June 2, 2005

VI. AngloGold Ashanti – Starting Gold Exploration Activities

The installation of the transitional government in Kinshasa in June 2003 sparked vigorous competition for mining rights in the DRC.  Numerous mining companies sought to win rights to develop parts of OKIMO's vast gold concession in northeastern Congo. While the transitional government had only minimal administrative control over some of the areas in the OKIMO concession, and no control over others, this did not stop OKIMO from signing new contracts, nor did it stop private foreign companies from starting mining and exploration operations.  As of September 2004, eleven mining companies had signed contracts with OKIMO to explore or mine the gold in northeastern Congo, the majority of them from South Africa.[174] 

The dilapidated offices of the state gold company Kilo-Moto (OKIMO) in Bunia.  OKIMO has exclusive mining rights to a zone of 83,000 square kilometers, an area three times the size of Belgium.  The area is considered to be one of largest unexplored goldfields in Africa.

© 2004 Human Rights Watch

Box 3 - OKIMO's Gold Reserves

The Office of Kilo-Moto (OKIMO) is a parastatal gold company with a management committee appointed by the DRC Minister of Mines.  It has exclusive mining rights to a zone of 83,000 square kilometers in Haut Uélé and Ituri districts of northeastern Congo; an area three times the size of Belgium. 

OKIMO divided the most promising part of the gold reserve into three concessions in the 1980s and sought private companies to help develop the area through exploration for new gold deposits and the mining of existing gold mines.   Companies brought in investment funds, paid rental for part or all of the concession for a specific duration of time, and shared future profits in a joint venture arrangement with the state. Concessions were broken down as follows:

Concession 38 – 4,560 square kilometers in the northern part of the OKIMO reserve around the towns of Durba and Watsa.  This concession is home to the former industrial mine of Gorumbwa (flooded after its destruction in 2000), the highly lucrative mine of Agbarabo with one of the highest gold ore densities in the world, and the mine of Durba amongst others.  The Belgian built gold processing factory and laboratory still function though at significantly reduced capacity.

Concession 39 -  4,880 square kilometers in the eastern part of the reserve around Djalasiga and Zani.  This area held a productive mine that was reportedly closed after the killing of a number of Belgian expatriates during the rebellion of the early 1960s.  Local sources report that gold mining has recently restarted in the riverbeds by a Ugandan based company.

Concession 40 – 8,191 square kilometers in the southern part of the reserve around Mongbwalu.  This has been a highly contested concession and is assumed to hold significant gold reserves.  It is home to the industrial mine of Adidi (now defunct), and the former Belgian mines of Makala and Sincere.  There was a Belgian-built processing factory and a laboratory both of which were destroyed during the fighting in Mongbwalu between November 2002 and July 2003. This concession was granted by the DRC government to AngloGold Ashanti (formerly Ashanti Goldfields) in 1998.

The five-year war in DRC fractured OKIMO with armed groups attempting to control each sector independently.  In 2003 three separate individuals appointed by different armed groups claimed to hold the position of General Director at OKIMO.

See Map: Trade and Control of Gold in Northeastern DRC.

Competition for the Mining Rights to the Mongbwalu Mines

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. is one of the largest gold production companies in the world with the majority of its shares owned by the international conglomerate, Anglo American plc.[175]  AngloGold Ashanti was established in October 2003 by a merger of two large African gold mining companies: Ashanti Goldfields Ltd. and AngloGold Ltd.  The promising gold mining concession in northeastern Congo had become part of the Ashanti Goldfields portfolio in 1996 when the company bought a stake in a joint venture operation between Mining Development International and OKIMO called Kilo-Moto International Mining s.a.r.l. (KIMIN).[176]  This purchase gave Ashanti Goldfields part of the rights to the highly lucrative Concession 40 which included 2,000 square kilometers around Mongbwalu.  

The competition for the control of mining concessions throughout the DRC was intense during the first and second Congo wars in 1996 and in 1998.[177]  President Laurent Kabila frequently renegotiated mining agreements as his interests changed, causing considerable confusion for companies.  Ashanti Goldfields temporarily lost the rights to Concession 40 in 1997 to Russell Resources International Ltd. in what the company called "unusual circumstances"[178], but its rights were reinstated the following year.[179]  On June 23, 2000 the partnership between OKIMO and Ashanti Goldfields was officially established as a new joint venture called Ashanti Goldfields Kilo s.a.r.l.(AGK) replacing the defunct KIMIN.[180]  Just over a year later, on September 25, 2001, the government of President Laurent Kabila approved an amendment to the AGK joint venture contract granting it mining rights to all of Concession 40, an area of over 8,000 square kilometres in the heart of Ituri with Mongbwalu at its center, a significant increase on the 2,000 square kilometers the company bought a few years earlier.[181]  When Ashanti Goldfields merged with Anglo Gold in October 2003, Concession 40 became part of the portfolio of AngloGold Ashanti.

AngloGold Ashanti Seeks to Start Exploration Activities in Mongbwalu, 2003

When the transitional government was installed in June 2003, it supposedly assumed control over all of the Congo, but in many regions this control was ineffective on the ground. Ituri was one of those regions. Neither the Ituri Interim Assembly (April 2003-June 2004) nor an agreement with local armed groups (May 2003), as described above, succeeded in bringing the area under effective administration by the transitional government. Njabu, head of the FNI, and Lubanga, head of the UPC, were called to Kinshasa to discuss establishing order in Ituri in August 2003 along with other armed group leaders.  All parties signed a memorandum of understanding to end hostilities, but like previous agreements it was not upheld.  Transitional government officials in effect detained Njabu and Lubanga in the capital, where they lodged at the Grand Hotel.[182] But their required residence in Kinshasa did not materially change the situation on the ground, perhaps because they were in frequent telephone contact with their followers in Ituri.[183]  Throughout the later part of 2003 and into 2004, the armed groups continued skirmishes with each other and with MONUC, carrying out abuses against civilians throughout Ituri. U.N. peacekeeping forces made little progress in most of the region, although they restored order in the capital, Bunia.

Civilians in Ituri fleeing from armed attacks.  Displacement has been frequent in Ituri, especially in the gold mining regions.   Tens of thousands of civilians fled their homes into the forests in the Mongbwalu area to escape their attackers between 2002 and 2004.  Many of them did not survive.   © 2003 Marcus Bleasdale

On March 7, 2003, before the start of the new transitional government in DRC, a representative of AngloGold Ashanti, Trevor Schultz, participated in a board meeting with their joint venture partner OKIMO.[184]  At the meeting, the participants reportedly discussed launching activities for gold exploration drilling in Mongbwalu.[185]  At the time, the FNI together with the Ugandan army were involved in military operations in areas just outside Mongbwalu.  They attacked and took Kilo on March 10, 2003 massacring at least one hundred women and children and abducting many others before moving on to Mongbwalu on March 13, 2003.  Between March and June 2003 as the Ugandan soldiers departed, the FNI combatants established their effective control over the Mongbwalu area by military means, as detailed above.  In the months following their initial board meeting when AngloGold Ashanti may have been considering beginning activities in Mongbwalu, the FNI exercised de facto control over the land, including Concession 40, and people in that area. It held the airport and controlled access by roads so that travellers needed FNI authorization to enter and to leave the area. FNI combatants also controlled entry to and exit from the mines and set up a system to collect taxes for any entry to Mongbwalu or the mines.

Both during military operations and after having taken effective control of the area, FNI combatants committed grave human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. By July 2003 the human rights violations in Ituri had been documented in reports by Human Rights Watch, by other organizations, and in the press[186] and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court had announced that crimes committed during combat in Ituri would be among his first targets of investigation.[187] In October 2002, June 2003, and October 2003, the U.N. panel of experts detailed links between the exploitation of natural resources and continued war, with its related abuses, including in Ituri.  In an annex to their October 2002 report the U.N. panel of experts detailed concerns about compliance with the OECD Multinational Guidelines by eighty-five multinational companies operating in the DRC including Ashanti Goldfields (the predecessor to AngloGold Ashanti).[188]  Ashanti Goldfields denied the allegations in a one-page response to the panel in early 2003.[189] No further investigations were conducted and in their final report the panel determined that all issues with Ashanti Goldfields and forty-one other companies had been resolved.[190] The panel however added an important caveat in their final report stressing that "resolution should not be seen as invalidating the panel's earlier findings with regard to the activities of these [companies]"[191], and thus left open the question about whether companies such as Ashanti Goldfields may have violated the OECD guidelines in their activities (see Chapter VII below for further discussion of the OECD guidelines and the DRC).[192]  The panel's attention to the matter and Ashanti Goldfields' official response illustrated that Ashanti's representatives were aware of concerns expressed by the U.N. and other organizations about the link between the conflict and the exploitation of resources such as gold.

In October 2003, AngloGold Ashanti representatives discussed the company's intentions to start gold exploration drilling in Mongbwalu with two Congolese vice-presidents and two ministers.[193]  In its December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch, the company wrote that "These [government] officials were supportive of AGK's intentions."[194]

According to one employee of AngloGold Ashanti, it was Jean-Pierre Bemba, a vice-president of the transitional government for economy and finance who suggested the company deal with FNI.  The company employee said that Bemba told them, "Go and talk to the little guy in the Grand Hotel."[195] Njabu, small in size, was then still residing at the Grand Hotel in Kinshasa. When asked about this exchange by a Human Rights Watch researcher, Bemba replied, "I told them they [AngloGold Ashanti] could start mining if they wanted to. It wasn't I who signed their contract, it was the previous government. Why would I tell them to deal with the FNI? They aren't even in the government."[196]  The discussions took place just weeks after FNI combatants carried out a killing spree in September 2004 to areas east of Mongbwalu in Concession 40 brutally killing scores of civilians.  In a follow-up letter to Human Rights Watch on December 13, 2004, AngloGold Ashanti wrote that Vice President Bemba assured the company that Ituri was safe and stated Mr. Bemba "urged the company to continue with its exploration program in the region."[197]

AngloGold Ashanti develops a relationship with the FNI armed group           

There are serious questions about the relationshipthat AngloGold Ashanti established with the FNI in order to facilitate their gold exploration activities in Mongbwalu.  AngloGold Ashanti's official dealings and its mining contract were with the transitional government in Kinshasa, but the government did not physically control the area around Mongbwalu, the key mining site.  While government ministers may have expressed support for AngloGold Ashanti's gold exploration program, as described in the company's December 7, and December 13, 2004 letters to Human Rights Watch, such verbal support did little to change the realities on the ground.  Mongbwalu was under the de facto control of the FNI armed group who had no legal authority over the OKIMO concession and was not a legitimate administrative agent of the transitional government; it had rejected disarmament of its combatants and participation in the peace process and it exercised its control through the open use of force.  In light of the fact that the transitional government exercised no control over Mongbwalu, AngloGold Ashanti representatives began establishing a relationship with the FNI, an armed group with an atrocious record of human rights crimes who continued to carry out serious and widespread abuses even as they entered discussions with AngloGold Ashanti representatives.[198] 

By entering into a relationship with the FNI who had effective control over the Mongbwalu gold mining area, AngloGold Ashanti delivered material benefits and prestige to the FNI, as discussed below.  These resources could in turn be used to further FNI control over the area and help in resisting efforts by the transitional government, the United Nations and other actors to end violence and human rights abuses in Ituri. 

The start of a relationship with the FNI was not the first time AngloGold Ashanti had made contact with an armed group responsible for human rights abuses.  In May 2002, when the war was still being fought in northeastern Congo and more than a year before a national transitional government was installed, Ashanti Goldfields (the predecessor to AngloGold Ashanti) had sent a representative to assess the situation in Mongbwalu.[199] During the following six months, a company representative made contact with the UPC armed group that then controlled Mongbwalu to discuss starting gold exploration activities.[200]  The UPC had won control of Mongbwalu and surrounding areas after a battle with Lendu combatants that killed some 800 civilians, many of them slaughtered on the basis of their ethnicity.   In late September 2002, UPC leader Lubanga asked the OKIMO director in Bunia, a supporter of the UPC, to draw up conditions for mining once the UPC took Mongbwalu, as described above. The OKIMO official replied that the UPC needed to provide clear directives to, and complete support for, OKIMO in its negotiations with Ashanti Goldfields. He deplored the joint venture contract provisions and castigated the company for being an "arrogant purchaser."[201]

 

After the FNI pushed the UPC out of Mongbwalu in the first half of 2003, AngloGold Ashanti was also prepared to hold discussions with them.  Following discussions with transitional government officials, AngloGold Ashanti representatives met with self-styled FNI president Njabu while he was in Kinshasa in late2003 to apparently ask for permission to start gold exploration drilling activities in Mongbwalu, necessary because the FNI were in physical control of the mines and surrounding territory.  In an interview with a Human Rights Watch researcher Njabu said,

The government is never going to come to Mongbwalu.  I am the one who gave Ashanti[202] permission to come to Mongbwalu.  I am the boss of Mongbwalu.  If I want to chase them away I will.  It is not Bemba who controls there.  The contract for Ashanti is with the government but we [the FNI] control Mongbwalu so they need to come to see me if they want to work there.[203]

As a result of the meetings with AngloGold Ashanti officials, Njabu confirmed in writing the company could start work in Mongbwalu and informed other FNI leaders including the FNI commissioner of mines, Mr. Basiani, and the FNI commissioner of defense, Commander Iribi Pitchou Mbodina, of his decision, instructing them to co-operate with the company.[204]    As AngloGold Ashanti received permission from the FNI to start operations in Mongbwalu, FNI combatants were returning from their murderous campaign of ethnic killings they carried out between July and September 2003 in Drodro, Nizi, Fataki, Bule and Largo, villages in the vicinity of Mongbwalu, where they had left some of their victims dead in the streets with their arms tied, sticks in their rectums, and body parts cut off, as described above.

In setting up a relationship with the FNI resulting in mutual benefits, AngloGold Ashanti may have violated a U.N. arms embargo on eastern DRC.  The U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1493 in July 2003 demanding that "no direct or indirect assistance, especially military or financial assistance, [be] given to the movements and armed groups present in the DRC."[205]  It specifically set up an arms embargo on "all foreign and Congolese armed groups and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and of Ituri, and to groups not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement."[206]  The U.N. group of experts investigating breaches to the arms embargo stated in a report to the U.N. security council in January 2005 that AngloGold Ashanti could arguably have violated the arms embargo through their direct payment and assistance to the FNI, an embargoed party.[207]  The group of experts requested further clarification on the matter from the U.N. security council sanctions committee.  In an April 27, 2005 e-mail communication to Human Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti wrote, "There has been no intention on the part of AngloGold Ashanti to violate the embargo either acting by itself or in concert with anyparty."[208]   While the company may not have had an 'intention' to break the embargo, Human Rights Watch believes that the decision by AngloGold Ashanti to work in a context of violence and conflict, such as that of Mongbwalu, increased its risks and placed the company on the thin edge of ethical and responsible business. 

           Floribert Njabu (left), President of the FNI.  © 2004 Human Rights Watch

AngloGold Ashanti benefits from its relationship with the FNI armed group

Having received permission from the FNI to start gold exploration activities, AngloGold Ashanti representatives started to conduct visits to Bunia and Mongbwalu from the company's office in Uganda, a much closer logistical support base than the company's office in Kinshasa. AngloGold Ashanti's consultant, Jean Claude Kanku, went to Bunia where he was seen several times in the company of FNI representatives, including the FNI commissioner of defense, Commander Iribi Pitchou, who acted as leader of the FNI while Njabu was held in Kinshasa.[209]  In an interview with a Human Rights Watch researcher, Commander Pitchou confirmed that he had regular contact with AngloGold Ashanti representatives in Bunia and Uganda.[210] A primary concern for starting gold exploration drilling was security and the company representatives including Ashley Lassen, (Consultant and AngloGold Ashanti's head of office in Uganda), Desire Sangara (AngloGold Ashanti's head of office in DRC), Howard Fall (geologist and project manager for Mongbwalu operations), Jean Claude Kanku (consultant), accompanied by an OKIMO representative, consulted Emmanuel Leku, the administrator of the Ituri Interim Assembly, on this question in October 2003. Leku told them that it was too dangerous to visit Mongbwalu and that his administration did not control the area.[211]  The representatives also discussed plans to start activities in Mongbwalu with the head of the MONUC office in Bunia, Dominique Ait-Ouyahia McAdams. She and her staff told them that the time was not right for the start of operations in Mongbwalu.[212]  Engaged in trying to reduce the power of local armed groups, MONUC staff were unlikely to support any arrangements which would strengthen or grant prestige to the FNI.   Due to security concerns, insufficient capacity, and logistical complications, MONUC peacekeeping had not then deployed to Mongbwalu.

Despite the caution from the administrator and MONUC officials, AngloGold Ashanti representatives went to Mongbwalu in November 2003, accompanied by FNI commissioner Commander Pitchou, still acting in place of FNI leader Njabu.  The AngloGold Ashanti visit took place the same month as FNI leaders and combatants carried out a series of arbitrary arrests and summary executions against civilians in Mongbwalu, including the killing of Mr. Choms who had applauded the arrival of a U.N. plane which he hoped would bring peace to the area.  In an interview with a Human Rights Watch researcher, Commander Pitchou explained how he helped AngloGold Ashanti get installed in Mongbwalu. He said,

 

President Njabu had given Ashanti written permission in Kinshasa.  Ashanti said they would rebuild roads and hospitals for us - they promised us this.  I took the Ashanti delegation to Mongbwalu in November 2003.  We held joint meetings there and met many workers. On other trips I sent my chief of staff to accompany them.  We are in regular contact with them, even with their headquarters in London.[213]  I have spoken to Mr. Sangara [Head of AngloGold Ashanti in Kinshasa] myself and with Jean Claude Kanku [AngloGold Ashanti consultant based in Kampala].  We have given them guarantees of security.[214]    

In November 2003 and on February 7 and March 17 and 18, 2004 AngloGold Ashanti  representatives including the designated project manager for the operation, Howard Fall, consultant Jean Claude Kanku, and engineer Mark Hanham, carried out at least three site visits to Mongbwalu, often accompanied by FNI armed group representatives.[215]  At that time, FNI combatants continued to carry out their ongoing 'witch hunt' in Mongbwalu and its immediate vicinity against Hema women and other opponents.  Victims accused of witchcraft were often brutally killed after 'judging' ceremonies by local spiritual leaders (see above). 

In February 2004, Njabu evaded officials keeping him in Kinshasa and, using a false name and a round-about route, managed to arrive in Mongbwalu.  Njabu confided to supporters that he was returning to Mongbwalu to profit financially from the presence of the new investors.[216] Soon after arriving back, Njabu organized a public meeting to direct the local population and FNI combatants to not block the work of AngloGold Ashanti.[217] He then set up his headquarters in Mongbwalu. After their March mission, an AngloGold Ashanti official, Howard Fall, reported-in writing--that Njabu told them they were "welcome in the area, and would be allowed to carry out their activities unhindered." He specifically assured them that "they need not to be alarmed by the presence of armed militia."[218]  While AngloGold Ashanti representatives may have been provided with security assurances, the local population were not.  Throughout February 2004 and in the months that followed, FNI combatants frequently arrested civilians for failure to pay 'taxes' or participate in forced labor, often beating and torturing their victims (see above). 

From May 2004 AngloGold Ashanti brought some thirty-five expatriate geologists, engineers and security personnel to Mongbwalu to assist with their exploration drilling activities.[219]  Company executives talked publicly about launching mining activities in Mongbwalu claiming the area was a "huge gold province."[220]  Charles Carter, Vice President at AngloGold Ashanti, stated in a mining forum that the company had made preparations to "commence exploration drilling on the Kimin prospect [OKIMO] in the Ituri region of the DRC," adding "while this is obviously a tough environment right now, we are looking forward to the opportunity to fully explore the properties we have in the Congo, believing that we now have access to potentially exciting growth prospects in Central Africa."[221]  

Not surprisingly, security for personnel and company property in Ituri was an important issue. AngloGold Ashanti contracted with the private security company ArmorGroup International Ltd. to furnish armed guards for their activities and lodgings of company staff.[222] As a result of the relationship they established with the FNI, AngloGold Ashanti was able to access the gold producing areas in Mongbwalu for exploration drilling benefiting from security against any possible attacks by local militias.

Howard Fall, manager of the AngloGold Ashanti project in Mongbwalu, confirmed the company had contact with the FNI and that the armed group had granted permission for the company to work in Mongbwalu, but he added that there "was no relationship with Njabu."[223]   Other AngloGold Ashanti employees expressed different views.   A number of witnesses told a Human Rights Watch researcher that an AngloGold Ashanti consultant had frequent contact with the FNI leaders, including Njabu, often acting as a bridge between the company and the armed group.[224]  Human Rights Watch also learned that AngloGold Ashanti knew there were possible difficulties in having a direct relationship with the FNI and hence employed consultants to facilitate such discussions.[225]  In its April 27, 2005 e-mail communication with Human Rights Watch the company denied the allegations, though they did add that on the occasions where there had been "unavoidable contact" with the FNI, the company had sought to ensure such contact was "transparent" and was "directly between ourselves and the militia group."[226]

Benefits for the FNI Armed Group

As a result of the relationship with AngloGold Ashanti, the FNI obtained important benefits for the movement and certain of its leaders. The company's local consultant in Mongbwalu claimed that he told the FNI, "We could not help them openly but we could assist them in others ways."[227] When Njabu asked money from AngloGold Ashanti's consultant based in Uganda, Ashley Lassen, he got it. Lassen told a Human Rights Watch researcher in May 2004 that the situation was complex. "We don't want to cut Njabu out," he said.  "He needs to feel included.  He just wants money and then he will go away.  We have given him a little, a few hundred dollars here and there, but that is all.  We know how to deal with people like him."[228]  Another close observer to events in Mongbwalu also told Human Rights Watch that payments were being made by AngloGold Ashanti to the FNI, though he believed the amounts being paid were higher.[229] When questioned about payments to the FNI in an interview with Human Rights Watch researchers in July 2004, AngloGold Ashanti's Howard Fall strongly denied any form of financial assistance to the FNI.[230] 

The denials about financial assistance to the FNI armed group were contradicted by AngloGold Ashanti in February 2005 when the company's spokesperson, Steven Lenahan, was quoted in various press reports detailing payments the company had made to the FNI.[231]  Responding to questions from Human Rights Watch about such payments, AngloGold Ashanti responded in an e-mail communication on April 27, 2005, that AngloGold Ashanti had made an $8,000 payment to the FNI in January 2005 "under protest and duress" after the FNI threatened the "safety of staff and the company's assets."[232]  In the same e-mail communication, AngloGold Ashanti added that the company had sought the advice of the Bunia based District Commissioner before making the payment, though the company stressed the payment was never "approved by executive management at AngloGold Ashanti" and that such payments were "not consistent with AngloGold Ashanti's business principles."[233]  AngloGold Ashanti further confirmed in its April 27, 2005 e-mail that the company had paid the FNI a levy of six US cents per kilogram of cargo flown into the local airport at Mongbwalu.  It stated that this had been "common practice" until September 2004 when it came to the attention of company officials in Kinshasa and in light of "the fact that it contravened the provisions of the U.N. resolution, it was discontinued."[234]  AngloGold Ashanti's spokesman stated to journalists that the company still believed the risks associated with operating in Mongbwalu were "manageable."[235]

In addition to the payments described above, AngloGold Ashanti provided various other forms of support to the FNI armed group in Mongbwalu, including some assistance with logistics and transportation.  In an environment of extreme poverty, minimal infrastructure and continued insecurity, such assistance was important for the activities of the FNI.  In the context of Ituri, AngloGold Ashanti knew, or should have known, that the FNI armed group they were giving assistance to was responsible for widespread human rights abuses. Njabu and other senior FNI representatives used the 4x4 AngloGold Ashanti vehicle so often that the company began insisting that they put their requests in writing so transportation arrangements could be better planned.[236]  AngloGold Ashanti also permitted FNI leaders to travel on planes they had hired for flights from Mongbwalu to Beni or Kampala.[237]  Throughout the period of late 2003 and into 2004, as FNI leaders were getting such benefits from AngloGold Ashanti, FNI combatants continued to carry out their policies of witch hunts, arbitrary detentions, torture and forced labor.  Some victims were so badly brutalized for not paying taxes or carrying out the FNI's policy of forced labor that they fled to Bunia or other places hundreds of kilometers away seeking safety (see above).   

A United Nations group of experts monitoring the arms embargo on eastern DRC reported in January 2005 that AngloGold Ashanti also provided Njabu, the FNI leader, with his house in Mongbwalu.[238]  When Human Rights Watch interviewed Njabu in Mongbwalu in May 2004 he was living in a house on the AGK concession (of which AngloGold Ashanti is a majority stakeholder).  As witnessed by Human Rights Watch researchers, Njabu's house was guarded by FNI combatants, some of them child soldiers, and was used as the main headquarters of the FNI armed group; numerous FNI planning and strategy meetings were held on the premises. When granted a request to meet with Njabu and other members of the FNI armed group, Human Rights Watch researchers were directed to the house of Njabu on the AGK concession.[239]  In its April 27, 2005 e-mail correspondence to Human Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti confirmed that the FNI occupied several of the houses on the property acquired by the company "without either seeking our permission or receiving our approval."[240]  AngloGold Ashanti did not report how their local representatives who lived in another house on the property a few hundred meters away reacted to this, nor whether advice was sought from their headquarters on the matter or if any measures were taken to remove the FNI from the company's property.

In addition to these material benefits, AngloGold Ashanti representatives also intervened with local authorities and U.N. officials on behalf of the FNI, both for individuals and for the group. On one such occasion an AngloGold Ashanti consultant, Ashley Lassen, interceded with MONUC officials.  In an e-mail sent on March 20, 2004 to senior MONUC officials based in Ituri, Lassen expressed his view that the FNI were weary of fighting and wanted a peaceful settlement, if their personal safety could be guaranteed.  He went on to prevail on MONUC to "adopt a conciliatory stance in their dealings with some of the armed groups."[241]  MONUC viewed this e-mail as an attempt to promote favor for the FNI armed group.[242]

 

The FNI further capitalized on their relationship with AngloGold Ashanti. Their association with a powerful, rich multinational corporation offered the possibility for increasing their legitimacy locally and at the national level.  Commentators in Kinshasa noted that few of the national politicians had taken an interest in Njabu until AngloGold Ashanti expressed its desire to start activities in Mongbwalu. In an interview with Human Rights Watch, Njabu remarked that President Kabila and Vice President Bemba had contacted him directly in relation to gold mining in Mongbwalu, clearly viewing such contact as legitimizing his position.[243] One individual in Kinshasa noted, "Njabu now has power due to the gold he controls and [the presence of] AngloGold Ashanti.  This is his ace and he will use it to get power in Kinshasa."[244]  Such intentions were further clarified in the April 27, 2005 e-mail correspondence from AngloGold Ashanti to Human Rights Watch, where the company stated that the funds they paid were to be used for FNI "meetings with Government and other political organizations" in Kinshasa.[245]  At local level the contact with AngloGold Ashanti was also seen as useful for the FNI. One worker in Mongbwalu summed up the situation by saying "Ashanti will give dignity to the FNI."[246]  When Njabu returned to Mongbwalu in February 2004 another local analyst concluded he had made the move to ensure he was the key interlocutor with the company adding, "this will become Njabu's power base."[247]  For a senator in Kinshasa the relationship between such a powerful multinational and the FNI was likely to strengthen the armed group politically and was just plain "dangerous."[248] 

AngloGold Ashanti View of Contacts with the FNI

In a December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti wrote that AGK, its joint venture with OKIMO, had "no working or other relationship with FNI."[249] This position appeared to contradict information elsewhere in the same letter concerning frequent contacts between AGK representatives and FNI leaders, contacts that in effect made it possible for AGK to begin work in Mongbwalu. The letter stated that AGK officials met in late 2003 with F. Ndgabu (sic), the president of FNI, in Kinshasa to discuss their wish to visit Mongbwalu to assess possibilities for starting work there. According to the letter, the FNI president "identified with AGK intentions and wrote his representatives in Bunia and Mongbwalu indicating his support for the commencement of work by AGK."  The letter said also that AGK officials met with the FNI in March, May, July, and September 2004 so that AGK could outline its work program.

In its April 27, 2005 e-mail communication to Human Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti stated, "It is not the policy or practice of this company to seek to establish continuous, working relationships with militia groups in conflict zones."  In the same communication the company admitted there had been contact between the company's "management and the FNI" but added these contacts had been "unavoidable" and in the cases where it had occurred the company had "attempted to keep the contact to a minimum and have ensured that the meetings and their outcomes are communicated with all interested parties."

Human Rights Watch has obtained materials and witness testimony reflecting the frequent contact between AngloGold Ashanti and senior FNI leaders including meetings held, written permission granted, and payments made to FNI representatives.[250]  This information casts serious doubts on the claim that no working or other relationship existed between the company, its joint venture partner AGK, and the FNI armed group and that such contact was 'unavoidable' as suggested by AngloGold Ashanti's December 7, 2004 letter and its April 27, 2005 e-mail correspondence to Human Rights Watch.  In light of the circumstances on the ground, Human Rights Watch believes it is unlikely that AngloGold Ashanti would have been able to work in Mongbwalu without such a relationship with an armed group who effectively controlled access to the mining site including all road and airport access and who militarily controlled the town and surrounding areas.  This reality was made clear by Njabu himself when he told Human Rights Watch, "I am the boss of Mongbwalu.  If I want to chase [AngloGold Ashanti] away then I will."[251]

The AngloGold Ashanti December 7, 2004 letter said that AGK's decision to begin work at Mongbwalu was "founded on its critical assessment of the security situation and its belief that the population appears well-disposed towards exploration and mining operations in the area."  The company's decision to restart activities in the Mongbwalu gold mining area in October 2003 came only weeks after the FNI's attacks in villages just 30 kilometers to the east of Mongbwalu where scores of civilians were killed, including hospital patients, women and children and where thousands of others were forced to flee (see above).

By instructions given to combatants in its militia, by public appearances in the company of AGK representatives, and by instructions to local residents at a public meeting, all detailed above, the FNI leaders provided the assurances needed by AGK both concerning security in general and concerning the attitude of the population.

In its December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch, AngloGold Ashanti wrote that "steps have been taken to ensure that human rights will be upheld at all times" and that AGK will "ensure that dealings with local and other organizations, including the discharge of social responsibilities, are carried out in accordance with criteria which comply with reasonable standards of good governance."  The company stated it had given "consumables and supplies" to the local hospital and school, had replaced the pump at the hospital, and carried out minor repairs to roads, as described in the same letter.  These benefits were granted to local authorities in Mongbwalu who were appointed by, or depended on, the FNI for their authority. But giving in an environment like Mongbwalu is not politically neutral and may have contributed to increased prestige for the FNI.  The dynamics of how the FNI wished to capitalize on the presence of AngloGold Ashanti in Mongbwalu was explained to a Human Rights Watch researcher by FNI Commander Pichou,

We agreed with [AngloGold] Ashanti that all complaints from the local population against the company would be organized via the FNI.  We would give these complaints to Ashanti.  We also stated we wanted to organize a structure, like an NGO, to sort out development issues in Mongbwalu….They were happy for the FNI to create an NGO that Ashanti would then finance.  We even have minutes of these meetings at the FNI office in Mongbwalu.[252]

Failure to Respect Human Rights, International Norms and Business Standards

Congo is at a critical phase in its transition to the rule of law and needs investment by business corporations to help generate revenue, to repair a shattered infrastructure, and revitalize the economy.  Such business involvement needs to support economic and political development, not work against it.  In an environment of continued conflict, as in northeastern DRC, multinational corporations need to ensure that their activities do not in any way support directly or indirectly armed groups responsible for widespread human rights abuses.  

Box 4 Tackling Discrimination at OKIMO

Local OKIMO and former KIMIN union members in Ituri raised fundamental concerns about relaunching mining activities in Ituri when past discriminatory management practices at OKIMO which had contributed to inter-ethnic tensions had not been addressed. OKIMO has a history of discriminatory practices favoring the Hema, who predominate in management positions, and discriminating against the Lendu, who constitute the great majority of miners and other manual laborers. According to OKIMO employees, Lendu workers were rarely promoted and those who did reach management positions were compensated at a lower rate than were non-Lendu at equivalent levels.[253]  As the largest employer in the Ituri District, OKIMO's discriminatory practices contributed to tensions between Hema and Lendu. As early as 1999 Hema and Lendu employees of OKIMO at one of their main offices in Bambu engaged in fighting along ethnic lines, a forerunner of later and wider violence.[254]

In February 2004 union members wrote to OKIMO management requesting that efforts be made to reconcile these ethnic groups within the organization before any industrial gold operations were undertaken.[255]   But at the time of writing union members and other employees claimed that no discussions had taken place on past discriminatory practices and that no plans were in place to prevent further ethnic conflict within OKIMO.[256]  An ad hoc parliamentary committee of senators and deputies from northeastern DRC launched an investigation into the management of OKIMO in September 2004.  They also claimed to be concerned about this issue and may examine it during its review.[257]

Asked about any policies that had been adopted to deal with apparently discriminatory practices at OKIMO, AngloGold Ashanti answered in its December 7, 2004 letter to Human Rights Watch, that it "did not seek to interfere in the internal workings" of OKIMO because it wished to maintain a good working relationship with OKIMO and wished to respect its "corporate status." [258]  Given that tensions between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups have contributed to the conflict and widespread human rights abuses in Ituri, it is inappropriate for AngloGold Ashanti to have a hands off approach to such issues, especially in relationship to the joint venture partnership AGK in which AngloGold Ashanti has a majority share.

Although states have primary responsibility for promoting and ensuring respect for human rights, business corporations also carry a number of responsibilities, as is increasingly recognized by international law and norms.  In August 2003 a group of U.N. experts adopted the Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, thereby signaling the growing consensus for standards on corporate responsibility.   The norms are based on a wide range of recognized international instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international conventions such as those on torture, genocide, slavery, and rights of the child, the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court amongst others.  These U.N. norms help to clarify the international legal framework for obligationson companies in relation to human rights. Specifically they set out that companies have the "obligation to promote, secure the fulfillment of, respect, ensure respect of, and protect human rights recognized in international as well as national law."[259]  They further add that companies "shall not engage in nor benefit from war crimes and crimes against humanity" nor "torture, forced disappearances, forced or compulsory labour" as defined by international law.[260]  It does not appear that AngloGold Ashanti upheld these obligations in its activities in Mongbwalu.  Through the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship with an armed group responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, AngloGold Ashanti failed to uphold its obligations to secure respect for human rights.

AngloGold Ashanti's own business principles say it strives to ensure that "[host] communities are better off for AngloGold Ashanti's having been there" and committing itself to seeking "mutually beneficial, ethical long-term relations with those with whom we do business."[261] AngloGold Ashanti has itself committed to complying with all laws, regulations, standards and international conventions applying to its business in the area of protection for human rights including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fundamental Rights Convention of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the principles and values referred to in the United National Global Compact[262] and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in its global operations.[263]  In September 2002 AngloGold signed an important agreement with the 20-million strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), to promote and respect human and trade union rights, health and safety, environmental protection and the promotion of good relationships with local mining communities in all their operations worldwide.[264]   AngloGold Ashanti's own business principles further state that AngloGold Ashanti will promote the application of its principles to "those with whom it does business" and that acceptance of these principles is an "important factor in our decision to enter into and remain in such relationships."[265]

AngloGold Ashanti failed in its operations in Mongbwalu to uphold its own business principles, as detailed in this report.  The company did not abide by its own internal standards on promoting its business principles to those with whom it does business when deciding whether to enter into a relationship with the FNI armed group.  Throughout its research, Human Rights Watch was unable to identify effective steps taken by the company to ensure human rights were respected in Mongbwalu, a context of significant vulnerability for local civilians and ongoing conflictAs a multinational company with considerable influence, Human Rights Watch believes that AngloGold Ashanti should have exercised its leverage to pursue local actors to respect human rights and should have conditioned its gold exploration activities on such commitments.

As described earlier, in an annex to their October 2002 report, the U.N. panel of experts detailed concerns about compliance with the OECD Multinational Guidelines by eighty-five multinational companies operating in the DRC including Ashanti Goldfields (the predecessor to AngloGold Ashanti).[266]  The OECD Guidelines are recommendations addressed directly to companies setting down 'shared expectations for business conduct'.  They are the first international instrument on corporate social responsibility to provide a government-supported (though voluntary) mechanism for monitoring and influencing corporate behavior. The guidelines provide standards of conduct for all key aspects of company operations including respect for human rights and sustainable development amongst others that are to be observed wherever a company operates.[267]  In relation to the U.N. panel's report of 2002, Ashanti Goldfields denied any contravention of the OECD Guidelines in a one-page response to the panel in early 2003.[268] No further investigations were conducted and in their final report the panel determined that all issues with Ashanti Goldfields and forty-one other companies had been resolved.[269]  Questions need to be raised however about AngloGold Ashanti's compliance with the OECD Guidelines in their activities in Mongbwalu since 2003. AngloGold Ashanti's relationship with and the support its has provided to the FNI, an armed group responsible for widespread human rights abuses, appear to be in contravention of the OECD Guidelines in relation to respect for human rights.

Many corporations involved in the extractive industry have agreed to a set of Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.[270] AngloGold Ashanti has not yet subscribed to the code, but these principles provide guidelines that could have been useful to it in deciding when and under what circumstances to start operations in Mongbwalu.  The code asks corporations:

·to maintain the safety and security of their operations within a framework that ensures respect for human rights

·to assess the conduct of armed groups or other forces operating in the area based on available human rights records

·to consider local capacity to hold accountable those responsible for abuses

·to monitor the use of their equipment to ensure it is not used in an inappropriate manner

·to record and report any credible allegations of human rights abuses by local public security forces or other armed groups responsible for security in the area

·to urge for investigations where appropriate.

AngloGold Ashanti developed a relationship with the FNI armed group whose abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law were at the time already well documented. During the first year of the AngloGold Ashanti operations in Mongbwalu, Human Rights Watch researchers met with AngloGold Ashanti representatives in February, May and July 2004, highlighting human rights concerns about the FNI and other armed groups operating in Ituri including widespread ethnic massacres, arbitrary detention, summary execution, the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment and sexual violence.  As its representatives stated to Human Rights Watch researchers, AngloGold Ashanti did not raise human rights concerns with the FNI nor did they request an end to their abuses.  In its letter of December 7, 2004 AngloGold Ashanti claimed it was not in a position to place any conditions on the FNI as "it had no working or other relationship with the FNI," which is inconsistent with the information presented in this report.

Before and during the period of its relationship with AngloGold Ashanti, the FNI group was illegally mining and trading gold in an area that it had taken by force of arms. It held its power in Mongbwalu through the use of force carrying out grave abuses of human rights in the process. 

In return for assurances of security for its operations and staff and access to the mining site, AngloGold Ashanti provided certain financial and material support to the FNI. The FNI also derived political benefit from its relation with AngloGlod Ashanti in that it found added strength in resisting efforts by the national government to bring it under control. 

Given the ongoing conflict in Ituri, the widespread and systematic abuses taking place in the area and the political and military leverage that could be gained for an armed group through a relationship with a major multinational mining company, AngloGold Ashanti should have waited to restart their exploration drilling activities in Mongbwalu.  They do not appear to have done so. Business considerations came above respect for human rights.  AngloGold Ashanti failed in its operations in Mongbwalu to uphold its own business principles on human rights considerations and failed to follow international business norms governing the behavior of companies internationally.  Human Rights Watch has been unable to identify effective steps taken by the company to ensure that their activities did not negatively impact on human rights.  AngloGold Ashanti should cease immediately any relationship with the FNI and consider halting temporarily its mining exploration activities in Mongbwalu until such operations can contribute positively to the lives of the people who live there. 

The price of gold on world markets is currently the highest it has been in over a decade. Industry experts believe the price may rise still further due to a shortage of new gold production.[271]  The search for new sources of ore and the current high price of gold is likely to stimulate demand for new gold mines.  Any mining companies seeking to engage in the gold-rich areas of northeastern Congo must ensure that its activities do not further conflict and human rights abuses. The citizens of north-eastern Congo should benefit from their gold resources, not be cursed by them. 

[174] Human Rights Watch interview, OKIMO managers, Kinshasa, March 1 and October 2, 2004

[175] Anglo American plc owns 54% of AngloGold Ashanti. The companies have a separate management structure though there is some overlap of key executives. 

[176] Such contracts are referred to as 'Contracts d'Amodiation' under which OKIMO as the holder of the mining concession leases out exploitation and exploration rights to a third party. The contract between MINDEV and OKIMO was signed on October 10, 1991; in it OKIMO held 51%.

[177] Congo's first war started in October 1996 and lasted till April 1997 when Laurent Kabila's forces overthrew President Mobutu Seso Seko.  Congo's second war led by rebel groups backed by Uganda and Rwanda started on August 2, 1998 officially ending in June 2003 with the installation of a transitional government in Kinshasa.  Despite the official end of the war, there has been no peace in vast parts of eastern DRC.

[178] Fax from Steven Lenahan, Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, December 7, 2004.  Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

[179] See Vincent t'Sas, "Ashanti to fight Kabila's Congo in Court", Reuters, April 15, 1998; Erik Kennes, "Le secteur mineur au Congo: 'Déconnexion et Descente aux Enfers'", L'Afrique des Grands Lacs, Annuaire 1999-2000, 2000; IPIS, "The Political Economy of Resource Trafficking in the DRC," September 2003, p. 20; "New Mining Imbroglio in Congo," African Energy and Mining, May 13, 1998; William Wallis, "New Congo Terminates Kilomoto Gold Contract", Reuters News, September 10, 1997;  Els Botje, "Ashanti finally gains control of Congo Mine," Reuters News, November 20, 1998. See also Mining Convention between OKIMO and Russell Resources International Ltd, Projects Kilo and K.M.R., November 1997; and Ministry of Mines, arrêté ministériel No. 0225/CAB.MINES/00/ MN/98, signed by Frédéric Kibassa-Maliba, November 4, 1998. Documents on file at Human Rights Watch. 

[180] OKIMO Internal document, "Argumentaire de L'OKIMO Pour l'Equilibre Des Intérêts Dans AGK," September 2003.  Also Presidential Decree No 090 "Autorisant les modifications apportées aux statuts de KILO-MOTO Mining International, en abrégé 'KIMIN', S.A.R.L." Kinshasa, June 23, 2000.

[181] Avenant au Contract d'Amodiation, signed by Pasteur Cosma Wilungula, OKIMO, and Trevor Schultz, Ashanti Goldfields, September 25, 2001.

[182] Human Rights Watch interviews, Floribert Njabu, October 7, 2003 and other government officials, October 7 – 9, 2003

[183] Human Rights Watch interviews, Floribert Njabu, October 7, 2003 and Thomas Lubanga, October 8, 2003.  During the interviews both leaders frequently took calls they said were from Ituri.

[184] Human Rights Watch requested confirmation and further details about this meeting from AngloGold Ashanti.  At the time of writing, no response had been received to our query.

[185] "Congo: The People Behind Ashanti's Return," Africa Mining Intelligence No 57, March 12, 2003.

[186] In addition to two detailed reports from Human Rights Watch there were also reports by Amnesty International, "DR of Congo: Ituri – a need for protection, a thirst for justice", October 2003; International Crisis Group, "Congo Crisis: Military Intervention in Ituri", June 13, 2003, and U.N. Security Council, "Special Reports on Events in Ituri".  There were also numerous other press reports.

[187] On July 16, 2003, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced his intention to closely follow the situation in Ituri.  See ICC press release at www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/67.html (retrieved February, 2005).

[188] Ibid., Annex III of the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2002.

[189] Ibid., Addendum to the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, June 20, 2003.  Response No. 15.

[190] Ibid., U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2003.

[191] Ibid., paragraph 23.

[192] For further information see Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), "Unanswered Questions: Companies, Conflict and the Democratic Republic of Congo," April 2004; and the British All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region and Genocide Prevention, "The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the DRC,"  February 2005.

[193] Human Rights Watch interview, Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti representative, Bunia, May 13, 2004. See also Brendan Ryan, "Rumble from the Jungle", Financial Mail, Denver, October 10, 2003

[194] Ibid., Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004.  Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

[195] Human Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Bunia, May 13, 2004.

[196] Human Rights Watch interview, Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba, Kinshasa, October 1, 2004.

[197] Fax from Steven Lenahan, Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, December 13, 2004.  Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

[198] There were numerous public reports about the situation in Ituri and the human rights abuses of armed groups operating there, including the FNI.  In addition to two detailed reports from Human Rights Watch there were also reports by Amnesty International, DR of Congo: Ituri -- a need for protection, a thirst for justice, October 2003; International Crisis Group, Congo Crisis: Military Intervention in Ituri, June 13, 2003; U.N. Security Council, Special Reports on Events in Ituri, July 2004. In July 2003 the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced his intention to follow the situation in Ituri.  There were also numerous other press report. 

[199] Human Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall and Jean-Claude Kanku, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

[200] Human Rights Watch interviews, senior UPC officials, Bunia, February 21, 2004.

[201] Letter from OKIMO Director General, Etienne Kiza Ingani to Thomas Lubanga, President of the UPC.  Ref DG/SDG/172/2002, October 1, 2002 with Annex, "The Expectations of  OKIMO," October 2002.

[202] In the region, the company is ordinarily referred to simply as "Ashanti."

[203] Human Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, Kampala, July 3, 2004.

[204] Ibid., Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004. Document on file at Human Rights Watch.  Also Human Rights Watch interviews, Mr. Basiani, FNI Commissioner of Mines, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004; Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, Mongbwalu, May 3, 2004; Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; Ashanti representatives, Mongbwalu and Kampala, March 10 and May 4, 2004; Iribi Pitchou, FNI Defence Commissioner, February 19 and October 10, 2004.

[205] U.N. Security Council resolution 1493 (S/2003/757), paragraph 18, July 28, 2003.

[206] Ibid., paragraph 20.

[207] U.N. Security Council, "Letter from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of Congo [on the arms embargo]", (S/2005/30), January 25, 2004, para 134; hereafter called report of the group of experts on the U.N. arms embargo. See also S. Brummers , "AngloGold Aided Warlord," Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg, February 4, 2005.

[208] E-mail communication, Steven Lenahan, Executive Officer, Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti to Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, April 27, 2005.

[209] Human Rights Watch interviews, Bunia, February 20 – 23, 2004.

[210] Human Rights Watch interview, Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner and acting President, February 19, 2004 and October 10, 2004.

[211] Human Rights Watch interview, Emmanuel Leku, Bunia, February 18, 2004 and MONUC staff, Bunia February 24, 2004.

[212] Human Rights Watch interview, Dominique Ait-Ouyahia McAdams, MONUC Head of Office, Bunia, February 23, 2004.

[213] This presumably refers to the Ashanti Goldfields office in London.

[214] Human Rights Watch interview, Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner and acting President, February 19, 2004 and October 10, 2004.

[215] Human Rights Watch interviews, OKIMO official, Bunia, February 22, 2004; Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; Ashanti representatives, Mongbwalu and Kampala, March 10 and May 4, 2004; Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner and acting President, February 19, 2004 and October 10, 2004.

[216] Human Rights Watch interview, Kinshasa, October 2, 2004.

[217] Human Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; Ashanti representatives, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

[218] Ashanti internal report written by Howard Fall, "Mongbwalu Sitrep - AGK site visit 17/18 March 2004."  Copy on file at Human Rights Watch.

[219] Human Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall and Jean Claude Kanku, Kampala, March 10, 2004 and Ashley Lassen, May 13, 2004 and Mark Hanham, July 8, 2004.

[220] "AngloGold Ashanti hits rich vein of savings from merger," Business Day, South Africa, July 29, 2004.

[221] Presentation by Charles Carter, AngloGold Ashanti Vice-President, Diggers & Dealers Forum, Kalgoorlie, Australia, July 2004.  See also "AngloGold Ashanti hits rich vein of savings from merger," Business Day, South Africa, July 29, 2004.

[222] Human Rights Watch interview, Lee Smith, Head, Armor Group, Kampala, July 8, 2004 and ArmorGroup Chief Executive Officer, Noel Philip, London, July 2004.

[223] Human Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall and Jean Claude Kanku, Kampala, March 10, 2004.

[224] Human Rights Watch interview, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004; Also Human Rights Watch interviews local leader, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004 and civil society activist, Bunia, May 13, 2004.

[225] Human Rights Watch interviews, Mongbwalu, May 4 and civil society activist, Bunia, May 13, 2004.

[226] E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

[227] Human Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti consultant, May 4, 2004.

[228] Human Rights Watch interview, Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti, Bunia, May 13, 2004.

[229] Human Rights Watch interview, observers to events in Mongbwalu, Bunia, October 10, 2004 and Europe, April 26, 2005.

[230] Human Rights Watch interview, AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Howard Fall, Jean-Claude Kanku, and Mark Hanham, Kampala, July 8, 2004.

[231] Antony Sguazzin, "AngloGold says it paid 'safety tax' to rebels," Bloomberg, February 7, 2005; Tim Wood, "Can AngloGold Lock its Congo Pandora's Box?"Resource Investor, South Africa, February 7, 2005; S. Brummer, "AngloGold Aided Warlord," Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg, February 4, 2005.

[232] Ibid., E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

[233] Ibid.

[234] Ibid., also the Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para 133.

[235] Ibid., Antony Sguazzin, "AngloGold says it paid 'safety tax' to rebels".

[236] Human Rights Watch interview, Ashanti consultant, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

[237] Human Rights Watch interviews, Commander Iribi Pitchou, Bunia, October 10, 2004; Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, Kampala, July 3, 2004.

[238] Ibid., Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para 133.

[239] Observations made by a Human Rights Watch researcher, Mongbwalu, May 1 to May 7, 2004.

[240] Ibid., E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

[241] E-mail correspondence between Ashley Lassen, AngloGold Ashanti, and MONUC officials, March 20, 2004.  Copy on file at Human Rights Watch.

[242] Ibid.

[243] Human Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, Mongbwalu, May 3 and Kampala, July 3, 2004.

[244] Human Rights Watch interview, local analyst, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004.

[245] Ibid., E-mail correspondence, Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, April 27, 2005.

[246] Human Rights Watch interview, former OKIMO employee, Mongbwalu, May 6, 2004.

[247] Human Rights Watch interview, civil society leader, Mongbwalu, May 2, 2004.

[248] Human Rights Watch interview, Congolese Senator, Kinshasa, October 4, 2004.

[249] All quotations in this section are taken from the December 7, 2004 and December 13, 2004 letters of Lenahan to Van Woudenberg plus e-mail correspondence of Lenahan to Van Woudenberg on April 27, 2005.  Documents on file at Human Rights Watch.

[250] Ibid., Human Rights Watch interviews, OKIMO employee, Bunia, February 19, 2004; OKIMO official, Bunia, February 22, 2004; union member, Bunia, February 22, 2004; local journalist, Bunia, February 20, 2004; MONUC officials, February 23 and October 8, 2004; Ministry of Mining official, Kinshasa, February 29, 2004; senior OKIMO official, Kinshasa, March 1, 2004; local leader, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004; civil society activist, Bunia, May 13, 2004; Mr. Basiani, FNI Commissioner of Mines, Mongbwalu, May 5, 2004; Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, Kinshasa, October 1, 2004; Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, Kinshasa, Mongbwalu, Kampala, October 7, 2003, May 3, July 3, 2004; local analyst, Mongbwalu, May 4, 2004; Congolese senator, Kinshasa, October 4, 2004; Mongbwalu businessman, Beni, February 25, 2004; AngloGold Ashanti representatives, Mongbwalu and Kampala, March 10, May 4, May 13, July 8, 2004;  Iribi Pitchou Kasamba, FNI Defence Commissioner, Bunia, February 19 and October 10, 2004; OKIMO manager, Kinshasa, October 2, 2004; E-mail correspondence AngloGold Ashanti, and MONUC officials, March 20, 2004; AngloGold Ashanti internal report, March 2004; Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005; Fax from Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004. Copies of all documents on file at Human Rights Watch.

[251] Human Rights Watch interview, Floribert Njabu, President of the FNI, July 3, 2004.

[252] Human Rights Watch interview, Commander Iribi Pitchou, Bunia, October 10, 2004.

[253] Human Rights Watch interview, Kinshasa, March 1, 2004.

[254] Human Rights Watch interview, former OKIMO employee who worked in Bambu, February 22, 2004.

[255] Ibid.

[256] Human Rights Watch interview, union representative, Bunia, October 10, 2004.

[257] Human Rights Watch Interview, Senator Uringi-pa-Dolo, Vice Chair of Parliamentary Investigation Committee on OKIMO, Kinshasa, October 4, 2004.

[258] Lenahan to Van Woudenberg, December 7, 2004. Document on file at Human Rights Watch.

[259]Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/12 (2003), Section A, General Obligations.

[260] Ibid., Section C, Rights to Security of Persons.

[261] Ibid., Report of the Group of Experts on the U.N. Arms Embargo, January 25, 2005, para 134.

[262] The U.N. Global Compact is an initiative launched by the Secretary General to advance responsible corporate citizenship.  It seeks to mainstream ten principles in relation to human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.  Both AngloGold Ashanti and its parent company Anglo American are participants in the Global Compact.  See www.unglobalcompact.org.

[263] "AngloGold Ashanti's Business Principles: Living Our Values," May 2004 from the AngloGold Ashanti website at www.anglogold.com/Social+Responsibility/. In their response to the U.N. Panel of Experts, Ashanti Goldfields stated that their exploitation and mining activities are guided by the Guidelines. Commitments to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Addendum to U.N. Panel of Experts on Illegal Exploitation in the DRC report, (S/2002/1146/Add.1), June 20, 2003.

[264] See "Global Agreement between AngloGold Ltd and ICEM, The Promotion and Implementation of Good Industrial Relations in AngloGold Operations Worldwide", September 2002, at www.icem.org (retrieved February 2005).

[265] Ibid., "AngloGold Ashanti's Business Principles: Living Our Values," May 2004.

[266] Ibid., Annex III of the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2002.

[267] OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (Paris: OECD), Section II, General Principles, point 2, 2000.

[268] Ibid., Addendum to the U.N. Panel of Experts Report, June 20, 2003.  Response No. 15.

[269] Ibid., U.N. Panel of Experts Report, October 2003.

[270] In December 2000 the U.K. and USA governments together with companies in the extractive industry sector and non-governmental organizations, agreed the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.  Companies who have signed up to the principles include Amerada Hess, BG Group, BHP Billiton, B.P., ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Freeport-McMoRan, Marathon Oil, Newmont, Norsk Hydro, Occidental Petroleum, Rio Tinto, Shell, and Statoil.

[271] Kevin Morrison, "Dollar's troubles put new gleam in gold commodities", Financial Times, London, November 6, 2004.