KAMPALA – A British-based development group has accused industrialised countries of failing to punish companies alleged to have profited from the DR Congo war.
The group, Rights and Accountability in Development RAID said in a report released last Thursday that governments from the world's 30 richest countries failed to investigate their companies’ dealings in the Congo.
“National governments must investigate and prosecute companies where their conduct is shown to contravene domestic legislation,” the report says.
“The United Nations and governments should co-operate fully with investigations, which are being launched by the ICC into, inter alia, the complicity of business in war crimes in the DRC,” the report added.
Four years ago, a UN panel named companies and individuals that had allegedly been enriched by the war.
Uganda was among the countries named in the report on the plunder of Congo. The report, released in three parts pinned former Army Commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini, and the former army MP Lt. Gen. Salim Saleh among others.
Three Uganda registered companies Victoria Group, Saracen Uganda Ltd and Okapi Air – Odessa Air were named among several others as having participated in the plunder.
The war in the DR Congo that broke out in 1998 claimed scores of lives.
A UN Security Council appointed a panel to report on how Congo's gold, diamonds and other minerals paid for and fuelled the conflict.
“But after reporting, the panel was wound up, leaving a host of unanswered questions,” the report said.
In theory the companies should be accountable under guidelines produced by the Paris-based agency, the Organization for Co-operation and Development.
But Thursday’s report said no progress has been made in pursing the companies by their own governments.
Britain, which is home to some of the named companies - said it had written to the UN panel asking for detailed information.www.monitor.co.ug/news/news03227.phpE-mail this article