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US exploring limited easing of sanctions on Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler

US exploring limited easing of sanctions on Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler

THE U.S. Treasury Department is exploring a limited easing of U.S. sanctions on Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler to facilitate his exit from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a U.S. official said. The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Gertler and more than 30 of his businesses in December 2017 and June 2018, accusing him of leveraging his friendship with former Congo President Joseph Kabila to secure lucrative mining deals. "We are working to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ... as it endeavours to remove corrupt actors from its mining sector," the official said. "As part…
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Kenya Airways staff members detained in Congo released

Kenya Airways staff members detained in Congo released

TWO Kenya Airways staff members who were detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late April have been released, a senior Kenyan foreign ministry official and the airline's chief executive said. The airline's flights to Congo, which had been suspended in late April, would now resume, Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka, said in a statement. Congo's military intelligence detained two of the airline's staff on April 19, allegedly because of missing customs documentation on some valuable cargo. The company said it had not taken possession of the cargo because the shipper's paperwork was incomplete. The two were detained despite a court…
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Kenya Airways says Congo is harassing airline after its staff detained

Kenya Airways says Congo is harassing airline after its staff detained

KENYA Airways accused authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of harassment over the continued detention of two of the airline's staff for alleged customs violations despite a court ordering their release. A senior Kenyan government official said Kenya had also objected to what he said was their arrest and detention. Officers from Congo's military intelligence detained the pair on April 19 for allegedly failing to complete customs documentation related to valuable cargo that was meant to be transported a week earlier, the airline said in a statement. The airline workers have been granted only one short visit…
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US talks often with Congo’s Gecamines on cobalt and copper

US talks often with Congo’s Gecamines on cobalt and copper

THE United States speaks regularly with the Democratic Republic of Congo's state miner Gecamines, a senior State Department official told Reuters, as Washington seeks to deepen relationships with key suppliers of cobalt and copper across the African continent. WHY IT'S IMPORTANT Chinese aggressive investment across Congo, Zambia and elsewhere in Africa - which holds massive supplies of minerals used to make electric vehicles and other electronics - has for some time raised concern in Washington. Jose Fernandez, the U.S. State Department's under-secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment, said in an interview this week that conversations with Gecamines centre…
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DRC overtakes Peru on copper output, still behind on exports

DRC overtakes Peru on copper output, still behind on exports

THE Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) overtook Peru as the world's second-largest copper producer in 2023, though it still lags behind the South American country in exports, official data from both nations show. DRC produced about 2.84 million tons of copper last year, the country's central bank reported. Peru's output was 2.76 million tons, the Andean country's mining and energy ministry said. DRC has been reeling in Peru's No. 2 copper spot over recent years, with flagging mining investment in Peru linked to red tape and recent political turmoil and protests. Chile remains the distant top producer of the red metal.…
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DRC lifts moratorium on death penalty

DRC lifts moratorium on death penalty

DEMOCRATIC Republic Congo has lifted a moratorium on the death penalty, citing treachery and espionage in recurring armed conflicts as the reason for allowing a resumption of executions, said a justice ministry circular seen by Reuters on Friday. The Central African country introduced the moratorium on the death penalty in early 2000. However, it has never been abolished. Justice Minister Rose Mutombo wrote in the circular dated March 13 that the death penalty was reintroduced to rid the army of traitors and curb the resurgence of terrorism and banditry acts. The decision was adopted by a council of ministers on…
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Smudged ID cards, missing names blemish Congo’s $1 billion election

Smudged ID cards, missing names blemish Congo’s $1 billion election

CONGOLESE law student Stephanie Mbafumoja was exhilarated to sit for the photo for a voter identity card that would allow her, for the first time, to have a say in the future of her nation. The 23-year-old’s enthusiasm soured when she was handed a card bearing a distorted image she said looked nothing like her. Within a few weeks, the printed text on the card began to fade. "On election day, the card was completely illegible," she said, speaking in the city of Butembo, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a month after the December 20 election.…
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Congo Style: how two dictators shaped the DRC’s art, architecture and monuments

Congo Style: how two dictators shaped the DRC’s art, architecture and monuments

WHAT kind of art is left behind by totalitarian regimes? A new free-to-read book called Congo Style: From Belgian Art Nouveau to African Independence explores the visual culture, architecture and heritage sites of the country today known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It does so by exploring two now-notorious regimes: King Leopold II’s rule (1885-1908) of Belgium’s Congo colony and Mobutu Sese Seko’s totalitarian Zaire, established when he seized power in a military coup in 1965 after five years of political upheaval. We asked artist and visual culture scholar Ruth Sacks five questions about her book. RUTH SACKS,…
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Congolese journalist denied provisional release after months in detention

Congolese journalist denied provisional release after months in detention

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has rejected an appeal for the provisional release of journalist Stanis Bujakera, who has been in detention for more than five months. Bujakera, who works for international media outlets including Reuters, was detained on Sept. 8 and later charged with spreading false information about the killing of a prominent opposition politician. He denies the charges. In its ruling on Tuesday, the court did not provide a reason for the rejection of the appeal to release him from Kinshasa Central Prison. The court had previously rejected several other appeals for his release, also…
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Gecamines plans overhaul of mining JVs in world’s top cobalt supplier

Gecamines plans overhaul of mining JVs in world’s top cobalt supplier

THE Democratic Republic of Congo's state miner is broadening a push to extract more from its copper and cobalt joint ventures, seeking to negotiate for higher stakes across the board to gain leverage in the management of some of its biggest mines. Gecamines is also leveraging existing shareholding in mines to negotiate off-take contracts to trade copper and cobalt on its own. The miner wants more local executives on boards governing joint ventures to have a greater say in how assets are managed, Guy Robert Lukama, the Gecamines chairman, told Reuters. The plans may mean overhauling some terms of agreements…
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