Saturday, June 13, 2015

Moving In For the Krill: China Promises All-Out Arctic Ocean Food Chain Assault

Beware: China announces plan to seven-fold increase Antarctic krill catches

by MercoPress

Conservation groups and scientists worry that China’s push to boost its harvest of krill -- a shrimp-like creature used for aquaculture feed and human supplements -- may leave Antarctica’s whales, seals and penguins struggling to survive. China’s leaders say they want a seven-fold increase in krill production, according to a recent report in the state-owned China Daily newspaper.

“We will increase our investment in the Antarctic area in terms of krill fishing,” said Liu Shenli, from China National Agricultural Development Group

China is one of several nations, including Norway, Korea and Chile, harvesting krill with massive factory ships dragging miles-long trawl nets through the productive cold waters of the Southern Ocean. The krill is quickly frozen and into processed into pellets for aquaculture and livestock operations, fish bait, and high-value “nutraceuticals” such as omega-3 dietary supplements.

That sharing may be tough for the animals that rely on krill as their main source of food. When penguins and other animals breed, they can only travel so far while raising their young. That’s especially true around the Antarctic Peninsula, which happens to be a hotspot for both krill and the larger creatures that eat it.

“We will increase our investment in the Antarctic area in terms of krill fishing,“ said Liu Shenli, chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

“Krill provides very good quality protein that can be processed into food and medicine. The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share.”

“The issue isn’t so much the size of the entire (krill) population, but where they are taking it,” said Claire Christian, a spokeswoman for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group.

“Some of these larger ships could deplete all the krill in a local area. That would create problems.”

Fishing around Antarctica is governed by the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, (CCAMLR), a Hobart-Australia-based treaty organization. China is a signatory to the treaty.

While the current 4.2 million metric ton catch limit for Antarctic krill is much higher than the amount currently harvested, the problem is that the science behind the krill population estimates may be outdated.

George Watters, a fisheries scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Marine Fisheries Center in La Jolla, Calif., says the surveys that resulted in the limit were conducted more than 15 years ago. Watters says that new studies are needed to get a better picture of how abundant krill is today, especially around the Antarctica Peninsula.

The water and air temperature around the peninsula has warmed faster than any other place on Earth, leading to concerns about populations of several penguin species, whales and other marine mammals. Krill forms the base of the food chain, and may be at risk as well, explained Watters.

“Climate change is a major force in that region, and is creating big changes in the (Antarctic Peninsula) ecosystem,” Watters said.

“A legitimate concern is to how productive will the krill stock be in the future. There are papers to suggest it will be less productive. That’s a reason why there is an effort to change the catch limit for krill so it is updated more regularly.”

Since the ocean around Antarctica is considered international waters, enforcement of fisheries rules relies on self-reporting by countries that sign the CCAMLR treaty. That could make China’s new effort harder to monitor at sea, especially since it has eight 5,000 to 7,000 metric ton factory krill trawling ships, more than any other nation. (FIS)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Who's Counting? US Police Kill Rate Tops 500 Per Annum

Police killed over 500 people in the US this year

by Tom Hall and Andre Damon - WSWS

12 June 2015

The number of people killed by police so far this year topped 500 this week as the nationwide epidemic of police violence continued, with cops killing 20 people over the past seven days alone.

The US media largely has ignored the 500-victim milestone, with headlines this week dominated by the attempt to whip up law-and-order hysteria around the massive manhunt to recapture two inmates who recently escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

The 500th fatality of the year, according to one database of police killings, occurred Monday night when members of the Maricopa County SWAT team gunned down 69-year-old Richard Warolf, a suicidal man, during a courtesy call requested by his family in Sun City, a suburb of Phoenix.

The following night, a police officer in Des Moines, Iowa shot and killed unarmed 28-year-old Ryan Bollinger through the window of her squad car after a two-minute low-speed chase.

The nine other people killed by police since Monday include: Matthew Wayne McDaniel, a 35-year-old from Florida; Rene Garcia, a 30-year-old California man killed during a traffic stop; Mario Ocasio, a 51-year-old from New York City, killed by a Taser; Jeremy John Linhart, 30 years old from Ohio, also killed during a traffic stop; Ross Anthony, 25, from Dallas, killed by a Taser; an unknown suicidal 45-year-old male from the Houston area; QuanDavier Hicks, 22, from Cincinnati; Isiah Hampton, 19, from New York City; an unknown homeless man from Miami, shot five times by an officer, and Charles Allen Ziegler, 40, from Pompano Beach, Florida.

The judicial system, meanwhile, continues to shield killer cops from prosecution. On Thursday, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty dismissed an advisory ruling from a local judge that found that the police involved in the shooting of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio last year could be charged with a crime.

Cleveland Judge Ronald Adrine, in ruling under a rarely used Ohio law, determined that probable cause existed to charge officer Timothy Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback with murder and negligent homicide for shooting Rice while he was playing with a toy gun in a park and then failing to provide medical attention.

Instead of bringing charges, McGinty reaffirmed his intention to use secretive grand jury proceedings in weighing whether to bring charges against the officers, no doubt hoping to secure an outcome similar to the rigged grand jury proceedings that exonerated the cops who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island last year.

On Tuesday, the UK’s Guardian newspaper released its own database of US police killings, giving a more detailed view than any other similar list. The Guardian found that American police killed more people in the first 24 days of 2015 than the police forces of England and Ireland have in the past 24 years, and that US police kill more people every week than German police kill in an entire year.

The Guardian also found that police in Pasco, Washington (population 67,599), fired more rounds at one unarmed suspect, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, than police in Finland (population 5.4 million) fired in all of 2013.

The Guardian’s figures (which closely coincide with data from, another independent database) provide even further evidence that the US government’s official figures, based on voluntary reporting by local police departments, enormously undercount the victims of police violence. A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics this March found that the federal statistics undercounted the real number of police shootings by around two and a half times.

Despite years of demands from civil rights groups, the Obama administration has maintained its opposition to creating a nationwide database of police killings or requiring local police departments to report deaths at their hands on anything besides a voluntary basis.

Despite thousands of police killings over the past decade, only 54 officers have been charged, according to a study in April by the Washington Post and Bowling Green State University. A review of these cases shows that police are almost never charged unless there exists unambiguous video evidence of them committing a particularly heinous crime.

The case of former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who was indicted Monday for the murder of Walter Scott, was one such exception that proves the rule. The police department initially attempted to cover up the shooting, but was forced to change its story after bystander footage emerged showing that Slager shot the unarmed Scott in the back as he tried to run away, and then planted a weapon on Scott’s lifeless body.

At any rate, there is no guarantee of conviction even in cases such as Slager’s where there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing by the officers involved, as indicated by the acquittal of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo of voluntary manslaughter charges last month. The judge in that case ruled that “the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Michael Brelo knowingly caused the deaths,” despite the fact that Brelo fired 49 bullets at unarmed passengers in a stopped vehicle, including 15 through the windshield at point-blank range.

The institutional defense of killer cops extends through every level of government, all the way to the White House. The Obama administration has not prosecuted a single officer for civil rights violations, including most notoriously Darren Wilson, whose murder of Michael Brown sparked mass protests last fall.

Despite releasing repeated damning reports of systematic violence and corruption in city after city, from Cleveland to Ferguson and Baltimore, the Obama administration has steadfastly refused to demand that any of the officers and officials responsible for a “pattern and practice” of brutality be held criminally accountable. The Obama Justice Department has come down on the side of the police officers in every Supreme Court case involving police brutality, according to a recent survey by the Washington Post.

Fast-Track 'Trade Adjustment Assistance' Off the Rails

House Kills Fast-Track Of Obamatrade After Pelosi-Led Democrat Rebellion

by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge

And just like that, President Obama's fast track of his "great job creation" bill is defeated in a 126-302 procedural vote which stumbled over what is known as the Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Following Pelosi's comments that "its defeat is the only way we will be able to slow down fast track," and "people would rather have a job than assistance", the defeat of a measure to provide aid to workers displaced by trade deals means the fast-tracking of the TPP is done (for now).


And with a whopping 302 votes against, House democrats just stunned the democrat president by ending the "fast-track" of the TPP and forcing it back to the drawing room table. As the NYT puts it:

House Democrats rebuffed a dramatic personal appeal from President Obama on Friday, torpedoing his ambitious push to expand his trade negotiating power — and, quite likely, his chance to secure a legacy-defining trade accord spanning the Pacific Ocean.

Of course this can all go back for another markup and another amendment but for now. TPP needs the passage of the TAA to send the bill back to Obama for his signature, which means we are back to square one.

As The NY Times reports,

In a remarkable rejection of a president they have resolutely backed, House Democrats voted to kill assistance to workers displaced by global trade, a program their party created and has stood by for four decades. By doing so, they brought down legislation granting the president trade promotion authority — the power to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended or filibustered by Congress — before it could even come to a final vote.

“We want a better deal for America’s workers,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader who has guided the president’s agenda for two terms and was personally lobbied by Mr. Obama until the last minute.

Republican leaders tried to muster support from their own party for trade adjustment assistance, a program they have long derided as an ineffective waste of money and sop to organized labor. But not enough Republicans were willing to save the program.

Republican leaders could still try to pass a stand-alone trade promotion bill, but that would force the Senate to take up a trade bill all over again. And without trade adjustment assistance alongside it, passing trade promotion authority in the Senate would be highly doubtful.

The vote was an extraordinary blow to Mr. Obama, who went to the Capitol on Friday morning to plead personally with Democrats to “play it straight” — to oppose trade promotion if they must but not to kill trade assistance, a move he cast as cynical. On Thursday night, he had made an unscheduled trip to the annual congressional baseball game to try to persuade Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader.

And, as expected, shortly after the failure to pass TAA the House passed the TPA...


... But it did not matter because:


Did the US public finally give big corporations, who have successfully purchased the US president long ago, the middle finger?

The NATO Gambit: Cornering Russia with Flawed Logic

Trapping Russia to Prove a Negative

by Finian Cunningham - Sputnik

The prove-a-negative trap is the Big Lie technique of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels: there is no substance to the allegations and there is no obligation to present evidence to verify, thanks to the dutiful and unquestioning nature of Western corporate “journalism”.
In Italy, Putin Sees Western Policy Backfire

The United States and its Western allies are trying to ensnare Russia in an audacious disinformation trap over the Ukraine conflict. That trap involves imposing an insoluble conundrum on Vladimir Putin's government, which we might call "prove a negative". It is a familiar conceptual device that Washington has used elsewhere, against Iraq and Iran for example, in order to pursue what are otherwise illegitimate geopolitical aims.

Russia is being held up as the guilty party that is undermining the shaky Minsk ceasefire; and Western economic sanctions are being extended "until Russia implements the ceasefire".

Wrapping up the Group of Seven summit in Germany this week, US President Barack Obama said that "more costs" would be piled on Russia over its "aggression in Ukraine". If Putin "wants to wreck his economy that's up to him," Obama said in haughty tone.

Obama's assertions were echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that Russia faces another six months of Western-imposed economic and diplomatic penalties. European Union leaders will meet later this month to take a final decision on extending those sanctions.

But how can Russia implement a peace deal in Ukraine if the Western-backed Kiev regime is the one that is the aggressor, not Russia? As Putin told Italian media in an interview last week, it is up to Washington and its European allies to influence the regime in Kiev to fulfil the terms of Minsk.

Speaking to Corriere della Sera newspaper, Putin pointed out:

"The problem is that the current Kiev authorities don't even want to sit down to talks with them [the east Ukrainian separatists]. And there is nothing we can do about it. Only our European and American partners can influence this situation. There is no need to threaten us with sanctions. We have nothing to do with this, this is not our position.
We seek to ensure the implementation of the Minsk Agreements."

Integral to Western assertions about the implementation of the Minsk ceasefire — a truce that was in large part brokered by Putin back in February — are claims that Russia has invaded east Ukraine with troops, tanks and anti-aircraft missiles. The Kiev regime's defence minister Stepan Poltorak has in the past week claimed that "40,000 Russian troops and pro-Russian militia" are now in east Ukraine — a massive inflation of numbers from earlier Kiev and NATO claims.

Further, it is said, Russia is covertly threatening other European states with dastardly designs of expansionism.

There is no evidence to substantiate the claims of Russian troops inside Ukraine, even though these accusations have been flying around the Western media for more than a year now. Surely, a US or NATO satellite must have a credible image of such Russian presence by now?

Besides, Moscow has consistently denied any such involvement of its armed forces in Ukraine.

Russia Doesn't Need Membership in 'Tragic Farce' of Contemporary G7 – Czech Politician

As for the alleged Russian aggression toward the rest of Europe, as Putin also noted in the above interview: "US military spending is higher than that of all countries in the world taken together. The aggregate military spending of NATO countries is 10 times, note — 10 times higher than that of the Russian Federation. Russia has virtually no bases abroad… we are not expanding anywhere; it is NATO infrastructure, including military infrastructure, that is moving towards our borders. Is this a manifestation of our aggression?"

The prove-a-negative trap works like this: allegations are simply levelled, then amplified and repeated ad nauseam by Western mass media and an array of "experts" and pundits. It's the Big Lie technique of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels. There is no substance to the allegations and there is no obligation to present evidence to verify, thanks to the dutiful and unquestioning nature of Western corporate "journalism".

If Western mass media actually were to bother sending news crews to east Ukraine they would find that the reality there is the opposite of what Western governments are claiming. It is the Western-backed Kiev regime that is bombarding Donetsk City and surrounding towns and villages, killing civilians, women and children, and violating the terms of the Minsk ceasefire, as well as violating international law.

Reports from the monitoring teams of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe — conveniently ignored by the Western media — confirm these routine, horrific breaches of Minsk.

It is also American and NATO troops, not Russian, who are actually in Ukraine, supposedly on "training missions". The financial and military support from Washington and Brussels for the Kiev regime makes Western governments complicit in the aggression and crimes against humanity.

Yet in the face of this appalling reality, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and other Western leaders have the gall to lecture Russia about implementing a ceasefire that they themselves are trashing via the illegal Neo-Nazi junta that they installed in Kiev back in February 2014. This is while these Western governments say that it is they who support Minsk.

Moreover, sanctions are imposed on Russia by the West in an aggressive attempt to wreck the country's economy because Russia cannot disprove something that does not exist — that is, Russian aggression and subversion in Ukraine, or elsewhere.

The proving-a-negative conundrum has been used elsewhere by Washington. Recall how Saddam Hussein's Iraq was compelled to "demonstrate" that it did not possess weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam couldn't comply with that ultimatum because Iraq did not have any WMDs. But his "failure" was construed as "evidence" that the Iraqi leader was concealing WMDs. Then in March 2003 the US under President GW Bush launched a genocidal war of occupation on the country, during which over a million Iraqis died, and whose horrific legacy of violence and extremism still persists to this day in that country and the wider region.

China Condemns 'Irresponsible' G7 Leaders' Declaration

We see the exact same ruse played against Iran. Tehran is accused by Washington and its Western allies of secretly planning to build a nuclear bomb. No evidence is produced despite countless IAEA inspections, and indeed Western intelligence agencies have quietly admitted there is no evidence of any such nuclear ambitions. But still the accusations and insinuations continue against Iran, which then "justify" the imposition of crippling economic sanctions and interminable political wrangling that denies Iranian national rights.

All because Iran can't prove a negative, that it is not building a nuclear bomb now, or sometime in the future.

Russia is finding itself contending with the same irrational Western mindset. It is a mindset that is deliberate and cynical. Of course, it is the West that is being deceitful and outrageously obtuse. And it gets away with this impossible irrationality largely because the Western media serve to give it credibility.

However, one positive development in recent years is that there is no longer a Western monopoly on information and "news". The West's propaganda power is steadily diminishing with the ineluctable rise of alternative, credible sources of information.

Today, the emergence of global communications is helping to turn the tables on those who practice the cynical trap of prove-a-negative. And Washington and its European minions are liable to end up trapping themselves with their own abundant lies and criminality. That applies to Ukraine and much else.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Washington Post and Yatsy the Nazi's US Weapons Junket

WPost Plays Ukraine’s Lapdog

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

June 11, 2015

There once was a time when the U.S. news media investigated U.S. imperial adventures overseas, such as Washington-sponsored coups. Journalists also asked tough questions to officials implicated in corruption even if those queries were inconvenient to the desired propaganda themes. But those days are long gone, as the Washington Post demonstrated again this week.

On Wednesday, the Post’s editorial board had a chance to press Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the U.S. government’s role in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that elevated him to his current post – after he was handpicked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who declared “Yats is the guy” in a pre-coup intercepted phone call.

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to ask Yatsenyuk about his pre-coup contacts with Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and what their role was in fomenting the “regime change” that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and hurtled Ukraine into a civil war? Sure, Yatsenyuk might have ducked the questions, but isn’t that the role that journalists are supposed to play, at least ask? [See’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Or why not question Yatsenyuk about the presence of neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists who spearheaded the violent coup and then were deployed as the shock troops in Ukraine’s “anti-terrorism operation” that has slaughtered thousands of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine? Wouldn’t that question have spiced up the interview? [See’s “Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine.”]

And, since Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko was at the editorial board meeting as well, wouldn’t it have made sense to ask her about the propriety of her enriching herself while managing a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund for Ukraine over the past decade? What kind of message does her prior work send to the people of Ukraine as they’re asked to tighten their belts even more, with cuts to pensions, reduction of worker protections, and elimination of heating subsidies?

How would Jaresko justify her various schemes to increase her compensation beyond the $150,000 limit set by the U.S. Agency for International Development and her decision to take court action to gag her ex-husband when he tried to blow the whistle on some improprieties? Wouldn’t such an exchange enlighten the Post’s readers about the complexities of the crisis? [See’s “Ukraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values.’”]

Yet, based on what the Post decided to report to its readers, the editorial board simply performed the stenographic task of taking down whatever Yatsenyuk and Jaresko wanted to say. There was no indication of any probing question or even the slightest skepticism toward their assertions.

On Thursday, the Post combined a news article on the visit with an editorial that repeated pretty much as flat fact what Yatsenyuk and Jaresko had said. So, after Yatsenyuk alleged that Russia had 10,000 troops on the ground inside Ukraine, the Post’s editorial writers simply asserted the same number as a fact in its lead editorial, which stated: “Russia … has deployed an estimated 10,000 troops to eastern Ukraine and, with its local proxies, attacks Ukrainian forces on a near-daily basis.”

Though both assertions are in dispute – with many of the cease-fire violations resulting from Ukrainian government assaults around the rebel-controlled Donetsk Airport – the Post had no interest in showing any skepticism, arguably one of the consequences from the failure to impose any accountability for the Post’s similarly biased writing prior to the Iraq War.

In 2002-03, editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt repeatedly declared as flat fact that Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of WMDs, thus supposedly justifying the U.S.-led invasion. After the invasion failed to locate these WMD stockpiles, Hiatt was asked about his editorials and responded:

“If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said.

“If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]

Yes, journalists generally aren’t supposed to say something is a fact when it isn’t – and when a news executive oversees such a catastrophic error, which contributed to the deaths of nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, you might expect him to be fired.

Yet, Hiatt remains the Post’s editorial-page editor today, continuing to push neoconservative propaganda themes, now including equally one-sided accounts of dangerous crises in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere. [See’s “Why WPost’s Hiatt Should Be Fired.”]

On Ukraine – although the risks of neocon “tough-guy-ism” against nuclear-armed Russia could mean extermination of life on the planet – the Post refuses to present any kind of balanced reporting. Nor apparently will the Post even direct newsworthy questions to Ukrainian officials.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

How Sunscreen Hurts

Is Your Sunscreen Healthy?

by EWG

A whopping 80% of sun protection products analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) contain harmful ingredients or offer inadequate protection against dangerous ultraviolet radiation – or both, according to a new shopping guide released today by EWG.

EWG scrutinized 1,700 products, including sunscreens, SPF-rated moisturizers and lip balms, to compile this year’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens. (See

The easy-to-use interactive tool highlights the best and worst products and offers a host of tips to help shoppers find better options.

“Our research confirms that not all sunscreens are created equal,” said Dave Andrews, senior scientist at EWG.

“Many products do not provide enough UVA protection. Some contain hazardous chemicals such as the hormone disruptor oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage. Shoppers who use our guide can find sunscreens that are not only more effective but safer for themselves and their family.”

More than 30 products landed in EWG’s 2015 Sunscreen Hall of Shame ( because of potentially toxic ingredients, inhalation risks from sprays and excessive SPF claims.

Neutrogena products raised an unusual number of flags in EWG’s review because of the brand’s egregious marketing. It markets itself as the “#1 dermatologist recommended suncare brand.” Yet EWG has given most of the Neutrogena’s products it analyzed a failing grade.

“It is really quite astonishing how Neutrogena attempts to deceive shoppers with ad hype in order to sell potentially harmful products,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst.

“We’ve turned a spotlight on bad actors like Neutrogena, but so much more needs to be done to stop companies from getting away with hyping their products at the expense of consumer health.”

According to the analysis, Neutrogena sells questionable “wet skin” aerosol sprays and products with SPF values as high as 110. That’s more than double the maximum recommended value by the US Food and Drug Administration, which calls SPF values greater than 50+ “inherently misleading.” Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia do not allow ultra-high SPFs.

“Many studies have shown that people are misled by label claims about sun protection and that, as a result, those who use higher SPF sunscreens are more likely to stay out in the sun longer and more likely to burn,” Lunder added.

EWG found that Neutrogena’s allegedly hypoallergenic “pure & free baby” sunscreen lotion actually contains a potent skin allergen.

Current law is so weak that manufacturers can add nearly any inactive ingredient to their products, even chemicals that, according to scientific studies, alter body hormones, cause skin damage or trigger allergic reactions.

Only 21% of the 1,000 sunscreens analyzed for EWG’s guide scored high marks. The full list can be found at Roughly 19% of moisturizers and 21% of lip balms scored well. EWG estimates that half of the products in this year’s guide could not be sold in Europe because of the European Commission’s stricter rules on SPF values and UVA protection.

Other products in EWG’s Hall of Shame include Banana Boat, Coppertone and CVS.

Finding the right sunscreen is only half the battle. Limiting your sun exposure and wearing protective clothing are more important for preventing skin cancer and premature aging, the analysis says.

“Tragically, melanoma kills thousands of us each year,” said renowned pediatrician Harvey Karp.

“And, young children are especially vulnerable to sun damage. Sunscreens are one option to prevent this deadly cancer threat. That’s why I’m grateful to EWG for protecting American lives by demanding better regulations and safer sunscreens.”

EWG’s 2015 guide includes important information on how to read product labels, identify potential hazards and avoid getting burned. Shoppers on the go can download EWG’s Skin Deep mobile barcode scanning app to get ratings and safety information on sunscreens and other cosmetics products right at their fingertips.

Source: The Environmental Working Group ( EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research and education, the organization drives consumer choice and civic action.

Killer Elite

The Killer Elite, At Home and Abroad

by John Grant - CounterPunch

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.  – Quote attributed to George Orwell
Everybody loves a good killer. American pop culture is saturated with the love of killers. The more sexy and elite the killer, the more reverence he or she receives and the more the obvious moral questions are parried away. As the Orwell quote, above, suggests, all societies revere “rough men” with the capacity to ruthlessly kill members of threatening nations or outlaw bands.

Nowadays, official killing demands the nurturing of an elite esprit-de-corps among the killers. Their work must be done in strict secrecy so we, the public, can remain ignorant and “safe in our beds” while the killer elite remain aloof and unaccountable. Furthermore, it’s important to be able to easily marginalize those of us deemed by the killer elite and their promoters to be overly-delicate, moral scolds.

This sense of embattled esprit-de-corps in conjunction with unaccountability is even seeping into our domestic police departments. In some cases, cops are too quick to shoot when things don’t go right for them or they are dis’ed; in other cases, the connection to elite special-ops killers seems aspirational. Since 9/11 we’ve witnessed many linkages (like regional Fusion Centers and the distribution of surplus war weaponry) between the military and local police departments. In analytic stories focused on the “black lives matter” movement and policing, we’re told our local police forces have moved from a Community Policing model to a Broken Windows model and now to something called an Intelligence-Based model. This sounds ominously close to the special-ops, manhunter formula.

Like the frog in a pot of slowly heating water who doesn’t realize he’s being boiled to death, whether it’s fear of attacks from outside or fear of violence and crime from inside, it seems time for the public to ask whether Orwell’s “rough men” idea is applicable in today’s confusing world or whether the sense of unaccountable, elite institutions focused on violence can become a threat in and of themselves.

Last Sunday, The New York Times ran a big front-page story that makes the case that lethal special-operations have become the military’s “new way of war,” what The Times calls a “global manhunting machine.” Seal Team Six is the unquestioned top-of-the-line elite unit. Think Chris Kyle and the hagiographic film bio American Sniper. Seal Team Six is expanding with The Omega Program, which undertakes what The Times calls “deniable operations … modeled after the Vietnam Phoenix Program.” Then there’s the team’s global intelligence gathering force called The Black Squadron. Both have been given hip, pop-culture-friendly names. All this is part and parcel of the rise of the Pentagon as an unaccountable intelligence and covert operating force of its own parallel to the CIA.

These capacities, of course, work in conjunction with other “new ways of war” like highly sophisticated media intelligence gathering and lethal drones. All sorts of robotic weapons, space-to-earth weapons and cyber weapons are coming on-line every day. All of it secret as far as the American people go. The issues The Times piece raise are the grisly and cavalier killing of too many civilians on night raids, the physical and psychological effect all this has on the men (and women) doing the killing, how it angers local residents and the fact there is zero accountability. All investigations within Special Operations command are internal, and when a soldier is suspected of excessive and unnecessary killing on a mission, he’s sent home for a rest. At home, of course, he’s the ultimate hero with all the mitigating benefits that role provides when his PTSD flares up at home.

In the introduction to his 2014 book World Order, Henry Kissinger points out that economic globalization threatens the sovereign nation-state era established at the end of the Thirty Years War in 1648 by the Treaty of Westphalia. With the rise of globalism in the realm of capitalism as well as in the realm of “terrorism,” the old world order is breaking down. Kissinger is known for many things, among them his famous statement that “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” He’s better known for the killing of millions of Indochinese long after Robert MacNamara secretly concluded in 1966 the Vietnam War was doomed to failure.

Kissinger concludes his book by assuring his readers of America’s “humane and democratic values.” Don’t worry; we’re the good guys. With no irony at all, he writes that “American military power provided a security shield for the rest of the world, whether its beneficiaries asked for it or not. …[T]he developing countries were protected against a threat they sometimes did not recognize, even less admit.” Think of those three million dead Indochinese; if only they knew it was all for their own good. We should not forget that Paul Bremer, George W. Bush’s proconsul in Iraq who disbanded the Iraqi military and the Bath Party, was at the time an employee of Kissinger Associates. Bremer learned his strategic noblesse oblige from the master.

One of the important tactical masters of all this is General Stanley McChrystal, an enigmatic, ascetic general who rocketed up the ranks from one-star to four-star at the point the stumbling Bush administration realized it had whacked a huge hornet’s nest in Iraq. McChrystal was instrumental in developing the lethal manhunting machine that kept the insurgency off-balance — skills that are now becoming new war doctrine.

I had a brief exchange with General McChrystal at the Philadelphia Public Library a couple years ago when he was promoting his memoir. He told the audience that when he arrived to clean up the insurgency west of Baghdad he found rooms piled high with un-analyzed laptops, cell phones and documents from night raids. A leader of incredible focus and intelligence, he whipped the system into shape so material from early-evening raids would be instantly analyzed by a bank of computer-nerdy intelligence specialists, leading to maybe a half-dozen more kill or capture raids throughout the night on unsuspecting leaders and go-to names found in the material.

Here’s how journalist Michael Hastings described McChrystal’s Iraq manhunting operation: “Figure out how your enemy operates, be faster and more ruthless than everybody else, then take the fuckers out” … along with anyone who gets in the way. Hastings’ profile of McChrystal in Rolling Stone (“The Runaway General”) led to McChrystal’s firing, thanks to some disrespectful things he’d said of his commander-in-chief, VP Biden and others. In June 2013, Hastings told friends he was going to be out of contact working on an important intelligence story when he ended up dead in a very mysterious, late-night auto crash in Los Angeles.

Mark Bowden, the author of Black Hawk Down and other paeans to our military prowess, shared the stage with McChrystal at the Philadelphia Library. Bowden fielded questions for the general. (Full disclosure: I’ve had a few cordial but argumentative e-mail bouts with the Philadelphia-based Bowden.) With a man like McChrystal — a master at manhunting and public relations — I figured it was best to load my question, since I concluded he would never give me a straight answer. Bowden saw my veteran’s hat and pointed to me. So I asked the general a classic have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife question.

“I’m a Vietnam veteran and I’ve been a peace activist for the past 30 years. You were a one-star PR general in Baghdad who gave press briefings during the shock-and-awe invasion of Iraq. Then the insurgency began to grow in Baghdad and Anbar Province. You’re obviously very brilliant and you quickly rose up the ranks to four-star general in charge of special ops. The so-called Surge involved a lot of very secret, focused killing, all under your command. My questions is: Do you ever have difficulty sleeping at night knowing you live in a democracy and the electorate of that democracy is kept in the dark as to what you are so good at?”

Bowden scowled at me. McChrystal grinned charmingly and, with a chuckle, said, “It’s funny: I feel like I’ve been a peace activist for the past 30 years.” I made a mock choking sound. Then McChrystal pretended he didn’t understand my question and Bowden quickly moved on. Some of the democratic citizens in the audience looked at me like I was a madman.

Later, as McChrystal was signing the book I purchased, in a friendly tone I took the moment to rub it in: “How can you say with a straight face you’ve been a peace activist for the past 30 years?” All the humanitarian, nation-building work his soldiers had done in villages in Iraq and Afghanistan building things like schools and roads, he said, was about making peace. (This was before the rise of ISIS in Anbar Province. Now, I’d ask him how the invasion and his elite-killer, manhunting raids advanced peace in Anbar Province. All the COIN construction projects and the bribes didn’t seem to do much good.)

“Oh, c’mon!” I said to him in my best man-to-man good humor. “What you are is a brilliant manager of killers.”

He weighed this and simply shrugged. He handed me my book and smiled toward the next person in line. My friend and I joked that he was so nice we felt like asking him out for a beer.

The Times credits McChrystal for advancing the new manhunter mode of warfare linking intelligence-gathering capacity with killing. Except for that slip-up granting Michael Hastings access, McChrystal’s most important management skill is his ability to manage an array of lethal, surgical operations while keeping it all secret and making sure the PR makes it all look good.

But Do Killers Always Keep Us Safe?

We live in an age of fear. “Bad guys” are out to get us. As our leaders give the obligatory assurances about American Exceptionalism and as Americans more and more absorb that assurance, the rest of the world is on the rise. Many people around the world are aware of US actions and don’t buy the American line. We all know patriotic Americans are not supposed to mention the world Imperialism — but, blinders down, that’s the big question looming over the future of America: Do we as a nation maturely assess the mess we’re in and begin to ratchet down the imperial arrogance of the past century and pay more attention to the many festering problems here at home? Or do we assail the weaknesses of our black president and re-mobilize the America that maintains over 1000 foreign bases to once again be the feared Ruler of the World many Americans see as our God-given destiny?

As an institution, American war-making has become a runaway train. With fear afoot and the rise of globalism and technological advances, efforts to get the imperialist US military institution under control are more ineffectual than they’ve ever been. Recently, I attended a conference in Washington DC focused on the Vietnam War peace movement. There was a lot of embracing of old friends and talk how the peace movement had stopped the war in Vietnam. And maybe it did. However, the problem that loomed over the conference was our current over-extended military. The lesson our military learned from the Vietnam War was not what many of us learned, that the war was a tragedy or, worse, a crime. What they learned was how to reinforce their institution so it’s immune to electoral politics, how to control the population and how to run wars in secret. Since Vietnam, we no longer seek to “win” wars; our military is now about disrupting opposition and keeping it off balance. The problem haunting our future is that those we deem enemies and send in SEAL teams to eliminate are also learning about us.

How do you convince Americans that, while unaccountable lethal manhunting may disrupt people we’ve declared our enemies, in the long run it only infuriates them even more than they were before a campaign of focused killing was unleashed on them. Counterinsurgency expert William Polk says scorched earth is the only effective tactic in this field, and that’s out-of-bounds politically. ISIS (aka ISIL, the Islamic State or Daesh) is the neon-sign example of this. Personally offended by the rise of ISIS, Lindsey Graham, a non-macho, bachelor candidate for president, declared as president he would bring back the feared America of the past. This no doubt meant a new wave of killing necessary to transcend Obama’s weakness and return America to greatness. We will hear a lot of this over the next 18 months.

Richard Slotkin best summed up this political line in his book Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860.

“The first colonists saw in America an opportunity to regenerate their fortunes, their spirits, and the power of their church and nation; but the means of that regeneration ultimately became the means of violence, and the myth of regeneration through violence became the structuring metaphor of the American experience.”

Besides eliminating undesired humans, killing makes things simple. It purges the mind of all the difficult challenges of diplomacy. Plus, if things go off the rails, the militarist never admits making a mistake and always has a ready answer: They employ the tried-and-true stabbed-in-the-back myth and blame those of us against the violence in the first place for not supporting the violence.

Hastings wrote that McChrystal conceded, “We’ve shot an amazing number of people.” A savvy political general, no one knows better than McChrystal that killing lots of civilians eventually creates a PR challenge. He’s written that drone attacks are seen as cowardly by local people in places like Pakistan and, thus, drones create more animosity than good. When he got to Afghanistan, where there was pressure from President Hamid Karzai, McChrystal worked to cut down on civilian killings. Hastings reported there was even talk of creating a new medal for “courageous restraint.”

Award medals for not killing people? That’s a brilliant idea. Think of all the authentic peace activists who might be awarded such a national medal for advocating restraint of our warmongers. On February 15, 2003, that would have entailed about ten million people worldwide. Think of presidential acts that might be honored for the restraint of killing.

JFK used courageous restraint not caving in to bomb-crazy Curtis LeMay over Cuba. Consider if Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger had employed courageous restraint in Indochina. And let’s not forget George W. Bush, who we don’t hear much from these days. If it had been more important to him to be smart and restrained than to strut around as a macho Texas killer, think how much better off the world would be today. OK, Iraq might not be a democratic paradise of freedom, but there would be no You Tubes of ISIS fanatics slicing off heads. And Iran would not have been handed the keys to Iraq.

The quote at the top attributed to George Orwell has always troubled me, since I admire Orwell as a man of the left. But he was right: There are many dangers in life, and anyone who denies “rough men” — in the role of a military and community police — are often necessary to keep a community “safe” is living a delusion. At the same time, if those “rough men” begin to see themselves narcissistically as an elite, insular, secret unit apart from the rest of us … then, I hope Orwell would agree, we’re in trouble.

John Grant is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper.

US Supports Terror in Central Africa Over and Over Again

Western-Backed Terrorism in the Congo: Where is General Laurent Nkunda?

by Keith Harmon Snow - Conscious Being Alliance

9 June 2015

In 2009, after years of bloody insurrection in Congo, General Laurent Nkunda was 'arrested' with great fanfare in Rwanda. Wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, not a word about his situation has been reported for years. Are the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda using Laurent Nkunda and comrades in a new thrust to destabilize eastern Congo? The perpetual aggressors in this long, bloody saga of despair and death served on millions of innocent people in central Africa, Rwanda and Uganda protect the interests and insure the profits of their U.S., Canadian, European and Israeli patrons. Meanwhile, with a new insurrection afoot in eastern Congo, the western media and its modern day intelligence mercenaries spin disinformation to project black African chaos and whitewash the corruptions of Empire.

FARDC troops from the 1st integrated brigade on operations 
in South Kivu. 
Photo c. keith harmon snow 2006.

In the twilight hours of 2 June 2015 residents of the city of Goma, in Congo's eastern province of North Kivu, were awoken after midnight by gunshots, mortars and heavy artillery fire, and battle tanks. The fighting lasted several hours. At daybreak most government offices, schools and businesses remained closed. The fighting resumed around 11:00 AM, and receded to the Rwanda border as Congolese tanks pressed the attackers back to Rwanda.

"We are in great stress since last night." An official in Goma who asked not to be named reports that this is the work of the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda. "From about 1:00 to 3:00 in the morning there was a lot of firing inside the town of Goma and on the border with Rwanda: Simple and heavy guns and even war tanks. Officially, we have no precision, but it's known that Kagame's forces entered Congo this night. Eight Congolese soldiers were killed; I saw one of them with my own eyes in the Virunga quarter of Goma. The Governor and Congolese military officers are keeping quiet." [1]

"Gunmen attacked the airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's largest city, Goma, in an overnight raid in which four government soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed, a local official and a witness said on Tuesday." The Reuters news syndicate produced the only report that appeared in western media venues on 2 June 2015. Reuters reported that North Kivu governor Julien Paluku referred to the attackers only as 'bandits'. "A Congolese security official involved in the clashes and a Goma-based diplomat said the assailants were Mai-Mai fighters, members of one of the dozens of armed militias that control large parts of Congo's mineral-rich eastern borderlands." [2]

Later in the day on 2 June 2015, Agence France Presse attributed the attack to a criminal gang and called the war-torn North Kivu a 'restless province', suggesting that the province itself is inherently prone to permanent unrest of the African variety. "At least one soldier and a gunman were killed overnight when a gang raided the Goma airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during an apparent robbery, officials said Tuesday. 'Bandits got inside the airport area to try to steal from depots (storing goods) waiting to be loaded on to cargo planes,' the governor of the restless North Kivu province, Julien Paluku, told AFP." [3]

By 3 June 2015 the supposed culprits had been captured, and the western news syndicates were regurgitating claims by Congolese officials that the 'bandit' leader of the 'gang' was 'a criminal from the distant city of Butembo' who had recruited other criminals and organized an attack on Goma airport. The reportage is confused: the attack is blamed on both 'criminals' and 'ethnic Mai Mai militia' and the Reuters correspondent ignores the contradictions.

"Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have captured the man suspected of being behind a deadly attack this week on the largest airport in the east of the country, the government's spokesperson said on Wednesday," Reuters continued. "At least four soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed in the gun attack at Goma airport on Tuesday that military and diplomatic sources said was the work of ethnic Mai-Mai fighters. [4]

"The region has seen years of conflict involving dozens of armed militia such as the Mai-Mai that control large parts of the mineral-rich eastern borderlands, but attacks of this kind are rare."

Reuters falsely spins this as an uncharacteristic attack atypical of war-torn eastern Congo, where Ugandan and Rwandan militias under the command of presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame have perpetrated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide since at least 1994.

Similarly, there is also no mention by Reuters of the vast tracts of mineral-rich land that have been stolen and cleared of Congolese people by western mining companies like Banro Gold Corporation [5], Metallurg [6], Casa Minerals [7], or Alphamin [8], the western mining firm that has captured massive concessions in North Kivu (see Map).

"Government spokesperson Lambert Mende described the man captured as a 'criminal' from the town of Butembo, some 270 km north of Goma." [9]

"This is bullshit!" The (unnamed) Goma official is adamant. "How can a group of Mai Mai leave Butembo 290 km from Goma and come to attack the airport! And for which purpose? Everyone knows there is no food or weapons at the Goma airport. The [DRC] government does not want to accuse Rwanda, but Congolese people are not stupid." [10]

The 3 June 2015 Reuters article also attributes the capture of the 'criminals' and 'bandits' to the friendly cooperative assistance of neighboring Rwanda. "The man was arrested in Goma thanks to information provided by three captured assailants and intelligence help from neighboring Rwanda, whose phone networks the attackers used, [DRC spokesman Lambert] Mende later told Reuters." [11]

"The assailants came from Rwanda and went back to Rwanda." The unnamed DRC official in Goma is certain that the attack is part of the new Rwandan-Ugandan military thrust -- the newly and euphemistically named Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of the Congo (MCRC) -- in eastern Congo. "There were almost 20 Mai Mai being held [in advance] just to be accused in case the attack failed. Congolese tanks fired in the direction of Rwanda and the retreating assailants. These were Tutsi soldiers and they came from Rwanda. We are afraid as we know the government is hiding the truth: people saw Rwanda troops coming into Congo." [12]

The Reuters story is further confused by the inclusion of a Associated Press photograph captioned: "Congolese soldiers visit territory retaken last week from M23 rebels near the Rwandan border Joseph Kay AP." The Rwandan/Ugandan backed M23 insurgency was named in recognition of the 23 March 2009 peace treaty that integrated the former Rwandan/Ugandan army, the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), into the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). M23 soldiers claimed that the Congolese government failed to honor the terms of the agreement, and so they launched another war. The recycled AP photograph by Joseph Kay originated in an AP story of 6 September 2013, but has been used over and over for various and diverse disinformation.[13]

UN (MONUC) helicopter departing an eastern Congo airport. 
photo c. 2007 keith harmon snow.

The real story is that Congo appears to be on the cusp of a new insurrection. Like the RCD, CNDP and M23 occupations, this is yet another military thrust by Rwanda and Uganda to destabilize eastern Congo and seize absolute control. The first objective: take control of Goma.

"Some Mai Mai from the Cheka [armed] group infiltrated Goma from the bush," says the unnamed official in Goma, "and soldiers came from Rwanda and both attacked in the night under heavy rain with hope to take the airport, but they failed because the FARDC they found there were Republican Guards, trained by the USA and Israel, the best soldiers we have in Congo. The last noise from the fighting was in the area of 'La grande barriere' on the Rwanda border. Workers at the Congolese border office and Republican Guards confirmed. After they had failed, MCRC withdrew back to Rwanda. Local authorities forbade TV stations to show the bodies of 'bandits' that were killed."[14]


For the past six years Rwandan General Laurent Nkunda has been hiding in Rwanda and Uganda, shielded from arrest or prosecution by Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and their western backers.

Is General Laurent Nkunda now moving freely between Rwanda and Uganda, organizing a new insurrection in eastern Congo's Kivu provinces, directing a new guerilla movement that has already perpetrated human rights atrocities and destabilized the eastern Congo?

Other known Rwandan war criminals with deep historical ties to General Laurent Nkunda are on the move. One of these is Rwandan Major General Vincent Gatama, one of Nkunda's former comrades, now in charge of Rwanda's military operations in Congo. On the night of 17 November 2012 then Colonel Vincent Gatama led a Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) special forces unit in the 2012 attack on Goma.[15] Soon after the Goma attack, Paul Kagame promoted Gatama from Colonel to Major General in support of war operations to infiltrate and occupy eastern Congo.

Another of these Nkunda-allied warlords is General Bwambale Kakolele, a former leader of one of the original Rwanda- and Uganda-backed 'rebel' armies from the 1998-2002 war, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, and later one of General Nkunda's top commanders in the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) insurrection.

Born in the Congo to the Nande tribe of Orientale Province, Bwambale Kakolele is a former Forces Armee Zairois (FAZ) soldier under the Mobutu regime who originally joined the Rwandan-Ugandan war of 1996-1997 to help oust long-time CIA-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. By late 2001 he was leading the RCD's Movement for Liberation (RDC-ML) faction, and he was named by the United Nations for trafficking arms in violation of the wartime arms embargo. After this Kakolele was part of the Congolese Revolutionary Movement (MRC), one of the scores of militias involved in the bloody Ituri conflicts of 2003-2008. General Nkunda and the CNDP joined forces with the MRC in 2006, and the MRC agreed to disarm in August 2007.

General Kakolele left the CNDP in 2008, and in 2011 was participating in DRC government activities that facilitated his being dispatched to north Kivu province. The DRC government allegedly arrested him in 2013 in Beni, North Kivu, for blocking the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. [16], [17]

Like his military allies, General Kakolele is an opportunist who has pursued any profitable enterprise in war-torn Congo, no matter how ruthless and lawless, including diamonds, and he allegedly has deep long-standing ties to the Ugandan 'rebel' Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Like the Lord's Resistance Army and the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda, the ADF is on the U.S. government list of terrorist organizations. Kakolele gains protection through his ties to various guerrilla armies backed by Rwanda and Uganda.

RwandAir air waybill proving Rwandan government 
mineral shipments out of Bukuvu, DRC on RwandAir, 
a company tightly linked to the regime through Kagame 
business kingpin John Mirenge; the transport chain involves 
DHL International, SGS Laboratories, SwissAir and 
other international corporations.

Third on the list of Nkunda allied over-achievers in Congo bloodletting is Ugandan Colonel Sultani Makenga, another warlord who was also involved in the 2012 invasion of Goma, and one of president Yoweri Museveni and his half-brother General Salim Saleh's protégés in the region. Makenga is said to be very sick with HIV, but, allegedly, he participated in May meetings in Uganda where the new insurrection was born.

Finally, there is the rogue warlord Mai Mai leader Ntabo Ntaberi, alias 'Cheka', who has been plundering and killing in the Walikale and Lubero districts of North Kivu. In 2010 soldiers under Cheka's command raped some 300 women in Walikale region. In 2013, after the defeat of the Rwandan M23 army, the regime in Rwanda provided troop reinforcements and arms to Cheka.

Throughout 2013, 2014 and early 2015 the forces under Cheka have perpetrated massive human rights atrocities and crimes against humanity in a wide swath of North Kivu between Lubero and Walikale. Cheka has been hunting civilians in their villages and fields, accusing them of being collaborators of FDLR and Congolese Mai Mai, and killing them. Crimes include summary executions, rape, mass abductions, forced marches and other forced labor, and shooting of children. Commander Cheka is one of the most ruthless and dangerous military commanders on Congolese soil and he runs his own militia named Nduma Defense of the Congo.[18]

Cheka rose out of the forests of North Kivu on a self-declared mission to gain justice for the Congolese people, and was originally allied with the FDLR rebels in Kivu. Corrupted by power and private profit -- plundering resources and waging brutal campaigns of forced taxation -- Cheka has served Paul Kagame's interests by hunting down and assassinating FDLR leaders in Congo. In March 2015 Cheka's forces attacked villages where the FDLR reside in the Lubero territory of North Kivu.[19]

"Kagame gave Cheka equipment and men," says the official in Goma. "Cheka replaced Laurent Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda of CNDP, and Makenga of M23. Cheka operates in Walikale and Lubero, 200 to 300 kilometers from Goma."

Even Human Rights Watch has called for the arrest of Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka.[20] The HRW report of January 2015 documents the most brutal atrocities committed by Cheka and his troops, and their backing by Rwanda.

"Former NDC fighters also told Human Rights Watch that Cheka received financial and other military support from Rwanda. They said that Cheka's ethnic Tutsi wife travels regularly to Rwanda and acts as a liaison with Cheka's contacts in the country. One former fighter said that ammunition was often sent into Congo from Rwanda via Goma and was delivered to Cheka on motorcycles in bags of beans." [21]

Alphamin Resources maintains a clean, organized, shiny, operations 
base, accessed by helicopter -- a parallel economy to that of 
Congolese people who suffer extreme depredations. 

There are allegations that Mai Mai Cheka has colluded with Alphamin Resources Corporation to terrorize and displace artisanal Congolese miners.[22] Meanwhile, several of the concessions stolen from Congolese people by Alphamin remain under 'Force Majeure' -- a formal declaration, agreed to by the Congolese government in Kinshasa, establishing that the mining operations cannot proceed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Alphamin Resources Corporation is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and staffed with all white directors from North America, Europe and South Africa. Alphamin controls vast tracts of North Kivu, mining concessions rich with tin, gold, coltan and copper, the largest of which is the Bisie Mine.[23] The foreign control would not be possible without first neutralizing and/or eliminating the Congolese landowners. Western mining companies achieve pacification and land control by any means necessary.

According to their own web site: "Alphamin, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mining and Processing Congo Sprl (MPC), has full legal title (100 % ownership) over five exploration permits (No's: PR 5270; PR 10346; PR 5266; PR 5267; and PR 4246) and an exploitation permit (PE 13155) in total covering 1,270 square kilometers in the North Kivu province. The Bisie Project falls on PE 13155. Due to the current volatile security situation, three licenses (PR 5270, PR 5267 and PR 4246) are still under Force Majeure.

The Force Majeure was lifted at the Bisie Project in February 2012, and Alphamin Resources established a camp on the Bisie ridge and commenced exploration drilling in July 2012.

Concessions "100% owned by Alphamin" in North Kivu.

Thousands of Congolese artisanal miners have suffered loss of livelihood or life due to the occupation of large mining concessions by Alphamin, and the concomitant pacification of the communities through direct violence. Artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin mining operations, and Cheka forces have attacked artisanal mining camps, and artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin operations after being themselves attacked by Cheka forces (that they believe to be aligned with Alphamin).[24]

"Of course, many local miners have to leave their communities since those big companies come with papers and authorizations from Kinshasa." The unnamed Congolese official has visited many Kivu mining areas over the past 20 years. "In North Kivu it is Mining Processing of Congo, and just like with Banro Gold in Twangiza in South Kivu: they claim the right to receive 'security' assured by FARDC."[25]

Like their commanders-in-chief, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, these Ugandan/Rwandan commanders have directed assassinations of political and military targets.


In September 2005 the Congolese General Military Prosecutor issued international arrest warrants against General Nkunda and Rwandan Colonel Jules Mutebesi charging them with the creation of an insurrectional movement, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Even Human Rights Watch, the selective U.S.-based human rights organization that has been notoriously slanted in favor of team-U.S. interests in the Great Lakes region, in 2006 briefly outlined the history of Nkunda's crimes, including "numerous war crimes and other serious human rights abuses during the past three years... summary executions, torture, and rape committed by soldiers under Nkunda's command, in Bukavu in 2004 and in Kisangani in 2002." [26]

Over the years Laurent Nkunda and his allied commanders have committed the most egregious war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, dictating the life and death of millions of people. Their crimes rival those of Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni, General James Kabarebe, General James Kazini, General Salim Saleh, and other high-level Tutsi-Hima commanders from Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. They have established formal networks of organized crime premised on direct violence: criminal racketeering, looting, taxation, gunrunning and minerals plunder. Their troops have committed massacres, mass rapes and extrajudicial executions of the most inhuman kinds.

This time they are calling their terrorist enterprise the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of Congo (Mouvement Chretien pour la Reconstruction du Congo).

Their histories of atrocities are ugly, brutish and anything but short.

They have organized and run insurgency and counter-insurgency 'programs' to neutralize any 'infrastructure' and all opposition (and potential opposition) to their elite Tutsi-Hima agenda. The word 'infrastructure' here refers to Congolese chiefs (mwamis), legitimate rulers, politicians, diplomats, soldiers, human rights defenders, civil society members, and ordinary people. The euphemism 'neutralize' means to drive off, exile, make to defect to their (own) cause, capture, torture, maim, sexually mutilate, kill, disappear people. Beheadings, amputations and butchering of corpses are common. They have incinerated bodies, dead and alive. There is no language that can make clear the extremes of their pathological behaviors.

They use networks of paid informers to spy and inform on anyone and everyone. They infiltrate agents into social networks, political structures, government agencies, and military organizations. They sow fear, mistrust, divisiveness and terror through psychological operations and propaganda. Some of them have been trained, advised, schooled and indoctrinated by the leading institutions of terror in the west, and -- through the regimes inn Rwanda and Uganda -- they have relationships to AFRICOM, the Pentagon's Africa Command.

None of this is much reported in the mass media and if reported at all the atrocities and crimes are blamed on the victims, some of which include armed resistance forces with legitimate rights, legitimate grievances and very real claims.

The agenda of the Kagame-Museveni axis is to depopulate the homes, villages and territories of the eastern Congo (as they did in Uganda 1980-1986 and Rwanda 1990-1995) of their rightful owners and repopulate them with outsiders; to create large, destitute, traumatized populations of refugees on the run for their lives or herded into death camps; to control the extractive (minerals, timber, agricultural commodities, petroleum, natural gas) industries; to control taxation at regional, national and international borders; to fill their pockets and bank accounts with cash; to militarize their private kingdoms; to terrorize and destabilize and manufacture perpetual war. The documentation of these crimes is plentiful and irrefutable.

The commanders of the new MCRC guerrilla insurgency have done the 'dirty work' for Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame since the very beginning. And, like their patron-dictators, no matter the documentation, no matter the evidence, no matter the eyewitnesses and proof of their crimes, most of them remain terrorists at large. Under the secret programs of these Rwandan and Ugandan agents due process has been nonexistent, impunity the rule. Millions and millions of lives have been destroyed, and it is happening again now.

They have been protected and/or supported by the U.S. administrations of William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barrack Obama. AFRICOM supports Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni directly, and has military bases in Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

General Laurent Nkunda in his 'saviors' costume for this AP photo 
c. Jerome Delay 2008.

And why is the MCRC's first objective to take Goma? The control of Goma would be used as leverage to manipulate the international community to recognize and accept the demands of the MCRC, and these are the objectives of the Kagame and Museveni regimes: to occupy, control and annex eastern Congo. In this effort the Tutsi-controlled regime of alias Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa is complicit. By controlling Goma, the former Rwandan and Ugandan 'rebel' soldiers that were integrated into the FARDC but remain loyal to Rwanda and Uganda would join the MCRC insurrection. By controlling Goma, Kagame can openly (more openly than in recent years) send Rwandan Defense Forces into Congo without international intervention.


First there was Museveni's war in Uganda, 1980-1986, with Paul Kagame fighting for the National Resistance Army and Yoweri Museveni. They committed massive war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, often blamed on the losers. Then they invaded Rwanda, in 1990, and for the next four years they did the same thing, only more finely tuned, more sophisticated, and arguably much more brutal.[27]

The violence wreaked on Congo-Zaire by Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame was exported by perpetrators who first waged genocidal campaigns and coups-d'état that violated the most fundamental international covenants on state sovereignty first in Uganda, then Rwanda, then Zaire (Congo). On 6 April 1994, they assassinated heads of state from Rwanda and Burundi, again the most fundamental and egregious violations of international law. The U.S., U.K., Canada and Israel could not have been happier.

These first campaigns of Tutsi-Hima guerrilla warfare set the stage for unprecedented violence as the terror regimes of Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame tortured, slaughtered, raped, disappeared, assassinated, and terrorized millions of innocent non-combatant civilians from Uganda to Rwanda to Burundi to Congo (and in South Sudan). They had the backing of western intelligence and covert operations at the start. [28a]

Next came the covert operations in Zaire (Congo) by the special forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) from 1994 to 1996. RPA hit squads were dispatched to the Kivu provinces in Zaire well in advance of the U.S.-backed invasion that formally arrived in September 1996. From July 1994 to August 1996 RPA Special Forces employing hit-and-run terror tactics crossed the Zaire border to commit targeted acts of terrorism, including sabotage, bombings, psychological warfare, assassinations, massacres, disappearing.

One of their primary strategies has always been the sowing of terror through pseudo-operations: disguised as some 'enemy' faction (whether such faction has ever been involved in violence or not) the RPA (and UPDF) commit atrocities, generally under cover of night, which are then blamed on the enemy faction, and provide justification for RPA assaults, retaliation, and occupations. [28b] Under this rubric, the victims are portrayed as the killers, and the killers are portrayed as the victims.

Then in August of 1996 came the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF) invasion of Zaire. The establishment narrative portrays the 1996 invasion of Zaire as a purely Congolese affair led by Laurent Desire Kabila and the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ). Similarly, the 'rebellions' -- bloody illegal guerrilla warfare insurgencies -- in eastern Congo are typically portrayed as purely Congolese affairs, at least until the truth can no longer be denied, and then they become the subjects of propaganda campaigns that are duplicitous and expedient: damage control.

The United States military, intelligence apparatus, and diplomatic sector were 100% involved in the invasion of Zaire-Congo 1996-1998, providing logistics, weapons, aircraft, intelligence, satellite communications, and Special Operations Forces (U.S. Special Operations Command: SOCOM). These were heavily armed and outfitted black- and brown-skinned U.S. troops, fluent in regional languages, on the ground in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. [29]

Not only did the invading forces ruthlessly hunt and terminate every Rwandan Hutu man, women and child they could find, they also slaughtered tens or scores or hundreds of thousands of innocent Congolese Bantu people. They used bulldozers and logging equipment to disappear the bodies. They dumped corpses into the vast Congo River and its vast tributaries. They went back months later to the Congo forests and swamps to scavenge every skeleton they could find and disappear these once and for all. There are plenty of eyewitnesses who survived. [30], [31]

Their campaigns of rape set the stage for the unprecedented sexual violence yet to come: sexual violence perpetrated by Rwandans and Ugandans but blamed on the Congolese.

Unable to control their proxy Laurent Desire Kabila, whom they chose to lead the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ), and who then became president of the Congo (until his assassination in 2001), Rwanda and Uganda next used the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) to aggress the Congo in the manufactured 'Congolese rebellion' from 1998 to 2003.

After signing some peace treaties in 2003, Rwanda and Uganda next aggressed the Congo through an alphabet soup of warring guerrilla militias: RCD, RCD-Goma, RCD-K, RCD-ML, PFJC, MRC, FNI, FRPI...and many more. From 2003 to 2006 some 26 militias operated in the Ituri sector of Orientale Province alone: Ituri became the bloodiest place on earth at that time. Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian militias rampaged in the provinces of Orientale, North and South Kivu, and Maniema, ripping apart the last vestiges of social fabric, ripping out the timber and the minerals, littering fields with skeletons and skulls, and mass graves everywhere.

Skulls & skeletons in Bogoro, Orientale Province, DRC. 
Photo: c. keith harmon snow 2007.

In 2006, Rwanda and Uganda took their aggression against Congo to new levels through General Laurent Nkunda's new Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) insurgency.

"An arrest warrant was issued against Nkunda for war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection months ago but the police and army have done nothing about arresting him," reported Alison Des Forges, senior advisor to the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, in 2006. "So long as Nkunda is at large, the civilian population remains at grave risk." [32]

Similarly, from 2006 onward, Rwandan General Bosco Ntaganda was wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northeastern Congo in 2002 and 2003, including recruiting and using child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery. Ntaganda is also a former leader of the Rwanda-backed CNDP, and Ntaganda and his fighters were integrated into FARDC after the peace agreement of 23 March 2009.

The M23 guerrilla insurgency was more aggression by Rwanda and Uganda against Congo that began in March 2012 based on a FARDC mutiny led by Bosco Ntaganda and Sultani Makenga. The rebellion took the name 'M23' in recognition of the 23 March 2009 neutralization of the Rwandan CNDP.

Rwandan M23 troops occupied Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, on 20 November 2012, and the FARDC and MONUSCO did nothing to stop them. General Vincent Gatama commanded RDF Special Forces allied with M23 and both armies were involved in massive atrocities.

In March 2013, after the Ntaganda and Mukenga factions of M23 came to blows, Ntaganda surrendered to the U.S. embassy in Rwanda and was flown to The Hague to be tried by the International Criminal Court.

The defeat of the M23 by November 2013 came as a victory for the 18-month military campaign against them by the FARDC the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade, and supported by Congolese civil society and activists. The 3096 SADC Force Intervention Brigade forces (attached to MONUSCO) from Malawi, South Africa, and Tanzania quickly routed the Rwandan M23 troops. [33]

Rwandan commanders Paul Kagame, James Kabarebe, Laurent Nkunda, Bosco Ntaganda, Sultani Makenga, Vincent Gatama, Kakolele Bwambale and Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) all hold titles to this long sordid pedigree of armed warfare sponsored, spawned, supported, spread and prosecuted by Rwanda, Uganda and their western backers.

Here is another way that Rwanda and Uganda and their western backers have advanced the elite Tutsi-Hima agenda to pacify, occupy and balkanize the eastern Congo, and create a Rwandan-controlled Republic of the Volcanoes: Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration. Since the first DDR programs begun around 2003, thousands of Rwandan and Ugandan Tutsi soldiers have been integrated (sic) into the Armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC): it is meaningless to say that Rwandan Tutsi soldier can be re-integrated into a Congolese army.

Through the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs funded by the World Bank and western donors, these hostile foreign soldiers have been infiltrated into the FARDC, creating a national army compromised by having thousands of enemy (Rwandaphone) soldiers within its ranks. The DDR section of MONUSCO supports the Government of the DRC, which retains the primary responsibility for defining the DDR policies.

The FARDC has seen more than 29 top-level commanders drawn from the Rwandan / Ugandan forces in its command structure. Additionally, there are some 300 more or less Rwandan Tutsi Captains in the regular FARDC ranks.[34]

Under the leadership of President Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) every peace treaty and joint DRC government / U.N. demobilization effort since 2003 has involved infiltration of hostile Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers into the Congolese military, national police, security services, parliament, government, governors offices, and more

This process of co-opting the Congo at the deepest levels began in 2003, when the decision was made to integrate some of the top war criminals into the Congolese power structure as Vice-Presidents of the transitional government; these included Azarias Ruberwa (RCD); Arthur Z'ahidi Ngoma (RCD); and Jean-Pierre Bemba (MLC). The Sun City 'peace' agreements declared amnesty to RCD combatants.

The Congo's national army, FARDC, cannot conduct responsible military operations that serve the interests of the Congolese people. The command structure is full of Rwandans and Ugandans aligned with Museveni and Kagame, with thousands of Tutsi soldiers in the ranks. The command structure is disorganized, and this is due to the conflicting agendas, and the subterfuge of the Rwanda/Ugandan agents within. There are parallel command structures dictated by military commander's involvement in the illegal mining and taxation. Many FARDC commanders, whether of Congolese or Rwandan origin, only seek to enrich themselves. Embezzlement, racketeering, conscription of labor, combined with the routine entropy of a poorly paid and poorly managed national army, have created a culture of deception, manipulation and personal profit. Finally, there may be as many as 14,000 Rwandans in the FARDC; soldiers of Rwandan and Ugandan origin that have been infiltrated into the FARDC desert at will, taking their weapons with them and turning them against the Congo.

Troops of the first 'integrated' FARDC brigade in a training exercise
led by the United Nations (MONUC) in Bukavu, South Kivu, 2006. 
Photo: c. keith harmon snow 2006.

The government of Congo is also highly compromised by having many Tutsi politicians in in civilian ranks, not least of which is the president of the country. President Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) is a Rwandan Tutsi who marched across Congo-Zaire under the guidance of his uncle, RPA general James Kabarebe, one of the top 40 RPA soldiers indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in 2009 by the International Court of Justice, Audiencia Nacionale, in Spain. Kanambe surreptitiously serves the interests of Rwanda and Uganda, and the United States, Canada, the U.K., Belgium and Israel. Alias Joseph Kabila is not the son of Laurent Desire Kabila, and he never was.[35]


One of Laurent Nkunda's primary tasks with the AFDL-CZ was to ensure the assassination of the Hutu and Bantu customary chiefs in the collectives on the Congo-Rwanda border so that Rwandaphone agents could replace them.[36]

Nkunda was a senior officer in the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma). In 2004 he was named general in a new national Congolese army created from troops of the dissident forces at the end (sic) of the war. He refused the post and withdrew with hundreds of his troops to the forests of Masisi in North Kivu. In August 2005, Nkunda announced a new 'rebellion': the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP).

Rwanda's Majar General Gatama worked with Nkunda during the aggression of the Rwandan rebel CNDP. Gatama later worked with Rwandan warlords General Bosco Ntaganda and Colonel Sultani Makenga during the guerilla M23 Movement. Gatama was on the front lines in Congo when M23 was defeated by the joint military operations of the Congolese army (FARDC) and the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), sent by the South African Development Community (SADC).

Colonel Sultani Makenga is another Kagame henchman who was born in South Kivu (DRC) but joined the RPA invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990. Later sent back to Congo for the various rebel insurgencies manufactured by Kagame and Museveni, Makenga was always a very close collaborator with Laurent Nkunda. When Nkunda was 'arrested' in Rwanda by Kagame, Colonel Makenga and General Bosco Ntaganda continued Rwanda's dirty work in the M23 insurgency.

After Makenga and Ntaganda had a falling out in 2013, with Ntaganda evicted, Colonel Makenga became the de facto sole military leader of the victorious faction of M23. After the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) defeated M23, Makenga left his command headquarters at Bunagana, which was also Laurent Nkunda's base, and fled North Kivu to Uganda.

"Although he has no ICC arrest warrant hanging over his head," reported the BBC in November 2013, "the UN Security Council imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on him last year, accusing him of being responsible for the 'killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, and forced displacement' -- a reference to the fact that some 800,000 people fled their homes during the 19-month [M23] rebellion." [37]

"Reports say Colonel Makenga and about 1,700 fighters have been disarmed and are being held in a secret location," reported the BBC on 7 November 2013. "The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in Kampala says Col Makenga poses a tough diplomatic challenge for Uganda... A Ugandan government spokesperson told the BBC a decision on whether to hand him over would have to wait until a peace deal is signed between DR Congo and the M23 rebels, which is expected this weekend." [38]

International press reports after September 2013 described how Col Sultani Mukenga 'surrendered' to the Ugandan government and his possible imminent extradition to Congo: it seems the regime in Kampala had no intentions, ever, of surrendering Mukenga to Congo. The BBC does not perform a public service in advancing such propaganda. Indeed, the press widely raised disingenuous questions about Makenga's fate, and the 'tough diplomatic challenge' faced by the government of Uganda.

By November 2013 the western mass media was reporting that the M23 'rebels' had 'surrendered in Uganda' or 'turned themselves in' in Rwanda. This is a stale ruse, since one does not 'turn themselves in' or 'surrender' to the people that they work with and to whom they swear eternal blood allegiance.

"The arrest of the Democratic Republic of Congo's notorious rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda removes a major impediment to peace in one of the world's most war-torn countries," cheered TIME Magazine on 23 January 2009. "The fact that he was arrested in Rwanda also helps the government of President Paul Kagame restore a reputation severely tarnished last month, when the U.N. accused it of arming and supplying men to Nkunda and using him as a proxy inside Congo." [39]

TIME magazine has played a pivotal role whitewashing all western military and western corporate mining plunder in Congo, and it hammers the tired and false establishment narrative about genocide in Rwanda. According to this narrative, which legitimizes the ongoing genocide against Rwandan Hutu people, Kagame invaded the Congo (Zaire) in 1996 purely "to stamp out the Hutu genocidaires sheltering in Congo." [40] The false narrative turns Hutu victims into killers, and the mass murder of innocent Hutu people into what is supposed to be a just and necessary punishment. [41]

"Rwandan troops, RCD, M23, Ugandan army, CNDP, they all work together: these names like M23 and MCRC are meaningless." Jean Paul Romeo Rugero is a Rwandan born Hutu in exile. In July 1994, at the age of 15, he fled Rwanda with his family and he survived the Rwandan Patriotic Army genocide against hundreds of thousands of innocent non-combatant Hutu men, women and children in Congo. "The soldiers in these 'rebel' armies know no borders. They have been in all these armies: NRA, UPDF, RPA, RCD, CNDP, M23. They don't see any borders, they don't see any countries; they just see one big Tutsi-Hima land and that is what they are fighting for."


In January 2009 the western press was blanketed with stories describing how General Laurent Nkunda had been arrested in Gisenyi, Rwanda, and was placed under house arrest by the government of Rwanda. The prevailing wisdom said that Nkunda had become too much of a political liability to his boss, Paul Kagame, who was loosing funding from international donors that were worried about Nkunda's impact on western mining operations in Congo.

With Nkunda's arrest in 2009, one story after another provided Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni with the international fanfare they needed to distance their regimes from what was then the latest bloody insurgency in eastern Congo, led by Rwandan and Ugandan forces under the name of the 'Congolese Revolutionary Army', more popularly known as 'M23'.

"The arrest of the Democratic Republic of Congo's notorious rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda removes a major impediment to peace in one of the world's most war-torn countries," wrote TIME Magazine in January 2009. "The fact that he was arrested in Rwanda also helps the government of President Paul Kagame restore a reputation severely tarnished last month, when the U.N. accused it of arming and supplying men to Nkunda and using him as a proxy inside Congo."

Attempts by the government of Congo to extradite Nkunda to Congo for trial after his arrest in Gisenyi, Rwanda were blocked by Kigali, who claimed that Nkunda was being held under house arrest, the propaganda line widely parroted by the international media.

Rwandan dissidents claimed that Nkunda was living comfortably in Rwanda.

A year after his supposed arrest Nkunda's defense attorney, Canadian barrister Stephane Bourgon began claiming that Nkunda's rights were being violated. Bourgon claimed that Rwanda was keeping Nkunda illegally in 'no-man's land' without charge and that the Rwandan government was blocking access to his client. [42]

Stephane Bourgon is also a Royal Canadian Military College graduate who served in the Canadian Forces for more than 20 years as logistics officer and military legal advisor. [43] (Canadian General Romeo Dallaire supported the Rwandan Patriotic Army invasion of Rwanda 1993-1994.)

"Former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda is ready to face trial for alleged war crimes or go into exile to end his detention without charge in Rwanda," Bourgon reported in an interview with Reuters news service in 2010. [44]

In 2012, stories about Rwandan warlord Bosco Ntaganda -- Nkunda's rival and successor warlord running M23 -- briefly captured the international spotlight, and most of these routinely mentioned that General Laurent Nkunda was being held under house arrest in Rwanda.

Rwandan warlord Bosco Ntaganda with officers of CNDP/M23
in North Kivu. 
Photo: c. unknown.

In June 2012, Kagame responded to international criticism with threats to turn Nkunda loose on Congo. Rwanda continued to refuse to hand Nkunda over to Congo to face charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection, with Kagame disingenuously claiming concerns that Nkunda would not get a fair trial and might simply be killed for his ethnicity.[45]

In July 2012, the US, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany withdrew or delayed disbursement of their budgetary support to Rwanda in protest of Rwanda's alleged support for M23 Congolese rebels.

By late 2012 the subject of Laurent Nkunda has slipped off the international news scene.


Beginning in mid-April 2015, hundreds of Uganda and Rwandan soldiers began infiltrating eastern Congo, crossing the border through the Virunga National Park and northern Lake Kivu region, to join the ranks of the latest Rwandan/Ugandan guerrilla occupation of eastern Congo.

On 22 April 2015, the Rwandan army crossed the border into North Kivu (DRC), wounding a Congolese soldier.[46]

Around the same time three United Nations officials reported that three mine-clearance workers were kidnapped at Kibumba, some 30 miles north of Goma, the provincial capital. These were private agents working for a specialized private firm subcontracted by the UN anti-mine service, but name of the company that the three worked for was not mentioned in either the United Nations or the western press reports. The men were identified as two Congolese and one foreigner, and they were kidnapped off a main road in Rutshuru, North Kivu, by what were believed to be Rwandans speaking Kinyarwanda.

"The three men disappeared as tension rose on the border with Rwanda, which sent troops into North Kivu in the same region near Kibumba, according to the DR Congo's armed forces," wrote AFP on 23 April 2015. (The exact date of their kidnapping is unclear.) "One Congolese soldier was wounded in an exchange of fire on Wednesday, the army said." [47]

The three landmine clearance personnel were working for the private South African de-mining firm MECHEM, a subsidiary of the South African aerospace and defense giant DENEL Land Systems. DENEL MECHEM lists amongst its current clients the Pentagon private military firm RONCO Consulting Corporation, for which DENEL MECHEM has a contract at the Pentagon's Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.[48] MECHEM has also worked for its U.S. military client RONCO in Sudan.[49]

RONCO Corporation surfaced in the Great Lakes of Africa during the U.S. military invasions of Rwanda (1990-1994) and Zaire (1996-1998). Billed as a corporation working in the 'humanitarian' sector, RONCO masquerades as a de-mining firm but employs 'former' U.S. Special Operations Forces.[50] In 1994, 'former' Special Operations Forces working for RONCO Corporation provided military equipment and ferried RPA troops from Uganda to Rwanda during the western-backed coup d'etat led by Paul Kagame. [51]

Unidentified assailants believed to be soldiers from Rwanda or Uganda kidnapped three more civilians and four FARDC soldiers near Kibumba in North Kivu, DRC, in late April 2015.

Reports from Rwandan government opposition members claim that some 400 combatants of the Rwandan Defense Forces commanded by 'Colonel Charles' and 'Colonel Mahire' crossed the border through the Virunga National Park on the nights of 5 and 6 May 2015.[52]

On 5 May 2015, two Tanzanian peacekeepers with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) special Force Intervention Brigade were killed and thirteen others were wounded in an attack that MONUSCO blamed on 'suspected Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Islamist rebels'. [53]

Another four MONUSCO 'blue helmet' soldiers from the United Republic of Tanzania were reported missing. This was the second reported attack on MONUSCO forces in the eastern North Kivu region in 48 hours after unidentified combatants fired on helicopter carrying a senior commander.[54]

On 9 May 2015 AFP reported the discovery of seven bodies in North Kivu. The head of a local civil society organization complained that authorities had been alerted about armed men circulating in the area but the reports had not been taken seriously. [55]

The AFP news service reported that "[t]he incident was the latest in a spate of unrest that has included a UN helicopter coming under fire, and at least 20 soldiers and rebels dying in clashes." In other AFP reports, the violence was attributed to anti-Ugandan ADF rebels: AFP credited a FARDC spokesman saying that FARDC troops recently killed 16 ADF rebels in two days of clashes in the region.

"The Muslim rebels of the ADF, who launched an insurgency in neighboring Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni in the mid-1990s, are accused of killing more than 260 civilians in and around Beni town between October and December last year. Most of the victims were hacked to death, in atrocities that prompted a joint operation by the Congolese army and UN troops to put down the jihadist fighters in December."[56a]

The attribution of ALL violence in Congo to 'Islamist rebels' of the ADF or Rwandan genocidaires from the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) is generally a propaganda tactic: the ADF and FDLR are routinely blamed for violence that is as often as not perpetrated by government forces from Uganda or Rwanda. The ADF, FDLR, and Lord's Resistance Army are the west's go-to bogeymen, used to justify further military interventions, militarization and spying by the regimes in Rwandan and Uganda.

Also, MONUSCO is apparently blaming the killing of the Tanzanian 'blue helmets' on ADF so that MONUSCO will not have to contradict their own former statements that they did not notice any Ugandan or Rwandan troop movements coming across the border in April 2015.

"Re-emergence of Rwandan rebel group in eastern DRC raises risks of border fighting and attacks on UN," reported Jane's Intelligence Weekly on 11 May 2015. Since August 2014, the UN mission in DRC has also alleged the M23 is rearming and regrouping, although M23 president Bertrand Bisimwa has dismissed the claims. DRC officials report that in late April around 300 M23 armed members crossed into DRC's Beni territory from Uganda, after at least 1000 M23 members in December 2014 fled a Ugandan barracks in Bihanga where they had been temporarily stationed." [56b]

In early May at least 50 civilians were 'kidnapped' from Nyiragongo territory, near Goma. As of late May there was no news of their whereabouts, and they may have been 'disappeared'; there was no reporting in the international media.

According to a reliable source in eastern Congo, by early May 2015 General Laurent Nkunda was reported to be behind a military buildup in Masisi, North Kivu, with his soldiers based in Rutshuru, Masisi and Walikale. By mid May 2015 there were reports of many hundreds of 'unidentified' guerrillas moving around Masisi territory in North Kivu.

DRC President Kanambe's alias Kabila's elite Republican Guards. Photo: keith harmon snow c. 2006

Working with local Congolese Mai Mai warlord Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka, General Nkunda and the MCRC had reportedly been targeting gold, cassiterite, coltan and tourmaline mines mainly in Masisi and Walikale.

Other sources in North Kivu could not confirm Nkunda's presence, but they believe that Nkunda is the 'big commander' behind the new MCRC rebellion.

So, where is Laurent Nkunda? And who is behind the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of Congo (MCRC)?

From 2013 to the present day hundreds of thousands of non-combatant civilians have been displaced from their homes and villages in North Kivu province (alone). Charged with numerous crimes documented over the past 20 years, Laurent Nkunda is allegedly allowed to freely roam back and forth between Rwanda and Uganda for high levels meetings where latest guerilla warfare campaign in eastern Congo was planned.

The MCRC insurgency flagged the attention of the U.S. propaganda Voice of America network, and the Rwanda regime's propaganda network has issued one disinformation report about them.

"Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say armed men have crossed into the country from Uganda and set up bases in Beni territory," reported Voice of America on 27 April 2015. "A local community leader told VOA they may be Congolese rebels, part of the same movement reported to have crossed the Rwandan border into the DRC last week." [57]

On 2 May 2015 the Kagame regime's military intelligence newspaper Imirasire confirmed what Kigali wants to paint as a 'new Congolese rebellion' in eastern Congo. The slant of the publication is intended to appeal to the Rwandan public to read between the lines and understand that the government of Rwanda supports the 'rebellion'.

"News coming from North Kivu indicate[s] that a new rebel group composed of former M23 and CNDP fighters has been created, as the Governor of North Kivu declared to the press. The Governor said that there has been a series of secret meetings to create the group, which by now has gone public and announced its leadership. This has stirred up a new wave of insecurity in Eastern DRC." [58]

Imirasire is a Kinyarwanda language publication run by the Kagame regime's Directorate of Military Intelligence. Operatives working for the Directorate of Military Intelligence are known for committing brutal massacres, assassinations, abductions and disappearing of dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, persons not in favor with the regime, and innocent civilians.

The report in Imirasire appeared under a Kinyarwanda language headline that translates to: "DRC: MCRC rebel group has been made public and announced its leadership with General Laurent Nkunda as head of its military branch." [59]

Speaking on MONUSCO's Radio Okapi on 24 April 2015 and alerting the general population to the latest threat from Rwanda and Uganda, the governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, described the recent military incursions as an attempt by the former Rwandan/Ugandan guerrilla M23 insurgency to re-launch their armed movement under a new name, the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of the Congo (MCRC).

In late April and early May 2015 Governor Paluku denounced 'the meetings held in Uganda and Rwanda to destabilize Congo.' Given the heightened insecurity the Governor announced that he had deployed the Congolese army to border posts to secure the country. But by the time of the attack against Goma, on 2 June 2015, Governor Paluku is singing a different tune, likely ordered by the regime in Kinshasa to suppress the truth about the new Rwandan and Ugandan insurrection.[60]

The MCRC also has a Facebook page that appears to have been created in April 2015. The page's 'description' includes the statement "The reconstruction of our country long plundered by Congolese" and several very nondescript posts proclaim: "we are already among you." [61]


According to various sources, General Laurent Nkunda and Sultani Makenga traveled to Uganda to attend an MCRC organizational meeting at the Bunyoni Overland Resort Hotel in Kabale, Uganda on 25 April 2015. The participants at the meeting established the political and military structures of the MCRC guerilla insurgency, including the selection of president, pastor Kahitari Mumvaneza, who then chaired the meeting.

The MCRC's political wing will be led by:
* Kahitari Mumvaneza: President;
* Bertrand Bisimwa: Vice-president;
* Benjamin Mbonimpa: Executive Secretary;
* Master Mutela Eli: Chief of Staff.

The MCRC's military wing will be led by:
* Laurent Nkunda Mihigo: Chief of General Staff;
* Sultani Makenga: Chief of Military Operations;
* Mboneza Yusufu: Deputy Chief of Operations And Information;
* Ermain Bahame: Deputy Chief of Administration And Logistics;
* Innocent Kayina: Deputy Chief of Military Operations;
* Innocent Zimurinda-Katusi: Commander of Rwanda axis;
* Richard Bisamaza: Commander of Uganda axis;
* Secopere Mihigo: Chief of Military Intelligence.

MCRC leaders are reported to have ties to Canada, France, the U.S. and Rwanda and their links to Rwanda and Uganda are known. For example, Lt. Col. Innocent Zimurinda was an officer in the CNDP who remains loyal to Bosco Ntaganda. Zimurinda was integrated into the FARDC as a Lieutenant Colonel, and in July 2009 Zimurinda was promoted to full Colonel and became FARDC sector commander in North Kivu.

Rwandan warlord Sultani Makenga. Photo: c. unknown.

"It is very clear that as long as Kagame and Museveni are in power this area of Congo will be ungovernable." Rwandan professor Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro points to the source of the violence. "Uganda and Rwanda thrive on the illegal exploitation of minerals and illegal taxation. They will keep fomenting rebellion and whenever the subject of illegal exploitation of minerals is raised at the United Nations they have the diplomatic cover [protection] of the United States and United Kingdom." [62]

All these Rwandan and Ugandan terrorist militias, from the AFDL-CZ, RCD, CNDP to the M23, have attempted to camouflage their Rwandan and Ugandan identities by initially placing authentic Congolese leaders out in the spotlight: e.g. Laurent Desire Kabila (AFDL-CZ), Wamba dia Wamba (RCD), Emile Ilunga (RCD), Onusumba Yamba (RCD), Laurent Nkunda.

Also, 'Banyamulenge', the term for Congolese Tutsis, does not exist in the nomenclature of tribes and ethnic groups of the Congo. Most of the Kinyarwanda speaking communities in eastern DRC and northern Rwanda originally had Hutu traditional leadership. The category Banyamulenge comprises many Tutsis who fled Rwanda during the Rwandan Independence era (circa 1959-1965).

Until the aggression by Rwanda and Uganda in 1990 sparked conflict in neighboring Zaire (Congo), partly fanned by Zaire's president Mobutu, the Kinyarwanda speaking communities (Banyamulenge) in eastern DRC were not known for the Tutsi-Hutu ethnic dichotomy that has devastated the Great Lakes region: this was stirred up by the Tutsi-Hima elites in Uganda and Rwanda. Ethnic and tribal division, discord and destabilization were all part of a systematic and intentional plan to invade and conquer.

By early June 2015, the many hundreds of 'unidentified' Rwandan and Ugandan guerrillas, believed to be the new MCRC, were no more reported in Masisi territory. The forces reportedly split in three parts. One contingent part was sent to join Mai Mai Cheka in the remote forests of Walikale; the second joined Gen Kakolele in Rutshuru near the border with Uganda; and the third contingent is reportedly in Rwanda with General Laurent Nkunda.


"People are killed every day, here and there," says one Congolese human rights investigator in eastern Congo. "U.S. intelligence agents and the organizations they work with produce disinformation favorable to Rwanda and Uganda. These guys are on someone's payroll and they have enough money to throw around to their own networks of informants in the Great Lakes region."

The U.S. and its allies, primarily Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Germany, Holland and Israel, are all part of the networks of multinational interests plundering the natural resources of the Great Lakes countries. The corporations involved in eastern Congo are never mentioned, and no pictures are ever shown of their networks of exploitation that exist in parallel and coincidence with the violence.

The corporations operating in eastern Congo protected by the media and western intelligence apparatus, but soaked in Congolese blood, include Banro Gold, Casa Mining, Mwana Africa, Loncor, Anglo-Gold Ashanti, Kilo Gold, Moku Gold, Randgold and Alphamin Resources.

BANRO GOLD Corporation runs a clean, shiny, well-organized
mining operation in South Kivu, a parallel economy to the bloodshed,
despair and death served on Congolese people. 
Photo: c. Banro Gold Corporation.

Israeli Dan Gertler -- one of the Congo's greatest current enemies -- has bought up petroleum operations in the lakes regions on the Uganda-Congo frontier. Gertler's political allies in power in Israel have been making deals with Rwanda. Another Israeli has been awarded oil-drilling rights in Virunga National Park just in the past two weeks after Canadian oil company SOCOM pulled out under public pressure.

Corporations like Alphamin promise to provide community development programs, with all kinds of publicity of their supposed largesse and generosity. Usually these are cheap exchanges, the equivalent of trinkets for land and minerals, the legacy of colonial occupation and theft.

On 10 June 2015, communities dispossessed of lands and livelihoods by Banro Gold in South Kivu began to confront Banro Gold for the substandard homes provided by Banro. "There is trouble in Luhwindja where Banro is exploiting," reported one Congolese human rights investigator on 10 June 2015. "Banro did nothing to help the locals. The houses they [Banro] built are falling down because people had to abandon them. People are dying from pollution."

The operations of the big mining companies present in eastern Congo are completely whitewashed by the western press and western mercenaries and intelligence front group organizations like the International Crises Group, International Rescue Committee, ENOUGH, Raise Hope For Congo, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and the Social Science Research Council.[63]

The reappearance on the ground in Congo of these Rwandan warlords illuminates the apparatus of impunity involving western governments, non-government front organizations, the United Nations, multinational corporations, think tanks, western academia, the genocide industry, and the industries that profit through the creation of careers and markets for the euphemistically named AID, charity, humanitarian relief, conflict-resolution, and development industries. None of these latter industries would flourish without the market-based manufacture of suffering, despair, disease and deracination, or the market-based production of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.

As it with the western human rights corpus "that keeps intact the hierarchical relationships between European and non-European populations," [64] so it is with all these other industries. Suffering is big business. ~

[1] Private Communication, June 2015.

[2] Aaron Ross and Kenny Katombe, "Gunmen attack airport in eastern Congo, seven dead, Reuters, 2 June 2015.

[3] Gunmen launch deadly raid on airport depot in DR Congo, AFP, 2 June 2015, .

[4] DRC arrests 'leader' of Goma airport attack, Reuters, 3 June 2015,

[5] Keith Harmon Snow, "Ben Affleck, Rwanda, and Corporate Sustained Catastrophe," Dissident Voice, 23 January 2009, .

[6] David Barouski, "The Case of the Lueshe Mine, Z Communications, 27 July 2008,

[7] Keith Harmon Snow, "More Congo Propaganda: M23 and the Unseen High-Tech Genocide," Conscious Being Alliance, 8 November 2013,


[9] DRC arrests 'leader' of Goma airport attack, Reuters, 3 June 2015,

[10] Private communication, June 2015.

[11] DRC arrests 'leader' of Goma airport attack, Reuters, 3 June 2015,

[12] Private communication, June 2015.

[13] "Military says lull in DRC fighting," AP, 6 September 2013.

[14] Private communication, June 2015.

[15] Steve Hege, Letter dated 26 November 2012 from the Coordinator of the Group of Experts on the DRC addressed to the Chairman, S/AC.43/2012/GE/OC.63, 26 November 2012.

[16] Security Council Democratic Republic of Congo Sanctions Committee Updates Sanctions List, 6 February 2015,

[17] "Nord-Kivu: arrestation d'un officier des FARDC à Beni," Radio Okapi, 10 December 2013,

[18] "Nord Kivu : Les éléments du Chef rebelle Tcheka saccagent la localité de Bunyatenge, enlèvent, violent et tuent des femmes et enfants," GADHOP, 17 September 2014,

[19] "RDC: 3 morts dans les combats entre Maï-Maï Cheka et FDLR à Lubero," Radio Okapi, 7 March 2015,

[20] HRW reporting on human rights is expedient. Like Care, Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, and the International Crises Group and its ENOUGH Project, HRW operates in a political economy of human rights and genocide that centers around the protection and advancement of western profit-based interests, often whitewashing western mining and military operations.

[21] DR Congo: Wanted Rebel's Troops Instill Fear, Human Rights Watch, 6 January 2015.

[22] See, e.g.: Olga Abilova et al, Mining for Gold, Mining for Peace: The role of gold mining in peace and development in eastern DRC, Center for International Conflict Resolution, Columbia University, October 2014, p. 56, .

[23] See, e.g.,: "Alphamin Receives Strong Support from the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Develop Its Bisie Tin Prospect," Marketwatch, 25 July 2014,

[24] Jeremy C. Witley et al, Alphamin Resources Corporation Bisie Tin Project North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, MSA Group, NI 43-101 Technical Report, 10 May 2015,

[25] Private communication, June 2015.

[26] Alison Des Forges, D.R. Congo: Arrest Laurent Nkunda For War Crimes: Military and U.N. Should Act to Protect Civilians, Human Rights Watch, 2 February 2006.

[27] Keith Harmon Snow, "Special Report: Exposing U.S. Agents of Low-Intensity Warfare in Africa," Conscious Being Alliance, 13 August 2012.

[28a] Keith Harmon Snow, "Special Report: Exposing U.S. Agents of Low-Intensity Warfare in Africa," Conscious Being Alliance, 13 August 2012.

[28b] On 'pseudo-operations' see: Frank Kitson, Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency & Peacekeeping, Faber & Faber, 1971.

[29] See, e.g., Keith Harmon Snow, "The Rwanda Genocide Fabrications," Dissident Voice, 13 April 2009,

[30] Personal investigations, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004-2007.

[31] DRC: Mapping Human Rights Violations 1993-2003, United Nations,

[32] Alison Des Forges, D.R. Congo: Arrest Laurent Nkunda For War Crimes: Military and U.N. Should Act to Protect Civilians, Human Rights Watch, 2 February 2006.

[33] The United Nations Force Intervention Brigade is a military formation which forms part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). It was authorized by the United Nations Security Council on 28 March 2013 through United Nations Security Council Resolution 2098. The FIB is the first United Nations peacekeeping formation specifically tasked to carry out targeted offensive operations to neutralize armed groups that threaten State authority and civilian security, with or without the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), against armed groups that threaten peace in the eastern DRC. The brigade is based in North Kivu and is made up of a total of 3,069 peacekeepers. The brigade consists of South African Army, Tanzanian Army, and Malawi Defence Force infantry battalions, Tanzanian artillery, and Special Forces (nationality unidentified).

[34] généraux rwandais tutsi qui dirigent FARDC, l'Armée Congolaise, 29 Juin 2013.

[35] Dr. Yaa-Lengi Ngemi, "Kagame's Trojan Horse in Kinshasa," OP-ED, New York Times, 29 November 2012, .

[36] David Baruoski, Laurent Nkundabatware, His Rwandan Allies, and the Ex-ANC Mutiny, 13 February 2007,

[37] Farouk Chothia, "Profile: Sultani Makenga, DR Congo's M23 rebel leader," BBC, 7 November 2013,

[38] Farouk Chothia, "Profile: Sultani Makenga, DR Congo's M23 rebel leader," BBC, 7 November 2013,

[39] Alex Perry, "Behind Rwanda's Arrest of Nkunda," TIME, 23 January 2009,,8599,1873613,00.html

[40] Alex Perry, "Behind Rwanda's Arrest of Nkunda," TIME, 23 January 2009,,8599,1873613,00.html

[41] Keith Harmon Snow, "White Slaughter in Black Africa: Genocide and Denialism," Conscious Being Alliance, 11 May 2013,

[42] Hereward Holland, "Congo warlord Nkunda seeks trial or exile: lawyer," Reuters, 15 January 2010.

[43] Stephane Bourgon,

[44] Hereward Holland, "Congo warlord Nkunda seeks trial or exile: lawyer," Reuters, 15 January 2010.

[45] Gaaki Kigambo, "Congo war risk as Kagame threatens to release Nkunda," The East African, 23 June 2012,

[46] Aaron Ross, "Rwandan troops cross into Congo, wound soldier - Congo government," Reuters, 22 April 2015,

[47] "Kidnapped trio in DR Congo are subcontractors to UN mission: UN," AFP, 23 April 2015, .

[48] "Running Projects," DENEL MECHEM web site, 5 June 2015,

[49] "Track Record," DENEL web site, 5 June 2015,

[50] See, e.g.: Joseph M. Donahue, The U.S. Army's Countermine Training Support Center and Humanitarian Demining Training Center, Survey Action Center, The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, Issue 5.1, April 2001,

[51] On Ronco Company shipping weapons into Rwanda: see testimony by Kathi Austin, Hearing of the House International Relations Committee, 16 July 1997.

[52] "RDC: Une Autre Incursion de L'armee Rwandais; 400 soldats ont traverse la Frontiere," Ikaze Iwaku, 6 Mai 2015,

[53] Unsigned, "Tanzanian UN peacekeepers killed in DR Congo near Beni," BBC, 6 May 2015,

[54] "UN deplores deadly attack on 'blue helmets' in DR Congo," UN News Centre, 6 May 2015,

[55] AFP, "Seven Bodies Found in DR Congo's Restive East," Daily Mail, 9 May 2015,

[56a] AFP, "UN Peacekeepers Killed in Ambush in Democratic Republic of Congo," ABC News, 5 May 2015,

[56b] Robert Besseling, "Re-emergence of Rwandan rebel group in eastern DRC raises risk of border fighting and attacks on UN," IHS Jane's Intelligence Weekly, 11 MAy 2015,

[57] Nick Long, "Armed Men from Uganda Reported in DRC," Voice of America, 27 April 2015, .

[58] "RDC: Umutwe wa MCRC wagiye ku mugaragaro utangaza n'ubuyobozi bwawo na Gen Laurent Nkunda nk'umukuru w'igisirikare cyawo" [translation: "DRC: MCRC rebel group has been made public and announced its leadership with Gen Laurent Nkunda as head of its military branch"], Imirasire, 2 May 2015,

[59] "RDC: Umutwe wa MCRC wagiye ku mugaragaro utangaza n'ubuyobozi bwawo na Gen Laurent Nkunda nk'umukuru w'igisirikare cyawo" [translation: "DRC: MCRC rebel group has been made public and announced its leadership with Gen Laurent Nkunda as head of its military branch"], Imirasire, 2 May 2015,

[60] "Nord-Kivu: les FARDC sont déployées pour sécuriser les frontières, annonce Julien Paluku avril 24, 2015," Radio Okapi, 24 April 2015,


[62] Private communication, 5 May 2015.


[64] Makau Mutua, Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002: p.7.

Written by: keith harmon snow except where noted.
Photography Credits: keith harmon snow