287

(Translation by Adalah-NY)

One dead and 120 detained, that is the National Police's tally, after attempts to contain a recent miners' uprising in the diamond-rich areas of Cuango in North Lunda province.

The incident occurred in the municipality of Cuango, in the northeast of North Lunda, according to the local police commander, Sub-Commisioner Estevao Delo, speaking to Radio Ecclesia.

According to him, everything began on October 3 after the expulsion of garimpeiros [unlicensed diamond miners] in the Luzamba area.

During the revolt, some members of the rebellion clashed with units from the ALFA-5 security company as well as with units from the police and military that had moved in to restore order.

The miners had also erected barricades, according to the Sub-Commissioner, who also pointed out the material damages of the uprising, including damaged military vehicles.

The officer also affirmed reports that the miners wore clothing associated with certain political parties. The officer did not go into detail at the time.

The confrontation resulted overall in one death and 120 arrests. The detained will be transferred from Kuango to Dundo for their court hearing.

Official Sources

The official sources in the area have argued that more people died than the number given by the police.

The president of the Social Renewal Party (PRS), Eduardo Kuangana, spoke of five deaths and more than 400 people detained. He denied that his party, which is influential in the region, had anything to do with the revolt. Kuangana attributed the origins of the uprising to the dominance of diamond mining companies in the area, as well as to their various abuses.

Kuangana demanded the country's president give attention to the situation to restore order.

According to Sapalo Mutayi, secretary-general for the Association of Social Development in Cuango (ADSC), speaking from their radio station, argued that the incident began from within the Society for Mining Development (SDM), which protects the security company, ALPHA 5.

ALPHA 5 agents had moved in against garimpeiros who refused to pay the percentage demanded by a regulator.

From Mutayi's point of view, "the problem in the diamond areas these days is this. The companies don't engage in initial exploration [of an area], but follow behind the garimpeiros and their product."

Untranslated article by Angolan political party on same events http://fpdangolaimprensa.blogspot.com/2008/10/nota-fpd-preocupada-com-notcias-de.html

Leviev’s ownership of Luminas, from Operation Kissonde, Rafael Marques, September, 2006 http://www.reports-and-materials.org/Operation-Kissonde-Rafael-Marques-Sep-2006.pdf

Angolan researcher Rafael Marques, reports that Lev Leviev owns a major stake in Luminas. Marques explains ownership of Luminas (Sociedade Miniera Luminas) in the following manner in Operation Kissonde: “According to the contract, signed on 31 October 2002, IDAS, the project backers, holds a 51% share of the capital, Endiama 38% and Twins Ltd, 11%... As a matter of fact, the third partner of the project, Nofar Mining B.V, is a private company created by the Lev Leviev Group and which holds the capital previously reserved for IDAS Resources, according to Endiama sources.”

Cuango Development Diagnostic and Feasibility Assessment, USAID, February 26, 2008 http://www.usaid.gov/ao/cuango_assnt_eng.pdf

Cuango municipality incorporates a geographic area in excess of 4,000 square kilometers in the province of Lunda Norte. There are three major towns in the municipality, located along the Cuango River Valley: Cuango Sede, Cafunfo, and Luremo. The town of Cuango Sede, the seat of the municipal administration, is estimated to have a population of approximately 24,000 persons, with Cafunfo estimated at 100,000 and Luremo at 16,800…

Luremo, the seat of Cuango Municipality’s only Comuna12 government, is located about 30 kilometers north of Cafunfo (80 kilometers north of Cuango Sede). There is little commercial activity in Luremo. A relatively new alluvial diamond mining operation, Luminas, is located a short distance from Luremo…

The two concessions of SDM and ITM (located immediately to the north of the SDM concession) occupy the Cuango River Valley between Cuango Sede and Cafunfo. With the third concession of Luminas, these diamond mining concessions dominate economic activities in Cuango Municipality. Their concession areas (3000 km2 each) occupy a vast proportion of the available land within the Cuango Municipality; thus, these are restricted areas, in keeping with the 1994 Act. This places restrictions on the movement of people, goods, and economic activity (see Annex 1 chapter 5), and the team saw checkpoints for restricting access to concession areas. However, public roads exist outside the concession areas and many residents are engaged in subsistence agriculture, with an unknown percentage of males engaged in small scale, illicit diamond mining.

Additional reports on human rights abuses in Angola’s diamond mining sector:

Rinsing the Blood from Angola’s Diamonds, Rafael Marques, January, 2007 http://198.170.85.29/Marques-lecture-Rinsing-Blood-from-Angola-Diamonds-26-Jan-2007.doc

The New Blood Diamonds, Rafael Marques, November, 2006 http://www.reports-and-materials.org/Marques-speech-Angola-The-New-Blood-Diamonds-28-Nov-2006.doc

Republic of Angola 2007: Diamond Industry Annual Review, Partnership Africa Canada http://www.pacweb.org/e/images/stories/documents/angola-ar2007-eng.pdf

Leviev and diamonds in Angola, Adalah-NY http://adalahny.org/index.php/boycott-against-land-developers-leviev?start=4

 

"I was beaten until I fainted. When I return to consciousness it was dark. The next day I crawled back." Testimonies from the mine in which Leviev is a partner.

11 December 2008

Shooting at residents, murderous beatings with digging spades, whipping, and being thrown into the mud. Tough testimonies from Angola describe the treatment of the area's poor by security personnel at the mine in which Leviev is a partner. Associates deny this: "those were not our people." Leviev's spokesperson: "The group created a revolution in the diamond industry in Africa in general and in Angola in particular. We have widespread social and philanthropic programs there."

Globes (Israel’s Business Arena)
(Article translated from Hebrew for Adalah-NY by Rann Bar-on)
Itai Rom - Dec 4 2008 http://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1000403834&fid=2&nagish=1

Deloy Mpemba lives in Luremo, in Northern Angola. Nearby is mine operated by a company named Luminas - a partnership between Leviev, the Angola National Diamond Industry and a local retired general - a large mine. Leviev, according to his associates, owns 40%. Locals, who search for diamonds to avoid starvation are designated 'pirate miners'. They are easy prey for Luminas' security company.

On May 17, Mpemba was coming back home with some friends at the end of a day of searching. At a certain stage the group encountered a armed group of security guards hired by K&P Mineira, a private company hired to secure the mine.

"They beat me until my buttocks were swollen and I passed out," testified Mpemba, who required crutches after the incident. "When I came back to consciousness it was dark and I couldn't walk. I stayed in the place I fell until the next day. I crawled back to the neighborhood."

This testimony was published in a report a short while after the incident, in mid-2006 by Rafael Marques, an Angolan human-rights activist, who was been given many international prizes. Next to it in the report, titled 'Diamonds of Humiliation and Misery', are dozens of additional testimonies about abuse and human-right violations committed by the security personnel hired by the mine (as well as by companies serving other corporations).

The testimonies display a dark picture, far as can be from the gala dinners of the diamond mine owners: arbitrary shootings, beatings with rifle butts and digging tools, whippings with belts, violence to children, humiliation ceremonies that include forcing miners to strip, and sometimes to sing and dance naked - are a common occurrence, and that's only a partial list. The companies' activities have, according to Marques' report, a "deep sadistic streak."

The report raised attention around the world, but in Israel it was not even published. Even those interested find it hard to gather data on the events. Angolan journalists have been jailed after publishing critical reports, and local activists to whom Globes turned completely refused to talk on the whole, since "it isn't secure." Marques, who agreed to be interviewed, said that since the publication of his report "the incidents of arbitrary violence have decreased in number, but the problems with the illegal miners continue. I have information about new cases of people who have been killed and of people abused."

"It's very dirty business in Angola," he added this week. "There is no such thing as being clean in the diamond business there, and there is nothing ethical in it. Only those able to swim in mud succeed in this industry"

This is How it Looks in Angola

Today the diamond mines in Angola are controlled by foreign corporations- from Russia, Brazil, South Africa and also from Israel - with the help of the security companies whose tactics have been described above. "A milestone in negligence and lawlessness," Marques says in his report. He adds that the diamonds, that could be a blessing for the area, have turned, from the residents' point of view, into a "curse that is destroying their lives."

The corporations' activities are in partnership with the government, and billions of dollars flow into the latter's purse. Surprisingly, though, the area - that is so rich in resources - remains poor even by Angolan standards. More than a tenth of the children die before the age of five due to lack of health services; most of the villages have no schools; running water is rare resource.

The great poverty is also reflected in some of the cases of abuse documented by Marques. For example, in the story of Antonio Eliseu,14. The teenager looked for diamonds in the river with a friend, until K&P's security men arrived. "The ordered us to come out of the water, and one of them slapped by face," testified Eliseu. When his words failed to find favor with the security personnel they continued to beat him, and when his friend tried to intervene, he was shot and began to bleed into the river. "The security man," said Eliseu, "asked me how come a child is already mining diamonds. I told him I have no way of paying for my education since my father does not work and there is no work in town."

Even when the miners find diamonds that will be worth a fortune in the West, it is doubtful whether they get adequate compensation for them, and this is where Leviev enters the picture. Since 1999 the Israeli tycoon has been in partnership with the Angolan government in a company called Ascorp (Angola Selling Corporation): until 2003 the company held the exclusive rights to purchase unprocessed diamonds from pirate miners, and since then it operates alongside a second company. According to past publications, Leviev holds 49% of the company. His people deny this, saying that his ownership stake is smaller, but refuse to say what it actually is.

Where do the Diamonds Come From? Good Question

The lack of documentation referred to by Marques is just one part of the long list of problems in the management of the buying houses - problems that contradict the Kimberley Treaty that the diamond bosses, Leviev among them, love to gloat about. "Leviev was Angola's chief consultant during the Kimberly process," say his associates, "and Angola is among the leaders in implementing the process."

Really? While the central part of the process is the implementation of means of control and monitoring that will verify where each and every diamond comes from and who profits from its sale, the purchasing houses in which Ascorp buys it diamonds do not ask the seller for details, do not inquire as to the origin on the diamonds, and do not document the transactions. The payment, by the way, takes place in 'black' - without receipts or documentation.

And who in Angola grants the certification that these are not blood diamonds? Sodiam, the governmental corporation that is Leviev's partner in Ascorp, that of course has an interest in certifying as many diamonds as possible for sale.

Some of these unprocessed diamonds have reached Israel in the past few years. When Leviev received the license for world-wide distribution of Angolan diamonds, the response in the markets in Ramat Gan has highly satisfied, since now unprocessed diamonds could come directly to Israel and skip all the middlemen. In July 2004, 'Sodiam International' was incorporated - another partnership between Leviev and the Angolan government. The new company sells Angola's diamonds on the world market.

The company, whose founding ceremony was attended by the minister of finance Benjamin Netanyahu, was registered in Israel. Its offices are on Betzal'el Street in the Ramat Gan diamond market. The company states that none of its diamonds are blood diamonds, and when the Ministry of Trade sees the Angolan stamp, it adds its own as well.

But do the representatives of the Ministry of Trade really know whose pockets were lined with money due to those diamonds? Not really. The PAC [Partnership Africa Canada] report from about a year ago states: "The origin of the stones, and the deals and businessmen through whom they passed before arriving at the purchasing houses - remain a mystery [...] The system is clearly sufficiently loose to allow a huge quantity of blood diamonds to get through, if disputes were occurring in nearby areas [...] If a new conflict breaks out, the Angolan system will be wide open for exploitation [...] There is nothing in the system that will prevent widespread laundering of unprocessed diamonds from war-torn areas of Angola or elsewhere, in case a new war breaks out." In a report published a month ago the organization states that nothing has changed.

The warnings are not theoretical: in adjacent Congo a brutal civil war has been raging for years and has cost the lives of millions. In January, a peace agreement was signed between the rebels and the government and a ceasefire was declared. However, the battles have recently resumed, including massacres and brutal rapes. "If the situation in Congo worsens and it becomes impossible to export diamonds from the country," says Blor, "they will easily get to Angola and from there outwards. The diamond companies are talking about how much they have done so that the Kimberly process would work, and the governments always say how proud they are of the process. But when the civil organizations point out that they really have no idea where the diamonds come from, and that the system is broken, they just ignore their words completely."

"The Kimberly process in Angola is a farce," adds Marques, "it does not assist in defining which are truly clean diamonds and which are dirty. The only people who really profit from the Kimberly process are Leviev and Morris Templesman [another diamond man who purchases unprocessed diamonds] who use it for their own purposes and who get a cover for exploiting workers from the Kimberly process."

Associated of Leviev agree that they in fact have no idea where the diamonds that Ascorp purchases from the unlicensed miners come from. "We don't have much to say regarding this claim," they say, "not everything is rosy."

- They could be diamonds that originate in the Congo, for example.

"It is true that it is possible that diamonds are passed on from Congo. What happens in the field today is that smuggling takes place the other way. Anyway, the buyer knows what is a diamond from Congo and what is a diamond from Angola."

- And you can promise that the buyer will not buy a diamond if it appears that it came from Congo?

"Not everything is rosy."

Associates of Leviev Respond: "We Created a Revolution in Angola"

On the cases of abuse: Initially, associates of the private Leviev group (that is not associated with Africa-Israel) claimed that the report did not include any cases attributed to their security company and said that "we respect the report. We do not take it lightly. Send us the report and we will check." A few days after Globes sent the report the same associated stated that "The incidents were investigated and were found to never have occurred. The incidents were not committed by the security company. If they did happen, perhaps they were carried out by Angolan security forces."

On the claims that transactions take place without documentation and in cash:"The state runs the business. We do not know who the purchasers are and do not pay those responsible. The state produces the certificates that enable trade in diamonds. The group does not intervene in day-to-day management. From checks that we ran, we see that only those certified carry out transactions, according to the regulations."

The group's spokesman wished to add that the group "created a revolution in the African diamond industry in general and specifically in Angola. While in the past the industry only exported the diamonds, the group now cooperates with governments by raising entire industries dedicated to the processing of diamonds, including training local workers and the creation of thousands of jobs. This socioeconomic revolution is of great added value."

The associated also said that the group carries out extensive social and philanthropic activities, however they did not respond to Globe's request to give exact specification of these activities: "getting into accounting for a million here or a million there is not the point," they said.

 

The 'Blood Diamond' Resurfaces

By MICHAEL ALLEN

19 JUNE 2010

CAFUNFO, Angola—On paper, Angola is a poster child for the global effort to keep "blood diamonds" out of the world's jewelry stores.

International pressure helped end a vicious civil war a decade ago by strangling the ability of rebels to trade diamonds for weapons. Angola is now a leading member of the so-called Kimberley Process, an industry-wide effort to prevent commerce in rough diamonds by insurgent groups. Today, Angola is the world's fifth-largest diamond producer by value, and its gems are coveted for their size and purity.

But a visit to Angola's diamond heartland reveals that plenty of blood still spills over those precious stones. Here in the sprawling jungle of northeast Angola, a violent economy prevails in which thousands of peasant miners eke out a living searching for diamonds with shovels and sieves. Because they lack government permits, miners and their families say they are routinely beaten and shaken down for bribes by soldiers and private security guards—and, in extreme cases, killed.

This sort of violence, which has made headlines in nearby Zimbabwe, is threatening to tear the Kimberley Process apart. Diamond retailers can ill afford more bad publicity about tainted stones. But many of Africa's diamond-producing nations are wary about any effort to beef up the industry's policing of human rights.

Around Angola's mines, tales of confrontation abound. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Linda Moisés da Rosa, 55 years old, denounced the killings of her two sons, both diamond miners. In September, she said, Angolan soldiers descended on a large mine near here to chase away diggers. When some refused to leave, she said, the soldiers caved in the mine, burying alive around 45 men, including her son Pereira Eduardo Antonio, 21. "These kids were stubborn," she said, adding that the soldiers said that the killings "should serve as a lesson to anyone who wants to come dig here again."

In February, she said, her oldest son, 33-year-old Tito Eduardo, the family's sole breadwinner, got into a dispute with private security guards at another mining site. She said the guards had agreed to let local diggers sift gravel for diamonds in exchange for around $30 a day. They accused her son of failing to pay the bribe, and when he argued back, she said, "they killed him with a machete."

Military officials didn't respond to requests for comment. Angola's secretary of state for human rights, António Bento Bembe, blames his nation's long civil war for creating a climate of abuse. "I know lots of these cases happen, and I know of many other cases you haven't heard of yet," he said in an interview in Luanda, Angola's capital. "It is urgent to cultivate a culture of human rights."

The issue has plunged the Kimberley Process into the worst crisis in its brief history. Born at a time of great bloodshed on the African continent, the 75-nation Kimberley Process was initially lauded for its commitment to human rights. Rebel movements had seized control of diamond regions in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo and used the gems to finance marauding guerrilla armies. Facing a public-relations nightmare, world diamond companies agreed to buy rough stones only if they are certified by internationally recognized governments. The Kimberley Process says well over 99% of the world's rough-diamond trade is now "conflict-free."

But critics say there's a big loophole in that definition: It doesn't take into account human-rights abuses in diamond territory controlled by governments themselves. "The Kimberley Process cut the financial lifeline of rebels, but at the same time it gave legitimacy to corrupt governments that abuse their own people," says Rafael Marques, a human-rights activist who has worked extensively in northeastern Angola.

Much of the recent controversy is focused on Zimbabwe, where the group Human Rights Watch last year reported that government soldiers massacred over 200 people in a fight to control diamond fields in the east of the country, raped local women and press-ganged peasants into mining work. The Kimberley Process temporarily suspended exports from the area on the grounds that the turmoil was allowing undocumented stones to be smuggled into the world market. Last month, a monitor installed by the Kimberley Process recommended that the ban be lifted, kicking off a fierce debate. A Kimberley Process committee has been deliberating the recommendation and the issue will be taken up in a meeting of the entire group in Tel Aviv starting Monday.

Global Witness, a human-rights organization that helped conceive the Kimberley Process, called for Zimbabwe to be suspended from the group. "Thanks to the impunity and violence in Zimbabwe, blood diamonds are back on the international market," said Elly Harrowell, a Global Witness activist.

Jewelers are starting to worry that the bad publicity could spook consumers. Matthew Runci, chief executive of Jewelers of America, a trade group which represents jewelry chains from Tiffany & Co. to Zale Corp., says the Kimberley Process should either figure out a way to incorporate human-rights monitoring into its oversight of member countries or invite an outside organization to do it for them. "It's essential that the public's confidence in diamonds be maintained at a high level," he says. Once a diamond has been cut and polished, it's virtually impossible for the consumer to tell its country of origin.

Cecilia Gardner, a former New York federal prosecutor who serves as the general counsel of the World Diamond Council, says the Kimberley Process is a voluntary organization and isn't equipped to enforce human-rights compliance. "We don't have an army, we don't have a police force," she says.

In Angola, which far overshadows Zimbabwe in importance to the jewelry market, the Kimberley Process appears to have little appetite for human-rights issues. Last August, when a Kimberley Process peer-review team arrived to check the country's compliance procedures, Angolan forces were just mopping up a major operation to expel some 30,000 illegal Congolese miners from Angolan territory near here. According to a U.S. State Department report citing local media and nongovernmental organizations, military and police "arbitrarily beat and raped detainees" and forced them to march to the border without food or water. The government has denied committing abuses and says the army was merely securing the nation's borders.

A confidential Kimberley Process report on the review visit makes no mention of alleged human-rights abuses, although it criticizes Angola for failing to present a plan to better document the output of peasant mining. The group spent just two days in Lunda Norte, an area near the Congo border that has become a flashpoint for clashes between diggers and security forces. According to a draft of the internal report, the delegation intended to visit the site of a large illegal mining operation but was thwarted by "a last-minute decision to participate in a graduation ceremony for new border patrol security officers." As the team was preparing to depart, the chairman of the Kimberley Process at the time, Namibian politician Bernhard Esau, pronounced the visit a success and brushed off questions about alleged abuses of peasant miners. "The Kimberley Process is not a human-rights organization," he told reporters.

The roots of Angola's current blood-diamond problems have much to do with geology. Unlike in Botswana and South Africa, where multinational corporations use heavy machinery to extract diamonds out of deep shafts, much of Angola's diamond reserves are alluvial, meaning the stones have been washed out of the earth and scattered across the countryside. They're available to anyone with a shovel and wood-framed sieve, and are difficult for mining companies to secure. More than a million people world-wide earn a living from artisanal mining in alluvial fields, including tens of thousands in Angola alone.

Angola's artisanal miners, known in Portuguese as garimpeiros, played a pivotal role in the country's civil war, which lasted for 27 years and left at least a half-million people dead. U.S.-backed troops of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or UNITA, fighting to depose a Soviet-supported socialist government, controlled much of the country's diamond territory. To fund their war effort, they enlisted peasant diggers from here as well as neighboring Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

While UNITA forces committed plenty of atrocities, some people here in Cafunfo say they generally treated garimpeiros fairly. They allowed diggers to keep a percentage of the diamonds they found and established an immigration policy to bring in Congolese workers on 30-day permits, says Enoque Jeremias, a local human-rights investigator. "It was a fair system," he adds.

The war's end led to a surge in diamond production, as large mining companies dusted off old claims and launched new operations. Among the players are Odebrecht SA of Brazil, Russia's state-owned Alrosa; and a company controlled by Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev, all of which operate in joint ventures with the government diamond company Endiama.

But the garimpeiros were hardly prepared to put away their shovels. There's little agriculture here and almost no jobs outside of the mining sector. Plus, vast parts of the countryside haven't even been explored yet, much less mined. The peasants proved adept at finding diamond deposits that the big companies missed, and this so-called informal production continued to account for more than one-quarter of the country's diamond exports, according to the Partnership Africa Canada, an Ottawa-based nongovernmental agency that deals with mining issues.

To soak up those diamonds, Angola authorized foreign-run buying operations to be established in the bush. U.S. diamond giant Lazare Kaplan International Inc. became a fixture in the area, signing a technical agreement with the government to set up buying houses. Lazare Kaplan says it let the agreement expire in 2008, when world diamond prices collapsed, and is now winding down operations in Angola. Lazare Kaplan Chairman Maurice Tempelsman, the late-life companion of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, says the company was trying to bring development to the area and help strengthen Angola's Kimberley Process controls. "I am strongly committed to the protection of human rights," Mr. Tempelsman says, adding: "I believe in this imperfect world, involvement in trying to bring about constructive change is the best course."

Lazare Kaplan's withdrawal has left a wide-open field for other buyers, including a company controlled by Israel's Mr. Leviev, as well as a flood of newcomers from West Africa and the Middle East. Their storefronts line the muddy streets of Cafunfo, trying to outdo each other with mirror-signed bling.

For Ahmad Mouein, a Lebanese buyer who bills himself as "Boss Mouein," it's a great business opportunity despite the recession in the diamond market. "Sometimes a digger here can sell you a $500,000 stone for $5,000, $10,000," he marvels. He says the Kimberley Process hasn't succeeded in its primary mission of halting smuggling. "Kimberley or not Kimberley, my friend, for the diamond, you can do what you want."

By many accounts, the presence of these buying houses has only fanned the violence by encouraging more peasants to get into the mining business at the same time that government security forces have been tasked with stopping them.

At one such illegal mine, an hour's motorcycle ride over trails outside of Cafunfo, a Dantesque scene unfolds. Perhaps 500 young men are clambering over a vast pit dug deep into the red earth. They've been at it for a year now, and figure they have months to go until they hit a vein of gravel they believe will contain diamonds. Their tools are rudimentary—pikes and shovels—and the work is backbreaking, alleviated only by the homegrown marijuana many smoke and the small sachets of alcohol that can be had everywhere for a dollar.

They live on the site in homemade tents and work in shifts. To support themselves, they say, they make agreements with buyers, especially the West Africans, to split the take.

Caxaculo Milonga, 44, says he's on the hook with a man he knows as Boss Ibrahim from Senegal. Although Boss Ibrahim paid medical expenses when a run-in with police and soldiers sent him to the hospital, Mr. Milonga complains that the deal is unfair because he has to give Boss Ibrahim 50% of all production, then sell the rest to him at a rock-bottom price. "We work like slaves and they're cheating us," he says. "You can't argue or he'll call the police." Another garimpeiro says his sponsor at one time was a police investigator in Cafunfo, making any negotiation pointless.

Concerns about security forces are never far away. Last year, as part of the latest effort to expel Congolese diggers, the Angolan army moved into the area in force. In recent months patrols have paid a visit to the mine, harassing miners and slapping them with the flat side of their machetes, the miners say. The diggers worry that the army is just waiting until they hit gravel so they can move in and take the diamonds for themselves.

Near another illegal mining site, peasants described a similar scenario. In December, an army patrol swept through the village of Bundo in search of mining tools, says Cazanguia Andre, the 60-year-old deputy chief of the village. He says he ran into them on the way back from tilling his field, and they accused him of being a garimpeiro. They then hit him twice in the head with a rifle butt and struck him with a pole, he adds, breaking his arm. Later, after they discovered shovels at the local church, which Mr. Andre says were being used for construction, they arrested three people.

A lieutenant at a nearby temporary army encampment declined to be interviewed but said his squad hasn't committed any abuses of the local population and isn't involved in any mining activities.

Back in Bundo, four garimpeiros give a different story. They say when soldiers swept through they discovered the garimpeiros working with a water pump in a pit. The soldiers confiscated the pump. Then a negotiation ensued, says one garimpeiro, and the soldiers agreed to give back the pump in exchange for $54—as well as a split of the action. "When we hit the gravel, the soldiers will be present to get their share," he says.

Write to Michael Allen at mike.allen@wsj.com

Operation Kissonde: the diamonds of humiliation and misery

Index:

Goals of the Report
Expected Outcomes
1 Executive Summary
2 The Government
3 The National Police
3.1 Improvements
3.2 Comparison
3.3 Conversations, Promises and Reality
3.4 The Bridge of Discord
3.5 The Subsidiaries of the National Police
3.6 Ping-pong
4 The Angolan Armed Forces
5 Sodiam and Ascorp: the head and tail of garimpo
5.1 Sodiam Sarl
5.2 Sodiam International
5.3 Ascorp and the Law of the Powerful
6 The Exploiter
6.1 Endiama
6.2 Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro
6.3 Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (SMC)
6.4 Sociedade Mineira Luminas
7 The Agents of the New Order: systematic practices of sadism and cruelty
7.1 Alfa–5
7.1.1 Brief Annotation on Alfa–5
7.1.2 Description of Violations in 2006
7.1.3 Description of Violations in 2005
7.1.4 The Response from the General Manager of Alfa-5
7.2 K&P Mineira
7.2.1 Brief Annotation on K&P Mineira
7.2.2 Description of violations in 2006
7.2.3 Description of Violations in 2005
7.2.4 The Response from the General Manager of K&P Mineira
7.3 Teleservice
7.3.1 Brief Annotation of Teleservice
7.3.2 Description of Violations in 2006
7.3.3 The Response from the General Manager of Teleservice
8 Conclusions
8.1 The Strategy and the Resignation of the Government
8.2 Carte Blanche to Demonstrate Power and to Humiliate
9 Annexes
9.1 The Tale of a Brave Woman
9.2 Justice
9.3 Odebrecht and the Angolan Rulers: the samba of promiscuity

Goals of the Report

Defend humans rights in an unequivocal and uncompromising fashion.
Give the victims a voice.
Break away from the culture of fear and impunity.
Denounce the maintenance of blood diamonds, in Angola, by other methods and other protagonists, with tragic human and social consequences.
Promote citizenship and a sense of justice

Expected Outcomes

Discussion, in the National Assembly, of the Diamonds Law, currently used to justify the pillaging and violence, so as to transform it into a legal instrument of protection, also protection of the interests of the local population.
Putting an end to practices of sadism, cruelty and humiliation by private security companies and mining operators against the people of Cuango.
Raising of national and international public opinion awareness on the neo-colonialist conduct of the diamond industry in Angola.
Adoption, by the government, of specific and public measures, for respect and protection of human life, in the diamond bearing areas.
Broader public discussions for the diversification of the singular economy centered on diamonds, so as to promote the creation of employment, for social and political stability of the area.

Executive Summary

"Angola is a foreign country to us.
We, Angolans, are treated worse than animals"
José Bartolomeu, miner

This report is a follow-up to Lundas: The Stones of Death[1] (2005). It looks at the tragic impact that diamond extraction has on the lives of local populations, the institutional incentives to permanently violate human rights, the privatisation of violence, and the unchecked plundering of these resources.

Due to financial and logistical limitations, this work only covers the hydrographic basin of the Cuango, in other words, Cuango municipality. The first report covered a wider area, both northeastern provinces of Lunda-Norte and Lunda-Sul, of almost 200,000km2 with over a million inhabitants.

Cuango has a surface area of 6,818.8km2 and is situated in the south-west of Lunda-Norte province. According to official estimates, it has a population of 140,000 inhabitants. This region is notorious for illegal immigration, in the tens of thousands, because of the garimpo[2] and the resulting commerce.

As a traditional area for diamond extraction, Cuango is home to three major diamond-mining enterprises: the Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (SDM), which has its headquarters in the administrative capital of Cuango; the Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (SMC), at Cafunfo; and the Sociedade Mineira Luminas, in the commune of Luremo. These three diamond companies use the security firms Alfa-5, Teleservice, and K&P Mineira, respectively, to guard their operations.

Upon the end of 'Operação Brilhante'[3], in February 2005, these private security firms assumed complete responsibility for combating all clandestine prospecting throughout the Cuango region.

In practical terms, the entire region of Cuango, with the exception of the administrative zones of the state and a few highly populated areas, can be considered a restricted[4] and protected[5] zone, according to Law nº16/94 of 7 October, which established the 'Special Regime of the Diamond-Mining Reserves Zones'. This 'regime' is also known as the Diamonds Law.

Moreover, in the restricted and protected zones, in accordance with article 20 nº1 of the Diamonds Law, "any type of economic activity [:] is prohibited, whatever its nature, whether industrial, commercial, agricultural, or other [:]".

In effect, the Government has divided Cuango into three slices and handed them to the three companies namely SDM, SMC and Luminas. In this manner, Alfa-5 hired by SDM, controls the Cuango's administrative town, with the same name; Luminas hands over the control of Luremo to K&P Mineira; and Teleservice, under SMC contract, oversees the Cafunfo sector. Thus, the security control exercised by these companies extends throughout the whole territory. The methods used epitomise the systematic violation of human rights in the name of the law and the authority granted by the state.

These violations have a profoundly sadistic aspect given that, in general, the behaviour of the guards of the three companies includes beating their victims on the buttocks, undressing them and making them circulate naked or semi-naked in public, as well as other rituals of humiliation. They use, as distinct instruments of torture, shovels, or the handles of shovels, clubs and machetes. In the particular case of Alfa-5, various cases have been documented in which the victims are forced to carry out homosexual acts. In one particular case, a son-in-law was forced to violate his father-in-law.

Forced labour at the installations and the working areas of the aforementioned diamond extraction companies has become a routine part of life for the garimpeiros. It is used as a form of punishment which is administered by these companies.

Similarly, K&P Mineira has a dual role in providing services to Luminas as well as Sodiam/LKI and Ascorp. On the one hand, it uses arbitrary methods, including violence, to expel the garimpeiros from the Luminas concession. On the other hand, it protects and accompanies Sodiam/LKI and Ascorp in the management and patronage of the garimpeiros.

Although the Diamonds Law safeguards the practice of artisanal diamond mining, in other words, legal garimpo (Chapter III of the Law, nº16/94), for part of the local population, the Government prefers to keep them in a situation of permanent illegality.

Any agricultural or commercial activity in the region, like the rest of the Lundas, requires the direct authorisation of the Provincial Governor. It is well known that among the local population, there is not a single artisanal exploration licence, or a licence for the practice of subsistence agriculture. In this way, the Government stops these people from surviving without resorting to illegal methods.

The consequences are tragic. For example, on 20 April 2006, guards from K&P Mineira stopped Franciso Pinto from fishing in the River Lumonhe, on the basis that the river and the fish in it are also part of the SMC concession. They beat him until he lost consciousness. Óscar Neves was hit in the eye with the butt of a rifle and was whipped by Teleservice for taking care of his personal hygiene by bathing in the River Cuango. Like all the other villagers, Neves used the river to wash because of the lack of piped water in the region. However, according to Teleservice, the river "is part of the concession".

The law on Private Security Firms (Law nº19/92 of 31 July) prohibits, in article 4, paragraph a) private security activities involving "criminal investigation of any type".The nº2, article 4 of Law nº19/92, prohibits "activities by private security firms that come into conflict with the performance of the proper functions of the security forces and security services and the civil protection of the State".

These companies do not observe the special obligations, according to paragraph a) of article 15 of the same law, to "give immediate knowledge to the judicial authorities or the police of any public crime of which they have knowledge in the exercise of their functions or that is clearly being committed".

Moreover, paragraph b) of article 15 of the above-mentioned law, prohibits "personal performance that could be mistaken by the public for elements of the armed forces or the security services and the state's civil protection services".

So, the documented cases show clearly a total disrespect for the law. These businesses behave, without precedent, in an arbitrary way in detaining, interrogating and torturing citizens, as well as patrolling public roads and neighbourhoods with men in uniform who are armed for combat situations.

Despite their effective public relations propaganda, the diamond companies do nothing to reduce the misery of the local populations in the area.

Without work or other alternatives, the local people become exclusively dependent on garimpo. They are easy prey in the politics of the fight against garimpo. Such a situation is devastating the populations slowly, with the silent and silently, in complicity of international powerhouses and institutions more concerned with lucrative contracts or in getting cozy with the regime.

The Cuango region has the peculiarity of being under the effective control, from a military point of view, of the private security forces. This precedent represents, therefore, another type of threat to the institution of a true rule of law and a democratic Angola.

Moreover, the subordination of the local administration, police authorities and the military to the aims of the businesses which operate in the region, in the face of the negligence of the concessionary, Endiama, acts as a cover for senior figures of the regime who are only looking out for their own particular interests.

Thus, the privileged access to riches remains subject to the duality of violence and corruption. The maintenance of unchecked power by a few individuals, in the country, strives on such logic, in detriment of transparency and true democracy. So, it is time for the government to break from a political strategy dependent on violence and corruption, even if both are privatized.

[1] Marques, Rafael and Rui Falcão de Campos (2005), Lundas: The Stones of Death is available online at www.wilsoncenter.org/events/docs/ADDMarq.pdf

[2] Garimpo is clandestine diamond extraction. A garimpeiro is an unauthorised diamond prospector or miner.

[3] Operação Brilhante (Operation Shining) was a joint operation between the police forces and the military in order to combat clandestine mining and the illegal entry of foreigners into Angola. It began towards the end of 2003. This operation covered the provinces of Lunda-Norte, Lunda-Sul, Malanje and Bié, and, according to data provided by the Ministry of Interior, resulted in the expulsion of 256,417 foreigners who were in the country illegally.

[4] Article 17, no1 of the Diamonds Law stipulates that access to restricted zones is prohibited apart from those people who are legally involved in diamond production. The exception applies only to government officials and people and employers who are there in an official capacity. The government does permit concessionaires, in article 18 no1, the freedom to regulate the circulation of people in their concessions.

[5] In the same way, point 1in article 19 of the Diamonds Law prohibits the circulation of goods in the restricted zones "without the authorisation of the concessionaire", whereas point 2 of the same article permits such circulation with a written authorization by the concessionaire. The report Lundas: The Stones of Death presents a legal analysis of the Diamonds Law and its perverse impact on the local populations. See www.wilsoncenter.org/events/docs/ADDMarq.pdf

The full text of the Diamonds Law can be viewed at www.endiama.co.ao/pdfs/Lei16_94.pdf


 

 
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